May 2007 Archives
For those who haven’t discovered this hidden jewel, My Spoon is an unassuming yet stylish restaurant located across the ABS-CBN Complex in Quezon City, and owned by a group of friends that include the husband-and-wife tandem of Alex and Monique Ignacio and newscaster Ces Oreña-Drilon. My Spoon attracts a smattering of celebrities, politicians and yuppies who come for the cozy yet sophisticated ambience that stimulates the five senses. The cushioned banquettes, metal chairs, and rough hewn walls delight the sense of touch with their various textures. The paintings on display, which are changed every two months, are set against the room’s earthy tones to attract the sense of sight. Of course, the food is the real star, exciting the senses of smell and taste.
My Spoon’s menu is quite extensive, ranging from continental fare to Asian and Filipino specialties, reflecting the eclectic tastes of the owners. Many of the dishes started as favorite family recipes that eventually found their way into the menu. But the star attraction at My Spoon is without doubt the oysters. They are served in the traditional manner – raw on the half-shell sitting on a bed of rock salt or ice. My Spoon’s ultimate interpretation of oysters on the raw is Oysters a la Monique, specially concocted by Monique Ignacio herself. For just P280, diners get to feast on a plate full of fresh oysters with slow-roasted tomatoes and herbs, lemon sorbet, and topped with seaweed and caviar. My Spoon also offers cooked oyster dishes like Oyster Nachos, Alex Ignacio’s creation of baked oysters topped with salsa, nacho bits and cheese. A bizarre combination perhaps, but the blend of soft oyster meat and crunchy nachos actually works. For those who cannot get enough of oysters, My Spoon offers an eat-all-you-can oyster buffet for only P650++.
Diners should not stop with the oysters though. Find out what other new and exciting dishes are offered at My Spoon in F&B World March-April 2007 issue.
Visit My Spoon at 143 Mother Ignacia St. South Triangle, Quezon City Tel. (02) 929-9965
Malabon’s claim to fame when it comes to food treasures would be the town’s famous pansit Malabon, Rufina’s Patis and Dolor’s best-selling, world famous kakanin. Kakanin comes from the root word kanin (rice) and the prefix ka which pertains to the many kinds of recipes made from rice meant to be eaten as dessert or merienda fare. Kakanin is actually a generic term for all native desserts, majority of which are made with rice, coconut, cassava, saba (plantain), taro and sweet potato. Amy Besa (co-owner of Cendrillon Restaurant in New York City and author of Memories of Philippine Kitchens) sentimentally refers to kakanin as delightful native desserts made to celebrate the harvest of the Philippine Islands.
Aling Dolor is to be commended for being the unsung ambassador of native desserts. She opened her humble doors in the mid-1940s. Through sheer word of mouth, the popularity of her homegrown delicacies spread over the decades. From her passion, creativity and hardworking hands would come a kaleidoscope of colorful native delights such as ube halaya, kutsinta, biko, kalamay de mais, putong puti, putong ube, pichi-pichi, turones de casoy, yema and pastillas. Aling Dolor lived the single life, married to her passion which was dedicated to keeping the allure of native desserts alive. She passed away in 1997, with her niece, Elenita Jacinto, taking over the reins of the business.
Let Heny Sison tour you around Dolor's Malabon branch. Discover the legacy that lies behind this simple but popular Filipino dessert shop and the wonders it offers in F&B World March-April 2007 issue.
The most memorable dishes are those whipped up by great inspiration and perfect integration. With this in mind, Nino Zulueta and Robby Goco, inspired by the best of Greece and the Philippines and coupled with a natural penchant for great food, have breathed life into Manilaâ€™s latest toast of the town, Cyma. This Greek restaurant, which originally gained fame in Boracay, then opened its doors to city dwellers at Shangri-La Plaza, has finally landed in Greenbelt 2, Makati, pioneering a new taste in fresh, appetizingly healthy culinary creations. When I asked why Greek food, Goco was quick to reiterate the similarities between our native cuisine and Greeceâ€™s. Both have a natural partiality to seafood, which is in abundance in both countries. Both enjoy the same tender texture of meats (It seems both Filipino and Greek cattle are accustomed to physical work). Most of all, Filipinos and Greeks seem to have similar taste in food, and are very discerning when it comes to flavors and spices. It was a risky endeavor, no doubt, but the duo was running on natural motivation, fresh recipes, and raw mettle. And with Cymaâ€™s indisputable success, the partners are happily vindicated, enjoying the full bounty of their inspiration.
