Saturday, April 20, 2019

First Time in New Zealand

When I was in New Zealand for a week, I made sure that I experience the Kiwi way. Aside from being welcomed with haka for the very first time, I am grateful for the friends we have in Auckland and for the hospitality of the government, accorded to us. For dining, here are some of the things I did and can also be tried by newcomers to New Zealand.

1. FRESH MILK and other milk products

Food in New Zealand is abundant as its natural resources. Foods are fresh; and there are more sheep and cows than human beings. Expect fresh milk everyday and it is freely provided in workplaces. So when in New Zealand, it is worth trying their fresh milk. Milk in New Zealand comes in gallons and there are no small quantities. New Zealand exports fresh milk and other milk products to the Philippines. Other dairy products can also be tried as their cheese.



In Hobbiton, the place where the Hobbit movies were filmed, there are more sheep than human beings. So when in New Zealand, one can try their lamb in its finest restaurants. Servings are huge and veggies always come in sides. By the way, climate is good for growing vegetables like that in Auckland.

3. CRAB SHACK and seafood in Auckland

When in Auckland and looking for king crab, one can go to Crab Shack. A group can feast on king crab legs, seafood marinara, among others. The location is nice because it is in the wharf so there is a view of the sea, the ferries and towers at the back. My experience there, unforgettable! 

4. APPLES and other fresh fruits 

When in New Zealand, do not miss to try their sweet apple. Crunchy, it is fresh and no preservatives. They grow their own apples and these apples can be seen in just the yard of one's house. Also, oranges, can be grown, so one can also try the oranges and other endemic fruits that they have.

5. WINE and BEER

New Zealand produces wine and beer. There are vineyards in nearby Auckland and other parts of the country. While we boast our famous San Miguel beer in the Philippines, it is also worth to try New Zealand beer - Steinlager. In Sky Tower, the Sky Cafe serves wine. While watching those doing the bungee jumping from the tower, one can try local New Zealand wine like Babich.

Ooops! Never forget pasalubong. Pasalubong is a present for family and friends, a Filipino trait that whenever one is on travel, he/she has to bring a present from his travel for his/her close friends and family and co-workers. 

6. WHITTAKER'S and New Zealand chocolates

Bring home New Zealand chocolates. The famous Whitakers chocolates comes in an honest packaging that speaks of the percentage of cocoa in it. Very much reflects of a Kiwi trait of honesty. It comes in some sizes but the bigger one is 250 grams. There is also a pack of bits - all of these come in various flavors. 

Thanks to the hospitality of Filipinos (special mention to former office mates, Ellen and Ferdi) and Kiwis in New Zealand while I was there. They made me experience what New Zealand is. They made my stomach so full and enriched my understanding of their respect for culture. No wonder, New Zealand is a place to raise a family. It is also a place where I have learned the absence of mandatory retirement age for uniformed personnel - because there is no discrimination as to age.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Moroccan Cuisine for a Filipino

Never been to Morocco? Why not include it in your bucket list? After all, it requires no visa for Filipinos. Just bring your passport with you, buy a ticket with connecting flight to Morocco, there you go. Ask me, I have been there recently.

Red carpet dinner at Chez Ali
As to food, lamb is part of the Moroccan tradition. So, for me who is used to lechon (roasted pig), roasted lamb is a different take. Thanks to the hospitality of the Moroccan people who treated us to Chez Ali with sumptuous Moroccan meal and wonderful show amid freezing evening. 

At the beginning of the meal we were treated with Moroccan harira, a classic Moroccan soup with strong flavor of turmeric, cinnamon and cumin. It comes with some sort of pastries. Next is the Moroccan lamb. To me, you have not yet been to Morocco (and Moroccan cuisine) without trying their lamb. 
Couscous aux sept l├ęgumes
I like the couscous with seven vegetables. To me, it is their version of chopsuey cooked in a different way but with fine rice. If one is not used to eating lamb or the harira soup, one can take the secondary dish. I was so full already after over a bowlful of soup and then some sort of panic eating with lamb. I did not expect there will be more to come. I thought I can eat more veggies at home and not often eat that pretty expensive lamb.
Jawhara, a dessert topped with nuts, that comes in a huge serving plate for us to share in a round table. I thought of "oh, thank you, but I am so full" but the rest among our group in one table had to encourage one another to eat more and try it as it tastes really good. Indeed!

Seasonal fruits served at Chez Ali
You might think that the dinner ends with jawhara but it did not. Another big and whole servings of fresh fruits come to us. In the Philippines, I can be contented with one banana but for the Moroccan way, it is a plate full of whole fruits including the stalk of the orange, an indication that it is fresh. Lastly, a Moroccan meal will not be complete without the Moroccan mint flavored tea served from a silver ware with a pointed tip to make pouring more exciting. 

I have been to Morocco for a very short period of time of three days. I am sure I have not yet tried all of Moroccan cuisine that I have to explore. Aside from Chez Ali where I have been, the food that the restaurant at the hotel where I stayed is indeed great. I ate a lot every morning thinking that I will save for my next meal. I still eat a lot in noon time just to double sure that I will save my dinner. It worked and I do not even have an idea if I will ever be back to the beautiful country of Morocco, once more in my lifetime. Thank you, Morocco. Thank you, Africa.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Food Finds at Pinto Art Musem

I am showing two of my food finds at Pinto Art Museum. If one has been there, there is an in-house restaurant that serves amazing food, Pinto Art Cafe by Peppermill. 

