Monday, July 25, 2011

Filipino Food Appreciation with Frank at Adarna Food & Culture

Pinoy dining the classy way...
The universe indeed works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, no matter how much you plan and badly want something to happen, once nature takes its course, you just have to make the most of it and trust.
In our case, this week's feature was actually an unplanned one....

We were supposed to march down to Maginhawa street and check out the food finds however, we got stranded for more than an hour in a gas station due to the pouring rain so we decided to go somewhere else.
the fancy menu
And so it was destiny perhaps which led us to this place called Adarna Food and Culture located along Kalayaan St in Quezon City...... upon entering  the place, we were transported, time-warped to another era ...hmmmm let's say about a hundred years back where gadgets never existed, morals were valued and traditions were  strictly observed. It felt like we were in a scene in Noli Me Tangere with all the old Filipino-Spanish inspired furniture. It was the ideal place for people like us who prefer cozy places to savor food and have quality talk time. The place also reminded me about my grannies..... the "feel" of the place was just so Filipino and so historical yet very very relaxed and homey! So this week, it was all about dining the classy Pinoy way!

Filipino/Spanish feel
fine porcelain 

fine china!

our forks


As we browsed through the menu, we got really curious with all the descriptions like the origins and how they were prepared. They offer various Filipino traditional favorites from different regions prepared the traditional way... hmmmmm interesting!
before 6pm..
Good thing we brought our strobe kit so we were able to light the dishes well. It was my 1st time to hear my stomach growl while taking food photos! hahahaha Here are our orders..

Batangas Adobo ala Adarna
Batangas Adobo ala Adarna (240php) - I don't mean to be mean but  3 big chunks of pork for this price sounds ridiculous yet we still ordered it for curiosity's sake. Frank and I are sort of Adobo people and I'm sure that all Filipinos would agree that we all have different tastes and preferred versions of this classic dish. We all have our different  family recipes which we are all proud of. When we think about adobo, we sort of have this certain  taste tattooed on our heads... we're all looking for this certain "saltiness" or "garlicky" flavor whatsoever. The meat was very very tender, the sauce was quite reddish (perhaps cooked with tomatoes?) and oily. Frank and I sliced the meat, raised our forks and tasted it the same time and looked at eachother's reaction. We were stunned on how it tasted so different with the usual adobo our moms would cook. And then we realized that it was prepared the original Batangas way....then we started to appreciate it a lot due to its authenticity. Call it educating our palettes. I believe this justifies the price (but we still think it's too expensive!)....  nobody cooks adobo this way anymore. We politely asked our waiter for some soy sauce and calamansi to satisfy our tastebuds really made a huge difference.. and so our conversation with authentic food began..... it was really interesting! We are not really food experts..we are but 2 souls having a great time experiencing new stuff together, shaking our worlds a bit. 
the plating was nice!

meat very tender

i like Frank's perspective

At least now we know how original abodo tastes like. This dish was an interesting topic to talk about.  A good conversation with someone you feel comfortable with makes the food more tasty I believe. Once you educate yourself with what you are experiencing, you begin to appreciate it all the more. This dish was worth the try! Oh and before I forget, it was plated really neat and enticing. I love the serving plate!

Dinakdakan (137php) - An Ilokano dish which is believed to be the original SISIG. The price is not really that bad with its serving size. Chunks of lean meat and pork fat with chillis, onions, ginger etc. Once again, It was time for us to be educated. "Oooohhh so this is where Sisig came from!" We both prefer the well minced sizzling sisig but tasting the original one didn't hurt. When I went to Aling Lucing's (original sisig maker in Pampanga) it looked and tasted quite similar! The taste was very subtle, meat was ver tender... no overpowering  spices and it wasn't very oily. It would pair well with beer I believe but  we're not really into drinking that time. 

aha! caught in the act!!!



Kesong Puti and Langka Fry (85php) - It looked divine! Imagine your typical turon with a chunk of Kesong Puti (local cheese from goat/cow's milk) wrapped in langka drizzled with fruity syrup (langka/mango?). The sweetness of the langka and syrup plus the creamy subtle taste of the cheese was!!! It'll surely make you smile! hehehhee I never thought Frank would order it... I thought he disliked cheese but it seems Mich, Badeth and I have influenced him a lot. hihihihi He ate one whole piece... smiled and said, "Gusto ko to!"  phew! I was relieved! I'm convinced that he's  more hard to please than I am 'coz he knows what he wants. I believe he's the real critique!

ooooh lah lah

our trademark forks made it even more interesting

we liked the syrup a lot

here's to a great team!

