Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Luyong Restaurant: Quaint Cantonese Dining in the Heart of Marikina

The very first time I heard about Luyong Restaurant was through my foodie friend Joanne Tuanquin. She was raving about how good the Lumpiang Shanghai (deep fried egg rolls) at this restaurant. At the time, my initial reaction was, "For a mere Lumpiang Shanghai, you'd be willing to travel all the way to Marikina? But Lumpiang Shanghai's so easy to do--you can do it even at the confines of your own kitchen, why bother to go to this restaurant called Luyong's? What is it about Luyong's Lumpiang Shanghai that keeps my friend from coming back to this restaurant?" 

All of my questions above were finally answered when I myself found my way to Luyong's quaint Cantonese restaurant located in the heart of Marikina (just a few blocks from Rodriguez Sports Center and Savemore Supermarket). Call it serendipity, I was in Marikina to accompany two of my good friends as they were looking for a house. We decided to grab some snack at Luyong's and as a foodie, it was probably my time to taste and savor their well-known deep fried Lumpuang Shanghai rolls. 

Luyong's Menu wasn't exactly impressive because it only had (apart from the best selling Lumpiang Shanghai rolls, of course) a variety of pancit, namely: bihon, canton, miki-bihon, bihon tostado, lomi, but what has intrigued me the mosts are these two called pinagulong, and alanganin. Too bad, we didn't have enough time to try these 'pancit pinagulong' (which literally means 'rolled') and 'pancit alanganin'. I promised myself that the next time I'd visit Luyong's, I'd order these two 'uniquely named pancit' and get to know the difference. 

Aside from pancit, Luyong's offer a wide variety of soups to start off your meal, all sorts of viands one can do with Lapu-lapu fish, some rice toppings, fried dishes like Lechon Kawali, Camaron Rebosado, Fried Chicken, beef, liver and pork steak, Macau longganisa, buttered chicken, pinsec prito, sweet and sour stuff, a slew of vegetable based viands, and even bottles of beer on their beverage choices. 

But overall, Luyong's could easily be classified as 'Binondo-type' kind of restaurant that offers authenitic Cantonese fare. I actually find Luyong's as a bit pricey considering the restaurant itself doesn't offer a much cozy ambiance. What they have are simply what I can classify as authentic Chinese comfort foods. And, oh, I now understand why my friend went loco over Luyong's Lumpiang Shanghai rolls! For 12 small rolls at Php180, it's pretty expensive. But Luyong's have all the right to sell them at that price---for it's worth your every bite. Luyong's Shanghai rolls had the crunchiest rolls stuffed and filled up with the finest tasting meat inside. Every morsel of such heavenly lumpia pieces are enough to make you do cartwheels. That's how good those Luyong lumpia rolls are! Now, I no longer wonder why people would come and flock this small yet quaint Chinese restaurant in Marikina, their shanghai rolls alone rocks! 'Nuff said! 

So if you're craving for some authentic Cantonese casual dining, try Luyong's Restaurant in Marikina. Don't you forget to order their Shanghai rolls--don't be surprised too if you could eat the entire plate in one sitting! 

Luyong's Restaurant is located in Sto. Nino, Marikina City
Call 941-4672 or 942-0740
Luyong's is opened from 11am-2pm for lunch and 5-10pm (except Mondays they close at 9pm) for dinner. 

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Village People Visits Misono Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant

(Members of THE VILLAGE PEOPLEinternational disco superstars, before their concert inSolaire, May 28, together with President Robert Yupangco, CEO of Zoomanity Group and Owner of Misono Teppanyaki and Yakitori Daitokyo, middle, in a dine and treat event last May 26 in Misono RestaurantBel-Air Makati)



Press Release: Misono Teppanyaki, a newly opened Japanese Restaurant at the heart of Makati,is all set to host The Village People, the World’s No. 1 Disco Superstars that gave us the greatest hits like Y.M.C.A., MACHO MAN and IN THE NAVYWith four of the original members and two new band members they will have a taste of this unique Japanese Restaurant. Misono Teppanyaki also played host recently to Abba Mania, an international band.

