Posts Tagged ‘raquel bagnol food blogs’

Puto Maya and sikwate

  011 - Copy FOR six years, I’ve craved for puto maya and sikwate the way they cook and serve it at the public market in Bankerohan in Davao City, and the craving finally was satisfied one late night at the same place I used to have it before.*?

Puto Maya is one of the all-time Filipino favorite  delicacies made from malagkit or sweet, sticky rice soaked before being cooked with thick coconut milk and mashed roots of ginger. My favorite sidewalk restaurant used to serve it wrapped in banana leaves but banana leaves are becoming a precious commodity in the city and they now serve it on a small plate. I always dip each forkful in a bit of white sugar. Puto maya is something that you can’t have too much of, just a bit every now and then.

And who doesn’t know what sikwate or tsokolate is? It is that thick, rich hot beverage from tablea which comes out best boiled in a batirol, a cast metal shaped like an urn with a wooden stirring rod which you roll in your palms as the sikwate is boiling to get that rich consistency.

I always loved to watch the food server stirring the metal continuously with a wooden batirol, but this time, it was a teenager who served us and he did not stir the tablea the way it was supposed to be. There were no solid bits anyway and it was thick, and besides, I haven’t had a cup for over six years so I was not complainingDSC01721 - Copy.

You do not put too much sugar into the drink or you will lose the natural bitterness of the tablea.A bit of warning—if it is your first time to try tsokolate, be careful because the drink looks so cold in the cup but if you sip it, you might end up with a burned tongue. DSC01728 - Copy When I was a kid, there was this story of a man who sipped on a cup of tsokolate, not thinking that it was so hot. He tried to bear the scorching of his mouth bravely and when he saw that no one was looking, he spitted out the tsokolate right on a plant outside. The plant immediately withered and died right before his eyes.I believed that story as a kid but of course I learned later that was just to emphasize how deceivingly hot a cup of tsokolate is but I never learned that lesson. I still burned my tongue each time I drink tsokolate, and last week was no exemption.

A feast of grilled delights at Gekka Teppanyaki & Bar

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Chef Jay Adarve ‘plays with fire’ at the Gekka Teppanyaki

YOU can see the Gekka Teppanyaki Bar right across from the main restaurant near the poolside when you step into the lobby of the Mariana Resort & Spa in Marpi, its polished counter tops and comfortable chairs around the bar enticing one to come and explore the mouthwatering temptations in its menu. The Gekka Bar is dead in the daytime, but at 6 p.m. the lights go on and the bar springs to life. It was my first time to be at the Gekka on Saturday night, and my companion was convincing me to go for the BBQ Buffet.

Baked Prawns

I convinced him that we try the Gekka Teppanyaki & Bar when Marianas Resort & Spa when Executive Chef and 2013 Taste of the Marianas Chef’s Competition grand champion William C. Retardo stepped in with a brand new menu and it was not hard to give in.

On William’s recommendation, we started off with a hot appetizer—tofu steak mixed with mushroom and I got my fill taking photos and video clips as our appetizer was being prepared by Chef Jay Adarve.

Ceviche ala Mariana

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I am not a big fan of tofu or mushrooms but it tasted so good the plate was clean after a few minutes. Chef Jay next prepared fresh prawns called Kuruma Eb Ougon Yaki on the grill— three large prawns which he grilled and glazed until they turned golden orange, and served with vegetable salad and half a slice of lemon. My companion almost finished all the prawns, while I dug into the salad. It was our second dish and I was already getting full. The best was yet to come. Our Sirloin Steak salad medium rare was next and again gloried in watching how it was prepared before it was all ready to eat.

1- main photo Mariana Resort & Spa executive chef William Retardo is flanked by chefs Jay Adarve and Arnel Patio.

Halfway into our steak, our seafood feast on a plate was served. Sumptuously arranged on a white platter was a colorful mix of fish slices, octopus, shrimps, prawn, mussels, and scallop with tomatoes, mushrooms and greens. This, too, we cleared off in a short time.

