Category: Food

Dalgona Coffee, with a Twist…?

You’ve probably heard of or seen the famous drink that’s been taking over the internet, especially now that people are confined into their houses, missing the sweet taste of milk teas, frappes and other refreshing beverages. As I have read from some articles, this trending drink debuted on TikTok, with I don’t really know how because I don’t have a TikTok account. 😀

Dalgona or commonly known as ppopgi in Korea, is a famous traditional candy made from the mixture of melted sugar and baking soda. They come in adorable designs and shapes, but what’s more amazing is to watch how they are being made, or cooked, I should say. 😊

I once came across a variety show, EXO Showtime, where the Korean members toured the Chinese members around the traditional villages of Korea. The attention of the members was caught by the hal-abeoji (grandfather in Korean) who was making dalgonas in the street. Wondering how the delightful treat was made, they carefully watched how the candies were cooked from being a mild thick mixture into becoming the yummy candy on stick.

You literally have to keep mixing the sugar and baking soda in the small container over the heat to get the right texture before finally transferring it on a flat surface for decoration and wrapping.

Photo Not Mine CTTO
Photo Not Mine CTTO

After giving you an idea of what the actual dalgona is… Dalgona Coffee, anyone? 😊

Honestly speaking, I have no idea why they called this drink Dalgona Coffee, maybe because the primary medium is sugar? 😀

But people seemed to miss the taste of sweet beverages and came upon this easy recipe online. This is how a Dalgona Coffee should look like, with the so-called dalgona mixture floating on top of the milk.

Photo By Erika Dizon, originally from Spot.ph

I’m not a coffee person, with even a little dosage of coffee making me palpitate, although I love its aroma. So, I thought of trying to make Dalgona Coffee, I mean, the Dalgona beverage using a different ingredient and what I came up with is using Swiss Miss as the medium, instead of coffee.

Ingredients

2 Tablespoon chocolate powder / coffee is the original ingredient

2 Tablespoon sugar

2 Tablespoon hot water

1 Glass of milk (your choice)

The key to make the mixture float is to whip or beat the mixture hard. Consistent mixing is needed to make it fluffy and light, in order for it to float, like how it should be. 😊

I tried mixing continuously, for like 30-40 minutes using a fork, but my hands grew tired and being the impatient person I am, I gave up. So it ended up like this.

Flop 😦

I’m actually down for the fluffy thing since I like whipped creams on top of my chocolate drinks. But the moment I put the mixture into the milk, it literally went dooooooown, and it had me laughing at myself. Maybe next time I’ll try using a mixer, if there will be a next time, and maybe a mixer. 😊

I know we’re all getting bored and stuffy inside our houses, so if you feel like refreshing yourself up with some sweetness, you can always try making Dalgona Coffee, or experiment your own drink. 😉

Samgyupsalamat: Yet Another Samgyup Escapade

Hello! I’m back with my samgyup escapade and it’s already making me think that readers are getting sick of it. 😀

This time, we visited a Korean BBQ house located near my place – somewhere in Makati to be exact. 😊

Samgyupsalamat Makati Cinema Square branch has been there for like two years or so, and it was only last March 1, Sunday, that I was able to visit. I remember trying Samgyupsalamat Vito Cruz branch, the one beside the fried chicken house but I think they already moved to a new place. I can’t really remember “the” experience, except for the fact that they use coal in cooking. 😊

So! I went there with my friend, to the Makati Cinema Square branch at around 3 in the afternoon. It was a full house, given it’s a weekend and yes, payday. We had our names listed and it didn’t really take long before we could settle in. We were welcomed by EXO by the way performing Love Shot, having that big TV screen mounted to the wall playing HD music videos of your favorite K-POP groups is a PLUS PLUS PLUS!

