Hai Chinese Restaurant & Bar

On The Menu: Hai Chinese Restaurant & Bar

Hai Chinese Restaurant and Bar serves Chinese-inspired dishes and can be found at The Fort, SM Marikina, and SM Mall of Asia. From the veranda, you can watch the fireworks display at MOA while having dinner with family or friends. Here are a couple of photos to share:
Pomelo Vegetable Salad
Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry
Beef Wanton Noodle Soup
Siopao Asado
Pork Siomai
Food Stylist Delores Custer

Foodie: Food Stylist Delores Custer Visits Manila

International food stylist Delores Custer is coming to Manila for the launching of her book, Food Styling: The Art of Preparing Food for the Camerafood stylingfood styling.
This freelance food stylist and culinary educator have 30 years of experience doing what she love.  She has taught food styling and food-related courses in New York University, The Culinary Institute of America, The Institute of Culinary Education, and other prestigious culinary schools across the globe.
She has made tons of editorial work for leading magazines such as Time-Life Books, Cuisine, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Life, Chocolatier, Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Fine Cooking. She has also done food styling for print and television ads for big brands like Budweiser, Cuisinart, The Food Network, General Mills, Kraft  Pillsbury and Nestle.
Food Styling: The Art of Preparing Food for the Camera
Delores Custer will be giving some personal tips on food styling live on Sept. 18,2010 at Oceana Restaurant, San Miguel by the Bay, SM Mall of Asia Complex. Tickets are available at TicketWorld (891-9999) for P7,500 which includes free lunch, free snacks and a copy of the book, retailed at P4,055. Visit the National Book Store for more info.
Magpie Cake

Sweet & Lovely: Magpie’s Cake

Maggie LaBaugh is the chef and owner of Magpie’s Cake. She was a classical ballet dancer before she joined the French Pastry School and graduated with honors from the L’art de la Pâtisserie program. She draws inspiration from ballet which beautifully translates in each confection she makes. How sweet & lovely!



Craving For This: Sweet Lucie’s Ice Cream

How sweet is this vintage ice cream cart to cater for a wedding! Sweet Lucie makes ice creams and sorbets  only out of organic ingredients and uses only environmentally friendly cups and spoons (recyclable and compostable).
Mike & Geri are the proud parents of Lucie, thus, their shop name Sweet Lucie’s.  They have been featured in the 11th issue of Utterly Engaged online wedding magazine.

Beginning this month, their lovely 1950‘s truck will be delivering sweet treats on the streets:)

Do you live in California?  Have you spotted Sweet Lucie’svintage truck?  Have you tasted their ice cream?  If yes, please share with us how it is!  Happy weekend:)

2008 Great American Sea Food Cook Off People’s Choice Contest

Since I moved away from home, I discovered a new love for cooking. My mom is an excellent cook and I’d prefer homecooked meals than fastfood any time. What’s great about home cooked dishes is that you can be sure that the ingredients are fresh, healthy and clean.

I checked out and this year they’re once again holding a contest for the people’s choice, 2008 Great American Sea Food cook off. What does it take to be a winner? First they need to use either one of the 2 mystery ingredients – Southwest Airline Peanuts or select brews from Michelob Brewing Co. The dishes must also be healthy and easy to prepare.

This year, the final 5 participants are Colorado Striped Bass Panzanella, Pan Roasted Glazed Rockfish with Peas and Carrots, Mississippi Redfish Courtboullion with Seafood Dirty Rice, Texas Gulf Shrimp and Louisiana Shrimp and Andouille Cassoulet. These dishes are represented by Chef Paul Anders, Chef Tatari Campbell from Maryland, Chef John Currence, Chef Mark Holley and Chef Brian Landry.

Everyone who is legal resident of the US are invited to join and cast their votes for a chance to win a free trip to New Orleans. The deadline for casting the votes is until October 31,2008 and the grand winner would be announced on sometime mid November of this year.

Personally, I would vote for the Mississippi Redfish Courtboullion with Seafood Dirty Rice from Chef John Currence which also happens to be the judge’s winner of the contest.

As a Filipino foodie, I love rice dishes. This particular dish resembles a lot like traditional Filipino meals. It makes use of shrimp, redfish, crabmeat and vegetables, sauteed and simmered in tomato soup. I love shrimp, fish, crabmeat and okra!

