December 25, 2010

Miren. Satisfies Your Sweet Tooth

As I mentioned, I was shocked to discover that there are lots of new restaurants and cafes in Bacolod since my last visit in June. Throughout the duration of my holiday vacation in my hometown, I try to discover as much of these new establishments as I can. 

One of the new establishments that really caught my attention is a new cafe located in the area where the old The Gypsy Tea Room used to be. The new cafe, Miren., features delicious cakes, pastries, sundaes, paninis and pastas. 

Apart from the delicious dishes, the cafe is full of white decors and a mural of a pinkish hibiscus plant on one corner, a dragonfly on the other. 

Since they were celebrating Christmas, the centerpieces on each table was a ceramic Santa Claus figurine. I'm curious to know what they will be substituting them with after the holiday season. 
This makes me think Santa was held up by the tooth fairy :)

Upon arrival, Mimi, Cristel, and I headed straight to the displayed cakes. We couldn't decide what to order because everything looked so delicious! We wanted to try everything but that was bad for our pockets and our diets tummy too! In the end, we settled for different things...

the cakes on display
even the cupcakes looked delicious!
Cristel ordered the Vanilla Sundae which came on a hearty bowl topped with almonds, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, a cherry and a Stik-o stick. 

Vanilla Sundae, Miren.
Mimi's order was a slice of the Strawberries and Cream cake which reminded me of Strawberry Shortcake. It was a chiffon cake sandwiched with a thin layer of strawberry sauce and topped with more strawberry goodness.

Strawberries and Cream, Miren.
My order came last... a slice of Red Velvet Cake. I don't like chiffon cakes but this particular cake blew me away. I really liked it because it was not too sweet. My two other friends also liked my order so we decided to share.

Red Velvet Cake, Miren.
All in all, I would return to Miren. and I would definitely recommend it to those who have a sweet tooth. Unlike the other pastry shops in Bacolod, the cakes here are good and not too sweet. Plus, they are reasonably priced!

Miren. is located at the Ground Floor of Lopue's Mandalagan Annex Building, Mandalagan St., Bacolod City. It is in the vicinity of Chicken House Mandalagan, Orange Gallery, and Cafe Joint. 

December 23, 2010

Have You Tried Ibus?

 I really miss eating Ibus or Suman. This native dish brings me memories of waking up each morning to the sound of a street vendor selling his native dishes. I used to wake up with Ibus available on our table. So when I woke up today and found a couple of Ibus dishes on our table, I was excited to eat the dish!

Unlike the suman being sold in Manila, Ibus is a simple dish of glutinous sticky rice. In Bacolod, we call it Ibus because suman is different from it. Even though the two are still made up of glutinous rice, they are different from each other. 

You can pair Ibus with refined sugar, brown sugar or Mascovado. I paired mine with Mascovado. 

I'm looking forward to eat Suman Latik next on my list of must trys!

December 21, 2010

Have A Kuppa Coffee Today

Every time I go home, I always look forward to eating in my favorite restaurants in Bacolod. Aside from meeting my friends and relatives, I always want to rekindle a memory of my childhood in the restaurants I have long known and loved. 

Among these restaurants on my list is Kuppa Coffee and Tea. Even though they have been in business for 5-6 only, the place itself is very memorable to me. Located across St. John's Institute (Hua Wimg), Kuppa used to be the former home of Celine's Ice Cream Parlor, a 60-ish diner which had the best Banana Splits and Ice Cream Floats in town! Another dish I usually eat there is the French De Luxe sandwich. 

But because Celine's wasn't doing well as it used to, the family decided to change the establishment. The whole antique building was demolished, including the home of the owners (Tan) located in the second floor of the building. With its disappearance came a new breed of coffee, dessert, and delicious food known as Kuppa

The whole facade of the establishment has even evolved. I could still recall how the building used to look like an old Spanish style building, the same ones that still stand on its neighborhood. In its place now stood a modern piece of architecture-- one that would attract lots of people. 

