Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A cake called Dementia

I love sweets. Fruity ones, chocolatey ones, even sugar-based ones which will eventually lead to be the death of me.
Living in a third world economy, I have been naively happy with the affordable variety you buy (in bulk even, because its so cheap!) at the neighborhood store or street vendor. I never really strived for anything more than that. Unfortunately, Fate tempts you to open your mind, heart (and palate) to a vaster plane of existence which you never thought existed.

It all started when a Belgian friend of mine visited the country a few years back. We had met on an foreign exchange program in Europe in 1998. My family had given her more than ample accommodations and she had brought us gifts of goodwill and chocolates. Apparently, her family owned their own bakery and in Belgium, that meant you made and sold your own brand of chocolate. It was a whole new experience altogether to taste pure, authentic Belgian chocolates. There were different kinds, but the dark ones were the best. I asked if we could order from them and she could just have it shipped, but she shook her head and said they’d melt even before they’d get to Asia.

Then last year, a cousin of mine arrived from the US. She had been raving about this brand of French truffles she’d discovered and said she’s be bringing home a couple of boxes when she arrived. Turns out the truffles were a bunch of round hardened dark chocolates which will literally melt in your hand even before they reach your mouth. They are so rich that just one piece can satisfy your taste buds for the night (or not). I’m pretty sure the equivalent of one piece is the same as drinking a mug of pure cocoa. It was like Sin itself. Purely packed and pricey.

Since then, I haven’t been bowled over by any other sweets. I don’t really mind (its helpful for my diet), but last week after a tiring out-of-town photo shoot, our photographer suggested we try out this place he had discovered called Kooky Licious (in Greenhills). It was owned by a food editor of one of our magazines. So we tried out the pasta, sandwiches and pate. But the piece de resistance he says, was the chocolate cake called Dementia.

He didn’t know exactly what it was made of, But let me assure you, it is like eating a mix of chocolate mousse, dark chocolate, Toblerone, ice cream and other indescribable yummy stuff. If you have tried eating all these things at the same time then you probably get an iota of idea of what I am talking about. Of course, nothing in this level comes cheap, but it is worth it. It will literally drive you crazy (Chocolate lovers beware, all other cakes may have a tendency to pale in comparison after this experience)

Monday, May 30, 2005


No matter how hard I try to go against something,
It seems that the entire universe will conspire and rudely shove me in the exact opposite direction.

I admit, I have a hazy concept of what I consider to be ideal in a man. Never really gave it much thought. I didnt think I had to anyway.
I always liked to think that there is redeeeming value in everybody. There is something in like in everyone, just as long as you take the time to actually look for something good.
And it follows that there is a point of attraction between two people who aren't total enemies.

But I've always known that if ever I had a crush, it would be with someone who I consider a kindred spirit, not far removed from my personality. Not someone who has probably never been inside a coffeehouse in his entire life (not that I particularly like coffee houses, I just don't think this guy's idea of fun involves Brazilian music and deep conversation).

I'm really starting to like someone right now who I know I shouldn't be giving much thought to. He is everything I am not (I have foregone certain things now that I feel I have graduated from the age of reckless youth). He, in other words, lives in a totally different planet than me. I have chosen the solitude in a small quiet world (similar to the place where the Little Prince lives, although more windy and humid), while he is living in a place where nobody ever sleeps, where there are too many things to do and places to visit. People to see. Girls to meet.

I like watching him from afar. It is a safe distance. And although we are friends, I do not talk to him as much as I should because I think it disturbs me that i am feeling unnerved by a man I hardly know.
I am getting over this. I need to hibernate.
Because I need to stay away.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


There are a million things to talk about regarding my recent vacation and I dont know where to start. So I guess it would be easier for me to just break it down into (seemingly) logical parts that are easier on the brain to digest.

The island I went to was basically a food lovers haven. They've got everything there. Where else can I order Japanese, Korean and Portugese food all in the same place? Just to give you an idea how it went....

