Thursday, December 29, 2011

My First Thai Dining Experience

Arharn Thai Kitchen
Leonard Wood Road
Baguio City, Benguet
16 November 2010

This being our last dinner in Baguio City, I hoped K and I would eat at Cafe by the Ruins, because I have read and seen so many wonderful raves and pictures related to the restaurant. Coming from Tam-Awan Village, K and I took the jeepney and strolled around Burnham Park. He was still not feeling well, so I didn't push for us to see more tourist attractions. Strolling around and taking a seat while people watching seemed to be a good way of enjoying Baguio City.

I was more than willing to stay at the park until it was time to eat dinner, but as soon as the night ate the day, I started feeling the chilly weather of the city and I started having cold feet and my fingertips were starting to turn blue. When K got alarmed, he decided for us to go back to the chalet.

I started shivering. I couldn't finish my sentence without a shake on my voice and my dark lips got darker. I am a person who doesn't like wearing sweatshirts and jackets (because of my size - wearing one would make me look like a big potato), so K just let me use his jacket and wrapped me with the blanket. It helped get me warm but I still was shivering.

Arharn Thai Kitchen

I fell asleep and woke up around 8pm. Both of us were hungry, and since I still was shaky and my hands were sort of numb, we decided to just eat at Arharn Thai Kitchen - just outside Chalet Tepeyac. At first we didn't want to eat there as this is basically part of the chalet, but I am not feeling so good, so it wouldn't be a good idea for us to hail the taxi and go somewhere else. Changing my perspective, it was my first taste of Thai food (well, I might have tasted Thai food before, but this was the first time I dined at a Thai-themed restaurant), so it still made the experience very unique.

Arharn Thai Kitchen

People checked-in at the chalet can phone the front desk and place their order, but K told me that would somehow lessen the essence of the dining experience, so we went out to dine at the restaurant. Aside from the Nest, there was this dining room - possibly for the Arharn Thai Kitchen, but we didn't want to dine here as the room was basically empty.

Arharn Thai Kitchen

They also have an alfresco area - not as pretty as the restaurant inside, but the idea of watching the vehicles pass by while eating made us choose to stay here.

Their menu wasn't that extensive because this was a new restaurant at that time. From the list of dishes, we had:

Bagoong Rice and Chicken Pandan Lemongrass Tea

Combo 3. I wasn't really that hungry and I still didn't know if I would like Thai food, so I just went for the value meal that I would seem love. I chose the combo with Bagoong Rice, Chicken Pandan and Lemongrass Tea. I liked the rice - it had the right amount of saltiness, and the dried alamang at the top was a revelation for me. The Chicken Pandan tasted alright, but the sauce that came with eat (satay, I presume) was so good! I also liked the Lemongrass Tea - truly different from the many drinks I have already tasted.

Green Curry Seafood

Green Curry Seafood. K went for this one because the wait staff said it would be good for two people, but one hungry person can eat it, too. This was one of their stand-alone dishes (no rice or drinks included), so K thought eating this would be a good idea. I have tasted a lot of curry dishes before, but what made this different was the coriander leaves. I am not sure if this one had the Kaffir Lime leaves, but the overall taste of the dish was wonderful.

Shrimp Cakes

Shrimp Cakes. From their list of appetizers, one thing that interested me was this. Since they have the option to get just two small patties, I also ordered this. It wasn't over the top good, but it made me wonder how they cooked this so I could cook it at home, too.

Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad. While making the decision which appetizer to order, I was sort of torn between two dishes - the Shrimp Cakes and this. I asked the wait staff which he thought I should taste, and he told me to go for the Shrimp Cakes and he will just give me a sample of the Papaya Salad just so I would know how it would taste. This one isn't tangy like our Papaya Atsara - it was mildly sweet, salty, and spicy rolled into one salad. It paired really well with the Shrimp Cakes.

Coco Pandan Pie

Coco Pandan Pie. This wasn't my initial choice for dessert, but when the wait staff told me that my choice was unavailable, he suggested if I would want this. Since it was my "mission" to include desserts in our meals, I went ahead with it. Well... it's basically a slice of Buko Pie topped with pandan cream and vanilla ice cream. I am not so into it, but it was okay for a dessert.