Why dirty rice? Rice is sauteed in bacon, garlic, fish, shrimp, chicken liver and butter. Then simmered in fish stock and beer. I haven’t tried using beer in cooking. I’m also not a big fan of liver, so I think I’m gonna skip on that one. This dish really seems easy to cook and I wouldn’t mind trying it myself. Hmmm… maybe one of these days.

*Who would You Vote?


Most Expensive Chocolates in the World

Here are’s list of the most expensive chocolates in the world. I wonder how these chocolates taste differently from the “more affordable” ones.

Fritz Knipschildt founded his chocolate factory- the Knipschildt Chocolatier in 1999 at Norwalk, Connecticut. He is the genius behind Chocopologie, the world’s most expensive chocolate sold for $250 per truffle and $2,600 per pound. This extravagant chocolate is made by hand with 70% French Valrhona chocolate blended with fresh cream, vanilla pods, and pure Italian truffle oil.

Noka Vintages Collection chocolate is sold for $854 per pound and is made of 75% pure cacao from selected plantations in Venezuela, Cote d’Ivoire, Trinidad and Ecuador. No emulsifier is used in the production of this chocolate.

Want gold in your chocolates? The Delafee from Neuchatel, Switzerland is sprinkled with edible 24-karat gold dusts and is sold for $508 per pound.

Richart is from world-reknowned French chocolate maker Richard Donnelly and is sold for $120 per pound. It is made of 70% Criollo cocoa from Venezuela- where the best cocoa in the world are harvested.

The Godiva “G” Collection boasts 15 pieces of heart-shaped chocolates in different colors and flavors (Palet d’Or, Tasmanian Honey and Mexican Hot Chocolate.) It is said to have originated from a chocolatier in Belgium and is sold for $120 per pound.

These truffles by Pierre Marcolini are sold for $102.50 per pound. Each heart-shaped truffle in red is made from the finest cacao beans from Venezuela with varying flavors and ingredients.

Chocolates from Debauve & Gallais is priced at $94 per pound. Their chocolates are known for their high-quality ingredients (iedmont hazelnuts, Perigord nuts, Turkish raisins, Spanish almonds, Turin chestnuts and Antilles rum), the finest cocoa and low sugar content. No preservatives are added.

The Chuao Chocolatier can be found at Encinitas, California. It is named after the famous cacao plantation in Chuao,Venezuela. It is priced at $79 per pound.

Richard Donnelly started making chocolates in 1988 and is now the owner of Donnelly chocolates in Santa Cruz, California. Donnelly chocolates costs $75 per pound.

This luscious lavender heart-shaped Vosges Haut Chocolat box contains 16 pieces of chocolates, each with its signature flavor such as Black Pearl, Red Fire, Finnochio and Balsamico. The cost is $69 per pound.

La Maison du Chocolat
is sold at $65 per pound. It is made of Criollo cacao beans blended with fresh cocoa butter.

These luscious box of chocholate by Michel Cluizel is priced at $65 per pound. It uses only the finest cacao beans (with no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.) from Venezuela, Java, Ghana, Madagascar, and Ecuador. No emulsifiers are used in making these chocolates.

Chocolate by Jacques Torres is made only of the freshest ingredients and priced at $50 per pound. Torres is famous for his signature flavors such as Bandol Breeze and Wicked Fun.

* Which of these tempting chocolates have you tasted yet??? Are they worth the splurge???

How to Buy Fresh Fish

Do you know how to tell a fresh fish from a stale one? Here’s how:

Clear, sparkling eyes.Eyes should not be red, poked, sunken, nor dull.Flesh is intact and firm. Avoid fishes that appear to be bruised, mushy or yielding to pressure. Either the fish isn’t fresh or has been caught through dynamite-fishing.

Fresh, salty water smell. If the fish smells bad or exudes a foul odor, it’s obviously spoiled.

Bright scales and gills! The gills must have a bright color and the scales should be intact and plentiful.

More fresh fish tips:

Buy from your “suki”. When buying from the market, it’s best to buy your fish, meat and vegetables from a trusted vendor. If you’re buying from the supermarket, you’ll need to trust your own senses to know whether it’s really fresh or not.

After buying your fish, clean them up as soon as you get home. Slash the gut and take out the intestines, gills and its insides. Wash each fish gently and carefully. Next, place your fish in a resealable bag packed with ice before storing it in your freezer.

When stored correctly, fresh fish can last up to ten days. However, the best way to enjoy fresh fish is to eat them on the same day!