Monday, August 16, 2010

Max's Restaurant: The House That Fried Chicken Built

They say everybody loves chicken and though I am aware that I am quite allergic to it, my appetite tends to be stronger than my will (haha!). Miracles do happen and thanks to my once in a while crazy cravings, it seems that I have become immune to it (finally! not completely but who cares! It's chicken-all-you-can! It's Max's Fried Chicken! ^_^)

Max's Restaurant has been giving us the best Filipino-style fried chicken for over 65years now. It has been over 6 decades as well that they have amazed and inspired every Filipino family to eat and enjoy this wonderful treat together. In my case, I remember having my first taste of the famous Max's fried chicken when I was about 10, at their Sct. Tuazon branch, near Roces in Q.C. if I'm not wrong. Years have passed and that homey fried chicken recipe still haunts my taste buds, making me crave and long for that distinctive taste over and over again.

Then there comes their Chicken-All-You-Can eat promo which allowed every chicken lover to pig out and enjoy what Max's has been known for. It was the first and biggest promotion that Max's has offered. Imagine having dinner (the promo starts from 6:00pm to 10:00pm) eating a bunch of Max's sarap to the bones fried chicken in quarter parts for just 165php; what a bargain!!! Oh! And not forget that just by adding 39php you can avail bottomless Pepsi products - perfect accompaniment for such big appetite. I tried it with some of my friends, making it as a game wherein the person who eats the most gets a prize. As expected, I only consumed 3, enough for me to savor and satisfy my cravings. We all had so much fun; not just because of the great tasting chicken but also with the warm service that we got and the new comfy ambiance of the resto.

The promotion ended last July. I wasn't able to blog about it because I don't have an account yet that time. Good thing a good friend of mine, B'ley of invited me to join her in attending the Max's Chicken-All-You-Can Thanksgiving Party & Bloggers' Night held at Glorietta 3 (finally! I will be able to blog how sarap to the bones the experience was). It's amazing how consistent the taste of the chicken was - it remained juicy, tender and savory not just through time but also from each branch that I've been to - a great evidence of how careful Max's is in preparing their well-loved white meat. Aside from allowing us to devour as many chicken as we could (I had 4... ^_^), they also offered us two new heirloom dishes that can really change one's perception of what Max's Restaurant can offer.

First on the list is Max's Pork Binagoongan - pork cubes sautéed in a rich, mildly sweet and salty shrimp paste sauce placed on a bed of fried eggplants. Garnished with tomato wedges, fine julienned green mangoes and sprinkled with chopped spring onions. This dish is stellar and is one of my favorites. I cannot help not to love the balanced flavors that play in your mouth while chewing the very tender meat. It’s amazing that the bagoong doesn't over power the flavor of the pork. I also wanted to take note of the julienned green mangoes that adds a certain sourness and kick to the dish (wish they could've topped ours more... hehe...) as well as the sweet tomatoes that added a layer of freshness into it (FYI, I so love tomatoes! ^_^). I can actually finish a plate of this just by having it as a salad or much better with a hefty serving of warm rice! (I am not a big fan of fried eggplants but this dish changed my perception, very astonishing!). I adore how Max's turned a well-loved, classic Filipino dish into a meal that everyone will be craving for.

Next, is the Max’s Chicken Caldereta. A hearty chicken stew in a thick tomato-based sauce and garnished with chunks of potatoes, carrots, red and green bell pepper and green peas. This dish has the right level of spiciness and is a perfect pair for steaming white rice. The sauce is exceptional especially when you eat it with the tender chicken meat and potatoes. I must say that the potatoes and carrots are cooked to perfection - not too hard and not too mushy - just a right bite and taste to complement a very rich sauce. I tried to have it as it is but it is even more delicious with the rice (very Pinoy! ^_^).

And to complete such great gustatory experience, when you dine in at any Max's Restaurant nationwide from August 15 to October 15 and ordered any of these two new dishes, you can avail a complementary serving of white rice and a Pepsi softdrink – absolutely free!

My experience with Max's is not just exquisitely delicious but is also truly memorable and exceptional. As for me, Max's is not just a regular restaurant but is also one of the pillars of great Filipino cuisine and tradition. Through time, they have continued to transcend and remind every Filipino of how good our food is and that we should always be proud of our culture and of who we are. Thanks Max's for giving us such great food and inspiration. May the House That Fried Chicken Built and its sarap to the bones chicken continue to evolve and transform usual Filipino dishes into something different yet very familiar to the Pinoy palette.