Somehow, the idea of eating ice cream while shivering and complaining about the cold weather made me feel a bit worse, but at least I was able to enjoy ice cream on a cold night. Brr... :)

The next morning, K and I had our breakfast at the Nest, before going to Victory Liner where we took the bus going back to Metro Manila. On to the next chapter of this holiday.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pasalubong from All Over


Regional Products

I just would like to thank certain people for the gift of regional products:

Our neighbor Cindy for the pack of Chicharon from Carcar, Cebu.
> She traveled to Carcar, Cebu to be with her in-laws and when she got back, she gave us two packs of Chicharon, which she said she bought directly from the factory and she even packed the goods she bought. Well, chicharon has always been my poison (one of my favorite food), but because I am now traveling the road to weight loss, looks like am not going to taste this one. However, should I get the chance to travel back to Cebu, I sure would like to experience what she experienced - entering factories can be so fun! :)

Our neighbor Ria for the pack of Apas from Quezon.
> She celebrated Christmas in Quezon, and because she already knows Apas is one of my brother's favorite regional food, she decided to buy it for us. The big pack contained 4 small packs, brother already ate two as of this writing. I still haven't tasted it, though.

My sister for the Uraro from Batangas, as well as Shing-a-Ling and Banana Chips from Laguna.
>Christmas afternoon, sister went to party with friends and the next morning they decided to travel to Laguna. She didn't buy a box of Buko Pie anymore, but she knows I love Shing-a-Ling so she bought me a pack. :) I already ate the pack of Shing-a-Ling and Banana Chips, the Uraro I might eat tomorrow, but not all at once. :)

The Philippines is really rich in different regional food products; while I am not really much into native delicacies, I really love the crunchy ones! Too bad I won't get to eat the Chicharon, but it's okay.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Weekend Eating | Christmas Feast


The past few years, our family would always celebrate Christmas with any of our relatives from mom's side, but this year, it was just us - both for Noche Buena and Christmas Day.

For Noche Buena, we had Pansit Bihon (which brother cooked) and some dishes given to us by our neighbors. We were quite excited for the annual family photo shoot, so I didn't take pictures of the Noche Buena dishes anymore.

For the Christmas Edition of Weekend Eating, let me just share what the family ate on Christmas Day:


Sinarabasab - Grilled pork with KBL (Kamatis, Bagoong, Lasona), something brother prepared. I didn't taste this, though.

Inihaw na Bangus

Grilled Bangus. Mom's sister gave her some seafood from Pangasinan, and we opted to grill one of the bangus. However, the family wasn't able to eat this for lunch, but mom and brother ate this for dinner.

Veggie Kare-Kare

Vegetable Kare-Kare. I wasn't able to plate this well, but it did taste good. For this, I used the Mama Sita's Kare-Kare sauce (the paste kind), and instead of adding meat, I used fried tokwa. At first I thought I had to scratch this off the list because I couldn't find some puso ng saging, but I was glad brother went to Tungko with me, and I got to see this one stall that sells the puso ng saging. Sister cooked the bagoong alamang, and she cooked that one real good.

Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Wings. I was supposed to cook Fish Lumpia, but time wasn't enough to cook, flake, and wrap the fish, so I just fried the chicken wings and turn it into Buffalo Wings. Mom and sister preferred their chicken just fried, so it was just brother and I who had the wings with the spicy-honey glaze.

Cake Cake

Cake. Sister bought this one for the family, I don't know the name of the cake, but it's one of Goldilock's premium cakes. It tasted a lot like Black Forest cake, but a little too sweet for my taste.

Aglio Olio

Aglio Olio Pasta. This was something given to us by our next door neighbors for afternoon snacks. We were still full from lunch, so we just ate this for dinner - I only had 1/2 cup of this sans the bacon - because I felt I was already eating too much already.

Christmas with the family was so awesome! We didn't exchange gifts, but we have each other... we are in good health... that's all the matters.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

- * - * - * -

So... what did you have last weekend? If you're new to the Weekend Eating meme, you can read the rules and get the badge codes HERE. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who joined last week.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh Em Gee, Let's Eat Veggies!

