Friday, December 31, 2010

The Much-Awaited Barkada Reunion

This has to be said, I am iffy with Capampangan food. But when my college barkada called for a reunion and asked around for a nice place to meet in, I said ABE in Serendra. Seems like Taguig's the new reunion place for my barkadas, my high school barkada had our Christmas get-together over at Burgos Circle.

I also wanted to change my mind about Capampangan food, so what better place to do this than ABE.

In Capampangan ABE means friend, and this was also the nickname of Emilio Aguilar Cruz, a Capampangan writer and painter.

Good thing we made reservations because the place gets PACKED with huge groups of families and friends eager to have dinner. There were people waiting in line, and some were even getting rejected already. It's that much of a HIT!

The inside of the restaurant is just yellow and the space was a bit cramped. But they made it a place to display the works of Emilio Aguilar Cruz - his painting were there and so were other photographs of him.

Everyone in our group was STARVING. So we ordered A LOT because we left Steph in charge of ordering.

Pork Binagoongan

Green Mango and Bagoong

Binukadkad na Pla-Pla

Lumpiang Ubod

Knockout Knucles. WE SUPER LOVED THIS! :)


Remember the last kare-kare I ate and RAVED about it? Well this is just like it! I remember sopping up the just lacked the peanut bits but it was really good! :)

Yes, I realized that Capampangan food's good. Nothing to be scared of anymore.

After the heavy dinner, we all trooped over to the new Starbucks near St. Luke's Medical Center. It's the latest store with a DRIVE-THRU! Here are some of my pictures. Come meet my DLSU barkada.

Just a little story about us, we all got together when we were in 3rd year in DLSU. We were all majoring in Mass Media. This group was the first barkada I had my first road trip with when we went to Pagudpud. We went on countless overnight trips and numerous nights getting wasted! But hey, after 7 years and despite us being busy with our own "careers" we're all still together! :)

Dinner at:
Serendra, Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City, Metro Manila
Tel. No. 856-0526

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Strictly Filipino Family Affair

I find it so fitting that I am writing a blog entry about Manila and Luneta Park on December 30, Rizal Day. Find this as my way of honoring our national hero on his day. Oh and I also ate at a restaurant celebrating Jose Rizal's characters in one of his novels. But more on Jose Rizal later on.

A day after Christmas, we took our trusty helper out to Manila because she wanted to see the fountain show at the Luneta Park. Since it's going to be her last Christmas and New Year with us, we decided to make it a little special for her.

After hearing Mass at Sacred Heart in Makati, we headed on over to Aristocrat near Malate Church for dinner. Although our home-cooked meals have been very good, we were getting kind of tired of eating pancit over and over again!

I'm not really sure if I'm the only one who thinks this is true but Aristocrat is like THE restaurant for Filipino families. It's been around since forever, and it's almost a sin not to eat there during one's lifetime. We've had one too many family reunions there too, when our balikbayan relatives come home and start craving for Filipino food.

Since it was a day after Christmas, everybody was still in a festive mood, so the place was packed to the brim. Since there was just the 3 of us, we had no problem in getting a seat.

I also loved their Christmas which was at the center of the restaurant.

For our starters, Mom and I got soup to warm our insides. The night air here in the Philippines has been really nippy, almost everybody I know is sick or about to get sick.

Mom had the Sotanghon soup. She would almost always order sotanghon soup if she sees it on the menu!

I had Cream of Mushroom.

Despite it's lack of glamor for the camera, it was really good. It was served hot and had ample mushrooms in it.

For the main course we all had what made Aristocrat famous the world over: BARBECUE! Mom had Boneless Chicken, I had Pork Spareribs (for a change), and Ate Dor had the popular Chicken Barbecue.

Paired with Aristocrat's very own Java Sauce, it makes one if not THE BEST chicken barbecue there is here in the country.

After the huge dinner, it was time for us to go Luneta Park to walk around and burn the chicken meal. Luneta Park is a very historic site in the country becuase this is where our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal was shot on December 30, 1896. The 0 kilometer marker, which serves as a marker to all the cities in the Philippines, is also found here.

When we got to the park, it was just like Aristocrat, it was PACKED with families picnicking and just sitting around. It was like the whole of Manila was there! Kids ran around, parents slept, and vendors milled around, as the park's sound systems blasted Christmas carols.