Brunch: Thai soup (weird version of Tom Yum soup with seafood and brandy. The server actually discouraged me from ordering this because she thought I wouldnt be able to take it and she was right. My eyes were all watery after a few sips. but it was fab, especially since it came with nice french bread!), Thai seafood (which was basically fish, crabs, squid and shrimp with a whole lotta chili and onions) and a yummy chocolate crepe (This was actually part of a set meal. if you think pairing Thai food with a French dessert is weird, go ask the German guy who owns the place. The name of the resto was "De Paris"

Dinner: Buffet (what was supposed to be a purely seafood buffet, turned out to be pretty continental as well. Actually, I dont mind but I just felt that the meat lasagna was a little out of place with the crispy crablets and shrimp salad.)

Midnight snack: a bottle of Cabernet wine: This deserves a place in this entry because I think it constituted some sort of meal. Now I am not exactly fond of wine, but I have discovered (through this recent attempt at slight inebriation) that i prefer nice lukewarm wine over cold beer).

Brunch2: Buffet again (This was part of a tourist package when we went island-hopping. We went to another island where we were served unlimited chicken and pork bbq, fish, crabs and fruits. The great thing about it was that the drinks were unlimited too. so we took about 3 extra bottles of mineral water back to the boat!)

Dinner2: Wood oven pizza (Me and my friends couldnt decide on which flavor to try. Aria's pizza was supposed to be the best on the island (why people on this tropical island love to eat pizza, spicy thai food and crepes when its hot all day is beyond me) I wanted the Margherita but they wanted meat, so we settled on Calabrese.

Of course my vacation wouldnt be complete without a mango and/or papaya shake! Decided to check out their version of Papaya Lemon, which turned out to be more lemon than papaya. My aunt still makes the best kind (pulpy papaya with a tinge of lemon as an aftertaste.

Other island vignettes I don't want to forget....

-Walking along the dark expanse of the shore, wondering why people flew all the way there just to get a seat at a bar (a popular franchise of a city hangout) that they probably go to every weekend in the city .

-watching a firedance by an extremely limber gay guy who will probably go down in my memory as aninspiration for stretching religiously everyday.

-Tanning on top of a boat for hours while island-hopping (after the first 3 stops for snorkelling, me and my friend decided to the view from the top was better than down below. I had enough of watching schools of fish trying to avoid my feet)

-Trying not to freak out while swimming in an underground cave and seeing a striped sea snake pass us by. (For the record, I do not hate snakes, but they have managed to instill a deep sense of unshakeable fear in me)

-Trying to finish an entire bottle of red wine with my friend and a strange guy whose concept of "Let's Party!" involved stuff I'd probably consider with someone else other than him.

These things stand out in my head right now (blame it on another sleep and rest-deprived weekend), I will add more if my head clears up. I'm glad I got out of the city. But I am also glad I am back.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


I finally found the apetite (and means) to treat my family out to a nice dinner yesterday night. I doubt they appreciated it though (I'm sure my mom prefers cold hard cash). We tried the combination dimsum platter (which had a sampling of every possible kind of weird-shaped dimsum) and hot seafood with noodles. Now the Chinese were small asian folk, but that resto had everything in American servings. Which was great if you were going with a group of people who shared the same love for good quality food as you, but if you like eating alone or in pairs, then it's gonna be quite a challenge finishing up a bowl of noodles the size of a motorcycle helmet in this place. No wonder it's called the Superbowl of China.

By the way, my team lost the semi-finals game today. We still get to play for 3rd place next week. I'd feel worse if I actually did anything significant to alter those chain of events. But the 9on9 co-ed game format just didn't permit that kind of opportunity.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Chicken a La Queen

Today I saw red.
As in literally, lots and lots of red.
Red hair colouring that is.