Max's Restaurant

Max's Restaurant Marketing
Makati, Philippines, 1231
dial 7-9000 for Max's Delivery (Metro Manila Philippines only)

Be part of the Max's Online community by reaching them through the following:

Order & Pay Online


Credits: Special thanks to Max's for providing good pictures of the dishes (you saved me and my battery empty camera... ^_^) and to for the Max's Restaurant Sct. Tuazon Branch facade pic.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Next Best Thing: Fleur de Lys Patisserie!

I have actually lived my whole life in our residence in Quezon City. Though I am confined now at the corners of our unit in Pasig-Cainta, still I miss that place where it all started. It was at home in Kamuning, through my ever caring mom, that I existed embodying the love for food, especially for desserts. Just like the other places that I've been to, QC has a lot of hidden treasures yet to be discovered. I consider myself lucky enough to have known one of them. It was way back when I was still in high school, through a friend that I haven't seen for such a long time (I couldn't even remember his name... oh please! spare me... hehehe...) that I visited a patisserie near ABS-CBN and had tasted my very first molten chocolate cake - and they called that place Fleur de Lys.

The name Fleur de Lys pertains to a stylized lily (comes from the French words fleur, meaning flower and lis, meaning lily) or iris and is used as a decorative design or symbol. According to my friend, Wiki (haha! ^_^), it may be one and at the same time, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic, especially in heraldry. But as for me, hearing this name is nothing but gastronomic!

Fleur de Lys is conveniently located along Tomas Morato Ext., beside Belo Medical Clinic and in front of Dolce Bar. This cute pastry shop has been awarded and nominated for several food and dessert award giving buddies. Upon entering the shop, a small yet very inviting counter with a display of beautiful desserts awaits every sweet tooth. I also love the warm welcome that I received from their staff; their smiles reflect those of what they sell - sweets and a bunch of my comfort foods. The walls are painted light blue with some golden fleur de lys on it; very simple, classy, relaxing and cool to look at. Contrasting these colors are their pink menus which really urges you to pick them up, browse, and order.

So, to start what with my FLD experience, I ordered their famous The Next Best Thing and paired it up with Minty Chocolate Drink. The Next Best Thing is a warm, molten chocolate cake with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream. This fantastic dessert offers a great chocolaty experience (imagine a very moist and warm chocolate cake that is oozing with more melted chocolate at the center! A must try for all chocoholics!) I like my molten cake usually combined with the cold vanilla ice cream, that way you can enjoy the flavors of how the bittersweet goodness of the chocolate combines with the rich creaminess of the vanilla ice cream. And oh! not to forget how the chocolate melts in your mouth... (oh soooo good!)

The Next Best Thing, 120Php

I have been long in love with the combination of mint and chocolate. So, instead of having the Macadamia Nut Latte or the Earl Greyer (which I had before; it amazingly compliments the cake) I decided to get the Minty Chocolate drink. It is topped with whipped cream, chocolate and mint syrup and you can have it either warm or cold - hot coffee or as a dessert drink respectively. A very light and simple drink to finish off a rich dessert.

Minty Chocolate, 125Php

Another cake that truly amazed me was their Pavlova Picasso. It is made up of layers of strawberry walnut meringue with cream, carefully topped and decorated with fresh fruits; definitely a feast for the senses. This cake doesn't just taste great but it's very pretty to look at, more likely a work of art. Its very light and I really admire the textures as you chew the meringue together with the cream and walnuts, add to that its balanced sweetness. I've never had such great pavlova before.

Pavlova Picasso, 110Php

Fleur de Lys does not only offer delectable cakes but also certain French-American-Filipino fusion food. Off their menu, they have a wide range of something to have for breakfast - Garlic Tapa, Spicy Bangus, Chicken Galatina (comes with your choice of sunny-side-up or scrambled egg/plain or garlic rice/tomatoes and atchara); lunch and dinner; love their pasta creations - pesto, carbonara, puttanesca, even aligue and garlic; awesome sandwiches, waffles, sausages, healing soups and salads that are both yummy and healthy; truly enough reasons for coming back.

