Saturday, March 31, 2007

Restaurant review: Banapple

Mike and I discovered a new cafe/restaurant today. When I say "new" I mean this quite literally; today was its soft opening.

The place is called Banapple and it's along Katipunan Avenue, on the southbound side after the flyover, right across the street from Kopi Roti. (For those of you familiar with the area, it's where City Jam used to be.) The owners--a friendly 30-something couple--had run a home-based cake business for years, and when the orders became too much for their house to handle, they decided to rent space not just for a commissary but for their own restaurant!

The interior is painted cheery shades of yellow and orange. On a refrigerated shelf, some ten to twelve cakes and pies--all looking quite scrumptious--are on display. Mike and I split an herbed chicken roll with basil cream sauce for dinner, and an apple caramel crumble for dessert.

The entree was very good and very filling for its price (P145). The apple pie slice (P75) was huge. The owner very kindly offered to warm it up for us, and we were very happy with the taste.

While its cakes and pies seem to be Banapple's centerpiece items, it also serves pancakes, sandwiches, pasta, and other rice entrees. I definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for a good meal in the P100-P200 price range.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Baguio vegetables

Mike and I spent the weekend in Baguio with our friends Anj and Jan and boy, what a food trip! Among the food highlights:

  • An accidental trip to the Strawberry Farms. From Tam-awan village, we decided to look for the vegetable trading post in La Trinidad. We couldn't find it; instead we chanced upon a sign directing us to the La Trinidad strawberry farms! We happily walked among the strawberries in the field, taking pictures. We sampled strawberry taho, strawberry wine, and strawberry ice cream, and ended our visit by buying seven kilos of strawberries among the four of us, and a few jars of strawberry jam. Yum!
  • Dessert at the Manor. We discovered that the Manor has excellent cakes and pastries! Sinfully delicious!
  • Chocolate baterol at John Hay. Mmmm!
  • Mongolian food at Oh May Kahn. Owned by the family of a batchmate of ours, Oh May Kahn has scrumptious Mongolian barbecue and a delicious a la carte menu as well.
  • Soy coffee at Ben-hur Villanueva's gallery, Arko ni Apo. Sculptor Ben-hur Villanueva was Mike and Jan's art teacher in grade school! We introduced ourselves and ended up spending about an hour with Ben-hur and his gracious family. They served us interesting soy coffee made even more interesting with the wonderful company.
  • Lunch at a Korean restaurant on Legarda road (I think). We enjoyed a scrumptious spicy chicken dish.

  • Fresh vegetables from the Baguio market. Baguio vegetables!!! Oh, if only Metro Manila had vegetables as fresh and as cheap as Baguio does, we'd all be a much healthier city. I found watercress--a rarity in Manila (and made myself some Vietnamese Shaking Beef salad today). Fresh parsley was P20 per kilo and for five pesos I now have enough fresh parsley to serve it on every single dish for the next two weeks.

Happy happy joy joy.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mesquite chicken

Mike made a yummy fried chicken dish the other day. He rarely doesn't measure ingredients when he cooks, but here, in general, is what went in the dish.


5 chicken thighs, bones and skin removed
tomato catsup
mesquite powder

Mix catsup, mustard, vinegar, and mesquite powder together. Marinade chicken in the mixture.

Fry covered until chicken is cooked through.

Extremely delicious dish.

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