the cutest little sliders

24 06 2009

krabby patty doppelgänger

So, this post doesn’t really have much substance other than I wanted to share a picture of the cutest sliders I had when I visited the Philippines. I have never seen a burger as cute (I know I need a thesaurus) or tasted one as yummy as these. I don’t even recall the name of the restaurant. It was at this really nice mall called Rockwell in Makati City. Don’t these suckers remind you of Krabby Patties? Spongebob would be proud.

patty in my hand

Here I am holding up the tiny burgers. My brother is pictured here drinking a “frozen hot chocolate” (I know – whaa? …but trust me it was so delicious). So if you are ever in Makati, definitely stop by the mall I mentioned and try to have these sliders!

Happy eating!

xoxo,
andi

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the art of coffee fortune telling

19 06 2009

turkish coffee cup

Anyone ever had their fortune told from coffee grounds? I know it may sound odd but this practice actually has an official name. Fortune telling from tea leaves, or more commonly in the Middle East, coffee grounds is called Tasseography. My Mom has been reading my fortune and my family members’ fortunes from coffee grounds, tea leaves and cards for years. No, fortune telling is not her day job. She is just clairvoyant and has an innate ability to depict signs and symbols from different media. She barely ever indulges us though but after mutiple instances of begging, I had the honor of having my fortune read by her the other day.

coffee fortune steps

The steps are pretty simple. Turkish is the coffee of choice since it has lots of coffee grounds left to settle at the bottom of the cup. This coffee is very rich and has a robust flavor. You must drink the coffee and cover it with the saucer once you’re done. Then you flip the cup (with the saucer on, of course) towards your heart as you make a request or wish in your mind. For instance, you can be thinking “what will my job future hold” and such.

turkish coffee grounds

From the coffee grounds and stains left on the cup and saucer, the fortune teller sees different symbols. Every shape and symbol is interpretted with a specific meaning (hopefully good). You must have an expert’s eye to see these shapes and symbols to define them and give meaning to them. So, unfortunately you can’t perform your own coffee fortunes but I am sure you can google someone.

~Saam





butter, sugar, and eggs equal dessert bliss – a silvanas tale

8 06 2009

Baking is therapeutic for me. I might not know how to cook, but I have been designated as the family baker. I have been reading a lot of posts on the oh so delicious macarons lately, so I was in the mood for something crisp and chewy. I decided to make some meringue – filipino style. I made some silvanas for the first time, which is basically a cashew-meringue and buttercream sandwich. If you love buttery goodness, this dessert’s for you.

silvanas and smiles

This was my first attempt at making this cookie and I think it turned out pretty well (my little brother agrees). You are supposed to coat it with cake crumbs but I couldn’t find any so I used bread crumbs, which is a decent substitute. I’ll have to find some cake crumbs for next time though (I am not trying to make that from scratch). I’ll also have to figure out how to make them into perfect circles or ovals (help! how do i do this??).

silvanas up close and personal

I sometimes don’t eat what I bake but I definitely did not pass on these silvanas. It was just the right balance of crunchy and chewy meringue with a not too sweet buttercream icing. This is best eaten chilled but still tastes good at room temperature if you simply can’t wait (my little brother agrees).

Hope I got you interested in some silvanas!

xoxo,
andi

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a cute place to brunch in tribeca

3 06 2009

This past weekend, I went up to New York for a change of pace (and to check out Topshop). My friends and I were strolling towards Broadway and Broome when we turned the corner and saw the polka dotted sign for Kitchenette. As soon as we walked in, we could not stop saying “that’s so cute.” It was so darn cute inside (but not sickeningly) with a shabby chic feel. The manager knew that it was our first time there since we really could not stop saying “cute” and assured us it would be our new favorite place.

kitchenette counter

Kitchenette has a pretty extensive Brunch menu, which they serve until a generous 4:30 pm. My friend and I decided to split the Breakfast Enchiladas (scrambled eggs, poblano peppers topped with guacamole and cheddar, rolled in corn tortillas) and The Bridgehampton (silver dollar pancakes topped with fresh fruit and yogurt). I do love variety! The enchiladas were yummy and a bit spicy but the guacamole made it delectable. The pancakes looked unassuming but turned out to be light, fluffy, and sweet enough on its own. I should have taken pictures of the dishes I ordered but just trust me when I say it’s a must for brunch.

kitchenette pastries

We left happy and full and vowed to return to try their cupcakes (which the manager said was better than Magnolia’s).

kitchenette sign

Happy reading and eating!

xoxo,
andi





modern mexican – parte dos

26 05 2009

This past weekend, Saam and I had a late dinner at La Sandia (since our mainstay, CPK, was closed).  As mentioned previously, it is the other Modern Mexican franchise in the DC Metro area.  Like Zengo, La Sandia looked inviting and had great design elements.  I loved the embossed silver ceiling and the detailed cutouts on the bar and walls. You can see what I mean by viewing the restaurant gallery.

