Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pino Resto Bar (Quezon City)


Pino Resto Bar

I had the privilege of meeting an online buddy (Asmo) who's very much into food trips as I am. After a while of exchanging messages about food - either eating out or preparing dishes at home - he organized a small get-together. I tagged my sister along, and we were together with another friend (Nathalie of Halie's Kitchen) and some of Asmo's friends. We planned to eat at Van Gogh is Bipolar (in Maginhawa), but no one was able to locate the restaurant (I later found out it was because the restaurant has no banners or the usual big letters to spell out the name of the restaurant... all it has is a small "welcome sign" at the door). Most of us haven't really tried food tripping at Maginhawa, so Asmo just decided we go to Pino Resto Bar instead, even if he already dined there before.

Pino Resto Bar
Pino Resto Bar Pino Resto Bar

Pino Resto Bar, from what I gather, used to be located along Maginhawa Street. Today, it is now located along Malingap Street. It is not that big of a restaurant (but it is spacious enough), and because there were eight of us that night, staff had to move some tables and chairs so all of us could share a space together. Good thing we arrived before the place got full! :)

With eight people having their own tastes and preferences, Asmo thought it's just fair that one of us would choose what we want and just share whatever dish one suggested. Presenting the feast we had that night, in no particular order:

Mini Sisig Tacos

Mini Sisig Tacos
Asmo chose this one because he knew this will be a big hit. I loved that the tacos are small enough to be bitten in half right away, minimizing the mess. This was a great way of serving Sisig and because it is usually rich, eating it with tomatoes and lettuce sort of cuts through the richness of the Sisig.


Wasabi Onion Rings
The onion rings were naturally sweet, the breading (or the batter, I don't know what's the correct term) was fluffy with light crisp, but eating the rings as is was a little bland, unless you dip it in the wasabi mayo.

Kare-Kareng Bagnet

Kare-Kareng Bagnet
One of the restaurant's signature dishes. This was a very innovative way of deconstructing Kare-Kare! I love the Bagnet - it was crunchy yet tender, the vegetables were okay, and the sauce was good. If there's one thing to complain, it would have to be sauce, it just wasn't enough! :) My companions were looking for the shrimp paste, but because I personally eat Kare-Kare without the shrimp paste, I didn't seem to mind it anymore.

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Tasted just like any other Cordon Bleu, although the sauce was a little intriguing, in a good way.

Kalderetang Lengua

Kalderetang Lengua
Another delicious dish! I usually just eat Lengua (pork tongue) cooked a la Estofado, and this was such a revelation.

Binusog na Pusit with Kesong Puti

Binusog na Pusit with Kesong Puti
The squid was stuffed good, alright... but it lacked Kesong Puti. Maybe, if this dish was for one person, it would be just fine, but because there were four of us sharing a piece of squid (we ordered 2 of this, by the way), only one of us got to taste the Kesong Puti. Anyway, the squid was cooked just right, so overall, it was okay.

Pino Resto Bar also serves Vegetarian Dishes, through its Pipino Restaurant. I liked the idea of having two different menus - giving vegetarians a chance to enjoy a good meal with their meatatarian friends and family.

Fried Eggplant with Adobong Kangkong and Brown Rice Served with Nilasing na Mangga

Fried Eggplant with Adobong Kangkong and Brown Rice served with Nilasing na Mangga
I chose this dish... because I wanted to eat some vegetables. What I liked? The eggplant and the kangkong mixed with the slightly tangy-sweet mangoes went well together. What I didn't like? The adobong kangkong was so light (in the adobo flavor), that I sort of regretted choosing this one.

Lemongrass Tofu Skewers with Guava-Chili Sauce and Alfalfa

Lemongrass Tofu Skewers with Guava-Chili Sauce
I know this is one of Pipino's signature dishes. I have attended two food bazaar events and Pipino served this and had lots of praises and raves from the people at the bazaar, but this particular one just didn't appeal to us that much. The sauce seemed to be the typical bottled sweet-chili sauce (based on how we tasted it), and the guava flavor was so subtle we weren't able to recognize it. Maybe this is an acquired taste - that us not liking it that much doesn't mean it tasted bad; we just didn't like it, simple as that.

Fruit-Flavored Beer

Fruit-Flavored Beer
Each of us went for the fruit-flavored beer. I forgot the exact list of flavors, but I went for the watermelon, my sister and Nathalie went for strawberry, one of us went for the apple (which tasted like Cali Shandy), and I also got to taste the peach flavored one (my least favorite - simply because I am not a big fan of the peach flavor). My sister and I were convincing each other that our drink was better than the other, but both strawberry and watermelon tasted great, although of course strawberry had its natural tang.

So many food eaten that night; all of us didn't just share food, we also shared stories and jokes and laughter. It was my first time to eat at this part of the Metro, and I was glad it turned out to be a very pleasant experience.

Pino Resto Bar
39 Malingap Street
Teacher Village - East, Quezon City 
+63  (02)441-1773


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bizu Patisserie to Give Free Macarons on Macaron Day!

