Saturday, June 14, 2008

Have you eaten Filipino Food before?

Whats eating Filipino food without rice? Nothing. You HAVE to have rice to get the whole experience. Its such a staple from being a country that actually has rice paddy fields and produces rice to locals who eat MAINLY rice and very little side dishes. You can literally eat a mountain of rice in just one meal with just ONE meat/vegetable dish shared amongst many. -.-''

In my younger days, our meals were completely carb filled. Rice, Rice, ALOT of Rice and maybe.. the occasional.. pasta... so when I brought the lao gong one afternoon down to Lucky Plaza.. we headed to one of the Filipino restaurants there for a little ambience *it really feel like we're in the Philippines in there* and ordered lunch.

I know there are some of you who I know have no idea what Filipino food is all about or have never even tried. Must try lah!! Come come.. I bring u hahhaa but it would be YOUR TREAT... bwuwhahahah... I order, you pay, we eat. Hur hur hur... But I can safely say that you should be expecting very strong tastes of sourness from alot of dishes having vinegar. Salty bc some dishes really can be salty. Quite alot of beans, ie long beans, peas, tomatoes and ALOT of meat. And the desserts can literally make u a diabetic. Its THAT sweet and sinful.

I was so excited to stuff my face that I nearly forgot to take photos of our lunch... *you see what a blog does to u! You take photos of almost EVERY MEAL LAH!!* And CJ was the one who actually reminded me.. "EH, u dun want to take photos meeeehhh...".

*smacks own head* Oh yah!! rummage through my handbag and viola!! Pictures before the destruction.. heh heh... ok ok.. snap snap snap... ok done.. EAT LIAO!!! *stuff stuff stuff my face*

So rice it was... I couldn't bring myself to eat the whole plate so after shoving the grains left and right, CJ stared at me and went "AAARRRGHHH!! Give me ur plate lah!!!" and I gleefully exchanged styrofoam platters for an empty one.. heh heh... Okay, I know some of you will be saying.. "Show me a picture of rice for what! I know how rice looks like".. but hey... relax lah ok?.. just read on....and I like staring at rice can? Better to stare at a pic than eat it hahaha... After all. Rice is damn blardy expensive now.. so, would that give anyone a good reason now to go carb free? Hhahahaha...

Filipino food here in Singapore if you order by the dishes can really be quite expensive.. by my standards at least. Anything that costs $40 for 2 people makes my heart bleed.. hahahha... and this whole meal left us with $42 less in my wallet for not alot of dishes. BUT I nearly wanted to give birth when we were done. We were SO DAMN FULL!! I rolled out of the place very satisfied and looking 5 months pregnant.

So this is what you'd call CRISPY PATA. Which is the Filipino version of our roast pork pig trotter. Soft flavourful pork flesh and Crispy crispy outsides with crispy skin and puffy deep fried fat. Its SOOOOO sinful but SOOOOOOO good. How this is made can be found HERE.

I knew I was going to order this for CJ and was dead set against getting it in my mind before I stepped into the restaurant until I saw the price and I wavered for a while. $20 for a Crispy Pata platter... err... errr *ponder ponder contemplate.. scratch head... peek into wallet...* OK LAH! What the heck! ... "Eh! Uncle! ONE CRISPY PATAAA!!!" heh heh heh.. ((snigger)) and feeling smug.

SO GOOD LAH!! Must go back for more...

And All Purpose Sauce is really for all purposes lor! Its brown sauce, I suppose with a chicken stock base that is used as dipping sauce for really.. anything lah!

Deep Fried Milk Fish, aka Bangus. Pronounced as "Bahng-oos". How to make it can be found HERE. Because they used vinegar to marinate this fish, it was a little soury.. but bc it was crispy too.. I liked it alot.. reminded me so much of back when my mom and my grandmother aka Lola cooked our meals... it was highly comforting...

The skin was really thick and tough though but CJ had a ball of a time working his jaws into chewing them soft enough so he could swallow them. I know I can alway count in him not to waste food.

And this is Pork Afritada. Pronounced as "Afreee-tah-dah". Recipe for this can be found HERE. Pork dish which we used the oily sauce to drizzle over rice.. quite alright.