Like other bbq houses, this one also offers an unlimited dining where you get unlimited side dishes and meat! I was really craving for samgyupsal I insisted we meet that day and eat out. 😀

Photo from Samgyupsalamat Facebook Page

Being the samgyupsal enthusiast I am, I decided to go for seasoned meat first, not the marinated ones because they have the tendency to make me feel full. Remember? The tastier the meat you consume, the more water you would want to consume in between to wash off the flavors? 😀

We were served with A LOT of side dishes before they filled the table with the coal and grill. I was surprised to see the amount of side dishes, and, to see the side dishes themselves. At other Korean bbq houses, they don’t usually offer japchae and egg as part of it but here… TADA! What you see in the photo is what you get, oh, except for the rice. You have to order from the friendly staffs. 😉

I was the official cook, as always, because I formed the habit of cooking. I love cooking. ♥

I know that some marinades all taste the same, but somehow, eating here made me feel really ecstatic; especially when I ordered Bul-jib, the thick cut pork meat, literally the samgyupsal I’ve known. I even borrowed scissors because I wanted to cut them even if they were already tender after grilling.

Their marinades were so excellent we had to order another serving of their yangnyum and gochujang. Oops, not just “another,” but MORE. ♥

I can’t remember how many servings we were able to consume but I know it was a lot. The staffs were approachable too, the serving time wasn’t long, they serve you what you order real-time, the music coming from the big TV screen was a PLUS… It’s just the grill and meat MAY get burned easily since coal is being used to cook them? 😊

I really didn’t expect to fall in love with Samgyupsalamat, but now that I have, I will definitely be coming back. ♥

Food Brings Comfort: Sumo Niku Dining

After getting tired and brokenhearted during our trip to Ayala Malls Manila Bay last Saturday, we opted for Korean barbeque right away, changing our minds from originally eating at KFC to suddenly craving for samgyupsal – even if it was a given for us to eat samgyupsal whenever we meet. 😊

But my friends suggested to try Sumo Niku, a Japanese unlimited barbeque restaurant located at SM City San Lazaro. We hesitated at first, since my other friend was reluctant to try and taste Japanese sauces. But after checking their menu, we decided to give it a go. 😊

The restaurant chain was new. I stumbled upon a few branches after giving it a search on the internet though – SM North Edsa North Towers, MOA, SM City Pampanga, Glorietta 4, Marquee Mall Parañaque.

Yellow ♥

The number of orders you can have depends on the number of people dining. Since there were three of us, we were told to go with 6 orders at a time – 6 meat variations and 6 side dishes. There is also a 3-hour time limit and additional payment for softdrinks. 😊

Both affordable and yummy! ♥

I’m not really a picky eater, so I told my friends to order whatever. I decided to just do the cooking and the eating because I was already hungry. I was basically just fixated on putting the meat they ordered and have them grilled before they go into my mouth! 😊

To describe our first dining experience in Sumo Niku, we were a bit pissed off at first. Maybe because the restaurant was short-handed, despite being an eat-all-you-can where people would usually order countless times, the serving was a bit slow, most especially when we ordered side dishes. We’re a bunch of patient people when it comes to ordering but maybe we were just really hungry at that time because we came from a faraway place? 😊

We tried almost all kinds of meat the restaurant has to offer, but since I wasn’t really paying attention on what meat I was eating, I’m not so sure which is which already. But one thing I’m sure of is the marinated meats are delicious. Your taste buds will surely be able to catch those mouthwatering flavors of sweet, spicy and salty marinades… which will make you want to drink water if you consume too much at a time. So, I suggest you try the less tasty ones first before indulging yourself with the marinated ones! 😉

The meats were served frozen too, so it will take some time to cook, most especially the chicken meat. They were cut thickly so I had to put extra effort in cooking them. It has become a habit to cook and cut for the people I eat with, so after having the chicken cooked well, I cut them into small chunks and let them stay a little longer in the griller, just to make sure they stay heated. It’s a wonderful feeling eating warm meat, I tell yah! 😊

As for the pork and beef meats, they cook quicker than the chicken meat. I personally prefer pork and beef but chicken is good too, especially when I realized that surprisingly they’re tender to eat too after getting grilled. I got used to chicken breasts getting fried at home and turning out too chewy when I was a kid. 😊

The side dishes were okay too, except the mozzarella cheese dip? We didn’t really like how it tasted. Actually it tasted kind of sour to me. But other than that, the rest I will be giving a thumbs up! 😊

Meat ♥o♥

To sum it up, it was a good dining experience, except the waiting time. But I think it’s a common problem or should I say a common trait that should be present when eating in buffets. So maybe we should just extend our patience and wait to eat something delicious? 😊

Thank you to my friends who never fail to… eat with me! To more dining adventures with you two! ♥

Thank you ahgassi and Ricky for always dining with me! £2

Hwangso Ga: Lunar New Year Celebration

Lunar new year, also commonly known as Chinese New Year, is widely celebrated by other Asian countries as well – Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China and etc. The only difference is how they call it. But mostly they refer to it as new year, like how they refer to the standard and usual new year, January 1st.