My experience at Fleur de Lys is such a blast. They have truly satisfied not just my tummy but also my heart. I believe that good food should not only bring fullness but also warmth and happiness to one's troubled mind. It should allow you to relax and enjoy each and every bite. There is nothing more rewarding than to have great tasting food that can uplift your once dampened spirit (I guess it's the rain, sometimes it makes me feel gloomy... thanks to the fantastic desserts! I was saved! hehe...^_^) I think that's the reason why it's called comfort food. From its small doors, this shop sincerely screams not just affordable and first-rate rations but also how sweet life is, and that we should always remember how good it is to be alive and be able to experience its goodness. I will surely come back and taste more of their delicious offerings! I have to try their savory dishes, famous cheesecakes and the Autumn Leaves Cake that I'm very curious about...

Fleur de Lys

Tomas Morato
Ground Level, FLP Bldg.
305 Tomas Morato Ext., South Triangle
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone Number: (63 2) 372-0631

Credits: Special Thanks to for the pink menu, cake display and facade pics. The rain made me unable to capture the latter. Thanks much!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rainy Sunday at MoMo! Cafe

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon and I really got bored rolling all over my bed and hugging my pillows all day. Boredom kills, so after uploading the pictures that I needed for my future blog posts, I decided to go out and have an early dinner... alone...

I preferred to go out alone since I will be focusing into writing entries for thestrollingspoon; that way, I will not be passing on the boredom to anyone and at the same time be able to think and brainstorm efficiently (yes, sometimes I tend to be such a loner; but i actually benefit a lot from being one... trust me... more focus, less expenses... haha! kidding... ^_^) Along the way, I was actually thinking of a place where I can be fed and at the same time be able to finish my blog posts conveniently. Then there was MoMo!, conveniently located at the entrance of the Eastwood Mall. I was starving much (I only ate pansit canton for breakfast and its way passed lunchtime) so I immediately checked their menu and asked for a table for one.

I have actually eaten at MoMo! several times. I have learned that it was from the same people who gave us Chelsea and M Cafe. The food is in share portions and since I am alone, it will be a blast for my hungry appeptite. As a start, I ordered the MoMo! Gourmet Salad. I so loved the arugula mixed greens, they are crunchy and sweet - meaning they are actually fresh and not store bought. I also adored the other components of the salad - roasted garlic shiitake mushrooms, candied walnuts, fresh white cheese, sliced oranges and hard boiled eggs. Most chefs say that the perfect salad should have the perfect dressing. For this salad, they tossed it raspberry-balsamic vinaigrette. I actually find it too sweet but complement the greens and the totality of the salad really well.

The MoMo! Gourmet Salad, 225Php

Next, I had their Good Morning Pilipinas! as my main course. First thing that I noticed was the plating - very simple yet inviting - it must be the plate that looks like a record vinyl that made it looked very interesting. It's one of their breakfast meals that includes, vegetable omelet (more likely an ensalada omelet without the green mangoes), garlic rice, beef tapa and some sausages (unfortunately, when I ordered it, they didn't have the sausages available; they added more tapa instead). This set is also accompanied by some condiments: lemon-flavored vinegar, atchara and mixed fruits (diced melon, green apples, and watermelon) for a quick dessert. I was actually amazed by the vinegar, dipping the tapa on it makes it more delicious; it adds a layer of sourness to the sweet and salty beef tapa. The omelet combined with the garlic rice is just right - really perfect for a good breakfast (though it was actually time for a merienda... haha!)

Good Morning Pilipinas! and condiments, 295Php

I really enjoy having good food with "something" to drink. And when I say "something" it should be special, so I had a Strawberry Flavored Frozen Iced Tea to accompany my heavy early dinner craving. I was supposed to order the guava flavored one but it is not available, so I settled to just have the strawberry instead. It has the right sweetness and acidity to it, tastes fresh and the frothe' was to die for. Never had such a great fruit flavored iced tea before.

Strawberry Flavored Frozen Iced Tea, 110Php

I really enjoyed my MoMo! experience though there some downsides that I cannot help but notice. First is that the place feels a little crowded and the crews are all over the place. They are also not very attentive; imagine that I have to ask them twice just to have a glass of water. Also, others may consider dining at this resto a bit pricey (500php for my meal). Nevertheless, the food is of great quality and I will surely be back to try their other dishes.

