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I WILL TELL YOU now that this review will be clouded over by a certain incident. Before going to Maginhawa’s Van Gogh is Bipolar, a restaurant in Quezon City, this reporter was listening to the song “Dominique” by Souer Sourire. I was thinking of a story my mother told me, that in another world, I might have been named Dominic (a variant of the name), because of her and her father’s shared fondness for the song. I was contemplating what life would have been with another name — that name — right before meeting artist and chef Jetro Rafael, the founder of Van Gogh is Bipolar (which we will call Van Gogh from here on in). As I stepped into the restaurant, Mr. Rafael greeted me: “Ah! Dominic.” I then proceeded to interview Mr. Rafael with the sort of wide-eyed curiosity one accords to a magician.
THE Mid Valley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur has more than 100 restaurants, cafés, and snack stands to meet every kind of craving. As of this month, that list includes a novel and seemingly quixotic option: Santan, a café that serves airplane food in cardboard boxes.
EVERYONE KNOWS you can enjoy wonderful meals in cities such as Paris, New York, London, and Tokyo. But what of other dining destinations, with fabulous dishes that are more likely to be found in casual bars or bistros than in fancy restaurants?
ON A recent trip to Iloilo, Jeannie Javelosa, chief visionary officer of GREAT Women (the acronym for Gender-Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women) — a platform that supports women for economic empowerment through microenterprises — visited a weaving community and noticed that production speed was slow. The older weavers said that poor eyesight made it difficult to work.
RAMEN-YA or ramen restaurants have become so popular in the country that most malls have more than one offering some form of noodle soup from some region of Japan. Such is the focus of these restaurants to maintain that authentic taste, a bowl of good ramen will set one back around P500 so it was a pleasant surprise to find a good ramen restaurant offering a complete meal for the same price.
MEAT CONCEPTS Inc., the group behind KPub BBQ, Thai BBQ,Ogawa, Oppa Chicken, Modern China, and Rico’s Lechon, among others, is opening several new concepts this year: a Chinese hotpot restaurant, another Cantonese concept, a steakhouse, and a Korean stew spot.
IN THE early days, animals in the forest bullied the sun for producing unbearable heat. When the sun disappeared for quite a long time, the animals apologized daily by writing “Sorry” on stone, smoke, and fire, and spelling the word out with their bodies. In desperation for sunlight, the chicken unceasingly chuckled until the sun rose. Unfortunately, when the chicken and the sun gave each other a high five upon rising, the chicken turned into fried chicken. Thus is the legend, according to Max’s Restaurant.
THE seasons are here to remind us of our place in the universe. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter occur due to the Earth’s axial tilt, and humankind's existence revolves around this cosmic phenomenon. The seasons also remind us of the passage of time, how things that blossom will die someday, and, perhaps, be reborn in the future.
HOME COOKING has a way of connecting us with a purer version of ourselves. Before the world left us all scratched, somebody loved us and prepared food for us. We guess that’s the magic of Milky Way Café, where each dish brings us back to our mother’s table, when nothing yet could go wrong.
JUNIOR ISN’T the only Filipino eatery in Montreal, but as all the others are clustered around the Cote-des-Neiges neighborhood it’s the only one that chose to strike out for other pastures, establishing itself in 2014 in Griffintown, a former Irish immigrant community turned industrial area turned urban renewal experiment.
VIRGINA LLAMAS was a homemaker who prepared impeccable signature dishes. Her husband, Carlos P. Romulo, was appointed as the Philippines’ permanent delegate to the United Nations with the rank of Ambassador the day after Manuel Roxas was sworn as the first president of the Philippine Republic. In 1946, the family settled in Washington D.C. — their home for the next 14 years. It was at that time that Virgina introduced Filipino cuisine to American guests and foreign diplomats. Her recipes served as inspiration for Romulo Café’s home-cooked dishes.
OF ALL the facets of culture and history — think language, clothing, art — food is usually relegated to the sidelines. “It’s always going to be there,” we say to ourselves while it disappears from our tables, replaced by global selections that are easy to prepare, easy to eat, and are easily forgotten. Food does not deserve this position, for it is the fuel that forged revolutions, gave sustenance to communities, and, today, continues to build the nation.
TWO weeks ago, the James Beard Foundation announced awards for the top restaurants, chefs, and beverage professionals across the country.
AN ICONIC Los Angeles restaurant made famous as Frank Sinatra’s hangout is getting a dream revival. The catch? You have only two years to check it out.
NEW YORK icon Shake Shack is building a home in the Philippines with the opening of its first branch in BGC’s Central Square.
AS a former part of the British Empire, it’s not surprising to find influences of Britannia in Singapore. One such example is gin, Britain’s favored libation from the 17th century onwards, finding a home in Singapore’s favorite cocktail, the Singapore Sling (made with a base of gin, coupled with cherry liqueur and pineapple juice, among others).
MEMBERS of the press were led to the kitchen before lunch time. This writer remained quiet and very nervous as we walked to the kitchen. We were told that after a short cooking demo by celebrity chef Jereme Leung, we were to recreate the same dish ourselves. Mr. Leung showed the group how to prepare crispy milk fritters, a traditional dessert in Da Lang in Guangdong, China which uses buffalo milk as a special ingredient.
AFTER FOUR consecutive years topping the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Bangkok’s Gaggan has finally been dethroned.
MANGOES are very popular in the Philippines — served as a fruit shake, dried in packs as pasalubong, or kept fresh in the kitchen waiting to be sliced and eaten with rice like a modified California maki (even without the seaweed and crab sticks). Now Manila has a new restaurant that specializes in a variety of mango beverages and desserts.
THERE ARE two ways the human mind perceives nature. One makes us seek balance and tranquility, while the other allows us to unleash ourselves and become truly wild. A restaurant in Quezon City allows you to do both: to be tranquil on the weekdays and, for the young ones, go wild on the weekends.
JUST A few months ago, Vice News published a story with a provocative headline: “The Coolest Place to Get a Drink in Midtown Manhattan Is the New Taco Bell.”
RESTAURANT rating guide Michelin said on Tuesday that it will launch a publication for California in early June, expanding its current coverage for eateries in San Francisco and the surrounding wine-producing regions of Napa and Sonoma.
FOODEE Global Concepts is the company is responsible for bringing in foreign restaurant brands that have earned Michelin stars in their home countries: think FOO’D, Hawker Chan, Tsuta, Kam’s Roast, and Tim Ho Wan (among others). But Foodee’s success with foreign brands began with the Todd English Food Hall in SM Aura, which by now has expanded into other concepts under the name of the celebrity chef: there’s Hook, then Pound; both by Todd English.
WOLFGAT seats just 20 diners in a tiny cottage in a fishing village more than two hours’ drive from Cape Town, South Africa.
CLARE SMYTH is one of the world’s leading chefs. So what is the centerpiece of the menu at her two-Michelin-starred restaurant?
Ilustrado Restaurant and Café in Intramuros, Manila has come up with a five-course Valentine meal — the amuse bouche is Beet and goat cheese arancini; a choice of three appetizers namely Mushroom duo, Jamon and melon, and Salmon mille-feuille; Roasted tomato soup; cucumber melon sorbet; entrée choices include Australian lamb ribs, Barramundi fillet, and US beef tenderloin; and for dessert either Chocolate Fantasy or Berry Bavarois.
AFTER merely a year of operations, “glorified turo-turo” restaurant concept Bench Café, is set to open more locations within the year after its second branch opened in Greenbelt 3, Makati City this month and the success it garnered at the flagship branch in Bonifacio Global City (BGC)in Taguig.