Misono Teppanyaki is ready to serve new wave of exquisite and authentic Japanese food. Savor very sumptuous Japanese dishes that will surely capture your palettes’ craving. Diners will have a very unique food experience because of the naturally grown lettuce, grown in Paradizoo Theme Farm, it’s sister company.Beside it is Yakitori Daitokyo, another new Japanese Restaurant that gives us a taste of authentic Japanese Barbeque.  

Misono and Yakitori are open daily from 11am to 2pm and 5:30pm to 10pm. Forinquiries call 847-9947/ 899-9595 loc 344 or 8999824; txt 09185033399. Like us also in Facebook and follow us on Twitter @misonoyakitori.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Leann's Tea House: Delicious Korean Fare at Mother Ignacia Street Quezon City

Stepping into Leann's Tea House may not easily give you an idea that you're set to enjoy healthy Korean cuisine simply because it's owned by a Chinese family and because most tea houses that we have here really do feature Chinese foods and not Korean. "My sister married a Korean. They had their first born named Leann whose name we had chosen for this business," explains Jiselle Chua, Leann's Tea House manager. "One thing about Leann's Tea House is that we serve healthy foods so we also promise that we do not use MSG," she adds. 

Leann's Tea House serves Korean cuisine in a more comfortable and casual dining. Of course, just as it is in any Korean restaurant, they have four or five appetizers to start off your meal. But what probably makes your experience different from Leann's Tea House are the brewed teas that makes your meal a bit more interesting. Before we started eating, we were served with Barley tea (one can choose if you want it hot or cold). I'm no fan of Barley but I am fully aware of its nutritional benefits plus when your skin is perpetually moist from the unbearable heat with sweat rolling down your forehead, a small cup of cold Barley would be something to keep you cool. It's also interesting to mention that they also serve awesome smoothies, shakes and a wide range of soju mixes to quench your thirsts. 

Korean fare with all its spices and gochujang sauces can be a bit heavy for this intense heat, but Leann's Tea House has shown ways to incorporate well-loved traditional Korean flavors into their menu that are indeed interesting lineup of dishes.   We've had Korea's much-loved Japchae (Korean glass noodles mixed with beef slices and vegetables in somewhat sweet sauce) at Php210 and Hameul Jeon (Seafood pancakes) at Php250. Each order can be shared by two or three more persons because of the huge serving. My group and I instantly devoured the Seafood Pancakes in just a few minutes--it perfectly goes well with my Soju Kamikazee (Citrusy-based specialty cocktail drink with Korean Soju). Then they've brought out Spicy Dak Gui (Spicy Chicken Barbecue). I loved both and happily chowed down on its meat in their entirety. Although the chicken looked like they are 'swimming' in that spicy red sauce, I was surprised that the inside had that fluffy white meat and not a single chicken was left with some 'raw flesh'. I often do not like eating chicken with any sauce apart from gravy simply because some sauces can be too overpowering. But Leann's Tea House's Spicy Dak Gui was tart and a little savory, offsetting the richness of its spice.

But if there's one dish that's definitely worth your trip to Leann's Tea House, it's gotta be their Tonkatsu Kimbap (rice roll wrapped in breaded pork). At Php250, it has a huge serving so it's good for sharing. Each crisp roll of deep fried tonkatsu stuffed with rice are like bite-sized morsels coated in tangy sauce. Perfect for those looking for a little signature richness, the full flavors of breaded pork with rice but not wanting that heavy feeling. It's a new way to serve tonkatsu (breaded pork) and certainly, everyone gives a nod that this is an interesting dish on Leann's Tea House menu. 

If you're not into pork, you could try Seafood Doenjang Jjigae (mixed seafood in soybean soup). For Php300, again since it comes in a huge serving, so you could share this with family or friends. It comes in a rich, creamy soup that definitely tastes umami. It's briny and sweet with a hint of soybean. 