I don't know how or where I learned about the French Macarons, but even then I have always wanted to taste much that it even made my Bucket List. :)

It was February of 2012 when I finally had my first taste of the French Macarons, and what better place to have it than at the patisserie that introduced the decadent French pastry back in 2001 - Bizu Patisserie.

Often mistaken as the coconut-based pastry - Macaroons, the French Macarons are cookies that is crisp on the outside with a soft creme ganache and ground almonds in the middle. Totally different from the pastry with dessicated coconut and sweet milk.

These were the very first French Macarons I have tasted. It was the Valentine's month that time, so this one's heart-shaped. At the moment, Bizu Patisserie offers 13 flavors to suit one's taste and preference.

This coming Saturday - 20 April 2013 is the French Macaron Day, and Bizu Patisserie will give out free macarons to its patrons in specially designed packaging. This would be the second year Bizu Patisserie will participate in the Jour du Macaron (which started in 2005) - an event started by French patisserier Pierre Herme as a gourmand event in support of different charities.

Of course, I do look forward to the free French Macaron, but I am also going to purchase maybe two or three flavors (I am going for Rose Lychee, Madagascar Vanilla, and Espresso con Panna) just to compare how each tastes like. Everybody is invited to claim their free French Macaron at the Bizu Patisserie branches, but of course everyone is also encouraged to to purchase French Macarons (if you want to). This year, Bizu Patisserie will donate a part of their macaron sales for the day to Action Contre la Faim (ACF), a French humanitarian NGO.

So mark your calendars - 20th of April is the Macaron Day, and if you drop by, you're also encouraged to share your pictures (and videos) on different social networking sites -
List of Bizu Patisserie branches:
  • Greenbelt 2
  • Greenhills Promenade
  • Alabang Town Center
  • St. Lukes Global City
  • One Rockwell
See you there, fellow foodies!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ABC Wednesdays - M & N

I wasn't able to post something for ABC Wednesdays last week, so allow me to catch up this week, posting my entries for M and N.

I first learned about Mochiko through a Vlog posted by Karylle. I got interested about it, and when my sister and I attended a food event, we finally got to taste it and fell in love with it. Mochi is a Japanese confection made from glutinous rice flour and is filled with red bean paste. Mochicko's Mochi however infuses this confection with ice cream and other ingredients, creating a very wonderful harmony of flavors.

These mochi are quite expensive, but worth every penny. My sister and I loves whatever flavor we go for, but her favorite is black sesame, and oreo & milk, while I love the choco-nut flavor, because it is very Filipino, and is only available in June - the Philippine Independence month.

It is frozen as you buy it, so it is recommended to thaw it for a few minutes before biting into it. Although, don't thaw it for long because you might not appreciate melted ice cream oozing out of the rice dough.

Nigiri Sushi or the Hand-formed Sushi is the type of sushi with oblong sized mound of rice topped with seafood, usually with fish and wasabi. I am just starting to learn how to eat Japanese food, but I still don't go for raw meat, so this one is still something I haven't tasted. :)

This plate of Nigiri Sushi was served to us during a food-tasting event at Minori-Tei.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Recipe | Kinunot na Pagi

There's this one vendor at the nearby market that sells fish that are quite different from the usual ones. Sometimes she would sell parrot fish or surgeon fish, and my mom would sometimes buy from here, just to try out different kinds of fish. Last weekend, she bought half a stingray.

I have eaten this seafood before, but there's only one way I knew how to cook it - with coconut milk and some moringa leaves. I am not familiar of the process how to cook it, though, so I had to consult the Internet and ask people how to do it.

Kinunot na Pagi

Kinunot na Pagi

  • Pagi (Stingray)
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Coconut Milk
  • Sliced Onions
  • Crushed Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Finger Chili or Birds Eye Chili
  • Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • Malunggay Leaves (Moringa Leaves)

How to Cook:
  • Blanch the stingray in some hot water for a few minutes. Scrape off the skin, and boil another pot of water with a little ginger, onion and garlic, and cook the skinned stingray until it becomes soft. Drain water and allow the stingray to cook. Debone the stingray and flake the meat.
  • Heat a pan with little oil and saute garlic and onion until fragrant and sweaty. Add coconut milk and allow to simmer, then add vinegar. Don't stir for a few minutes, then add the flaked stingray. Stir, and cook for a few minutes.
  • Adjust the seasoning, then add the moringa leaves. Simmer until the coconut milk curdle a little. Serve hot with rice.

Sauteeing the onion and garlic in oil is optional; if you want, you can skip this one and start with pouring the coconut milk in the pot followed by the garlic and onion. Personally, I love this one with super thick sauce, which will need some coconut cream to achieve such consistency. Unfortunately, my mom like the sauce a little thin, so we didn't add coconut cream anymore.

It was the first time for this dish to be cooked at home. We didn't go for the spicy kind (even if coconut milk and chili goes very well together), so for brother, we just had some chili-garlic sauce served on the side. Now that I know how to properly cook stingray, I know for sure this wouldn't be the last time we would cook and serve this at home.

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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}