Who knew it was only this change that would relive the glory of the ice cream parlor?

But change was good for the parlor. I remember that before the parlor evolved, there would only be 1 customer sitting in the establishment. To add to this, the restaurant was located across a Chinese school. This was bad for business because students loved to loiter in the parlor. 

But because Kuppa was a tad bit more expensive than its former life, the people who frequented the cafe have also changed. The students have turned into young adults and those who are searching for a quiet night out after dinner. Yes, our age group have traded in their wild, crazy nights into a cozy evening surrounded by friends. 

I made my way to Kuppa a few days ago, so I could savor the dish I have long missed: Wimpy's Burger. This is an open faced sandwich that had melted cheese topping on one side and a burger patty with gravy on the other. 
Wimpy's Burger, Kuppa Coffee and Tea
But since Mimi (my companion) was also planning to order the dish, I decided to get the French DeLuxe-- a triple decker of tuna or chicken spread and ham, covered guiltlessly with melted cheese.  

French Deluxe, Kuppa Coffee and Tea
Despite it being delicious, there is only one French deluxe sandwich in town that I favor the most. But I'll talk about that next time.

For coffee, I missed Kuppa's White Cloud Mocha so I decided to order it. I really love drinking coffee that contains white chocolate in it. I even order the same kind of coffee in Cafe Bob's (more later). I only wish this was also available in Manila.

White Cloud Mocha, Kuppa Coffee and Tea
For dessert, I invited Mimi to check out the different cakes on display. If you don't want to eat cake, you can always try out their delicious gelato.

Kuppa Gelato, Kuppa Coffee and Tea
Cakes on Display, Kuppa Coffee and Tea
There was one particular cake that caught both our eyes, the moment we entered the cafe. But since I saw a mini Fruit Tart on the display case, I decided to let Mimi have hers. For the price of Mimi's order (Choco Peanut Butter Bomb), I got to order a Strawberry Panna Cotta and Fruit Tart. I decided to get the two so I could take more pictures.

I really liked the Fruit Tart because it was so good! It was not too sweet and too bland. I really liked it because it came in miniature sizes. I did not lose the taste after one serving, which is what made it more appealing to me! Plus, it only cost P50 for 3 pieces already!
Mini Fruit Tart, Kuppa Coffee and Tea
(P50 for 3 pieces)
As for the Strawberry Panna Cotta, I originally wanted the Mango version. But since it was out of stock, I decided to try the strawberry. I think if it were Mango, I would have enjoyed it much better. Now, I have to be biased with this because I'm not really a huge fan of Panna Cotta and Creme Brulee dishes. I think they are gooey and weird tasting. I liked Kuppa's Panna Cotta, which to be fair, is already a plus. Back in 2007, I got to try Kuppa's Green Tea Creme Brulee. Even though they still sell it, I warn you now DON'T ever order it! It tasted like lotion. Again, it's a bit biased because I don't like the taste of Green Tea

Strawberry Panna Cotta, Kuppa Coffee and Tea
Now for the finale. Mimi ordered the Choco Peanut Butter Bomb. Upon entering Kuppa, this was the very first dish that caught our eye. This was strange because we both arrived in different times. 

Choco Peanut Butter Bomb, Kuppa Coffee and Tea
When you first look at it, you'd think it's hard and sticky. But once you pierce your teaspoon through it, it's really very soft. The top layer is cream and the base is moist chocolate cake. Between the two, you have an ample supply of peanut butter which makes the dish worthwhile. Everything is then covered with a soft blanket of chocolate ganache. 

Choco Peanut Butter Bomb, Kuppa Coffee and Tea
Mimi really liked this dish. I even took a picture of her enjoying her order.

It reminded me of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Hmmm... Now I'm craving for one. ^,^ I'm looking forward to my next visit in Kuppa! They also have a salad bar and I'm excited to try it out!  When you're in Bacolod, make sure you visit Kuppa! You'll know why we Ilonggos love it so much! Oh, they also have free Wi-Fi!

Kuppa Coffee and Tea is located in the corner of Tindalo-Hilado Sts., Bacolod City. If you want to get here, just tell the cab driver to take you to Kuppa, across St. John's Institute (Hua Wimg/ Waming). 

December 19, 2010

Ponti's Antics: High Five Me!

I was very shocked to know that Ponti still knows how to give me a high five. After 3 months of not seeing him, I was very happy to know he still remembers the trick. Check out this video :)

December 18, 2010

The Fresh Lumpia of Cakehouse Brings Back Memories of My Mom

One of the many things I always look forward to when I go home is getting to eat my favorite dishes. Most of these dishes are the ones that I have a fond memory of my childhood and my College years in Bacolod. On this blog post, I made my way to Robinson's Place Bacolod just to order the local favorite: Fresh Lumpia of Cakehouse.

Fresh Lumpia, Cakehouse
If you are from Bacolod, Cakehouse is not a stranger to you. This pastry shop has been operating ever since I was born! I remember the main branch is in front of Lopue's Araneta. My fondest memories of this particular dish is that whenever we would go to the city (we lived in Sum-ag before), we always ate in Cakehouse. I think that was because the office of Saralee is just in the area and my mom was one of their top dealers. After doing her errands, she would treat me and Bubot to Cakehouse.

I remember my Mom would always order this dish and I would eat either the Spaghetti or the Birthday Cake (which I only ate the icing from). 

Fresh Lumpia, Cakehouse

This dish reminds me so much of my mom. I miss her terribly. I'm excited to see her next week, although I don't know which exact day I will go to her grave... 

The original Cakehouse is across Lopue's Araneta, although I haven't checked if it is still there. To save yourself the trouble of going all the way downtown, just head over to the 3rd floor of Robinson's Place Bacolod and you'll find a stall of Cakehouse in the Food Court. Free Wi-Fi in Bacolod is in Robinson's Place Bacolod. 

December 17, 2010

The New C's Cafe in Bacolod

I arrived in Bacolod City this Tuesday afternoon and rode the shuttle service to SM Bacolod to meet with my friend Mimi. She helped me carry my many luggage because I still needed to get my dog, Ponti, from my dad's house. 

After getting Ponti, Mimi and I decided to eat dinner someplace. We decided to eat at L'Sea, a local Chinese  (dimsum) restaurant which has been a local favorite for a decade or more.We ordered the rice topping dishes so I decided not to take a picture of it. One order of rice topping can cost between P65 to P90, the only thing that varies is the viand that comes with the rice. 

When the bill came, I was really shocked because our total bill for 2 rice toppings and 1 siomai was only P193! Compared to Manila, that's already the price of just one dish!

So after dinner, we decided to get dessert. Since Calea (another local favorite) was closed, we decided to try a new cafe which was only a couple of minutes walk from L'Sea. 

Ever since my last visit (June 2010), a lot has changed in Bacolod. There are new traffic lights, restaurants and people. I do not recognize most of the people who I am faced with. That's why I decided to just focus on the new restaurants. 

The new cafe, C's Cafe, is part of the Ciocon family franchise. The cafe is located just outside the newly renovated first class hotel. It faces the semi-busy Lacson street and has a quaint atmosphere to it. 

L'Fisher Hotel, Lacson St., Bacolod City
C's Cafe, Bacolod City
C's Cafe, Bacolod City
C's Cafe, Bacolod City
C's Cafe, Bacolod City
C's Cafe, Bacolod City
In C's Cafe, we ordered 2 dishes: a slice of Intense cake and Chocolate Truffle Cake. I got the Intense cake because it looked really intriguing to me. When it arrived on our table, I was surprised with the middle layer. Sesame seeds?! On a cake.... 