So, how do we celebrate the Lunar new year? We celebrate it with our family, our loved ones, our friends, sharing delicious dishes in one table, one gathering, one celebration. People usually prepare certain dishes in order to celebrate the new year, and which of them has meanings attached to them. 😉

Like for instance, here in PH, when you say Chinese new year, people will automatically associate it with Tikoy or rice cake. Just like how it tastes and its sticky texture, it is said to bring the family closer together (sticky) and bond with lots of sweetness (sweet taste) during the current year. It’s like a wish and a belief that eating the said delicacy will bring the family a strong bond.

In Korea, they usually prepare tteokguk or rice cake soup. The same ingredient, only that the rice cake used here is not very sweet like our Tikoy. 😊

Since it’s the new year, I scheduled a date with my long close college friend. The last time we went out to see each other was… 2 years ago? So I asked to meet with her, and yes because we’re celebrating the new year, we opted for something delicious and… Korean. (Because we’re both Korean drama and music enthusiasts).

We went to the nearest yet most delicious buffet I’ve ever been to.

Hwangso-Ga, located at 1535-1551 M. Adriatico St, Ermita, Manila, just right beside Robinson’s Place Manila, is one of my favorite Korean buffet restaurants. Not only do they offer neatly cut meat, the side dishes are superb and tasty as well. The restaurant’s service is a plus too, thanks to the friendly staffs who accommodate customers. 😊

Since it’s a buffet, yay, it’s an eat-all-you-can with unlimited beef and pork! The meat were cut nicely, with the pork cut like how they should be cut. I mean, with other Korean barbecue houses, the cuts of the pork and beef are the same, sometimes it’s confusing to know which is which, but if you’re a fan of samgyupsal, you’ll eventually know the difference.

With the price of Php499, you get to enjoy these delicious delicacies, UNLIMITEDLY! 😊 PS: no service charge! You can also buy add-ons like softdrinks and… drum roll… soju! 😊

This restaurant has always been a favorite, and I will always, always come back to eat with friends and family. ♥

Also, just a TMI; Korean boy group BTS once ate here after their The Red Bullet in Manila concert held last December 7, 2014. 😉

Pal Danji

Have you ever randomly scrolled through your Facebook feed and seen videos of mukbangs? Mukbang, coming from the Korean words Muk (to eat) and Bang (broadcast) is a video coverage of a person or persons eating their choice of food. Basically, it’s an eating show; and I have no idea how people get that satisfying feeling watching this kind of videos, including me.

Now, for my question! Are you someone like me, who tends to crave for this certain dish after having watched it get featured in someone else’s mukbang? Being the Kpop/Kdrama fan I am, seeing mukbangs on my feed is not new, and what I came across from I-can’t-remember-when, is the famous Korean delicacy Samgyupsal.

Samgyupsal, from the Korean words Sam (3), Gyup (layer), Sal (flesh), literally means 3-layer-meat of which are the fatty layer, the pinkish meat layer, and the reddish meat layer. Samgyupsal is also commonly known as grilled pork belly. Yum! 😊

So after craving for Samgyupsal, we came across this newly opened Korean BBQ House found next to our office building. Yes, it’s in Makati! Yay to working people! Work hard, eat harder! 😊

Pal Danji, located at Eton Tower Makati 128 Dela Rosa St. corner V.A. Rufino St., Legaspi Village, Makati, opened its doors sometime last December. This branch is owned by Grace Lee. The restaurant offers unlimited servings of pork, chicken, and beef to satisfy your cravings. to your heart’s extent!