We started off with sangria and an agua fresca, a traditional Mexican drink made from fruit, water, and sugar.  I first heard about these drinks from The Splendid Table (one of my fave radio programs) and wanted to try it.  The sangria was pretty good and the agua fresca (watermelon for the night) was delicious. We also ordered beef and chorizo empanadas.  The chile chipotle sauce looks like baby food, but trust me, it tastes much better than it looks. The creme fraiche added a nice light flavor to the flaky empanadas.

lasandia

We decided to split chicken fajitas, which was plenty for the two of us.  The fajitas were pretty tasty but nothing revolutionary, much like the restaurant it seemed.  Perhaps I would have really liked the other entrees (that included seafood or pork).  Overall, it was a pleasant dining experience and one of the better late night dining options.  

lasandia fajitas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xoxo,
andi





modern mexican?

22 05 2009

What is the first food that comes to mind when you hear the term modern mexican? Some kind of tex mex or tacos? What about the name “zengo“? It was a rainy Saturday afternoon when me and my teammate Andi decided to hit up Chinatown in DC for some grub before we met up with some buddies. We came across the most appealing restaurant on the block, Zengo, which is japanese for “give and take.” Now let me tell you, nothing about the resturant looked or tasted Mexican. But I’ve got to say, it was one of the most hip and modern asian fusion resturants I have exprerienced. The modern decor with the floating artistic hangings and amber accented walls stood out at me immediately. I do believe I have somewhat of an eye and appreciation for art and interior design. But let’s just say, if I were to ever open a reasturant of my own, it would be closely modeled after Zengo.

zengodining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

zengofloat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The menu was rather small yet refreshing. We tried everything from sushi rolls to peking duck taco to chicken tandoori. Each individually delicous and well decorated with a simple modern touch. Here is a good chance for me to clue you in on a little secret about me. Well me and seafood don’t really get along well, especially raw seafood. The farthest I’ve gone is a variety of fish, calamari and maybe if you’re lucky you’ll catch me eating shrimp. So this was my 2nd time attemping to eat sushi. So I decided to take it slow and start off with the “vegetarian roll” which was suprisingly tasteful. I promise to be brave next time and try some rolls with actual fish/seafood. Oh did I mention the elegant design of the diningware?  (Side note – the dinner pics are not the clearest since I took them with an iPhone and it was dimly lit inside – nice ambiance but not conducive to great shots using the flashless iPhone).

zengorolls

zengomenu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

zengotaco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lomeinzengosam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, you’re probably still wondering where “modern mexican” came from? I was wondering the same thing untill I got my hands on a Zengo business card. Modern mexican is the name of the company which owns Zengo and 6 other restaurants, including locations in Mexico, Qatar, and Dubai. All resturants are the invention of the fine chef Richard Sandoval. Appears to me that most of the other 6 restaurants do infact have some type of a Latin/Mexican taste to it. I will try to check out La Sandia, the only other one close to me when I get the chance! I suggest you do the same!

~Saam





buddakan

19 05 2009

So I don’t know where to start and break the ice. I was going through some of my old pics from chritsmas and came across our day trip pics. I believe it was a few days before chritmas when me and some buddies decided to take a day trip to Atlantic City. After a long day of gambling we all decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner. We came across “buddakan” located right outside the Caesar Hotel by the pier shops.

buddakan 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  coco martini chocolate pagoda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 
The food, the restaurant design, and the service were all amazing! From the elegantly lit communal dining table to the golden life size Buddha statue. My meal consisted of the Wok Cashew Chicken with plum wine sauce along with the Cantonese spring rolls. And let’s not forget drinks and desert. The thai coco martini was just the perfect blend with coconut rum, lemongrass syrup, and fresh lime juice. Lastly the pagoda chocolate desert really topped off our diner experience. Chocolate mocha chip ice cream, frozen mousse,  hazelnut praline, and the design speaks for itself.

And not that I hadn’t already been “wowed”, you must take a second to check out the design of the buddakan website!

 

~Saam