Try the other items in the hot appetizer section like the mixed sausage Sauerkraut, grilled duck sushi roll, scallop with mixed mushroom, spicy garlic shrimp and chicken wings teriyaki from $10 to $14 per order.

The cold appetizers menu includes new style salmon sashimi, beef carpaccio, prosciutto with fruits from $15 to $18 bracket.

Noodles and rice are also available like Yaki Udon, eel fried rice, garlic rice and steamed rice. Certified Angus Beef sirloin steak and tenderloin steaks are available in different sizes.

The highlight of the Gekka Teppanyaki Bar are the items in the Gekka Special Combo menu which includes the Chicken Wings Teriyaki and Baked Shrimp Combo, Angus Beef Sirloin Steak and Baked Shrimp combo, Scallop and Angus Beef Tenderloin combo, and the lobster tail and Angus Beef Sirloin Combo, all served with pickled vegetable, soup and rice.

Complete your Teppanyaki experience with the salmon steak with shoyu butter sauce, mussels with shoyu butter sauce and garlic, lobster tail Shoyu butter sauce, and live lobsters Shoyu butter sauce.Live Lobster Shoyu Butter Sauce

The couple beside us ordered a live lobster and it was grilled fresh and live and served right out of the grill. It was stunning to watch chef Jay preparing eel fried rice like he was just playing, and before you know it, everything was ready and set.

Tofu Steak wit Mixed Mushroom

Dig into the delights of homemade cake, sherbet and ice cream for $4 and fried

ice cream for $9 for dessert at the Gekka Teppanyaki Bar.

Cap your dinner with beer, whisky, wines, cocktail, no alcohol cocktail and soft drinks and juices from the beverage menu. Watching the chefs at the Gekka Teppanyaki and Bar expertly flipping, juggling, tossing and slicing ingredients mid-air with samurai-style knives is a feast to the senses. You smell the heavenly aroma wafting from the griddle making you anticipate your meal all the more. Everything at the Teppanyaki happens so fast but the memory of the food and the taste will linger not only in your mouth but in your memory, teasing your salivary glands and make you come back for more.

You can have dinner at any of the tables around the Teppanyaki if you want but the thrill of watching everything is at the counter. You can also bring your drinks and have it leisurely at the pool side as you watch island dancers and fire dancers perform during the weekends.

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Gekka Teppanyaki Bar opens at 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. everyday. Credit cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations please call 322-0770 or visit http://www.marianaresort.com.

First published at the Marianas Variety

Boka Boka: A haven for desserts & authentic Chamorro cuisine

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Parrot fish eskabeche

THE newly opened Boka Boka, (or Eat Eat!) is the island’s newest destination when the craving for sumptuous local desserts and authentic Chamorro cuisine hits you.

My out-to-eat buddy and I skipped breakfast and lunch and it was already past 4 p.m. on Saturday when we headed to Boka Boka to see what everybody has been crazy about the past few days.

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katdun katni

Hunger helps you make fast decisions and I ordered the first two items that caught my attention from the rectangular one page menu that I grabbed from the counter—the katdun katni and eskabeche. I was expecting the katdun katni to a something like beef curry but I was wrong. It turned out to be hot beef soup with vegetable slices, and came with two scoops of steamed rice, a small dish of sliced cucumbers, finadene sauce and hot pepper dipping. Red rice was an option which I didn’t fancy.

We dug into our food without waiting for the eskabeche, which came when we were halfway through our late-breakfast/lunch/ early dinner. The eskabeche was a medium-sized parrot fish swimming in coconut milk and topped with vegetables. We made short work of it too in world record time.?????? `

We were almost finished when restaurant owner Marianne Conception’s niece served us two scoops of red rice that changed my total outlook of this traditional Chamorro food. I have never been overly enthusiastic about red rice but the Boka Boka has exactly what I wanted. It was not oily at all and there were no stuff mixed with it. I still managed to (almost) finish the red rice although I was stuffed.

