Dumaguete Discoveries – Veg Edition

My friends are usually super conscious about where we eat because they’re concerned that I might end up not having anything to eat. Allow me to quote Bob Marley when he says: don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing’s gonna be alright! Hey, my work makes me go around the country a lot and, contrary to mainstream belief, it’s actually been a wonderful process of discovering various places that serve healthy and cruelty-free food!

Here are some gastronomic findings I’ve chanced upon in the wonderful city of Dumaguete!

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Spring rolls at Kri Restaurant. Super good and comes in 3 different sauces. There is a separate segment for vegetarian dishes indicated in their menu (yeay!). We also had clear soup (whose name I forgot, but we were all laughing about it because its name sounded like ‘laway’ – an apt name for a dish with okra) with malunggay, squash and okra. It was different from typical vegan soup fair, which was refreshing for me. I ended up eating the fried veg rolls which were sides of my teammate’s tuna dish. It was paired with native vinegar with chili seeds abound. Yum.  Nice interiors, too. A must try.

We ended up going to Sans Rival Bistro which is a quaint and beautiful corner place right across the seawall. I had 2 pieces of silvannas and Dilmah tea for P45. Crazy amazing! Of course, one cannot hop over Dumaguete without having this. Anyone care for making soy/nut milk-based silvamnas more mainstream? 😉

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Last night’s dinner was another open restaurant across the seawall called Lab-as. It’s name is a bisaya term for fresh, it being a seafood restaurant. I had this nifty buko juice for P40 along with wonderfully soft coconut meat. Mains was Pinakbet and mixed rice. Good eats!

Taking my niece (who’s studying in beautiful Silliman) to dinner, she ate Caesar Salad at C&L, a rooftop restaurant overlooking the city view. I had fries.

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We then went to Awesome Desserts for dessert, a new place. The entertainment outside was fairly provocative (let’s just leave it at that), and the cakes that we ate were too sweet and creamy (and lacked enough body to maintain a good texture for a decent Pavlova and Chocolate Cheesecake). Good thing, our mochas saved the night. We got these beautiful cups of coffee and art for P75 each. Good, too.

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We woke up at 4AM to day assuming there was a 5AM boat ride to Siquijor for a personal side trip. Lo and behold, trips on Sundays start at 8AM, so we welcomed it as an opportunity to go to the palengke (street market) to have some legit Budbud paired with mainit na tsokolate. There were white and purple grain variants, and we got the purple one. So good. We paid P20 for the pair. Awesome gastronomic deal.

There you have it, more hits and misses overall. This trip of gastronomic bliss has deepened my love affair with Dumaguete!

#GottaLovePH

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Happiness In, Happiness Out

They say it takes 21 days to build a habit.
I say it takes 42 days to REALLY build a habit.
I just got through my 42nd day of eating vegan! Yeay!

Sharing some scrumptious highlights of my journey so far:

Prepping a lettuce-grape-mango contraption, for experimentation’s sake. Turned out yom!

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Availing a vegan diet delivery service c/o Fitness Gourmet. This was the best breakfast I  had – vegan pizza!

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Munching on these hot and yummy PH made bars!

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Ordered my 1st vegan Subway sandwich! Jalapenos is love.

 

 

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Had the energy to make my own salad and learning to love the different flavor ranges of vinegar-

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Went home early from a raving party to instead read up on tech articles and munch on carrot sticks. Haha!

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Getting a banana from my officemate. One of the best things about this transition is being grateful for the extra thoughtfulness of friends who are rooting for my sustenance and sustainability in this lifestyle.

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My ate cooking me Moringa spirals for lunch as a pre-yoga booster. Again, so thoughtful of her, and I am so touched!

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Chancing upon this lovely looking AND tasting dessert at Romulo Cafe during the Geeks on a Beach presscon. Latik + Suman = love.

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Creating this homemade tonic to fight sickness with ginger essence and sugar!

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Bringing this to our bus ride en route to Laoag for breakfast. Better than dairy chocolate milk, hands down!

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Eating this vegan lumpia at Spring, which is walkable from my workplace. Yeay! Of course I drowned it with chili sauce, and of course I like being reminded that I am what I eat.

You are what you eat.

Cruelty in, cruelty out. Mindfulness in, mindfulness out. Happiness in, happiness out!

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Yup, vegan options exist in a food place as mainstream as Pancake House!

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Soy latte at Wildflour Cafe. I had the honey replaced with liquid sugar instead. Instavegan, yeay!

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Red photo c/o the red lighting at El Chupacabra (which happens to be located near the red light district – no pun intended). This vegan chori taco was grilled to goodness! The avocado, lemon and cilantro combo is a wonderful explosion of flavors to munch on!

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Dinner with dear high school friends at Simple lang. BBQ tofu, brown rice, and stir fry baguio beans + squash definitely made me full. Go ahead, judge how I ate a lot. Good eats. Haha.

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Being vegan in Vigan. Last meal at this wonderful city, munching on yummy Shiitake mushroom maki!

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Dish # 2 was this sizzling chopsuey dish. I loved how Cafe Leona emphasized vegan dishes with an asterisk. Yup, not vegetarian, but vegan!

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One of the best banana chips I’ve ever tasted. No kidding! Even my omnivore friends couldn’t agree more.

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Going back to the office from my trip only to discover that another officemate got me these yummy vegan treats. I’m so lucky!

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And what to give my officemates as pasalubong than Tinubong Kakanin a.k.a. Sundot Kulangot haha. Happens to be vegan, BT-dub!

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And of course coming home to dinner preps that ate Gai made: garlic kangkong! Yum.

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Taking this moment to thank everyone who has been supportive and considerate of my special needs, for respecting my motives behind this commitment, and for considering to share vegan meals with me from time to time.

It’s all about curbing negative impact, and freeing up more energy to amplify positive impact!

Namaste.

 

Namnam: A Filling Flip Flair

My first time to try out this resto, I’ve always been intrigued with its dainty interiors, reminiscent of Filipino modernism, everytime I pass by the Greenbelt strip, or walk my way up to Burger Bar. Finally, time to try Namnam out!

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My companions, Ate A and Kuya D:

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Our Namnamy food:

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Green mango, Pomelo, peanut, onion, herbs, and then some. Great way to whet the appetite.

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We had the Namnam Sisig for mains. Too fatty in my opinion, and could use a bit more crunch.

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The Bangus Belly overloaded with garlic proved to be a good offset to the gastronomic night. Full of flavor, yes.

Liking this place because of the standard sizing of plates: small for 1 person, medium for 3, large for 6.

Stuffy dinner affair. Excited to try out their other Filipino dishes on the next visit!

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A Digestive Challenge-y Weekend!

This weekend, I managed to stay away from Facebook, Twitter and other platforms that  resemble even the slightest bit of an SNS–  but not from food. I guess this is the trade-off? Psyche. I’m just making an excuse for all the indulgences I’ve allowed myself. My 2nd brother was around for the weekend (we’ll be sending him off to the airport in a few minutes to catch his flight back home) and so this was an opportune time to engage in a foodstuffing adventure!

We had Cocoa Rock Salt and Cheese for Saturday and Coffee Rock Salt and Cheese for Sunday from Happy Lemon. Mmmm.

As most of the people in the Metro already know, the contrasting layers that can be found in this drink make for a bombshell of an experience. You can even ask my 4-year old nephew. I’ve got documentation to back it up. No, wait. You can’t. His mouth is full!

For Saturday dinner, we got scrumptious burgers to go from Charlie’s in Pasig! For a joint with a plain look-and-feel, the price point is a bit on the steep side but it’ll definitely leave you with a fully occupied tummy. Their seemingly normal size left my big bear of a brother full to the brim!

Oh, and don’t forget to check your food to make sure everything’s in! I, for one, didn’t do this and ended up throwing tantrums at home upon the discovery that they’ve forgotten to throw in the Jalapeños I ordered. Suffice it to say that I am now at peace with that mishap. And did I mention the mounds of fries you can get here at just P30.00? Skin on, just the way I like it. Define sulit. See, I AM at peace with that mishap. Haha.

For Sunday lunch, we stayed home as my Ate prepped her Baked Salmon coupled with Blanched Kangkong that are to-die-for. She only whips this up when there are special guests at home so boohoo for us regulars.

I suggested for her to dab some cheese onto the Salmon next time to take a shot at replicating that well-known dish from Conti’s. Imma document how that goes soon.

Oh, and I just really wanted to insert this picture, non-food related this may be, to feature my camwhoring tales in Toy Kingdom:

Hee. The Hulk and I look so cute together. I don’t mind ending up with someone like this as long as he transforms back to Mark Ruffalo.

For dinner, we were supposed to explore more offbeat joints along the area but ended up with closed establishments here and there. However, for inherently food-oriented people with empty stomachs, it is only natural for us to end up clamoring for whatever nourishment that was in reach. Lo and behold, we ended up eating at Hap Chan in Makati.  I was sad to find out that they didn’t have duck (seriously, where have all the ducks gone?!). Good thing that ground pork thingy in lettuce I tried for the first time was the bomb. Potential tantrum averted.

And now I find myself here in front of the computer, blogging about the gastronomical weekend that was. Until the next one! Weeeee!

Kiss the Cook: a Food Review

Located along Maginhawa Street in UP Village, Quezon City, it invites passersby with its warm and home-like atmosphere, easily visible from people outside the restaurant, as it is encased in glass panels.

My college roommate and I were seated in a nice, cozy table along the corner. The upside of it was that it welcomed more privacy, perfect for some catching up over dinner. The downside? Well, the waiters couldn’t see us so we had to stand every time we ordered or followed up something.

For the appetizer, we had crab cakes. I ordered grilled afghan chicken for my entrée (I don’t know how to put in characters with accents, so apologies for the apparently wrong spelling – but wait, WordPress’s proofreader helped me solve this problem, so hoorah!), while my roommate ordered five-spice spareribs.

I was generally satisfied with my afghan chicken. Didn’t remind me of the horrors inflicted by Bin Laden on our society at all. They put in more chili on my side dish as I requested, which was a perfect match with the tender chicken and the smooth creamy corn thing where the chicken was resting. (Okay, so I don’t exactly remember what it was called). Thing is, I wish my visit started and ended with the chicken. The crab cakes, though aptly complemented by the tomato and mango salsa, were personally too salty on their own.

My roommate was utterly disappointed with her spareribs. She compared it to Chowking’s version, and thought the latter tasted better. No rebuttals here. I tasted it myself and couldn’t agree more. When we asked for our bill, we told one of the waiters about it – that the meat was hard and that it generally didn’t taste good. He simply said, “Ganun po ba?”.

In an effort to give the place  the benefit of the doubt and a chance to redeem itself (not to mention allow her still famished stomach to be filled), she ordered an iced latte and a belgian chocolate cake.

The drink was exactly what it was – iced latte. There was nothing particularly special about it. The belgian chocolate cake, however, was divine. It was worth it, I think.

Based on our experience, to say that Kiss the Cook serves gourmet food is overrated. Yes, perhaps we just ordered the wrong things, or came at the wrong time. For the money we spent, it was an overall buzzkill. Closing my eyes to relish the food and appreciate it’s “gourmet-ness” didn’t help.  The washroom, with the potential to be aesthetically pleasing, was simply a mess when I entered, so more demerits are in order. I’d probably come back there for the chicken and the cake though. 😀

RATING:

Food: 3

Ambience: 4

Cleanliness: 2

Service: 3

Overall Rating: 3