Oh My Gulay!
Penthouse, La Azotea Building
Session Road - Baguio City, Benguet
+63 918-6676025
16 November 2010

Thanks to a magazine television show that showcased the Top 10 food places around Baguio City, I got to learn about this vegetarian restaurant. When K told me he wanted to put Baguio City in our itinerary for the holiday, I told him I would take him here.

K had Sizzling Sisig for dinner the night before, and I don't know if it was because of the dish or the cold Baguio weather or the fact that his body is still coping up with the time difference, but he wasn't at his 100% that morning. He was sluggish and somewhat dizzy, that while roaming around Wright Park he asked if we could sit down so he could close his eyes for a few seconds. We decided to travel back to the chalet so he could rest while I read magazines I borrowed from the front desk.

La Azotea Building

It was past 12nn when he woke up, and he quickly asked me to get ready so we could go out and eat. We planned to eat at Oh My Gulay! last night, but because of certain circumstances, we weren't able to. Today, we decided to get back - just to check if it was already open. We didn't ask the guard at the entrance of the building where the restaurant was located... so when K and I climbed the stairs to the third floor, we sort of wondered if we did enter the right building. One more floor and we were there. Hooray!

Oh My Gulay!

I already knew that the restaurant is haven for art enthusiasts, but entering the place, both K and I were in awe! I didn't imagine it would be that pretty in person! Anyway, there was a group having art classes so we weren't able to take much pictures at the ground floor, we just let one of their wait staff to usher us to the second floor so we could get ourselves settled. Some pictures I took:

Oh My Gulay!

From afar, am not sure what this is, but sure looks like a table and a chair.

Oh My Gulay!

Another dining area; K was able to cross a short hanging bridge from our location to this one, but I had fears of crossing it because it looked fragile, and it might not be able to support my weight. Well, there was a stairway from the ground floor to this one, so diners are still safe.

Oh My Gulay!

K and I wanted to eat here because it would make the dining experience unique (I wanted to sit at that stool that looked like a pig), but the sun was so bright and shiny we decided to change tables.

Oh My Gulay!

Finally, we settled for these round tables - I loved that the chairs weren't the same to each other, by the way.

Oh My Gulay! is run by Eric de Guia, also known as Kidlat Tahimik, a native of Baguio City and a known filmmaker. Aside from this restaurant, he is also behind VOCAS (Victor Oteyza Community Art Space), which aims to showcase the artworks of local artists. VOCAS is also located in this very same spot, and most artworks here are available for purchase.

Food? We had...

Oh My Gulay Salad

Oh My Gulay! Salad. Trademark salad of assorted market vegetables on a bed of greens served with our blend of honey mustard or herb dressing. I had the honey mustard dressing for this, and I loved it because it wasn't too thick and it just provided that taste I wanted for the vegetables. Well, this is Baguio City, so the vegetables were so fresh, and I guess not being able to eat vegetables for a few days, this was a great change.

Alfesto Pasta

Alfesto Pasta. Pasta tossed with bechamel milk sauce topped with luscious cheddar and basil pesto. Again, the sauce wasn't too thick, but it did has the creamy milk flavor. The basil pesto kinda looked like caterpillar's "you know what," but it looked unique and it gave the right amount of pesto flavor for the pasta.


Mansanas. Crepe stuffed with fresh apples, caramelized with brown sugar and cinnamon, served with chocolate drizzles. K wasn't hungry (he still wasn't feeling good), so he just went for this for his lunch (yep, I ate the salad and pasta all by myself). I wasn't able to taste this one, but K said it was great.

Dayap Iced Tea

Dayap Iced Tea. Lime infused brewed iced tea. I wanted to try their Limonada (as it uses freshly squeezed lemons), but it wasn't available, so I just went for this. It tasted like regular iced tea, but the dayap did provide an interesting twist.

Oh My Gulay!

K and I didn't have fancy eating that day - come to think of it, dishes weren't that expensive, but we did enjoy our lunch. My pictures weren't that beautiful, but the place is awesome, I tell you. I so look forward to dine here again.

After that hearty lunch, K and I walked to the Baguio Cathedral, then we took a taxi going to Tam-Awan Village.

ps - Big, big thanks to Ms. Maiylah for featuring my Diced Chicken Cashews this week on Food Friday.


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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}