Marianne served us a small sampler platter of chicken kelaguen which my companion finished very fast, and the most popular dessert Boka Boka has to offer—freshly baked cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. Our whole meal at $21.95 was a good bargain.?????? `

People who don’t have time to cook or just want to picnic out can avail of the Boka Boka BTG special where for $15, you get one whole Rottisserie chicken, rice enough for three to four people, and salad. Just call and you can pick it up, or if you prefer to eat it at the restaurant, just throw in an additional $5 for the BTG. A wide selection of breakfast bento or meal packs is also available early in the morning, as well as daily breakfast specials including Chamorro fried rice or toast, eggs, bacon and more with coffee or tea; waffles, grilled toast or mini-breakfasts.

Other must-try desserts which you can pick up anytime from their shelves for various occasions include their ‘Better than Sex’ cake or Fa’um cake, velvet cake, rum cake, angel cake, cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, cream puffs, Pavlova, parfaits, strawberry shortcake, Guyuria, Rosketti, Rosku, donuts, and more.

?????? `Marianne said Boka Boka is a family-run restaurant with her family members helping out in the kitchen and counter. Boka Boka is located at the Morgen Building in Oleai, formerly Mitsue’s Restaurant. ?????? `

They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Only cash is accepted for now. Also check out Marianne’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/marianne.teregeyo to get updates on the daily specials so you can just place your calls and pick the goodies up. For inquiries or reservations please call 235-BOKA (2652).

First published at the Marianas Variety’s Out to Eat section.

Saipan’s Volcano Bar rises

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fish fillet

FROM an abandoned structure sitting idle for some time rose the island’s homegrown volcano right in the Garapan, nestled between the DFS Galleria and I Love Saipan malls.

A buddy and I hurried to the Volcano Bar on Wednesday past 1 p.m. for a late lunch, hoping we could still catch up with the lunch hour. It was scorching hot outside but when you push open the heavy wooden door of Volcano Bar, you will be greeted with a relaxing coolness that makes you want to stay forever, or at least until it gets cooler outside.??

We headed to one of the bamboo sofa sets inside and browsed through the two laminated menus the food staffer handed us. There were no more diners as it was almost closing time but we were still accommodated.

From the Volcano Bar specials menu I decided to try the Volcano’s version of Fillet of Fish while my lunch buddy ordered the beef curry.??

Shortly after, the food staffer served a rectangular plateful of fresh green salad, followed by a bowl of mushroom soup topped with croutons. I pushed the salad to my lunch buddy and started on the soup, stopping when the bowl was half-empty. I had to wait for my fish fillet, or else I’d be too full.

The fish fillet—three flaky succulent slices of fish in classic crunchy coating it, was served on a bed of sautéed tomatoes and vegetables and sprinkled with chopped greens for added flavors. The sauce was a perfect dip for the fillet, and I found myself scraping my fish on the sides of the plate to get all the flavors. I ordered at serving of rice to go with my fish fillet. My order also came with a glass of iced tea, not bad for $9.

Served on a round platter, my buddy’s beef curry includes crispy beef cutlets on top of a serving of steamed rice and the curry filling up over a third of the plate. I am not much of a curry lover but I took a spoonful of it to taste, then another and another. It was good, without the usually strong flavors and aroma of curry that I always associate curry with.??

Other must-try dishes in the Specials menu are seafood fry, seafood curry, spinach-bacon carbonara, clam spaghetti with toast, pasta Mentaiko with salad, Caesar salad and chili mushroom spaghetti with toast, all from $8 to $12 per order.

Volcano Bar’s appetizers range from $6 to $9 including chicken wings, chili beef, potato wedge, tortilla chip, onion rings, squid rings, tuna poke, galic octopus and seared diced tuna with tomato.