We went there last 31st of January to try and see how their samgyupsal tastes like and… we were not disappointed. We went there during lunch time and expected a lot of people dining. It was a full house when we arrived, and we were second in line. I guess office workers need meat for energy. 😉

The line didn’t move for about half an hour or so, of course because it’s an eat-all-you can restaurant, we had to wait. Not to mention the major cleaning of the tables and the hardest to clean, the grilling stone used for cooking the yummy meats. After finally getting seated and settled at our table, we noticed that the line was getting messy. The line was supposed to be inside of the building, not outside (walkway). Let’s please fall in line properly and not take advantage of others. ☹

So we sat for about another 10 to 15 minutes waiting for our orders. But within that span of time they served us soup, side dishes, drinks, and drum roll… Tteokbokki and cheese dip! We were so happy to see cheese and tteokbokki served; they can at least ease our hunger because we were in line for like an hour. PS: Tteokbokki is a Korean snack with rice cake and fish cake in sweet and spicy sauce.

So after eating all the tteokbokki, can you even imagine how hungry we were, haha, they eventually served our orders. Finally, meat! We opted for the Unli 488 – unlimited serving of pork, chicken and beef. 😊 They have a variety of marinade, from salt and pepper to soy and spicy. It took some time for the grill stone to heat, but afterwards the grilling went smooth. This is my forte, cooking samgyupsal. ♥

The side dishes were superb too, and you can order as much as you want because they’re in unlimited servings too. 😊 The side dishes were sweet cucumber with carrots, sweet potato, kimchi, yellow radish, plus the tteokbokki and the cheese dip itself. If you want to rid of the umay, eat the side dishes simultaneously with the meat.

Overall the dining experience was great. Our cravings were satisfied, and the food was indeed tasty. For its price I must say that we were really happy with the food served. 😊 We give this restaurant an 8/10! We also commend Kuya Fernando Lapuz for being a very attending and approachable staff. Kudos to you kuya!

Will we dine here again? Definitely! Actually I am already planning to go back and satisfy my cravings as I write this. 😀

How I eat Samgyupsal (more on how to eat samgyupsal for your money’s worth, how to maximize the unlimited dining experience)

I suggest you feed yourself with meat first, literally eat meat only. When you get that umay feeling, or the feeling of getting fed up with the taste or food you’re eating, you can try the side dishes to cleanse your palate. Once you’re ready again, dig in! You can add some of the side dishes in the lettuce wrap to make it more even tasty.

When you feel like you’re about to feel full, this is optional, eat meat with rice. 😉

Panda Express

“From our family to yours.”

A lot of people may mistake Panda Express as Food Panda, because of the common word panda. But heads up, they’re two different things. 😉

Panda Express is a fast food restaurant chain founded 1983 in California, US. They serve American Chinese cuisine with mouthwatering flavors that will surely satisfy and tickle your taste buds.

The very first Philippine Panda Express branch opened last 12th of December 2019, located at the upper ground floor of SM Megamall, Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. A LOT of people welcomed its opening, causing long queues and hype over the internet.

Panda Express offers a variety of dishes, varying from chicken, beef, pork, and seafood. (With veggies too!)

Curious on how they serve their food, and of course, dying to know how the food tastes, we went all the way to SM Megamall to try Panda Express! Even a month after their opening, there was still a long line waiting for customers outside the restaurant. Staffs will be there to assist you, so fret not!

Even if there was a line, the queueing was smooth; all thanks to the accommodating and approachable staffs of Panda Express. Kudos!

We originally planned to eat at the restaurant to experience the ambiance, but since we were in a hurry, we decided to have our orders wrapped, to go. The containers were sturdy, I was so sure our food wouldn’t spill. They even doubled the paper bags to make sure it didn’t break. (We ordered a whole lot!)

We ordered:

1 plate (2 entree, 1 side) Php245

Savory shrimp

Brocolli beef

Chow mien

1 bigger plate (3 entree, 1 side) Php295

Orange chicken

Kungpao chicken

Asian grilled chicken

Steamed rice

For the quality, we give Panda Express an 8/10. The dishes were tasty but there’s a sense of familiarity to them. They tasted common and similar to those of Chinese restaurants found here in PH. Nothing extraordinary, but tasty. 😊

For the quantity, we give Panda Express a 10/10. Because for its price, you get a whole lot of what you ordered. We actually kept some leftovers and ate them the following day.

All in all, Panda Express is nice, especially if you’re an enthusiast of Chinese cuisine like me. I like how sweet and salty the dishes are. 😊

EXTRA:

It is revealed in interviews and widely known through the internet that Kpop boy group BTS loves to eat Panda Express. Intrigued? I guess yes. 😉