I attended a media event for L'Oreal's new Matrix hair product line and all the attendees got a free hair treatment afterwards (one of the better perks of being in publishing!)
Anyway, I decided to go for a really severe choice and chose the most radical shade of red available.
Only problem is, dark hair remains dark (unless bleached first), so what I got now is dark hair with tinges of something that looks suspiciously like reddish burgundy.

Since that pretty much took up most of my morning (and lunchtime), I only had time to grab a waffle for lunch before heading back to the office. Instead of my usual cheese, or ham and cheese option, I decided to live on the edge and try their new Chicken a La King waffle instead. Generally, I would be suspicious (we used to make the dish in our high school home economics class, so i know it spoils easily). I took a bite and decided it was edible (but slghtly tangy). But, as I've always decided, "I will try everything at least once (except fried roaches)."

When I got to the office, an officemate then dragged my stiletto-tortured feet for a late snack and guess what we had? Chicken fingers! Then my mom called and said I should bring home some dinner, like garlic chicken? great. I dont know what i'm gonna buy later but I am definitely sure what i wont be bringing home though. Pizza hut just introduced this disgustingly fat-laden monstrosity called the chicken crust-stuffed pan pizza. I dunno about other people, but the thought of all that processed carbs and meat just makes me wanna upchuck whatevers in my tummy right now. not a nice sight.

Anyway, I dont mind chicken (as long as its cooked well) and I dont mind my new hair color (as long as it doesnt stain my clothes, which it did, because of the careless stylist who lifted my dressing cape way too early). What I do mind right now is the heat (anywhere outside and inside the house), the approved transport price increase (does it always have to be so drastic? Where am i gonna get the extra 30% burden?) and the lack of available good, healthy food in my office (seems the lobby concessionaires are conspiring to kill everyone in the network).

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Nope, it’s not that I forgot to put a heading to this lazily written blog entry, it’s just that I feel it is an apt description of my life at the moment. Its almost 7pm and I am alone in our department. A pretty good day considering I hardly got any sleep (heavy rain invaded our currently-in-renovation house and the icky water seeped through the roof of my room, leaving me displaced for the night).

Desperate times heed the call of true friends and I am glad to be around a good number who do not mind my incessant calling at odd hours of the day, just to be able to purge whatever frantic sense of fear that gripped me at that moment. Sometimes, I am also too sad (or too scared) to make my own decisions (especially the life-changing ones)

I am not at all sad right now by the things happening around me. I feel like they will continue to happen (or not) despite what I do or not do. Therefore I have lost all interest in trying to stop things from turning out good or bad.

And since this blog entry seems hollow without any mention of food, let me just point out a few odd facts between food and myself that Ive noticed lately:

1. I am always suspicious of milk. I usually gulp down an entire glass of milk in a few seconds, and since I am lactose intolerant, this lessens whatever acidity I feel afterwards. Only problem is, On more than one occasion, I am more than halfway through the glass when I realize I may be drinking spoilt milk. Oh well, I won’t cry over that.
2. Junk Food isn’t necessarily junk. I dunno whether I shoulsd hunt down or thank the people who invented these deceptively entertaining (for my mouth) munchies or not. They are cheap, therefore do not really entail much expense, but they are also useless, providing no nutritional value whatsoever. But I must admit, they do make boring movies more bearable than usual.
3. We can’t avoid Juice. My dietician says that artificial sweeteners in iced tea and other flavored drinks are just as fattening as eating raw sweets. But as much as I try to drink water and only water, my mouth seems to crave for flavor, any flavor (except soursop/guyabano)!

Anyway, I am going for a slightly big change tomorrow. Whether it comes out good or bad will depend on someone’s skills. Will share post evaluation soon.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Miss Congee-niality

I haven’t been feeling A-Okay lately.
In fact, if it weren’t for my best friend, Soldier, and my first ever ex, I’d still be walking around in circles, with my head up my ass no doubt. Blind as a bat to the things I’m supposed to be smart enough to see.

