100 Revolving Restaurant: a room with a view

I looked out and admired the view. It’s not exactly breathtaking to appraise traffic like it was a long congested line of ants.  I tilted my head upwards just a little bit so the concrete jungle is obscured. There were birds and the sky was clear. Now that was a sight.

Then I had a feeling at the pit of my stomach. I could feel the movement of the platform at the fringes of the restaurant. So it does move. It’s not really jarring, but I was queasy to begin with so it took me a while to get used to the movement. At that time of my first visit, it took two hours to complete one revolution. The revolution at the time of my second visit was faster by thirty minutes.
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That’s the first thing you notice at 100, the restaurant with iconic Chef Jessie Sincioco at the helm. She has a flair for grandiosity. The space is easy on the eyes as well. The menu is refined, but strangely enough it’s not as uptight as I thought it was going to be.
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And they make good bread. Really good bread.
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Between the kesong puti salad and the alugbati (which uses fresh, not blanched nightshade), the uncomplicated and familiar flavors of the former drew me in.
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It was a good “caprese” salad, but when the ceasar came out, that was my favorite. It had prawn popcorn, bacon bits over hearts of romaine. It was a good start.
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The dragon maki was hefty enough to be a meal in itself with its shrimp tempura on the inside, and then sprinkled with tempura bits and rich mayonnaise. I’m still learning to use chopsticks properly, and if you see me wield it you’ll notice my hand trembles. But for this maki I’ll brave the tremors.
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The vegetable maki was a surprise! I did not expect that I would enjoy it as well. It’s a notch lower in taste compared to its prawn counterpart, but I still appreciated it.

This sea bass is incredibly delicious. For the price, is it worth the trouble? I’d say yes. It’s drenched in a savory and sweet miso base and gives way to perfectly cooked flesh that holds it shape but it’s still very tender. Yes and yes.
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There’s also shrimp curry and beef roulade, but the seafood gambas is stellar. A medley of fruits of the sea drenched in punchy tomato sauce fits the bill of a good plate of ingredients cooked with respect.
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But the others aren’t rubbish at all! I fact, almost everything that was served to us was great. I’d just like to single out a few things that really stood out.

And I could sing songs about Chef Jessie’s desserts.
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But it’s in a moment of silence that my real appreciation creeps in. I close my eyes and just marvel at how I love a good dessert. In this case, I loved almost everything that was served.

It’s this souffle that made me smile the most. How can something be so light yet so rich? This is a soaring tribute to all things good in life. I am not exaggerating.
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One of my guilty pleasures is peanut butter. But I don’t really enjoy cheesecakes that much anymore because it’s like I’m falling into a pit of heavy flavours that never really take off. With peanut butter however, I can make an exception.
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The revolving tortas are little dense cakes filled with flavoured cream and topped with fruit. At this point I was already coming down from a souffle high but I still made room for this.
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For some strange reason souffle isn’t on your mind, this works. There’s also a delicious chocolate caramel cake that works for lovers of chocolate, but competing for attention against the souffle and tortas is hard.

100 is a posh gem. I’d like to believe you pay not just for the elegant (but also uncomplicated) food but for the great view as well. Who wouldn’t feel good dining with Manila’s shifting skyline as the backdrop?

Right now there are two reasons that compel me to go back: a chance to dine at night, to appreciate pinpricks of light all over the horizon and of course, the souffles. I love their souffles.

100 Revolving Restaurant
33rd Floor, MDC 100 Building, C5 corner Eastwood Drive, Quezon City
+632 962-1016

 

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My Weekend

This weekend I was supposed to be really really productive. I told myself I would bake my first cake on Saturday, then make palabok on Sunday (today). And here I am with no recipe to blog about.

Last night was also rough for me; I was tinkering with different theme options for my blog (the one thing i hate about wordpress.com (not self-hosted) is that free customization is difficult, blogspot is more flexible) so if you stumbled upon an uglier version of my blog last night, well that was me playing God/cosmetic surgeon. The funny thing was, at the end of it all, I ended up with the layout that I started this blog on! But I did somehow manage to delete the items from my sidebar so that’s something I have to construct again.

But I did go to the Tzu Chi One Mega Fair today. The local chapter organizes this annual one day event that gathers all kinds of merchandise under one roof. A portion of the profits, I believe, go to their charity. There were food and garment stalls, a dog show and a very emaciated Angry Birds mascot. So you can figure out what I was particularly interested in, and it wasn’t the mascot.
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I was a nice surprise that local under-the-radar dessert businesses did set up shop.
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Of particular interest is this squash cake from Emy’s Kitchen. It’s not really a cake. It’s more of squash puree probably baked/steamed in a mold. It tastes like squash (go figure), but it has the texture of a really solid bread pudding. Plus it’s studded with meat and shrimp on top, so it’s like you’re already eating lunch. This was interesting and really filling.