Bibimbap is a staple Korean favorite. Rice topped with fresh eggs, veggies, kimchi, meat, strips of nori and gochujang paste. I am huge fan of bibimbap and this one is really good. A word of advice though, once served mixed it right away with gochujang paste so as not to create 'overcooked rice' underneath or what we Filipinos love to call "tutong". 

Leann's Tea House also offers Shabu-shabu at Php420. The best part? You can have an option to try both the spicy based soup and the non-spicy at the same time. Both soup broths are different. I've tried both soups and I'd have to say that the spicy one had hints of tamarind and some tangy sweetness on its spicy broth. The non-spicy one had a rich and somewhat creamy broth reminiscent of Filipino soup dish "Nilaga", but with some distinct flavors of course. 

While at Leann's Tea House, do not miss to order their Galbi (barbecued beef short ribs). You can either cook them yourself or ask a staff to help cook them for you. It's a bit pricey at Php420 but it's worth it considering you get really high quality tender and juicy beef which you could eat it as it is or you could order for a Samgyeopsal (thinly sliced pork rolled on lettuce with some sambal sauce). 

Don't forget to leave room for some more teas at Leann's Tea House. After eating, we were given this signature specialty called Lemon Citron--and I am telling you, it's a great way to cleanse your palate after exercising them too much from all the spices that you've had eating Korean fare. As if that's not enough, we've also had Honey Jujube Tea--a refreshing tea from sweet plums meant to end such a satisfying Korean meal. What more can this foodie ask for? Leann's Tea House will surely make your taste buds sparkle with sheer delight. 

Leann's Tea House is located at 105-R New World Town Homes, Mother Ignacia Street, Quezon City (a few blocks away from The Crossings and National Book Store Quezon Avenue)

Special thanks to Ms. Jiselle Chua of Leann's Tea House, Ms. Lanie Lyutz and members of the Mommy Bloggers Philippines. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Easy and Delicious Recipes for Supermoms

Today’s modern moms aren't exclusively based at home. In fact, most are doing a lot of multi-tasking: doing chores at home in between trying to juggle her profession/career while taking care of her family and kids. They know how to manage their time well and knows her priorities that's why they are now called as "Supermoms". Bounty Fresh, one of the country's well-loved poultry brand helps mothers by providing delicious recipes and healthy meals to serve and prepare their family. Using only the freshest cuts, Bounty Fresh had bo preservatives or meat extenders. This ensures that all meals prepared using Bounty Fresh Chicken are not just sumptuous but perfect for the dietary needs of every member of the family.
Need some ideas for a quick lunch or a sumptuous snack? These two simple recipes from Bounty Fresh Chicken are definitely worth a try! The Lay’s Crusted Chicken Fingers with Garlic-Kesong Puti Dip is a superb yet simple chicken poppers recipe, good as a meal or as a snack when watching a favorite movie or TV show. The Chicken Cheesesteak Sandwich, on the other hand, provides a different twist to the classic sandwich favorite.

Try these filling recipes and make your Moms health on eir special day. 

Lay’s Crusted Chicken Fingers with Garlic-Kesong Puti Dip
½ Kilo Bounty Fresh Boneless Chicken Thighs
Salt and pepper to season
1 ½ cup All Purpose Flour
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon Milk
1 cup Japanese Bread crumbs
1 cup Original Lays Potato Chips
½ Tablespoon dried oregano
Garlic-Kesong Puti Dip
1 block kesong puti, mashed
1 cup sour cream
1 head roasted garlic, peeled and mashed
1 Tablespoon green onions, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs and milk until combined
2. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, crushed Lays potato chips and dried oregano. Mix well.
3. Pat dry chicken thighs. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge with flour, dip in egg mixture, and cover with breadcrumbs-potato chips mixture.
4. Place on a lined sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees F, for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through.
5. For the dip, mix all ingredients and season to desired taste. Place in a small bowl and serve with chicken.