Intense Cake, C's Cafe
Intense Cake, C's Cafe
Intense Cake, C's Cafe
Intense Cake, C's Cafe
The top layer was a glazed mousse like consistency that tasted like mocha and coffee. The second layer was full of sesame seeds and the third layer was a cookie crust. I found the taste of sesame seeds on a cake strange but it was worth a try. I didn't get to finish it though since the serving was too big!

Intense Cake, C's Cafe
Mimi got the Chocolate Truffle Cake. I got to taste it and it was a sweet moist chocolate cake. It was good but I found the chocolate icing too sweet. Plus with a serving that big, you would be giving yourself a heart attack!
Chocolate Truffle Cake, C's Cafe
Chocolate Truffle Cake, C's Cafe
Chocolate Truffle Cake, C's Cafe
Chocolate Truffle Cake, C's Cafe
Chocolate Truffle Cake, C's Cafe

All in all, I found their cakes too sweet for my sweet tooth. I really liked the concept of the cafe though because it gave me a feeling that I was back in Manila. Plus, they have free Wi-Fi! For a minimum purchase worth P100, you can use their Wi-Fi already. Aside from the cakes being too sweet, I think their prices are a little too much for Bacolod. If they were in Manila, their prices would be perfect!

L'Sea is located in 14th Lacson Street, in the middle of Piazza Sorrento and L'Fisher Hotel. Just tell the taxi driver that you want to go to the L'Sea restaurant near these two establishments. There are other branches of this restaurant but this is the original branch. For reservations or inquiry, just call (034)434-2509.

After L'Sea, just walk to L'Fisher and you will find C's Cafe in the famed hotel's facade. 

December 16, 2010

Greetings from Bacolod!

Hey guys! I'm sending you all my holiday greetings from my hometown, Bacolod City. Sorry if I haven't blogged for a while, I've been busy with work + deadlines and settling in. I promise when I've got content, I'll post them right away!

But for now, here's a Christmas photo of me and my dog :)

December 9, 2010

The Story of Terry + Janis

I love hearing about my mom and dad's love story. This lets me see my mom as she was when she was in her 20s and how she met my dad. Unfortunately, I never got to hear her side of the story because she died when I was just 11 years old. I only know some of my mom's lovelife through her friends and relatives who keep telling me about a certain business tycoon in our hometown, who tried to court her. I was able to meet the eldest son of that businessman a few years back, when we went out on a coffee date. ^,^ It felt weird and sweet that time. 

Even though I never got to hear my mom's POV, I always ask my dad to tell me their story every chance I get. Here is their story:

My dad had a crush on my mom, the moment he laid eyes on her (circa 1974). His dad asked him to pickup his relative from her dorm. Even though he was reluctant to do this, he decided to do what was asked from him. There, he saw my mom talking to his aunt. 

At first, he thought that my mom was already married. But that made him wonder, since he noticed that she was still too young and innocent. From that day on, my dad decided to go after my mom. 

At that time, my mom still had a boyfriend who she left in our hometown. She was studying in UP Diliman at that time and was staying in a boarding house in Katipunan. Meanwhile, my dad (the playboy that he was) could not forget about the girl he met. 

Ever since then, he continued visiting her in her boarding house. They were inseparable. They would see each other first time in the morning and would part late at night. The next day, my dad would return to her boarding house and spend time with her until it was time to leave. 

My mom eventually broke up with her boyfriend in the province because she fell in love with the strange chinito who caught her affection. 

One day, my lola (mom's mom) talked to my dad without her. Turns out, she did not like my dad for her daughter and wanted to bring her home. They were talking about eloping, while they were in their favorite place to date: Merced Bakeshop. They did not want to be separated from one another, so they decided to elope. 

On July 13, 1974, my dad met my mom on a newstand found in the corner of Aurora-Katipunan so they could finally be together. They rode the PanTranco bus to Baguio City

This was 45 days after the day they met. <3

Eventually of course, they were married (3 times) and they returned to their families. 

Beehive, Mom and Tina's
although this is not the exact Beehive from Merced, this was what they usually ordered in the famed bakeshop
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