I'm very proud of our artworks this week! It was him who took most of the shots while I played supporting role by sharing suggestions and assisting him with the light. I enjoy supporting and seeing him improve. Makes me happy when he smiles. It sure is nice to see our progress week by week.It was indeed a good move to try strobist photography. It's time to push ourselves further! Our works are our immortality. We take pride in our work yet we opt to keep a low profile. We are very thankful for the praises we get... it inspires us to do better. I may say, it's not just about the photos itself but the way on how we work together which brings life to our subjects! It's where the magic is!

feels like dinner at home

busy ...
our saviors....

helping out with our set-up
i'd like to one day cook my adobo for him

I love the way how he says brutally honest comments about the foods we feature. He's pretty much black and white with things... if it's good, then good. Bad if bad. Plain and simple! No colorful words, no justifications, no bullshits. He gives balance to my reviews.  I believe I can convince people how delicious a dish is with mere words if I wanted to..the good thing about him is that he kinda provides me the foundation on what to write and where to start. When I asked him, "What am I gonna say? What approach should I do? Ano gagawin ko?" he said, "Sabihin mo yung totoo! (tell the truth)" He would often have a different approach and perspective on things which I highly appreciate and find very beautiful. And with that, he has earned my respect! I won't be calling it as "arguing" but more of a healthy exchange of opinions. A healthy dose of this makes conversations interesting...just imagine if you agreed on everything.... that would be so boring right?
time flies when you're in good company

cheers to us!

I believe this week's experience was all about Authentic Filipino Food Appreciation which is very very educational. We would like to commend  chef Giney Villar and the whole staff for keeping our traditions very much alive!! We enjoyed the whole experience! The service was outstanding as well!  I think they were well trained and very polite!

Everything authentic! hmmmm Authentic place, authentic food shared with an authentic person....... what more can you ask for? <3

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Food Memoirs: Reuniting with Kipp's Chicken

and so we meet again!!
It has been more than 2 years I think since I last savored this winner!
I would have to admit, it was a conscious effort to forget the things I used to
do with my ex. I had to help myself move on. Thank God I'm now totally over and ok.

Yesterday I went for a stroll at Megamall's foodcourt to check out the food finds. I was craving for some
good old Filipino comfort food then (laing or pinangat particularly), when suddenly I found myself in front of a store which has been
so significant in my past. I felt I was ready to enjoy this again for I don't associate Kipp's with my ex bf anymore. How nice it is to face one's fear. I'm just so happy I finally got through  that storm.

Kipp's Chicken  has been around for more than 10 yrs for sure. I don't really know much about its owner or what. All I know is that they serve one of the best tasting fried chicken in the nation!

their prices are sooo affordable!

Let me tell you why...
It's all about their secret recipe.
 1 pc meal for 86php plus 18php for the salad <3
Their chicken is always fresh and newly fried by the time it lands on your  plate.  It's rich and full flavored! Crispy golden brown on the outside yet tender and juicy on the inside. I believe it also has a lot to do with the frying temperature.  I won't be telling you the perfect temperature for frying chicken 'coz it's top secret!!! 
It perfectly goes well with their very own  yellow Spanish rice! Their gravy is always warm, thick and rich in flavor (I can taste the peppers, chicken stock, liver etc). 

Add their macaroni salad (additional 18php)on the side to complete the masterpiece! Their macaroni salad may taste a bit bland but I believe it gives balance to the entire meal, not to mention another texture while you  savor it in your mouth. Each spoonful gives you a savory symphony of complimenting flavors and textures!!!
a symphony of flavors

Believe me when I say it's damn good!
Definitely a must try!
i need more practice with my lighting
I would have to admit though that taking photos all by myself today made me think about Frank. 
I would have to admit I still have difficulty in adjusting the light and the people were looking at me while I was taking photos. Nothing beats taking photos with him!

crispy on the outside, tender juicy on the inside
I wonder why they don't expand much or rarely market their product. Kipp's Chicken is indeed a foodie gem! Hope we can meet the owner in person so we can ask more questions and take better photos. I do hope Kipp's Chicken will be around for years and years to come to be enjoyed by generations!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dimsum Day with Frank at David's Tea House!

setting up our meal
Hmmm… I honestly dunno where to start…
I’m blessed once again to share the day with Frank and just be ourselves!  I was so excited to show him our new toy…. a new external flash to kick our photography skills up a notch. Yes, I believe it’s time for us to level up our skills and learn something new together.  I believe our friends will be so excited on our next kick ass photo shoots! How good it is to share your passion with someone who has the same wavelength as yours.  And so for our experiment and foodtrip, we decided to pick a nice cozy place with not much people so we can do our thing and have a nice chat.

