Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blueberry Cheesecake of my dreams, Chicken Empanaditas to live for!

Blueberry cheesecake. Mouth-watering creaminess that melts in your mouth, textured with the semi-sour, semi-sweet blueberries, with the contrasting buttery and slightly salted crust... sinfully delicious...just thinking about it makes me salivate like a dog. Yes, it's one of my weakness. The first time I've tasted it, I was done for. I'll actually trade any dessert for blueberry cheesecake.

Unfortunately, not all cake shop can satisfy my standards. Let's just say that I've tasted my share of this pie that I 've become a self-declared connoiseur. So it was really a delight to discover a small cake shop along Katipunan Road, White Plains, Quezon City that serves my type of blueberry cheese pie.

I've heard of "Gateau de Manille" sometime ago in a radio commercial, advertising for lunch and dinner. I've passed by it a hundredth time and paid no attention. It's outside has no fanciness, it actually looked like a very ordinary restaurant. Our discovery of it was purely coincidental. We've placed an order for chicken in a nearby store but had to wait for 20 mins before it cooks, so we went looking for a decent place to while the time. It was providential that we landed at Gateau de Manille. Their blueberry cheesecake was everything I hoped for! (No contest ang Red Ribbon dito! - Andy).

My dear hubby and also Geoffrey, on the otherhand, fell in love with the chicken empanaditas. It's a bread-filled pastry that's bursting with a very tasty mixture of chicken, potatoes, green peas, raisin, and carrots. As you bite it, your tastebuds welcome the succulent chicken mixture with a tinge of sweetness because of the rasins. The cover is not thick unlike other empanadas where the filling is sooo small compared to the thick covering. Let the pictures speak for themselves. (Talong talo ang Goldilucks at Red Ribbon sa sarap at presyo! - Andy)

Cheesecake is only P415 while chicken empanaditas cost only P18/pc or P105 per box of 6. They also have a broad range of cakes, pastries, pies, and bread. (Magandang pampasalubong! Di ka mapapahiya! - Andy). I look forward tasting their other creations.

Gateau de Manille is located at 117 Katipunan Road, St. Ignatius Village, White Plains, Quezon City, with tel. 9116547, 9116750, 9128573.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chicharon Bulaklak

I haven't eaten a chicharon bulaklak for a long time. I don't know how many years since my last taste of that crispy chicharon bulaklak dipped in vinegar. It's a favorite among beer drinkers. Chicharon bulaklak is fried pork omentum. The omentum is "a sheet of fatty tissue that hangs down in front of the intestines."

When I read about P.Noy's love for the chicharon bulaklak, my craving to taste it once more was ignited. I looked for one at Lapid's Trinoma but it has long been removed from their specialties since May 2010 according to the sales guy. When I went out for dinner with my DLSU friends to celebrate the end of the term, we ate at Gerry's Grill (Trinoma) and I was again disappointed. No chicharon bulaklak in their menu. It was also removed in their menu. "Maybe P.Noy has hoarded all the chicharon bulaklaks", I wondered.
My search and craving for the chicharon bulaklak was finally ended when I visited Cherry Foodarama. There is a stall there called Peanut World which obviously sells different kinds of peanuts and also the elusive chicharon bulaklak. I bought 100 gms for P102.00 and brought it home for dinner. Peanut World's chicharon bulaklak is not as good as the taste that I remember and imagined. But anyway, now, I know where I can buy that chicharon bulaklak. And I don't have to go around town to look for it.

PS: Don't let P.Noy read this blog. He might buy and hoard all of the chicharon bulaklak of Peanut World.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Experiencing DEODATO's Music

Thirty years ago, I bought my first music cassette tape of Eumir Deodato. During those years in my college days, I was influenced by my batchmate Royce to listen to Jazz music and one of the musicians he introduced to me was Deodato. The music of Deodato is characterized by repeated rythms with his keyboard as the lead and with back-up of sounds from a horn, flute, trumpet, percussions, drums and guitars. When you listen to his music, you will imagine a complete orchestra but actually his band consists of only about 7 to 8 musicians.

After thirty years after my first exposure to Deodato, I didn't realize that I will watch him perform live here in Manila last July 31, 2010 at the SMX. Before going to this concert, I first watched YouTube videos of Deodato. During the Manila concert, I noticed that the quality of his music remains outstanding whether he performs in Finland, USA or the Philippines. His band may be different for every location, but his performance and music doesn't change. In the Manila concert, his back-up band were all Filipino artists - very versatile and talented. Each musician showed their talent by doing solo acts.

Watching a Deodato concert is like going back in time. For one, the audience is composed of old timers - grey haired or bald headed fans. I had influenced my wife, Apple with Deodato's music ; that's why Apple has also became a fan too. Listening to Deodato's music is a mixed experience - exhilirating, relaxing, highstrung and passionate - depending on the musical piece he plays. I enjoyed the music especially my favorites: Adam's Hotel, Speak Low, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Baubles, Bangles & Beads and Carly & Carole. I bought a two-CD album at the concert site which is a bargain for P300 being a collector's edition.

Watch this YouTube concert of Deodato in Finland. The performance is the same as what I experienced.