Chicken Cheesesteak Sandwich
3 Bounty Fresh boneless chicken breast, skin removed and diced
3 Tablespoon Liquid Seasoning
½ Tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 medium white onions, sliced
3 bell peppers, deseeded and sliced into strips
1 mini baguette, sliced length-wise and divided into two
4 slices Provolone Cheese
1. In a bowl, combine chicken, liquid seasoning, and black pepper. Stir.
2. Leave for 10 minutes to marinate.
3. In a pan over medium heat, cook chicken with oil along with the marinade. When chicken is cooked, transfer to a plate and set aside.
4. In the same pan, sauté onions and bell peppers until soft.
5. Once done, turn heat off and add chicken pieces back into the pan to reheat. Mix.
6. Distribute chicken and veggies equally among rolls.
7. Top each sandwich with slices of provolone and place under the broiler until cheese melts. Ready to eat in 2 minutes.

Monday, May 5, 2014

My Awesome Food and Culture: Secrets of Lucky Chinatown Tour

Foodies unite! Get ready to explore some fascinating Chinese traditions along with exciting food treats at the Awesome Food and Culture Secrets of Lucky Chinatown Tour at Lucky Chinatown, a heritage project of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls in Binondo. 

The food and culture tour is a brainchild of the puissant duo of Our Awesome Planet's Anton Diaz and Mercato Central's RJ Ledesma. 
Mercato Centrale's RJ Ledesma welcomes guests.

The food tour started with a brief introduction and welcome remarks by RJ Ledesma which was immediately followed by tea-tasting activity. We were introduced to Botanical Herbal Halls at the Annex A of Lucky Chinatown Mall. Here we had a taste of Momordica Grosvenori Five Flowers Tea called Lo 5, Snowpear Chrysanthemum Tea, Maybloom Tea and Plum Tea--all four tea drinks are believed to have health benefits that help relieve different illnesses and could also be used for personal detoxification. 

Four of Botanical Herbal Halls bestselling organic drinks

Then, for a glimpse of the Chinese culture, we were ushered to Miao De Temple where participants learned more about Buddhist religion and its practices. Some were even taught how to properly light incense sticks as a sign of respect in the Buddhist tradition while others were lucky to be given books about Buddhism. 

At the Lucky Chinatown Walk, we were surprised to see lots of food kiosks as its part of Mercato Centrale Group's initial offering before their Wei Mei Lu (The Street of Good Food) officially kicks off on May 24, 2014. We checked out the Fu Dao Dumpling stall--where freshly made dumplings are done right before your eyes. They also serve a fantastic Sate Seafood Noodles with Shrimp in Sate Soup base. When you come to Lucky Chinatown Mall, don't fail to slurp on their delicious dumplings and noodle dishes, it's definitely worth all the trip! It's like being in mainland China without the need for a passport and visa. 

Lumpia rolls properly lined up
Maki Mi on a bowl

While you're at the Lucky Chinatown Walk, another must-try that you shouldn't dare miss if you're on a foodie adventure is Cha Cha Food House's Pumpkin Cake. It tastes soooo good that we bought our cakes right away that when Mr. RJ Ledesma saw us he had to warn us to reserve more space on our stomach as there are more food stops to visit thereafter. The said Pumpkin Cake actually looks like a small patty--flat and all, but don't let its looks deceive you. It tastes like the Chinese tikoy although somewhat yellowish or orange in color because it's made from real pumpkin. This is perfect for finicky kids who don't like eating veggies. The sweet and sticky texture of this pumpkin cakes will certainly make them forget they are eating something with pumpkins. And for only Php10 per Pumpkin Cake? It's indeed an affordable treat! 

The surprisingly delicious pumpkin cakes.

Freshly made dimsums are made right in front of you!

This cute little girl could not resist the yummy treats either.

