My First Korean Ice Cream

I was in Seoul and there was a fridge load of Ice Cream, I have heard that Korean Ice Cream is one of the best in the world, so what am I suppose to do!? hahaha

Freshly Cooked Piaya In Manila

Piaya is a popular snack from the Visayas particularly Bacolod and its surrounding areas, so I was so surprised and delighted to see something new like this to be around the metro.

I went to SM Manila after my shift to run some errands and as I walked from the metro station to the mall my eye caught something unusual, there was this lady selling Piaya on the street and she's cooking it on the spot!

They have at least three flavors Plain, Cheese and Chocolate of course I tried the choco flavor. It was nothing special when it comes to the taste but I find it awesome for this Visayan delicacy to become available for us in the Metro. 

Their stall can be found a few meters from the LRT Central station in front of the Universidad De Manila. They say that they are there every day but when I checked back on them the other day I couldn't really find them. Maybe they were located somewhere nearer to the Mehan Garden, I don't know so just try your luck in getting your fix of freshly cooked Piaya! ;)

Got a great food find? Tell us, we'll try it and we'll share it to the world!

Real Cups of Seoul

It was my last night in Seoul and it was very late when I remember that I haven't had dinner, so I walked around the area and look for food. There were lots of stores that offer fried chicken and beer but I wanted something where I could experience a true Korean taste. After walking around for a bit I decided to eat yet another chicken dish, Real Cups

They sell spicy chicken especially spiced with Korean ingredients and some corn .

It was slight of a challenge when I tried to order as the cute lady that prepares and serves the dish didn't speak any English, amazingly she got my order right! She couldn't what spicy is in English but she showed me the spice bottle before she pour on to my meal. Like a charade she acted what that bottle was for, she started fanning her mouth like it was burning and in response I signaled with my two fingers that I just want it a little hot.

Here's how they prepared my meal it's actually quite simple.

Step 1. Deep fry chicken nuggets/bits

Step 2: Mix spicy Korean sauce, sesame seeds and rice cakes. 

Step 3 Mix in the deep fried chicken nuggets and put in a cup for to go or on a bowl if you are dinning in.

Step 4 Sprinkle with nuts and corn then serve

I don't know if there's a misconception of Korean food being too hot because on my three day journey around Seoul I have experienced what they call hot and really hot (at least it's how the vendors describe them) but all of them were really tolerable just like how spicy you would want you maming gala to be. 

Anyways this one though really not a must try when in Seoul is something that you would enjoy! I just wish I asked the lady to make it a bit more hotter. 

UGU Bigyan's Potter's Garden

I must say that a trip to Quezon province would not be complete without tasting Ugu Bigyan's wonderful menu. So it was just so fitting to end our trip around Quezon with a sumptuous lunch at Ugu Bigyan's Potter's Garden Restaurant.

Here's how my plate looked like.... so what's in it???

Well we'll get into those later on what we need first is to prepare our tummy's for the feast ahead and a scallop soup is just right for the job. 

It was actually the first time that I ever tried scallops and they were actually good. I've always been intimidated with how they look, I mean it wasn't something that I regularly see on our dinning table at home.

Okay, so we are done with the soup here comes the feast!

Baby backribs: Really tender and flavorful I love how soft they were.

Tahong Salad: Easy on this one for those who have high blood, it's really easy to get carried away munching on these. 


Paco Salad: A must try, very refreshing. 

Kulawo: That was the first time that I ever tasted Kulawo and I was really surprised on how it tasted. It was smokey yet it is based on cocomilk!

Being the Philippine's coconut country the Ginumis really tells a lot about how daily life in Quezon is lived, see instead of the regular milk Ginumis has cococ milk!

Lunch at Ugu Bigyan's place is really something, it doesn't just gives your taste buds an experience but your eyes as well. When going to Quezon makes sure to make an appointment with Ugu Bigyan's restaurant, this is something that you shouldn't miss.