My weekend was extra tiring, my heart hurt and to top it off, I was feeling really really sick yesterday. Ive been bugging my best friend to watch a movie with me all week and I wasn’t about to cancel it just because I felt like shit. But we had to go to 3 drugstores before I found my medicine. My face was not a pretty sight at all. You could have looked at me and sworn I either had a severe toothache or muscle dystrophy.

Anyway, we had dinner at this nice new Chinese restaurant (til now, we still cant remember what it was called, but the food was yum!). He ordered sweet sliced pork and dimsum while I had a nice medium-sized bowl of seafood congee. I never really expected much from congee. It’s basically melted rice, with soup and toppings to add flavor. It looked bland and therefore, would obviously not be much to get excited about. My grandma likes congee and so do other octogenarians. But oddly enough, when people get sick, congee starts looking more and more appetizing.

Anyway, I was watching Fugs eat his meal and I couldn’t help but look forlorn, feeling like I was too young to be eating congee at the mall on a weekend. But surprisingly, it really hit the spot, it had shrimps, fish, squid and even crab! It was comfort food definitely.

To tell you honestly, I wasn’t really up to writing anymore. Not in this blog especially. But it seems my appetite is picking up. I’ve decided to heed someone’s sound advice. Thank you. You know who you are. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A glutton for punishment

The other night I attended a traditional Chinese birthday dinner.
It wasn't my first time to go to one of those celebrations, but it amazes me each time I know I'll get to spend the entire evening devoted to food.
Food and eating and talking and eating and waiting for more food in-between.

How is that? Try a 12 course dinner not including the 2 desserts.
With increments of at least 20 minutes each, the presentation of each main course is as important as the chronology of when it is served. Rice, as much as possible, is not part of important meals like this, because it is considered cheap and in bad taste (because supposedly, when you serve rice, it shows that you probably want to stuff your guests early so that they will be full already). The usual Chinese favorites like Sweet and Sour Pork and fried chicken are not favored because it is also inexpensive and part of the usual fare. What are usually ordered are seafoods and pigeon. Crab, will always come last because it symbolizes the "breaking through" of yet another year in one's life. Quite interesting stuff that I learned, all from sitting beside the person who paid for everything that night.

Although I could pass on the sea cucumer soup and friend pigeon, one note-worthy discovery was Seafood Pie, which looks exactly like what its called. Think of pie baked in a casserole, thats tastes like Chicken Ala King except it has chopsuey, crabstick, mushroom, loads and loads of shrimp and ripe mango strips. Now I think ive found something that can rival my love for Hot Shrimp Salad!

Anyway, in return for the meal, guests were expected to sing. Unfortunately I had not geared up for any Chinese song (maybe next year). I was stuffed and although I know I consumed about a million calories that night, I didnt feel guilty one bit.

Thank god for my gym.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tom Yum-Yum!

Last sunday,after a very exhausting workout with my good friends (which involved, brisk walking, running, jump-rope, lunging and gasping for air and sweating like a pig), I had my very first honest-to-goodness authentic Thai meal.

Tom Yum is known as Thai sour soup (not to be mistaken for soursop which is a fruit). We had the one with shrimp. It had alot of ginger and lemon grass (which had a very overpowering yet aromatic taste). I cannot compare its flavor to our own local soup, sinigang. But it was a welcome discovery.

We also had crispy catfish (which reminded me of the pork floss available at Bread Talk, the Singaporean bakeshop whose bestseller was bread with floss (or what more aptly looks like sawdust or then shredded wood). Fugly pants, my best friend made me try the rice with shrimp paste, green mangoes, eggs and sweet pork on top. It was good too! We also got a taste of green curry. I love curry!

We were all too full to have dessert so we skipped it altogether. I love sharing and eatig food with these people because they all put such a premium on the quality of what we eat. They are also genuinely decent human beings who wouldnt hurt a fly. Good food, good company. Nothing can beat that right?