I don't usually go to Luneta randomly, maybe I'm just a bit snooty that way, but I have to admit I enjoyed being there that night. It was a totally different Sunday night family affair.

Like us, everybody came for the fountain show. It only lasted for about 10 minutes but it was cool. The kids enjoyed it, especially when the lights changed colors. We weren't kids, but it was actually cool! Ate Dor of course LOVED it since she begged for us to come down to Manila just to see this! :)

Walking around the park, we noticed these blue and pink lights that kept flying up in the air. They were these slingshot toys the kids were playing around with, I was so intrigued I bought from this boy who was selling them for P15.

The kids were having so much slinging those things in the air. And when we finally got the hang of it, Ate Dor and I actually had fun with it too! So fun I bought 10 of these things to give to my college barkada for our reunion the following night.

Sometimes it really is the simple things in life that prove to be FUN and I think it keeps you grounded! Since we're all used to heading over to the malls and going to the Luneta Park was something of a relief. It's nice to see Filipino families bonding complete with their their pots filled with food, rice cooker, and plates. You just get to feel how the family is still the most important for us Filipinos, and you just can't help but be proud of it. And I sure was glad to be among those Filipino families in the park that night! :)

We ate at:
The Aristocrat Restaurant
432 San Andres St. cor. Roxas Blvd., Malate
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel. No. 524-7671 to 80

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Crisostomo: Our Namesake With The Best Kare-Kare

I am a Crisostomo. It's my Lola's maiden name. And when I was in high school whenever our teacher read my name in the class list it was always: Dumana, Ma. Teresa Crisostomo Ibarra. It's an old joke I get all the time. For those who don't know who Crisostomo Ibarra is, he is Dr. Jose Rizal's main protagonist in Noli Me Tangere.

Since we're always at Eastwood, Mom and I keep passing by CRISOSTOMO a restaurant found in the 2nd floor of the new Eastwood Mall and one of Chef Florabel Co's babies. We wanted to give it a try immediately, but never really got to until Christmas Day, when Mom treated me to Christmas dinner (as if our Noche Buena feast was not enough!).

We were at the restaurant a wee bit early for dinner so there weren't much customers JUST YET. I was able to take photos of the dining area before it got crowded. And I super loved their chairs it was comfortable and the back rest was soft.

Since it was Christmas, most of the customers were families. Within minutes the restaurant was packed - even the seats outside were filled with hungry families. But despite the number of customers, the servers were able to bring our orders in just about 5 to 10 minutes after ordering. Kudos to the fast service! :)

This is what we ordered, and must I say everything was GOOD! And they were still good and tasty when Mom and I had them for lunch the net day! :)

2-pcs. porkchop with mushroom gravy

I do not regret ordering this. Although the porkchops were a bit oily, it was really good. It was crispy, and best to let it swim with that mushroom gravy. Perfect meaty goodness!

Tuna Belly

Since Mom's the healthy eater, she ordered a fish dish. We super loved this, and this is even better than the tuna belly of Gerry's Grill and Jaymark's (in Paseo de Magallanes). Fish eaters will LOVE this hands down!

Last but not the least Kare-Kare

Now this was love at first bite! Their peanut sauce was to die for I especially loved picking on the peanuts in the sauce! I have to admit I am a bit snooty when it comes to kare-kare, our helper makes one of the best kare-kare, so sometimes I can't help but compare. But Crisostomo's version is just DELICIOUS. Although it lacked ox tripe and was a bit selfish with their vegetable portions, it was still one of the best kare-kare's I have tasted!

And after that big meal, we even had the good old doggy bag...

...and a satisfied smile on our faces!

Looking at Crisostomo's menu, there are some other dishes that I'd like to try next time.

Like the Kangkong with Lechon Kawali Chips. I believe that a perfect food pair would be a mixture of healthy and unhealthy, so that is on the top of my list!

And their line-up of sinigangs and their tinola. Again, it's just a comparison with our helper's cooking. She was trained by my Lola who can whip up a storm, so I'm just being snooty and would just like to compare it with our own sinigang and tinola! :)

Right outside the restaurant you'd see Eastwood Mall's giant Christmas tree. It was very simple, but it was beautiful and it towered over the people taking pictures of it. With the cool air, it was a happy and peaceful Christmas night.

2/F Eastwood Mall Veranda, E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Bagumbayan, Libis
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel. No. 710-1693

Quick Links

Related Posts with Thumbnails