This week is dimsum week! While thinking on where to go (we don’t really plan… hakuna matata!!) we agreed we can eat anything except pizza after that 2 week pizza overdose with Badeth! Hahahaha
I invited him at David’s Tea House at Trinoma ‘coz it’s one of the decent dimsum places which I know. Honestly, the interiors look like an expensive Chinese Traditional restaurant. We’re impressed by the fact that the price was very affordable as compared with others.  Nice lighting, very comfy seats, marbled tables etc…. it’s an ideal place for chit chats and family gatherings!
dimsum day hooray!!

We ordered an array of dimsum  so we can somehow have a taste of everything. As soon as our orders arrived, we started taking pictures  and experimented with the flash.  We realized that we’re soooo addicted of taking photos that we forget about eating. We are just too engrossed with our shots, adjusting our settings , the intensity of light, interacting about the composition, angle, trial and error…basically being ourselves and having fun…. We don’t really care about others… I bet people would see us as shutterbug lunatics.. we don’t really care! We have a own world. Though most of the time, our orders aren’t warm anymore. What the heck!??

Though this is only our 1st try, I may say the shots we made were already very promising. Here are our orders… All dimsum orders cost around 90php each

Pork Asado Pao – It was decent.  He said that he noticed it had a lot of filling as compared with other siopaos where the soft bun is way thicker. I may say, it’s very Chinese.  Not really outstanding but not bad at all!
siopao in yer face!
model? hihihi

Glutinous Rice with Chicken (Machang) – This would be considered as a meal already. The sticky rice can really make you feel full. It was very good! We both liked it! It was fresh. The chicken was tender and the aroma of the leaf blended so well with the rice. We just felt it should have had some sort of sauce (our taste buds can be very picky! Hehehe)

so good!!

we both liked it!

I dipped it in asado sauce

Assorted Dimsum (235php) – honestly we’re not really sure on what they were…  I remember tasting many shrimps, shitake mushrooms, some meat and a fried roll with a very strange yet interesting consistency. We got very curious on what it was!  It was sticky, like glue yet savory.. hmmmm
don't forget the utensils!


havin a good time!

For our beverage, we opted for their house tea served in such lovely tea cups! If I’m not mistaken, it was Oolong tea. Chinese people often drink tea after meals to aid in digestion. Tea can really have a calming effect on people not to mention very very healthy.
Tip: When dining in a Chinese resto, be sure to request for some house tea
calming tea


We would have to admit that we got too engrossed with taking pictures not just with the food but as well as the objects on the table.  I believe we have developed an interest for objects. Here they are….
dunno why but i like it!

reminds me of my 1st lesson in painting when I was in 3rd grade

frank+mae= art! we love this shot a lot!

I’m very proud of these pics. We are very proud of our shots! This is but just a 1st try.  I know we have a long way to go and lots of lessons to learn especially with befriending the light. I remember we talked about the importance of having a partner in this kind of passion.  It’s really about the journey which makes this hobby sooo fulfilling. We not just learn things about art but about life as well. I hope we can both create more meaningful shots in the days to come. We’re both happy  working together as a team. I’m as proud of him as he is with me. Photography has made our lives more meaningful I believe…and we will never be the same. I can tell that he's a dreamer as well...ever seeking truth and purpose.  I guess we’re just 2 lucky nutheads!  We may both have our own set of views sometimes but we both share a mutual respect which works very well. I believe when we work together, we create art!  I’m so loving this idea!!!
and the best actress award for 2011 goes to... chen chenen!!!

it's not just about the food......

Oh and for our dessert, before dining, we got a cake from my highschool classmate who had a cake sale. It was a nice and moist  8” Choco-Strawberry cake. I really intended to give it to Frank’s family for them to enjoy! I do hope they liked it. (I miss baking cakes so badly!)
very moist

The over-all experience was good! Great value for money as well! We went home both satisfied with what we did…. Small accomplishments…. Slowly but surely…. learning things... making great memories…..most important of all, we enjoy every bit of it!!! Our goal? I haven’t asked him about it honestly. We are just happy with what we’re doing. If we’re destined to be professionals in photography, then there will be a proper time for that.   
always a pleasure ....

Hmmmmm I believe we should try something way different next time!! It feels nice to have someone share his opinions about the food  I’m eating as well. I get very honest “right in your face” views from him.  Makes my reviews more “real.”  

 This is what this blog is all about anyway…..

What would you like us to try next???


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