Thursday, March 31, 2011

Food Trip Friday 063: My miracle banana cake

I gotta say this now – the new FTF logo rocks!
 And for some good reason, the logo makes me feel… young. Don’t you agree with me?

My entry this week is something like a miracle from … my kitchen. From the oven, specifically. You see, I haven’t used my oven for nearly a year now because it doesn’t get warm/hot enough heat for any kind of baking.

But since it’s my birthday today (ahem) and I recently scored a Pyrex bake n’ serve meatloaf dish that I’ve been itching to use for the longest time, I decided to venture on a kamikaze mission to bake my favourite banana cake using my newly-acquired Pyrex bakeware.

So considering the nature of my mission, there I was, understandably, mumbling prayers to the gods and goddesses of baking while mashing the bananas and sifting the wheat flour, practically begging them over and over to grant my one and only birthday wish – that is, to eat banana cake – promising not to do this, and not to eat that in return. Whatever I could think of basically!  It was only later that I realised I was being silly. Hah. But you know what… an hour and a half later, I was not disappointed!

Out came this vanilla-flavoured, sugar-reduced banana cake!

Well, who says I can’t have my banana cake and eat it, too?

Happy birthday to me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Food Trip Friday 062: Ensalada de pepino y zanahoria

Okay, please indulge me. I just have this urge to write in Spanish because I think ensalada en pepino y zanahoria sounds so much fun than writing cucumber and carrots achara. hahaha.
I have to confess this – I have a thing for pickled veggies! I like the salty ones, the sweet-and-sour ones, the spicy ones, the garlicky ones… name it, I like them all. Not only that they serve as appetizers they also are a great relish and a side dish. No problem, because here in Cambodia, I share with the whole country the same love affair with  pickled vegetables. They have bok lahong, which is like a cousin of our very own Pinoy achara, only spicier (with lots of fresh, red chilli) and saltier. There is also the same lahong that goes with an order of nompang pate (Khmer sandwich with meatloaf). In Cambodian wedding banquets, platefuls of pickled cucumber, radish, etc. are also served without fail along with local cold cuts as appetizer. When I was in Japan, I sampled most of their pickled veggies with every meal, including breakfast. I can still remember the colours, the kick of flavours,  and the textures of different Japanese tsukemono.

It was very easy to prepare and I was very adventurous when I made mine. No measurements, no nothing. I sliced and diced, sprinkled and stirred, and trusted my senses :) And thank heavens, they turn out edible and good naman. I bottled the achara and chilled in the fridge; the will keep for about 2 weeks at most. Now I have something to go with inihaw or piniritong isda (grilled or fried fish), especially with my favourite piniritong tilapya. Great timing, ‘no, especially that it is the Lenten season.

Speaking of Japan, please let us continue to pray for the country’s speedy recovery. Our hearts go out to the Japanese people and not a day goes by without me thinking about their plight. Let us help in one way or another. Also, while I’m writing this, news came out about the two quakes that rocked Myanmar earlier this evening. No news yet about damage or casualties. We will probably know tomorrow. Let’s also pray for the people of Myanmar.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Food Trip Friday 061: The Pelukas went Korean

This picture was taken a month ago, in one of our regular jaunts in the Penh. As usual, we didn’t have a clue where to go because, even, if our stomachs were already growling, we were busy yapping. Someone suggested we go Korean… and images of yummy Korean barbecues and grills entered our minds. Like Pavlov’s dog, we instantly drooled and decided in unison that that’s where we would love to go…

If I am not mistaken, we all ordered this dish:

This dish costs about $5++, a bit pricey for one order and without rice but the portions were huge. The meat is so tender and juicy and beautifully spicy it doesn’t overwhelm your palate.

The place is … how do I describe it… well, something new to my eyes. It’s well-lighted, clean and has a youthful vibe. On weekdays, most of the Cambodian yuppies and yappies (including the Peluka sisters!*lol*) go there. On weekends, families come and eat here for their popular value set meals. The food servers are pretty much well-groomed, friendly, speaks good English and are very attentive. The waiting time is about 30mins, which is the same length of time to wait for a delivery pizza.

Chicken BBQ is located at the third floor of Sorya Mall in Phnom Penh.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Food Trip Friday 060: Thai food trip, part 2

Yes, you read it right… I had another Thai food trip recently, this time with my PELUKA sisters and we went back to that same restaurant I went to on my first food trip. Now I know the name of the restaurant – it’s called Goan Damrei.

Okay, on to our feast. Ladies, may I introduce you to the following:

This is finger-lickin’ good. It looks so simple but don’t underestimate it. It’s packed with oh-so-good-flavours. What a great way to use chicken wings.

We also ordered pad thai, you can see the pic that I previously posted here. The pad thai we ordered this time was a disappointment – not the taste, it' still had the same amazing pad thai flavour but the serving was smaller compared to the previous one I had :( 

The second time I was there with the PELUKA girls also confirmed the waiting time – it’s next to forever. It took more than an hour for the food to be served even though there weren’t many customers – in fact, there were only two tables, including ours, that were occupied. If you are very hungry and need food pronto, this place is not for you. We were so hungry already but wala kaming magawa. There is only one cook, we found out, and everything has to be prepared from scratch. If only they’d find a way to shorten the cooking time, we’d be happy to come back to sample other dishes in their menu.

I give it a three-and-a-half-stars. Okay, since when did I start giving out ratings here in my blog?  Wala lang, feel ko lang, chos! *lol*

Goan Damrei Restaurant
St. 51 (Pasteur Street)
Phnom Penh

Friday, March 4, 2011

Food Trip Friday 059: Thai food trip

Last week I had the most amazing Thai food, well, outside Thailand, anyway. No, I did not dine in a 5-star hotel, or the chic restos in the area, or places with Thai-sounding names. The restaurant, whose name I had actually forgotten,  is a small unassuming place just across the more popular Walkabout Bar in St. 51. People might think it’s a tiny, nondescript (not flashy and pretentious!), hole-in-the-wall eatery but don’t be fooled!! The food is definitely authentic, prepared personally by its Thai owner… and the food is absolutely amazing! What’s more, the prices are cheap and you get good value for your money. 

Okay, ‘nuff said already. Chow time, er, I mean these are what we chowed on:

This restaurant is a must-go-to place when you’re in Phnom Penh. I’ve seen this restaurant every time I pass the area but never thought about stopping by and trying their food. It pays to have someone who knows where the best Thai food is – a Thai friend, of course! *lol* Although the waiting is a bit longer but I don't mind. That means it is being prepared right there and then, and, oh my, what a heavenly meal you are going to have. So a little patience is all you need...

I will post the name of the restaurant and address as soon as I get them.