My first bite of Mr. Fast Foo's Cua Pao brought me straight to foodie heaven. Made of braised pork belly, Kiam chay, sugared peanuts and cilantro (wansoy)--in soft fluffy white bun, Mr. Fast Foo's Cua Pao reminded me of Vietnamese Bahn Me--a delicate bun with filling soaked in a sweet special sauce. Oh my, I could go on forever on how awesome their Cua Pao had been! Don't get me wrong, it isn't my first time to try on a cua pao. But this one made by Mr. Fast Foo is so far the BEST I could consider. As proof, right after the Awesome Food and Culture Secrets of Lucky Chinatown Tour, we went back to Mr. Fast Foo in the hope to bring home some more cua pao, unfortunately, it's all sold out. By the way, Mr. Fast Foo also serves Maki Mi (pork tenderloin in noodles in a sticky sauce) and a vegetarian version of Chinese fresh lumpia (fresh spring rolls with veggies and tofu, topped with crispy seaweed, sugared peanuts, fresh cilantro (wansoy) leaves and garlic). The lumpia is made upon order and for only Php70 per order, it is good for sharing and is definitely filling. 

Special roasted chicken marinated for long hours.

Phoenix Dragon owner talks about Chinese Animal Signs

We also got to learn a few things about Chinese traditional wedding preparations at the Reflexion Photography Studio. I never realized the Chinese was that 'detailed' until I heard it from the resource speaker. At the Phoenix Dragon, we were given a bit of forecasts on this years' most auspicious animal signs. Those who had stones and precious gems with them were lucky to have them cleanse via the cleansing bowl. 

Reflexion Photo Studio spokesperson talks about the value of Chinese Wedding Tradition.
The young owner of Rainbow Snow

And because it's summer and Manila's in such a debilitating heat, Rainbow Snow (located at the 4th floor of Lucky Chinatown Mall, food court section) served as the perfect place to go to. With refreshing brewed tea drinks and flavored ice such as Azuki beans, Mango Snow, Chocolate Snow and Mixed Berry Snow--you'll never go wrong with whatever you choose because they all taste good. I loved the Mixed Berry because it tasted like my favorite yoghurt (sans the sourness, of course). It's pretty amazing that the owner is a young Chinese entrepreneur who brought in Taiwan's favorite icy treat on the Philippine shore. If you guys loved the street food iced scramble, I can assure you that Rainbow Snow is a better version of such street food favorite.

Mango Snow
Mixed Berries Snow

We also enjoyed our visit to the Wellness Sanctuary located at the 3rd floor of Lucky Chinatown, participants had a choice of availing one of the following services: acupuncture detox, fish spa session with garuffa fish (also known as 'Dr. Fish') or a tui na (massage) session--all for 15 minute duration each. I chose the latter because of two reasons: first, I fear needles and acupuncture isn't my cup of tea, thank you. Since I've tried fish spa before and my feet are aching from all the walking I've just had, a massage would be my perfect choice. True enough, I went out of Wellness Sanctuary feeling refreshed and happy.

Tao Yuan Restaurant's best seller: Hainanese Chicken

Deep Fried Fish in Sweet and Sour Mango Sauce
Birthday Noodles

Our last stop for the Awesome Food and Culture: Secrets of Lucky Chinatown Tour was at the Tao Yuan Restaurant located at the 2nd floor of Lucky Chinatown Mall. Here we've had samplings of Singaporean and Hong Kong style dishes. We've had Hainanese Chicken with Chicken rice (rice cooked on Hainanese Chicken broth), Fried Lapu-lapu with mango sauce, Pancit Canton Birthday Noodles and Mango Sago for dessert. 

You too can experience this Awesome Food and Culture: Secrets of Lucky Chinatown Tour for only Php888.00! Tickets are available at the Luck Chinatown Mall Concierge. Hurry, this food tour will only run on a limited time. 

Special thanks to Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, Mercato Centrale Group, Mr. RJ Ledesma and Mr. Anton Diaz. 

Bloggers enjoyed the food tour that they vow to come back again next time!