And another classic comfort food. Deep Fried Eggplant with Egg aka Tortang Talong. Pronounced as "Tor-tang Tah-long". Recipe for this can be found HERE. I LOOOVE deep fried eggplant like this... My grandmother aka LOLA *maternal side* used to make this all the time and it was hot, greasy, extremely tasty and just ohhh soo goood. She used to put minced meat on it too! So good!!! This was certainly not the best one in lucky plaza bc it was a little dry..

I remarked as I stuffed my face with it nonetheless.. "next time we get the one downstairs at the cafe". Now that one is GOOD! Highly oily.. and has very soft and tasty eggplant... hhhmmmm..

So a meal had to come with drinks and what more than typical mealtime drinks that all Filipinos love! Pineapple and Mango juice!! Fwooahhh lao... I love these two... *happily slurping away*

And whats that red bottle of sauce? Its Ketchup... Banana Ketchup! Who says Ketchup must be from tomatoes? This one is from Bananas! And no, it doesn't taste LIKE A BANANA.. but it does have a sweetness and a different smell from your usual tomato ketchup.. not bad as a different dipping sauce. Interesting right?

I brought the bottle to the table and CJ burst out in a grin and went "uh oh.. Banana Ketchup again... remember that time?" and I burst out laughing.. What he referred to THAT TIME was that we flew to the Philippines for a 2 week holiday some years back.

We were so amused by the banana ketchup thing that we brought home a 5 litre. YES, you read it right, 5 litre! Industrial case of banana ketchup. Literally lugged the damn thing past customs and happily plonked it on our kitchen shelf.

It stood there by its lonesome self till some many months later when we were moving house that we realised we haven't even touched it and... it had already expired hahahahaha... wah lau!!! *bish*

And so we ended the meal with Halo Halo.. pronounced as "Hah-lo hah-lo" not "Haylo haylo".

Translated as "mix mix" which is the Filipino version of our Ice Kachang BUT MUCH BETTER!!

I leaned over and nudged CJ and asked "ice kachang or halo halo nicer?" and I was met with a very enthusiastic mouth full of ice/preserved banana mumbling, head nodding and frantic pointing to his cup answer... so.. this too is a must try.

Halo Halo is a popular Filipino dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice and milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and fruits, and served cold in a tall glass or bowl. It doesn't have those rainbow syrup like our iced desserts but the contents make up for all the over sweetness of the ingredients this dessert has.

Whats on top are slivers of cream caramel pudding, aka leche flan aka creme brulee. SO GOOD!! **sooo fattening...but... hahah who cares!! mental note to RUN RUN RUN!!! counting how many Zumba classes it would take to burn off this sinful cup---- not enough!!!**

There is no specific recipe for this dessert, and a wide variety of ingredients are used. The order in which the ingredients are added varies widely. Primary ingredients generally include boiled red beans, kidney beans, sugared palm fruit aka attap chee, preserved sweet coconut slices, sugared jackfruit, tapioca, sweet potato, sago, purple yam, nata de coco, cream corn, agar agar, sugared bananas and some mixed fruit cocktail. Some preparations also include ice cream on top of the halo-halo.

Generally, condensed milk or evaporated milk is used instead of fresh milk, due to the tropical climate of the Philippines.

So with all that, I rolled out with a little bit of a stomach cramp from eating so much and happily purchased the various tidbits that can only be found in Lucky Plaza and made mental notes of where we'd try next. These are only a few dishes and there are so many more that we have yet to cover and we will.. food like.. sinigang, pork barbeque kebabs, longanisa, adobo, pancit luglog - recipe here and picture here and so many more... time to go back soon.. so who wants to join us?

And to leave off this post since we're in this Filipino mood.. I return to one of my older posts with the Knorr's Filipino advertisement that has such a catchy tune that my girls love.. feel free to sing along hahahah even if you have no idea what they're saying... Enjoy. :) Check that out HERE.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi guys,

Check out this place called 'Bonifacio'. It's at Kreta Ayer. The food is great especially the cripsy pata!!!