After strolling around and having good food, it was then a fun and productive Sunday for me. I was able to talk to my friend, B’ley of and as I quote her “masarap kumain ng mag-isa kung minsan, pero mas mkumain nang may kasama”. I truly agree with her. In fact, I always eat together with a bunch of colleagues and friends. I am actually not used eating alone but then I believe that sometimes, we have to spend some quality moments with ourselves. Going out alone might be boring and lonely but for me, it is just one way of knowing myself more, reflecting on to things that may be different when I’m with a group of friends. Nothing is wrong with being alone for some time. What’s important is the fact that though you have chosen to be alone for a day, you still have friends that will always love to be there and join you when you need them. Don't worry guys, I am not an anti-social or something. I am just your strolling spoon ready for the adventure about food and what life has to offer.

MoMo! Café

Space A-124 Ground Floor, Eastwood Parkview Mall, Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City
900-1006 / 900-1007 (Phone) (Email)

Credits: Special thanks to for the MoMo! Gourmet Salad photo....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yema ala Ki

Yema is a type of custard candy made from egg yolks and condensed milk. This is a common Filipino dessert and one of the easiest to make. The ingredients needed are readily available and this does not require a lot of cooking and preparation time; enough reasons for me and my friends to go gaga about it.

This craze started days ago, when two of my dear friends, Cams and Ki planned to start studying how to bake (there's actually a funnier reason why they're so into baking now... and I want to keep it as a secret... haha! kidding...) They shared the idea of it with me and finally we agreed to try it. So, to start of with their training, I decided to give them my own yema recipe.

It is a recipe that I got from my mom way back when I was in high school. Funny but true, I used to sell yema to my classmates at that time and it was such a hit! Since then, it has been the closest Filipino delicacy to my heart. <3 <3 <3

Here's my version of my mom's yema recipe:

1 can condensed milk
12 egg yolks
nuts (optional) (I prefer cashew, almonds or hazelnuts... ^_^)

Mix condensed milk and egg yolks in a double boiler (a small pan inside a bigger a sauce pan of boiling water). Doing this method instead from putting the custard over direct heat can avoid it from burning. Cook this mixture over medium to high heat, stirring it continuously until the mixture coagulates and separates from the pan. Make sure that it has changed its consistency. Add the nuts. Set aside and cool. Shape it into pyramids and wrap with colorful cellophanes.

For Yema Bonbons, shape your mixture into balls dipping it into caramel or arnibal (equal amounts of sugar & water) using toothpicks. When the caramel hardens, wrap it with different colored plastic wraps.

Enjoy! :D

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

confessions, confections and coffee sessions v.01

Life is like drinking coffee. Sometimes, you want it black, strong enough to keep you all perked up. Sometimes, you prefer to integrate it with cream to make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won't even know you're having coffee. It used to wake you up, now it can put you to sleep. Complicated right? This is my perception of what life is, exactly just like how we want our every cup; it is our preference whether we want it black, sweet, or creamy. Luckily, I happen know an elixir that could have just the right blend of everything - the Starbucks' Caramel Macchiato.

Macchiato is an Italian word which means "marked". It is actually popular among fellow coffee addicts and is usually ordered in two types: either latte macchiato (steamed milk marked with a little espresso) for a milder and smoother coffee or cafe' macchiato (espresso marked with a little milk) for a more robust and stronger feel to your drink. The Starbucks' Caramel Macchiato falls on the first type (i think.. ^_^;) The evidence is with the amount of milk that you're having when you check on the layers of liquids before muddling it up.

Everything in this coffee, whether it is hot or iced is amazing. This is actually one of my favorite coffee creations from Starbucks. Most of the time, I order it iced and have it topped with whipped cream, drizzled with more caramel syrup (learn to customize your drink, that way you'll be able to get what you want, get the right value for your money and love your baristas even more, haha!) I only order it hot on those cold, lonely nights... (haha! just kidding...) Though it contains more milk, for me it is just enough to counter the prominent flavor of the espresso, resulting to a balanced mix of its three main ingredients - freshly steamed milk with creamy vanilla syrup, an intense hit of espresso roast and the buttery caramel drizzle - just all three to complete a perfect coffee experience (oh! add to that its very enticing aroma... ^_^)

A great coffee will not be complete without a perfect pastry. For the caramel macchiato, I prefer to pair it up with the Choco Lava Cake.

This is a warm and rich chocolate cake topped with whipped cream (for other coffee shops they put vanilla ice cream instead, which adds more thrill to this cake) and drizzled with caramel syrup (you can also request to add either more caramel or additional chocolate syrup, heaven!). Dig in and see what it's name stands for. (choco lavaaa!!!)

Coffee is closely connected to our everyday lives. Through time, it has been transformed from an ordinary breakfast drink into different concoctions and concepts that truly reflects our viewpoints about life. So, when your preference tends to be black and bitter, don't forget that the keys to happiness is just within your reach; that you can always grab a cup of milk to lighten up the harshness of your drink. You also have an option of adding more sweetness to it - don't forget to call on your friends to mellow it down and have you reminded that you are always being loved. Its always good to be happy but don't get too laid back for life sometimes is unkind. Having a taste of both sweetness and bitterness can teach you to be eager and tough. Be cool but don't take life for granted. Be tough but don't be emotionally weak. Don't let the darkness eat you or else instead of achieving your dreams while you're awake, you'll just end up dreaming... As for me, life really happens over coffee, so enjoy every sip and take a piece of what life has to offer...

Have a coffee break... share it with your friends and turn minutes into moments ;D

Royce' Champagne Nama Chocolate

*sigh* Honestly, I really don't know how to start this. My mind cannot actually come up with any ideas on what will be my first blog entry. So, to make my brain cells up and running, I decided to grab some chocolates while ransacking my documents... I used to eat a lot of sweets, especially dark chocolates, when I was in college (well, until today). Why? I do it for several reasons: (1) science says that chocolates can enhance memory; (2) aside from being a fuel for thought and good taste, chocolates can put us on good mood and even bring up happy memories; lastly (3) I have the worst case of having a sweet tooth. Being aware of my addiction, I suddenly remembered my search for the well-known Nama Chocolate - a perfect treat to kick off this blog entry.

It was Friday afternoon when my good friend, Cj and I went to the newly opened Greenbelt 5 to check out some stuffs. To my surprise, after months of searching and dreaming to taste one, I finally get to experience the famous Nama Chocolate. We accidentally bumped into a Royce' stall while strolling (damn! I'm so lucky! haha!). I am a sucker for dark chocolates so I kept on trying their Bitter Nama but it was the Champagne Nama which really caught my attention. Without any second thoughts, I purchased the latter and immediately convened with my very dear friend, Yedy, to share this great discovery.

The chocolate will be wrapped in an aluminum bag when you purchase it from the store in order to keep it at a low temperature and prevent it from melting (it actually looks like a silver purse, very chic.. haha!). A dry ice (which can last about 3-5 hours depending on the outside temperature) will be also provided... nice... :D

Upon unwrapping the box you can find a booklet about other Royce' products (in Japanese characters). A small plastic "knife" is also provided. Inside the box, chocolate is yet again wrapped with another layer of plastic with Royce' logos all over it. Once you have opened this plastic, there is yet another clear plastic covering which will snap in place. I really admire the packaging... (they really know how to excite chocoholics like me... haha!)

Royce Champagne Nama Chocolate. 580Php

Finally, we get to my favorite part, the chocolate. They are beautifully arranged and partitioned in small cubes. Light cocoa powder are spread on top of the blocks to prevent them from sticking to the plastic surface (in case you shake the box too much while carrying it). Very thoughtful of Royce, such delicate delight needs a very careful handling. :D

Also, I've learned that the name of these chocolate squares came from the word "nama" meaning raw or fresh. This famous Asian confection is actually made up of 20-25% fresh cream. I can describe the taste as if I am eating cubed pieces of chocolate ganache due to the high cream content compared to other traditional chocolates. What also makes it really unique is the combination of textures and flavors - from the bitter cocoa powder to an instant, melt-in-your-mouth sensation to the mild and creamy taste - it's such an experience that every chocoholic shouldn't miss!

Savoring Nama Chocolate really made me all hyped up. I was supposed to buy a new shirt but I traded it for this new baby instead - and I have no regrets for doing so... hahaha! I have truly satisfied my cravings and upon tasting it, you'll look forward to taste the other flavors. I heard that they already have the Strawberry Nama! Waaahhh! That's what I have to try the next time! :D