One best feature when you dine and drink at the Volcano Bar is airy, comfortable ambiance it provides. You can sink in the deep cushions of the bamboo sofas and enjoy happy hours drinking. The Volcano Bar is like an indoor garden, with a mix of native decorations including bamboo seats and tables, thatched ceiling giving you the feel of being inside a native hut. The French windows give diners a view of what’s going on in the busy street outside.??

For those who just want to stop by for a quick coffee or a drink or two, the bar is the best place to hang out, or in one of the two tables shaped like beer barrels and stools near the door.

As an option, you can also occupy the tables outside the bar if you want to be in the open-air.?????? H

Volcano Bar serves lunch from Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and happy hours are from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. Cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations please contact familybldg@gmail.com or call K Family LLC at 989-6242.

First published at the Marianas Variety Out to Eat Section.

Salty’s Grill & Café: Your Chamorro cuisine dining destination

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  SALTY’S Grill & Café in Garapan is the only dining spot on island that has purely local cuisine on their menu.It’s also a spacious, open dining place with wooden floors and big plastic white tables and matching chairs.

A companion and I were there recently, and I decided to try a local appetizer I was familiar with — beef kelaguen — while my companion ordered the poki bowl. My kelaguen was served after a few minutes —?? beef strips with pickles and bits of sliced onions served on a round plate lined with banana leaf and adorned with a white plumeria and half a slice of lemon.

The beef kelaguen was good, the beef strips tender and well-marinated. It was kind of spicy but not too much.

My compan??ion’s poki bowl came next — fresh tuna sashimi slices sprinkled with bits of onion and served on a bed of lettuce on top of a serving of steamed rice. It was a full dinner by itself.

Salty’s Grill & Café is a Japanese-owned restaurant with an extensive Chamorro menu that includes shrimp kelaguen, red rice, Spam kelaguen with titiyas (flatbread), sardine kelaguen with titiyas, tamales gisu and Spam onigiri.

You can order shrimp with taro leaf or garlic butter, fish with taro leaf, fresh tuna poki or sashimi, clam with garlic butter, Lau Lau, kadun pika, seafood soup, sweet potato croquettes, Spam fry, or cold tofu with finadene sauce.

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Four dishes from the menu are dinner for $8: Chamorro bowl, Spam bowl, poki bowl and locomoco bowl.

You can grill your food at the table when you order the seafood BBQ set. You can also get raw beef fingers, short rib or ribs eye and have the freedom to grill them to your preference.??

Salty’s Grill & Café’s seafood selections also include lobster, salmon, scallops, squid and mussels from $8 to $25.

For dessert, try the banana lumpia (roll) with coconut milk, apigigi or tapioca with coconut and ube (purple yam) ice cream?

Salty’s Grill & Café is an ideal place to hang out for a drink if you want fresh, open spaces without the humming of air-conditioning units and confining walls.

The bar is open from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and has a wide selection of wines, cocktails, beer and other beverages. Chasers include fried chicken, French fries, endamame, Chamorro sausage, raisin, peanuts and potato chips.

Salty’s Grill & Café is located in Garapan beside Panda Store (formerly Chicago) and is open every day from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Credit cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations call 888-9451, email office@saltys670.com or visit http://www.saltys670.com.

First published at the Marianas Variety here

Refreshing Island Shave Ice

IMG_1278  HERE’S a new and refreshing way to beat the heat — a cool cup of island shave ice at the newly opened Island Shave Ice in Garapan.

Stop by the place just beside ABC Store across from DFS Galleria and you will find a former police outpost converted into a stall providing refreshments at very affordable prices.

I ordered SignaIMG_1288ture Shave Ice — a heavenly concoction of specialty flavors including ice cream, fresh sweet cream topped with white mini-tapioca pearls served in a conical plastic cup. It comes with a small plastic spoon and a straw. Signature Shave Ice is a must-try — the deeper you dig with your spoon, the better the flavors get.

