The homemade food I’ve been tasting lately has improved so much since mid-March, many of those cooks I’ve posted are good enough to put up their own restaurants.
Many restaurants have slowly opened, which is welcome news, as many people miss sitting down and being served. Wooden Spoon in Rockwell, though running on less capacity, has had many of our loyal customers leaving with a smile. The mall still needs a boost so that more people can be confident in going out and feeling safe. Until that happens, many will be turning to home-cooked food. Here’s what I experienced recently.
I was once asked, “What is your most favorite food in the world?” Foie gras. As a student in Paris, I would fly back to Manila with cans of foie gras. I would buy these cans from a food place at the back of Bazaar Hotel De Ville called Petit Quenault.
Those cans were delivered to our restaurant Au Bon Vivant and offered to our customers. Once in a while, I would order it. It was almost round in shape, with a black truffle in the middle. I had no idea what it was, but just remembered it was so so good. Smooth, creamy and tasty, it was perfect with melba toast. Later I found out it was pâté foie gras, made either from goose or duck liver.
One of the dishes I tried which floored me was one made by pastry chef Sunshine Puey. She made a Torchon De Foie Gras (tel. 0917-8832432). Wrapped in cloth, it is similar to its paté cousin, but this was served with melba toast and fig marmalade. OMG! That’s all I can say. It just affirmed that it is still my most favorite food in the world.
More homemade dishes
Then there was a whole meal of Vietnamese noodle salad (Tel. 0956-5187903). This package came with thin rice noodles, pickled veggies in carrot and daikon strips, dried crispy shallots, scallion oil, grilled lemongrass pork and chicken, crispy lumpia, chopped peanuts, sliced lettuce leaves, fresh basil leaves, finger sili and a lightly sweet and salty patis sauce. Put all the toppings over the noodles, pour the fish sauce over, mix and experience authentic Vietnamese Bun Thit Nurong Gio or vermicelli bowl! One serving is good for four to six people. My kids and I loved it!
For Thanksgiving, don’t forget the roast turkey (Bob and Ninay, tel. 0918-9098850, 8984-0065).
I have a go-to place for this with all the fixins. It’s oven-roasted turkey with stuffing, with cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes on the side. To bind all these together, pour gravy over the sliced turkey and mashed potatoes.
I had a Thai Mango sticky rice (Rose Mango, tel. no. 0917-6270946). I always thought this dessert to be better if they used our Philippine mangoes. Am I biased? Of course! The sticky rice was a bit al dente, the way it should be. The thick creamy coconut milk was sweet, a bit salty, and combining it with the sweet succulent mango like a concert conductor, brought all the flavors together to produce an outstanding Asian dessert! Yummy! At the home of my friend Lalaine, her Italian culinary-trained son Luigi cooked an authentic pasta carbonara and a simple bistecca Fiorentina. Outstanding meal. Chef Luigi will eventually offer private dining in your homes. You have to experience authentic cooked Italian meals. In the meantime, you just have to listen to my stories about his cooking. One lunch brought me to a place called Feta Turkish restaurant on Annapolis in Greenhills. OMG! Delicious authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. I have to go back to try the other dishes.