27 March 2013

Dinner Buffet at Kowloon House, West Avenue

Don’t you like it when you happened to be in the right place at the right time? I do. We went to the in-law’s house for the obligatory sleep-over and as soon as we arrived, FIL announced we will dine-out. Since traffic on the left side of the road (mall’s direction) was bad that night, they decided to settle to the nearest (as in, stone throw away) restaurant which is Kowloon House and availed their dinner buffet. Since Kowloon House is so near the house, I didn’t bother to bring my bag (all expenses paid remember). I was finished with my 1st plate when I remembered I’m a food blogger now and as a food blogger it is my duty to take food photos, unfortunate enough that my cellphone was inside my bag. Sorry L, next time I know better. 

Anyway, Kowloon House, is known for their dimsum, Mr. M just love their Jumbo Pao. Their West Avenue Branch is actually divided into 3 segments, all with different entrance passages: First: The take-out counters (with drive-thru) where you can buy all variants of Siopao, on-the-go. Attached to it is a casual non-air-conditioned dining area, known for its affordable beers. Second: The function hall, where private functions are usually held, set-menu is usually served. Third: Airconditioned Dining Room, where we dined. 

Their eat-all-you-can cost P299 per person, this comes with bottomless iced tea. Kowloon’s entrée is complete from 
Dimsums: Baby Pao, Siomai and Dumpling 
Rice: Yang Chow Fried Rice* and Plain Rice 
Soup: Make your own noodle soup* and Samsee Soup* 
Appetizer: Century Egg*, Seaweed, Pechay Kangkong and Special Stirred Fried Noodles 
Main course: Fragrant Chicken, Logon Vegetable, Beef Tenderloin, Pork Spareribs, Patatim, Sweet Sour Pork, Shrimp Bacon Roll*, Lumpiang Shanghai*, Fried Chicken*, Crab Foo Yong*, Fish Fillet, Pangasus Light Soy*, Stirred Fried Beancurd* 
Dessert: Butchi*, Brownies*, Almond Jelly* and Gelatin* 
* - was in my plate 
My Take: Chinese food never lets us down. I had no complain with my food selections aside from the Pangasus which was a little too fishy for my liking. We unanimously chose Beancurd as our favorite dish. The banquet head sees to it that the empty serving trays are replenished soon enough and the wait staffs provides good assistance to the diners. Although the tables don’t have fancy set-up, the place is clean, well lit and well ventilated. Considering the buffet price, you have no right to expect too much but then again I can say they delivered fairly. 
Tips: Never take advantage of the drink-all-you can part of the meal, it will not help you sample all the food. Never go to buffets when in a diet, it will make you curse the food while munching. Right Mr. M? If you’re a food blogger come equipped with camera when dining (talking to myself here). 
The verdict: Chinese food never lets us down (I’ve said that I know). So we ordered for take-out. 

20 March 2013

Mais con Yelo

Summer is officially here, that’s what PAG-ASA announced last Monday. But, who needs formal announcements when your aircon is already demanding for time-out. To beat the scourging heat, I decided its but just that we dine-out (that’s to eat our merienda outside the house). I initially planned to make home-made halo-halo (as inspired by an article on yahoo news) but the ube-halaya and the leche flan I ordered didn’t reach my hand. So there, we settled for the less lucrative mais con yelo.

1 can kernel corn (supply from kapamilya abroad)
1 can evaporated milk (also from the same supplier)
Ice cubes

1. Mix all ingredients together according to your taste (and capacity)
2. Best enjoyed under the sun.

My take: There’s no substitute for the real thing. I missed the thrill of kernelling the corn and boiling it, but as they say “the best things in life are free”, I couldn’t complain. Also, I still prefer shaved iced because the ice becomes part of the meal, but I cannot find our shaver.
Tip: Send your kid away from home so you can concentrate on looking the tools you need, in my case the ice shaver. Ms. L was lurking as if she wants to play hide-and-seek with the shaver inside.. umm, wherever its hiding.
The verdict: Mr. M thinks it's better with leche flan. Leche... flan? Choosy pa, sarap naman ah, chill to the bones, right Miss L?


19 March 2013

Spare Ribs Kaldereta (Caldereta)

I think it is right and just that this dish be my pilot post. I was cooking this last Saturday when I heard whispers in my head, “i-blog mo ‘to, ikayayaman mo ‘to”, aba! For the sake of money, I am really easily fooled. lol Kaldereta is something very new to me, actually it was my 1st time to cook it. I was just challenged by Mr. M and his craving, that I was forced to cook it. We were having mechado for dinner when he burst “Sarap! Na-miss ko tuloy kaldereta, mag kaldereta ka naman. Marunong ka?” “Oo, naman. Sige sa Sabado” was my reply. For me, every meat with red sauce is mechado, I thought there would be no difference, except for the presence of liver spread. The following day, I scan the net for its ingredients and proved myself right. So with pride, I marketed for ingredients and whipped it with head high. For this recipe I used the following:
3/4 kilo pork spare ribs, cut into serving size
3 pieces potato, diced
1 piece red bell pepper, diced
1 piece green bell pepper, diced
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
3 pieces chili, minced
1 can liver spread
250 grams tomato sauce (MMK for added nutrients)
Water, salt and pepper / fish sauce, cooking oil
1) Fry the potato. Set aside.
2) On the same pan, sauté garlic and onion. Add spare ribs stir until it turned to brown. Add water and simmer until tender. * It is important to take out the scum from the 1st boil for a purer broth* (It is a must for my family to reach the lambot para sa walang ipin level, I guess it is also helps in bringing-out the flavor in the dish).
3) When the meat is tender add the potato. Add the liver spread, stir to blend.
4) Add tomato sauce. * Let it simmer without stirring and do not cover, to achieve a thicker consistency.
5) Add the chillies and bell peppers. Season with salt, pepper and fish sauce. Let it simmer a little more. Serve hot.
My take? Kaldereta is totally different from mechado. The presence of chillies makes it spicy and the liver spread makes it flavorful. If you will notice, I didn’t use carrots simply because nobody eats carrots in the family. Some also use olives or green peas, just the same we don’t like it that’s why I omitted those.
Tip: Never let your daughter as clingy as my Ms. L disturb you when frying potatoes, mine was half cooked.
The verdict: This was not the kaldereta Mr. M was expecting, he was expecting really brown one like his mother's version. That I have to verify. Nevertheless, he said it was delish! Not bad for a 1st timer.

18 March 2013

About and Disclosure

Had you experience a light-bulb moment ever in your life? It just happened to me recently and the effect is this blog. I am a tenacious cook who still checks recipes online. I like getting recipes but always find them too technical and complicated, so I never follow them. I cook base on my family’s food preference and not what the book dictates. I know I’m a good cook (you can check my husband’s physique. lol), but not the gourmet type. Not chef-ly academic but my meals are always simot-sarap edible. My food may not please your eyes but your nose can trigger the sense to your brain (and your tummy) that the food is good.

Through this blog I aim to impart simple and realistic recipes. I may also share good finds (food, that is) and try to give useful insights. For sure I will also tell stories of how Mr. M (my husband, Macmac) tries to upstage me in the kitchen, Master E’s (my son, Eon) 1st foods and how Miss L (Lara, my daughter) is behaving in the kitchen (hers and mine).

This blog may accept donations (for the ingredients), sponsorships/invitations (to sample on the latest resto) and paid post (from advertisers) but will never influence the author’s stand on the matter of household dishes’ simplicity.  For such contributions just inform me anytime via e-mail at hushie13@gmail.com.

Btw, the other E (from M.E.E.L.) is me, Ms. eLLa.