For its initial offering, Island Shave Ice has 14 flavors which include Island Wave, a blend of pineapple, vanilla and passion fruit; Isa Flow — mango, raspberry and vanilla; Tropical Sunset — guava, banana and strawberry; Marianas Trench — banana, orange and watermelon; and Chamorro Coconut — coconut, piña colada and coconut bites. All for $4.50 each.

IMG_1297Also available: banana, coconut, bubblegum, guava, cotton candy, mango, orange, pineapple, passion fruit, piña colada, raspberry, strawberry, vanilla and watermelon. All for $4. Add 75 cents for each add-on for more flavors such as azuki red beans, coconut bites and flakes, Oreo crumbs, gummy straws, mini-tapioca pearls and vanilla ice cream.IMG_1295

Island Shave Ice is owned by Patty Mendiola and Andrew Ellinson. Patty’s sister Celeste Mendiola, a pastry chef at Oahu Country Club in Honolulu, flew in from Hawaii to help with the preparation of the menu and flavors.

Patty Mendiola said most of their ingredients are from Hawaii.

Soon, she said, Island Shave Ice will also have ice pops with a variety of flavors for the health-conscious.

For inquiries or reservations, email islandshaveice670@gmail.com.

First published at the Marianas Variety here

Amigo’s: Your pizza and BBQ stop on Saipan

*?A SUDDEN craving for pizza led me and a companion to Amigo’s Pizza and BBQ in Garapan on Saturday night. It was past 8 p.m. and I was heading to the Las Vegas Night at Fiesta Resort but decided to have a quick meal.
Amigo’s used to be a purely pizza parlor located on Beach Road but it relocated to its current location last year and expanded its menu which now includes BBQ and pasta.Only one table was occupied by a couple when we came in, and we learned that the place would close at 9 p.m.We sat at the one of the three tables on the mezzanine where we got the full blast of cold air from the A/C unit.?? HA cheerful food staffer brought us menus and I immediately ordered a regular Hawaiian pizza. My companion was hungry and went for the BBQ set meal.

Soon, my pizza arrived. It was a crispy thin crust coated with cheese and bits of bacon and pineapple slices. I dug into it and vowed to finish at least half of the eight slices of pizza but stopped at two and a half. I was full already.?? H

Meanwhile, the BBQ set was brought to our table on a wide tray. It consisted of a small plate of green salad, a dish of pickled papaya, soup, a serving of rice, and the BBQ on a sizzling plate — grilled pork, chicken, beef slices and hotdogs.

I took a bite off one end of the chicken barbeque and pushed it aside. If you love garlic, then go for it. The flavor of the rich marinade permeated into the very core of the meat. I am not fond of garlic.*?

We only finished half of our orders and had to take the rest home.

Amigo’s pizza choices include regular or large ranch pepperoni pizza, chicken Alfredo, seafood, meat lover’s pizza, double cheese, bacon and ham, Italian sausage, combination pizza (beef, ham, pepperoni, red and green bell peppers, mushroom, olive and onions), salad pizza, spicy shrimp, bulgogi and BBQ pizza. If you want to add more toppings, just pay an additional $2 per topping.

Check out Amigo’s assorted BBQ sets: lobster, crabs, mussel, shrimp, salmon with lemon butter, chicken, pork belly, or go for the meat and seafood combo. Amigo’s also serves hamburger, sirloin, rib-eye and tenderloin steak

A selection of salads and appetizers is also available: potato or tossed salad, seafood or grilled chicken salad.

Lunch specials include hamburger steak, carbonara seafood or meat sauce spaghetti, and assorted BBQ sets from $7.50 to $12.99 price.*?

Amigo’s Pizza & BBQ is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner every day. For orders or inquiries, drop by Amigo’s Pizza & BBQ next to the Wax Museum near Winchell’s on Orchid Street in Garapan or call 233-PIZA (7412) or 989-3694.

First published at the Marianas Variety here

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