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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

City Bites

It's been over a month since I've written here. The reason being I had to focus all my and my household's energies to finally setting up my food business, which to all intents and purposes, has been set up before my self-imposed deadline of when I'm 42.

Our latest fond discovery is The Coral Garden along Libis, outside Eastwood City. This is of the Cocina Tsina variety that evokes the streets in Binondo. Their crispy froglegs (no kidding) has created a loyal following in my husband. It certainly is crispy and tasted exactly like chicken wings. Of course, if you can't take away the idea from your head that you're actually eating frogs, you may take the fun out of their garlicky taste. My husband says the legs pair well with ice cold beer.

Their other offerings are equally enticing as well, there's the crispy tofu, which is requested without fail by each table, the lemon chicken and fish with tofu hotpot. Their salted fish fried rice is generous and very tasty. All in all, compared to their Binondo comrades, The Coral Garden offers a cleaner taste on Chinese food. We certainly keep coming back for more.

The second discovery is Sugar Cafe which is located at the Seven Suites Hotel Observatory just off the Sumulong Highway in Antipolo. It has a sister restaurant called The Hollywood Steakhouse. The cafe takes full advantage of the clean air and sky, thus, open; and the interiors are more in tune with night visits than day. Their version of Sacher Torte is moist, gooey and tasty but quite expensive at P260/slice.

We also tried the tofu steak of Hollywood Steakhouse, but it was served with not enough sauce and didn't deliver as much as the Coral Garden's version. However, their servings are generously plated and each meal in the menu is served with the soup of the day (it was Black Bean soup that time), coleslaw and a choice of starch - baked macaroni and cheese, fries or rice. We tried the macaroni and cheese which was really cheesy, the way a mac & cheese should be. We'll have to try out the other items at another time though. I can only guess that these
two restaurants serve as on-the-job training outlets for students of the Asian School of Hospitality Arts (ASHA), apparently the first culinary school to be based in Antipolo.

Another great affordable buy is SM Hypermart Rotisserie's Slow-Roasted Beef Belly. At P210/order, it's a great alternative for those times when you're just not in the mood to bustle in your kitchen for dinner. We usually buy it whole then just slice it thinly. It comes with its own sauce/gravy too.