And he threw the knives and utensils into the air, juggling and tapping the pointy steels in a rhythmic pattern on the iron grill. I watch, cringing and hoping he won’t make a mistake. It lasted only for a few seconds but it was enough to capture our attention and awe. It’s the chef’s way of saying, the show is about to start at Akira: The Art of Teppanyaki and Sushi restaurant. We’re on the front seat, or rather, by the side table fronting the grill in anticipation of the art of teppanyaki in the making.
It’s way off the main road and open only for lunch and dinner three days of the week. But the gathering buzz on Bawai’s is proof that good news do travel fast. To paraphrase Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams”, if you cook good food, they will come. And visitors do hie off all the way here to dine. We visited one hot Sunday afternoon as part of a small contingent of Summit Ridge’s Tagaytay weekend getaway.
The location is actually in Silang, Cavite. To get there from the ridge, we head back to the rotonda and make a turn near the Aguinaldo highway and head through a smaller road, passing through hilly terrain planted to pineapple. We take another turn on a smaller road and stopped at a non-descript, two-storey house that looked nothing like a restaurant.
Coming in, we espy a garden at the back where an alfresco dining area beckoned under the shade of trees and a profusion of plants. We were ushered to the upstairs dining area instead, greeted by the pleasant aroma of something delicious simmering. The place feels more like a home than a restaurant, The dining area isn’t much bigger than those found in other ancestral houses, with several tables that can accommodate no more than a dozen diners at any one time. Well, the diners ahead of us seemed to be in a jovial mood — always a good omen in any eating place.
Ahhh, those Malaysia, truly Asia commercials running endlessly on the cable channels. Catching them every so often, you can’t help but wonder about the sightseeing, shopping and of course, the eating over there. By a stroke of luck, Happyfoodies got an invite from AirAsia Philippines and Tourism Malaysia for a look-see, look-buy and look-taste in Kuala Lumpur. One of our memorable food stops was Madam Kwan’s at the upscale Pavillion Mall which is a good opportunity to see why the place is popular.
There are Portuguese Restaurants, and there are Portuguese Restaurants with style. And the latter is where I would put this small homey restaurant called Antonio Restaurante at Taipa Island’s Old Quarters, owned by Macau celebrity chef, Antonio Coelho. We tagged along with him that morning while he bought the ingredients he will use for the dishes he will serve that evening.
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.
Malaysian food is as rich as its history. In between our exploration of the heritage sites in Malacca, we got a chance to experience Peranakan Cuisine where it originated — Malacca. Recipes dating as far back as the 15th century still exist, evolving to what is now known as Nyonya Cuisine. In a restaurant tucked beside the hidden side street of Taman Melaka Raya, we found Seroni Nyonya Cuisine Restaurant. The establishment is owned by one of the last descendants of the Baba-Nyonya family, so we’re expecting to taste authentic Nyonya Cuisine.
Our flight schedule to Zamboanga City fell on Christmas day so it was imperative that happyfoodies should have a good Christmas dinner away from our respective homes.
But we want something else other than the usual hamon and other holiday foods so at the suggestion of our tricycle driver, we ended up in Hai San Seafood Market and Restaurant. Was the meal worthy of a holiday dinner? Was the food delicious as it was filling? Happyfoodies would soon find out.