Boasting of recipes tried-and-tested over and over again until perfected, and of nothing but the freshest ingredients (They donâ€™t even have a can opener anywhere in the kitchen!), Cymaâ€™s menu offers a wide range of fresh and healthy Greek fare. To get yourself familiarized with the cuisine, start off with Pikilia, an appetizing assembly of dips -- Tzatziki (refreshing cucumber and yogurt), Melitzanosalata (roasted eggplant and tomatoes), Hummous (creamy chickpea and tahini), and yummy Htipiti (feta cheese and roasted peppers) -- served with soft and warm pita bread. Youâ€™ll be happily dipping away as you await your next dish. In the meantime, the fresh-picked Roca Salata is a must-try arugula salad and a well-loved Cyma original. But donâ€™t put down that unfinished pita bread just yet. Make sure to dip it into the creamy, flavorful Artichoke & Spinach Fondue. This is a luscious, velvety delight with fresh spinach and artichokes smothered in cheese. The Roka Pasta is a melange of garlic pasta and sundried tomatoes, covered in heaps of fresh arugula leaves -- subtle, unsullied, delightful. The arugula leaves an unforgettable tang, preparing the palate for the unforgettable Chicken Souvlaki. Pinoy barbecue lovers will enjoy the huge, tender chunks of chicken grilled on a stick with bell peppers and fresh tomatoes, lightly basted with a tangy tomato-based sauce. Eat it like the Greeks do, wrapped in hot pita bread and dipped in yogurt sauce. Light but absolutely heavenly, bite after bite!
Want other suggestions on dishes you should try in Cyma? Read the full resto review in F&B World March-April issue. After which, you can try them out at Cyma's three branches:
Cyma Estiatorio G/F Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City Tel. (02) 729-4837 Cyma Greek Taverna Level 6, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City Tel. (02) 637-3090 Cyma Greek Cuisine D'Mall, Boracay Island, Aklan Tel. (036) 288-4283
Since the dawn of time, the urge to explore the world through the seas has been imprinted in history. From explorers led by Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo searching for land or spice to their present day counterparts navigating the oceans, the allure of the vast seas has beckoned for ages.
In 1818, the first ship to offer passenger service from England to the United States took 2 months to complete the journey. This improved in 1837 when the first transatlantic journey was accomplished in 15 days onboard a steamship. In 1870, the White Star fleet’s RMS Oceanic refitted its ship with first class cabins midship, adding larger portholes and offering running water and electricity.
At present, the global cruise industry comprises a significant portion of the hospitality industry. In 2003, according to Datamonitor, while the hospitality sector generated US$315 billion, the cruise line sector’s worldwide value was pegged at US$16.2 billion, or roughly 5.2% of the market segment. This sector was also deemed to achieve the strongest growth at 3.8% annually between 2003 and 2008.
With 9/11, cruise travel declined but rebounded in 2004. Figures have shown that this is a market segment that still has to reach its full potential. In 1999 alone, 10.7 million passengers comprised the cruise market. The year 2005 was estimated to have 11.4 million passengers -- an increase of 8.5% annually, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Representing 19 North American cruise lines, CLIA sees seagoing vacations as continuing to grow in popularity.
There are 11 main operators in the cruise ship sector. Of these, the major players are Carnival Cruise Lines, with 47% of the market and the following brands under its flag – Carnival, Holland America, Windstar, Seabourn Cruises, P&O Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and Cunard Cruise Lines. Recently, it has added AIDA (a German club cruise line) to its fold. Royal Caribbean has about 33% of the market and operates two brands – Royal Caribbean Cruises and Celebrity Cruises. The balance is made up of other operators such as Disney Cruises, Birha Line, Star Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Premier Cruises...
Find out why more and more Filipinos are riding the tide of the cruising wave by seeking employment aboard the world's most luxurious cruise liners with F&B World March-April's cover story. Grab your copies now!