In other news, remember the shrimp gambas that I made a few posts back? Well opening the fridge yesterday I saw there was still a bowl that had all the shrimp heads + one piece of shrimp. Now instead of giving it to our dog, I decided to use it for the pasta dish I made for lunch!
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It’s incredibly simple: cook a handful of pasta (good for two) according to package instructions then make the sauce. Just melt a small square of butter (around 1/8th cup) in a pan. Add minced garlic and onions and red chili flakes. Then I added around 3 tablespoons of bottled pesto and a tablespoon of the same chili garlic sauce I used for my szechuan eggplant. Then add the leftover gambas. For good measure I added a few spoonfuls of the starchy pasta water so the sauce can adhere to the noodles well. Drain the pasta and toss in the pan and that’s it. It had all the right amounts of garlicy and pesto-y savoriness and heat. Really great lunch.
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 So I guess my weekend wasn’t as unproductive as I thought it was. 
 
Yellow Daisies Desserts – for the candy canes
contact: (63)9163720021
 
Emy’s Little Kitchen – tablea, cupcakes and squash cake
contact: Emy Gamboa @ (062) 955-3114 or (63) 933-6942-386
 
Ju D’s Products Philippines – for the cookies (the Tzu Chi people probably sourced these)
50 Greenmeadows Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines 
contact: (632) 633 – 1188 or email them @ jud_fruitcakes@yahoo.com
 
update: after a few hours I tried Ju D’s Ginger and Dark Choco cookies. WOW, it tastes great! you have to try it! 

Gambas/Shrimps in Garlic Butter

I like the word ‘rustic’. Usually food bloggers like myself hide behind this word when we plate something without the frills and post it on our blog. Somebody from the Food Network said rustic means it doesn’t have to look pretty. I have to agree. Relative to some bloggers out there who have been given plates made by God, let’s just say I’m still getting there.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you must have surmised that I take my food seriously. And as much as I love eating, I also equally enjoy the process of making food look good in photos. Sometimes I might produce something……well not really ugly, but I doubt that what I’ve made would whet appetites. Have I come a long way? Hell yeah. But there’s still a long way to go. I’m learning and I’m drowning in inspiration.

As a newbie, I enjoy the magic moments when everything just falls into place perfectly. The moment where you don’t have to force anything out of the food to make it look artificially good. It just does.

Who can say anything bad about shrimps, garlic and butter together? That’s a magic moment right there. This dish goes by a lot of names. Here in the Philippines we call it gambas. You can call it garlic shrimps. We can call it delicious anytime. It’s rustic because it’s simple. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. I never should be.

I also made this for my Mama Eng. She’s my aunt who’s been with the family since before I was born. She survived taking care of three incredibly demanding baby boys, one of which is now 20 years old. It was her birthday yesterday and we thank God for the day she came into our lives. Hypertension and diabetes prohibits her from indulging, but for gambas, I think she made an exception.

For good measure, I sliced a pan de sal, brushed it with the gambas oil and toasted it. Rice? You don’t need it. When you serve gambas with toasted bread and allow the bread to absorb some of the fragrant and equally toasty sweet oil, it’s heaven. Heaven.

It was also the perfect time to practice my Masterchef (haha) skills. Jennifer, season 2 winner, said that shrimp heads can really add flavor to a dish. 

Gambas/Shrimps in Garlic Butter

  • 1 kg large shrimp
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/8 – ¼ cup salted butter (one block is 1 cup; half of it lengthwise is ½ cup – I used ¼ cup but adjust to your liking)
  • 1 tbsp gin (optional)
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 eight inch lemongrass stalk (optional)
  • A dash of thyme, paprika, chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Reserved shrimp heads (around 4)
  • 1 pan de sal (or your preferred bread)
  1. Peel and devein the shrimp.
  2. In large pan enough to hold the shrimps over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter. Heat until butter melts and is foamy.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and lemongrass. Fry until fragrant.
  4. Add the shrimp heads, gin, thyme, paprika and chilli flakes. Season with salt, pepper.
  5. Add the shrimps and cook until it becomes pink. Remove from heat.
  6. Slice a pan de sal in half. Brush it with the garlic oil and toast until slightly brown. Do not allow to burn.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

I received an email a few days ago from Kristina, an editor from Be @ Home, part of Become.com‘s blogging network. She told me that they wanted to give my blog an “Editor’s Choice” award! I was floored! You can see the badge on the sidebar, below my other foodista recognition. 🙂