I know foodie friends in Singapore who has have been living there for years. So when I went there recently, they were just too happy to show me their favorite eating places. Say Singapore and you can expect chili crabs and prawns in the mix. We trooped to the back of esplanade and entered a restaurant facing the bay to discover that a really good restaurant really needs No Signboard for patrons to find their way in.
Call us very casual drinkers for we Happyfoodies really eat more than drink. However, an invitation to sample some of the best Australian wines one fine weekday came as a proposition too good to pass up. The wines we’re tasting are made by Hardys, the most popular brand from Down Under. With Oakwood Ortigas as host, we knew the pairings with Oakwood lunch fare would be worth the trip.
The occasion, a rather intimate small group lunch, introduces the Hardys’ new Heritage Reserve Bin – Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon — continuing the company’s tradition of blending grapes from different regions to come up with complex wines. Distinguishing itself from vintners that make wines from single plots or regions, Hardys has carved a name for taking grapes from different places and maturing them to come up with complex blends.
It’s hard not to love Haagen Dazs. The texture is always creamy, smooth and velvety. The flavors are real and faithful to the fruits that inspired them. And what they say is true – the ice cream’s consistency is dense and full-bodied, not full of air, even when melted. True, the price is very premium but the quality you get is incomparable. We got invited to another Haagen Dazs event (always a welcome thought for any foodie) and got to try more flavors.
Years ago, a popular donut brand advertised its croissants to the strains of French music to convey authenticity. In the same vein, a popular coffee brand showed a couple sipping their instant coffee in lieu of café au lait with Paris in the background. Then, there was also a time when two French-themed bakeries went head-to-head to stage their version of the French Revolution, armed with baguettes and French bread. You’d think by now a lot of Filipinos would be more familiar with French cuisine but ask the casual foodie what his/her favorite French food is and most likely you’d get a blank stare. Or pray you don’t get “French fries” for an answer.
Well, that must be because we don’t really have French influences in our culture, including our cuisine, much in the same way as our neighbors such as Vietnam and Cambodia have, being French territories in the past. Much of what the casual foodie knows about French food points to either the ‘Filipinized’ taste of French breads and pastries or the gastronomic treats that sound intimidating to the ear and even more so to the pocket. Which is why an invitation to sample French comfort food at Cuillere in Serendra at Bonifacio High Street, came as a refreshing and welcome experience, sans pretensions and intimidation.
Going back to the Manila Ocean Park last weekend became a trip not only for your happyfoodies to rediscover the oceanarium but to fish for something else – the food offerings at the Makansutra Asian Food Village located at the Ocean Park mall.
Makan means “eat/eating” in Bahasa while Sutra means thread or line holding things together (or metaphorically, a collection of such lines or things such as in the Hindu scriptures) in Sanskrit. This is especially meaningful as Makansutra is envisioned to be a place gathering together fare from all over Southeast Asia sold hawker-style. Granted that one may not always have the opportunity to travel but at Makansutra, one can let his/her taste buds do the traveling. Will K.F. Seetoh, the Singaporean foodie who inspired this enterprise, approve? Tag along with your happyfoodies and find out.