1. Rizal Adobo. Served at Cafe Rizal, this adobo is so soft and is not cut into small pieces. We have to bring the left over as the serving is too big for one to two persons.

2. Tamarind Shake. I have not yet heard of a shake or smoothie made from real tamarind; I only found it here. This is a must try.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

PAL treats local

Guyabano drink by NutriAsia is sourced from local produce in the Philippines.
Choose your flavor.

I was delighted to see at the airport that Philippine Airlines is treating its passengers with Filipino blend. PAL is giving complimentary drink to passengers during holiday season, particularly this Holy Week. The five flavors to choose from include dalandan, guyabano, tamarind, calamansi and pomelo drinks in can by NutriAsia.

Dubbed as sipsip and away, a passenger has to show his boarding pass to get the free drink or simply they'll just approach you to give you a drink of your choice. The hashtags #travelwithlocally and #locallyph are used to promote the products. By this means, like that introducing the pili lipstick in the boutique, local products are showcased and local produce in a new form creates a new market. In the end, this also helps the local agriculture and promotes local brand. 

Meanwhile, while talking with the persons in the booth, a Japanese approached to say the juice drink is quite sweet, which I did agree. I tried guyabano and it's a bit sweeter than I expected. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

DELIMONDO Restaurant: Home of the Best Corned Beef in the World

Facade of Delimondo restaurant and shop in Makati City.
Not known maybe to many Filipinos, the world's best corned beef in the world comes from the Philippines. Perhaps because of its price that is a bit higher than other advertised brands; I have never seen a Delimondo advertisement in television; for the print ads, that I do not know. 

Delimondo brand is simple without any colorful packaging.
After bringing to the office a Delimondo corned beef, an office mate kept on asking me where to buy one. I searched the net and learned that my favorite brand of corned beef, Delimondo, has a restaurant of its own and serves everything of DELIMONDO.

Spicy luncheon meat kimchi fried rice
I went to the restaurant, ordered my Delimondo meal and bought some to take home. The restaurant is located in Makati City. I am a frequent passerby in the area but I never noticed that. I have been to a basement restaurant opposite Delimondo but I did not notice the latter. It is because the tent in a restaurant next door covers the sign. Had it not for the next big sign in the parking and a where-to question to the security guard, I will not be able to pinpoint immediately the restaurant.

The restaurant serves rice meals, pasta - everything Delimondo and also pastry and coffee. For my lunch, I ordered spicy luncheon meat in kimchi fried rice. The fried rice is topped with kimchi, Delimondo luncheon meat and sunny side up egg. For other menu, the restaurant serves chorizo carbonara, croque madame, spicy tinapa fried rice, sausage ragu pasta and corned beef cardereta lasagna. 

For the pastry, it serves barako cheesecake, San Marco, NY cheesecake, leche flan pudding cake, sticky date pudding, Kristen's gluten-free banana bread, carrot cake, ube cheesecake, Petra's chocolate cake, mini cheesecakes, brownies and blondies bars and croissant pudding. Brewed coffee and cappuccino are also available.

The restaurant is mainly a shop for all Delimondo products. So, for one coming from Quezon City, taking home Delimondo products is a must to me. Known for the best corned beef, Delimondo brand also offers a wide-range of its deli line aside from corned beef. Those products, sold at a discounted price in Delimondo restaurant and shop, are the Delimondo sausages, pasta sauces, deli meats, drizzling oils and dressings, dips and spreads, marinades, canned meat and prepared food.

Delimondo product line at its shop in Makati City.
Below is the list of Delimondo products available at the Delimondo restaurant and shop:

Canned Meat
Luncheon meat
Spicy luncheon meat
Ranch style corned beef
Garlic and chili corned beef

Prepared Food
Spicy tinapa in tomato sauce
Callos ala Morado
Bacalao ala Mestiza
Dulong in olive oil
Bacalao ala Vizcaina

Guava jelly and coffee
Universal sauce
Iberian chicken

Dips and Spreads
Chicken liver pate
Batido de sardinas
Tomato eggplant pate

Pasta Sauces

Drizzling Oils and Dressings
Chilli and garlic oil
Sundried tomatos and pepperoncino
Anchovies, garlic and cream

Breakfast sausage with maple syrup
Chili and garlic
Hot Italian
Schublig and cheese
Smoked Kielbasa
Spanish longanisa
Chorizo bilbao
Hungarian and cheeze
Salciccia di Roma
Chicken curry
Chicken, garlic and cheeze
Chicken and pili pesto
Mediterranean chicken

Deli Meats
Thick sliced honey-cured bacon
Country style smokehouse bacon

Delimondo restaurant and shop is located at JAKA Center, Urban Ave. cor. Chino Roces, Makati City. Another shop of Delimondo products is located at JFPC Food Outlet, Phividec Industrial Complex, Veterans Center, Taguig City. For online orders: