Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Krispy Kreme Experience

Get your waistlines ready...Krispy Kreme is in Manila!

I never really understood what all the fuss was about. I tried a Krispy Kreme doughnut in the US before and didn't find it particularly special. Yesterday, I found myself in the first Philippine Krispy Kreme store, where one of the crew members lovingly handed me an original glazed doughnut, fresh from the conveyor belt. It was still very warm, and the sugar enveloping it glistened under the fluorescents. I bit into it and...it was one of the few times that I actually felt something just mmmelt in my mouth!

Hello, fat ass! The Krispy Kreme "Doughnut Theater" features a conveyor belt of glistening glazed doughnuts.

Our first taste of the Original Glazed. Nothing beats the classics!

We were given little Krispy Kreme hats and taken on a tour of the kitchen, where all the magic happens. Inside, there was Anson (sure hope I got his name right), a trainer from the US. He was goofily teaching us tourists how to expertly dip the doughnuts into chocolate and candy sprinkles. So there I was in my gloves and hat, looking like (as Coni pointed out) a 1960s stewardess. I learned that I had to perfectly line my fingers around the perimeter of the doughnut; otherwise, the chocolate won't be even. Then after dipping, I had to lift it off the churning chocolate and let the excess chocolate drip off. Then I had to turn it inwards, outwards, then up, I guess to keep the chocolate from running down the sides. "So it's all in the wrist," I said to Anson. "Exactly!" he exclaimed. Looking on was Dan from North Carolina, who told me that they've been here for about a week, and that the hospitality has just been fabulous.

Learning the fine art of dipping with funny guy, Anson.

Back in the store, the crew was constantly asking what we wanted--OMG, unlimited doughnuts! You have to check your diet and your fitness conscience at the door because there's no room for either of them in Doughnut Heaven. I was pretty satisfied with my Original Glazed, but we heard good things about the New York Cheesecake. Coni sampled one and, I must say, it was quite good. It's this whole doughnut with a bit of cream and some crumbly bits of crust on top; inside it's got this mild-tasting cream cheese. If the sweetness of a glazed doughnut overwhelms you, this might be the one for you.

Ahh, those famous boxes, often seen in the hands of balikbayans at the airport.

Before leaving, we were given two boxes of doughnuts each! One had all original glazed, the other had their other flavors (they have about 13 in all--lemon-filled, which was also pretty good; strawberry-filled with powdered sugar on top; the classic chocolate topped; the interesting sour cream; the evil evil glazed chocolate...). I brought a few home more than 12 hours later, not expecting them to retain their consistency. My dad had one as a midnight snack; he popped the original glazed one into the microwave. After biting into it, he remarked, "Natutunaw pala 'to?"

Pick a flavor, any flavor.

I'm sure the press kit has got much better photos, but unfortunately, I don't have it on me now. Will upload them soon. Krispy Kreme is located along Bonifacio High Street at the Fort. Original Glazed is P30; flavored ones are P38 each. You save if you buy 'em by the dozen. It opens at 8:30 am on November 30--and if you're the first customer, you get a year's supply of doughnuts!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Prom Night

Dragged H along to a Romance Revival Ball at Makati Shang, convincing him by saying that, at the very least, it was a free meal. Haha. Mabuhay ang mga PG!

The good thing about having a table for two right in the center of the room was that we were served first! Things started off with Terrine* of Wild Mushrooms, Bitter Greens, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Reduction. The terrine had the consistency of hard jell-o; the greens came in a ring of this delicious hard cheese. (Being the cheese whore that I am, I absolutely loved it!)

Next was the soup: Artichoke Cream with Julienne Prosciutto, Pimiento Grissini. This dinner was 2-of-2 so far! Broth soups are healthier, I know, but I can never resist a good creamy soup. And this one had bits of ham! Mmmmm. The soup had a bit of zing to it, like it had some pimiento mixed in. The pimiento grissini was just a fancy breadstick.

The main course, thankfully, was fish, so I could kid myself into thinking that it was healthy: Basil Spiced Seabass with White Truffle Risotto, Pan Seared Garlic Eggplant, Compote of Oven Dried Tomatoes (what is it with this menu and its missing hyphens?). The fish was tender and the risotto was delightful, although it was really heavy and I couldn't finish the dish. I did try to spoon all the white truffle sauce off the plate though.

For dessert, we had a really fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake wrapped in White Chocolate and with Strawberry Coulis. There was also a bit of whipped cream on the side and some fresh strawberries. Mmmm.

There were also some special pralines on a little plate. I liked the dark chocolate ones; the other kind took some getting used to--it had some sort of coffee filling, and since I don't really like coffee, the first bite was a bit surprising.

We were served white and red wine, as well as champagne. And, yay, I didn't get an allergy attack that night!

*According to Wikipedia, a terrine is an earthenware cooking dish with a tightly fitting lid; it also refers to food prepared in the container, mainly brawn and pates.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Taste of India

Went to an event a couple of months back wherein the Indian-inspired setup was called "A Taj of India." Didn't wanna plagiarize so...

Anyway, for no reason, the family decided to get together (sans Carlos, who's livin' it up in Boston), and brother Iggy chose Prince of Jaipur* in Eastwood. So yeah, imagine my parents in a resto with purple walls, fuchsia seats (which I, wearing a fuchsia top, disappeared into), and a sound system blaring DMX's Party Up. Sitting by the window, we had an excellent view of those bright-colored dudes pretending to be statues and scaring the crap out of passers-by.

H and I shared a couple of vegetable samosas** (P120 for two pieces, if I'm not mistaken). Their version was different from samosas I've tried in the past, most recently in cooking class (ooh, haven't posted about that)--the resto's seemed baked, with a crust that resembled that of empanaditas, and the potato stuffing was chopped into tiny cubes. I personally prefer my samosas fried and with a somewhat mashed potato stuffing.

We then moved on to our bowl of Chicken Vindaloo (about P300 I think...although it seems that the branch at the Fort sells it at a higher price). It's similar to chicken curry, served with potatoes and spicy gravy. The bowl may look tiny but the chicken pieces are boneless so you get lots of meat. Be warned though--if you're not into spicy, this ain't the dish for you. Instead of rice, we had us some plain naan,*** and an additional order of garlic and cheese naan (yum!), about P100 or so.

We also had a taste of my parents' lamb dish. I didn't get the name, but I heard my parents talking to the waiter and saying that they wanted "lamb na parang kaldereta." Haha. I am not a big lamb fan, there's something about the texture that I don't like, but the sauce was able to mask that a bit. We had it with some plain chapati, another type of roti (bread) which was thinner than the naan.

Iggy and his wife, Rita, shared a bowl of Murgh Mahkani or butter chicken. Pretty good. I noticed that all the dishes were swimming in lots of sauce--the Margh Mahkani had one of butter, tomatoes, and spices.

(Sorry, no pics! I was busy taking pics of my darling five-month-old nephew, who preferred to munch on his own hand.)

Being a big fan of Indian food, I quite liked Prince of Jaipur. But it really ain't for people who don't like spicy dishes--I actually saw beads of sweat forming on the men's foreheads while we were eating!

*Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan state, India. Built of pink stucco in imitation of sandstone, it's also popularly known as the Pink City. It was founded in 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II.

**Normally a triangular dumpling with a potato, onion, and pea stuffing.

***Flat bread normally made of wheat, cooked in a tandoor (cylindrical clay oven) or cast-iron frying pan. Great for dipping! We used it to polish off our Vindaloo sauce.