Notes: Ugu Bigyan's restaurant does not accept walk in customers, you must make do reservations at least two days before your date. You may contact them through their facebook page

Special thanks to:
Filipino Heritage Festival
Kulinarya Tagala
Out of Town Blog 

Disecting An Ivatan Feast At Pension Ivatan

Most of you know I travel a lot and every time that my foot lands in a new place my stomach does the thinking ahead of my brain! Well if you see how big I am I'm sure that you would understand what I mean... Hahahaha.... But really, no kidding I'm not that big but I wouldn't say that I am average.

As I step out of the arrival area I was delighted to see two familiar faces! Ferdz of and Chyng of No Spam, No Virus, No kidding and I was like ohhh common on! The Photographer and Blogger that I look up to is welcoming me here in Batanes!!! Wow! They were even holding the welcome sign that my hotel made for me (so I could see them lol) 

Before I took my shuttle to my hotel Ferdz invited me on a banquet that night to be hosted by Pension Ivatan which is actually just across the airport. He told me about some details and I got really excited, I had to make sure that I can make it to dinner!

That night we were welcomed by Ms. Tess De Leon, the wonderful owner of Pension Ivatan who also personally manages the food that the restaurant serves to each and every guest. Ms. Tess' heritage is undeniably  filled with great memories and history of food and I think that it is good that she shares this gift to everyone. 
Tess with Ferdz of Enroute

While we were waiting for the main course we were served with appetizing dishes and munchies that I couldn't stop from devouring.... hahaha... Well I had to tell my self... Ian, this ain't the main dish yet so leave some space okay!? Let me show you the appetizers that were served.
Appetizing Appetizers - Batanes Flavor Platter (Php 250.00)

After giving us a brief history about Pension Ivatan came the main star of the night, The Ivatan Plater!

Pension Ivatan's Ivatan Platter (Php 1,700.00)

The Ivatan platter is made up different Ivatan native dishes all served into one feast platter made up of native leaves that the Ivatans have used to serve food since time in memorial. So let's take a look at what makes this Ivatan Platter so good!

First up is are the Uvud Balls, well they are just the same as the Ubod that we know back here in the main land but the only thing different with them is that they came from a Banana tree instead of a Coconut Tree.

Uvud Balls (Php 150.00)

Grilled Tadyang ng Baka (Php 150.00)

Another dish on the platter is the Inihaw na Tadyang ng Baka (Grilled Cow's Ribs) I love the texture of this particular dish as it was somewhere between chewy and delicate, I just love biting on it!

This grinned meat looking dish are actually Taro Stalks (Gabi) I'm sure vegetarians will enjoy this! Oh yeah by the way it is called Vunez
Vunez (Php 130.00)

The Dibang is just another common dish, well at least for Batanes. We all know it as a Flying fish, there are seasons for catching flying fishes in Batanes hence it ain't that cheap.

Dibang (Php 70.00/gram)

Kanañiz (Php 230)
These are Kanañiz or Cuttle Fish perfectly sliced to bite sizes which really is a good idea... I also love the texture of this fish and its mild taste.

Probably my favorite part of the platter.... The Luñez or Lunis! It is the Ivatan version of how adobo should be cooked and I must say everyone should not miss this dish when in Batanes. I love how good it feels as you chew the pork with its divine adobo flavor and mind you it is not oily! I even said that it could pass as a pica pica for somebody like me with a big appetite as I could just much on them all day long =) and yeah you can just pick a piece up and bite it's not messy at all.

Lunez (Php 280.00)
Aside from these dishes included in the platter are the famous Coconut Crabs that are hunted at the montains, freshly caught lobsters and the oh so tasty Ginger Rice... yep ginger not java... Trust me it's a lot better!

After the main course I was surprised as we were still seeing food still flowing on our tables Tess then had us taste something common anywhere in the Philippines but it has a twist! The Pension Ivatan's bulalo is quite unique when it comes to its vegetables. Imagine its main veggie is a fern! I kid you not, I swear it is a fern that grows in Batanes. They Harvest the fern in its baby stage so that it would still be tender and I must say it does give some kind of kick to the dish.

Of course with all these wonderful food around you, you need a perfect thirst quencher and palate cleanser and the house blended Iced Tea of Pension Ivatan is no exception for praises!
This dish may look like a laing to you but no... or maybe a little yes... Its actually stuffed gabi... I think it does taste a little like a laing.... anyways I did enjoy this one. 

Stuffed Gabi Rolls

Dukay Salad

As always I would still have enough space for dessert and I like how the Dukay salad taste just right not that bland but not so sweet as well. I'm sure my fellow bloggers did enjoy our dinner with Tess of Pension Ivatan. So if you ever come to Batanes make sure to drop by Pension Ivatan to taste some of Batanes' culinary heritage.

Pension Ivatan Hometel and Restaurant
Address: Bgy. Kayvalugan, Basco, Batan, Batanes (just across the airport)

The Las Flores Experience

A few weeks ago I was invited by a friend to taste a special kind of European taste leaning towards the familiar taste of Spanish cuisine. I asked my self how could you even reinvent something that is already so good? Well my friend insisted so I gave in and drove all the way to Bonifacio Global City while talking to my self that this better be worth it.

We were welcomed by the outgoing general manager, Lola and was asked what we wanted to eat. My immediate response was what is that makes your restaurant famous? something that people must try when the come here at Las Flores.

the simple and elegant interior of Las Flores welcomes everyone to experience authentic European dishes

While waiting for our food I indulged my self to the easy interior of the restaurant, nothing that you would feel intimidated with yet it feels so classy still. I think the owners of the restaurant really did a great job! I love the clear view of the street from their floor to ceiling glass windows with really comfortable chairs that you can just sit in for hours if you are meeting with somebody here. If you are an alfresco type of diner, their tables outside are just the space for you! It's quite perfect since they are tucked at the not so busy street in BGC (Bonifacio Global City) 
the bar

cute cups hanging over the bar (they actually use these cups!)

Intimate dinning experience 

they have comfy spaces even for big groups!
As an appetizer we were served us a delicately cooked tuna topped with Avocado sauce and caviar. Honestly I really didn't figure out what I was eating and I had to ask Lola what was it really made of, it was because it was so delicately made that the tuna would just melt on to your mouth but would not disintegrate as you scoop it out of the batch. Most importantly it tasted like tuna but doesn't have that stinky fish smell and yeah it was A-PPE-TI-ZING!

First dish off on our main course was the Pulpo a la Gallega which is octopus meat on top of nicely cut potatos cooked to a perfect bite! 

The Paella Negra made me a bit curious on what was on top of it, it was moving!!!! Lola then revealed that those are squid flakes. It was quite a sight and I really enjoyed watching them seem to dance as the heat from the dish make them move. 

Next up that was served was the Sea Bass. I love how the chef was able to preserve the rich taste of the fish while the sauce really complimented the dish in extraordinary way, It was quite exciting as I never thought that a Sea Bass dish could turn out that way

Of course everybody's favorite part finally came! Desert! We were surprised that they gave us three deserts one was a choco mouse which reminds me so much of a childhood food that I love so much. The chocolate was soooooo rich and it wasn't too strong or sweet that you wouldn't mind eating anytime you fancy. 

The second dessert was crunchy creamy, a very good combination I must say. The top was a good layer of hardened caramel covering the creamy flan like cake inside. Totally a must try!

The last one was quite exciting to eat. The fusion of hot and cold desert really interests me a lot. Imagine a hot cake with oozing choco syrup inside that floods your plate and slides through the cold ice cream!? Oh my I just cant describe how wonderful it was knowing how they make their chocolates really good. 

It was really awesome dinning at Las Flores. All that I can say is that always keep an open mind even to traditional food that has proven their taste over the years! The best can just get better then I suppose. What I like most about the dishes at Las Flores is that they are just right to taste, they do not over power your senses and lets you experience the dishes as a whole. Las Flores is a place where you can definitely bring friends over and experience the real taste of modern European dishes. 

Las Flores can be found at 
Ground floor, One Mckinley Place,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. 
Tel: (02) 552-2815
Instagram: @lasfloresph