Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tuscani ~ Pizza Hut's New Thin Crust Pizza

Ever since I saw Pizza Hut's latest TV commercial featuring Miss Universe 3rd Runner-up, Shamcey Supsup promoting the new thin-crust Tuscani Pizza, I've been wanting to try it.  So when I got invited to Ms. Shamcey Supsup's Exclusive Meet and Greet Blogger's Event at Pizza Hut Bistro at the Glorietta 4 in Makati, I was ecstatic!  For one, I get to try the Tuscani pizza, and two, I get to meet the lovely Ms. Shamcey Supsup... what a rare opportunity~!

I love eating pizza and I prefer the ones with a thin crust. I still recall the best pizza I've ever eaten was in a small tavern in Rome, a short walk from the Trevi Fountain. I ordered a simple mushroom and cheese pizza, and it was really good... thin crust, crispy on the edges, smothered with juicy mushroom pieces,  generously topped with cheese, and the crust was tasty and chewy towards the center because it had soaked up the juices of the toppings. I've never had pizza that has approximated my Italian tavern experience... well, not until now.

The Tuscani Supremo pizza brought back to me memories of Rome... well this pizza had more toppings ~ beef, black olives, roasted bell peppers, Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, onions, parmesan, pepperoni and smoked ham... but the crust had it for me~ thin, crunchy on the edges and chewy towards the center... which I thoroughly enjoyed.
We also got to taste the Premium All Meat pizza~ loaded with bacon, beef, Italian sausage, pepperoni, salami and smoked ham on a layer of mozzarella and parmesan cheese... definitely a meat-lovers' delight!  The accompanying Fettuccine a la King was equally delicious.  And to quench our thirst, a tall refreshing glass of lemon iced tea...

What heightened our dining pleasure was the presence of the beautiful Ms. Shamcey Supsup, and the company of delightful fellow PinoyExchange bloggers
It was an exhilarating night... but I wanted more!  I've heard other bloggers rave about the Tuscani 3-Cheese Bacon and Spinach pizza, so I ordered a Super Family size to take home.  

It had the same thin crust that I so love about Tuscani, topped with bacon, spinach and bechamel sauce, and layered with three cheeses, cheddar, parmesan and mozzarella.  My kids loved it as well as I did!  

Other Tuscani flavors that I'd like to try sometime soon are the Gourmet BBQ Chicken and Roast beef pizzas.
‎"... I hope you all enjoy it, and you could all write something great about your Pizza Hut Tuscani experience..." ~Shamcey Supsup 

If you want more of Pizza Hut, here's their online menu.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Namaste ~ A Taste of India

Having lived in the Middle East for some 10 years, I've had the opportunity to meet people of different nationalities and taste different cuisines.  And as there are a lot of Indian expatriates over there, it is no wonder that Indian restaurants abound.

Indian cuisine has a distinct flavor which I like, and my palate craves for it every once in a while. So when my friend invited me for food tasting at an Indian restaurant, I readily accepted.

Namaste... in Sanskrit means "I bow to you" ... a friendly Indian greeting or salutation when individuals meet, usually accompanied by a slight bow with hands pressed together in front of the chest.  
Namaste is small restaurant at the corner of Kensington Place, 1st Ave. cor. 29th St., Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. It is not difficult to find and one can park either at Kensington or Burgos Circle parking building.

Upon entering it's doors, one can note the artistic beadwork decorating the walls, which lends an Indian ambiance...

We were first served with  Strawberry Lassi... a sweetened yogurt drink flavored with milk and strawberry.  This was refreshingly cool and delicious.

Next came our appetizers... 

Aloo patties... stuffed potatoes with a crunchy crust and a delicate filling.  I enjoyed this dish very much!

Chicken Tikka... grilled tender skinless chicken marinated in a blend of ginger, garlic and yogurt.
Tikka dips... brown tamarind sauce and green coriander sauce.
Tikka platter...potatoes and cauliflower in the colors of the Indian flag

My plate... chicken tikka, aloo patty and a green potato

Then came our main entrees... I loved each one of them. Surprisingly, all were delicately flavored and the spices were not overpowering at all, but giving that unique Indian taste that makes you crave for more.

Vegetable Makhanwala... fresh vegetable cooked with creamy gravy and flavored spice & butter

Chicken Biryani... chicken cooked with special Indian rice and flavored spices

Chicken Kadai... boneless chicken cooked with fresh tomatoes, onions & bell pepper sauce
Vegetable Kolhapuri... fresh vegetable cooked with thick gravy, flavored spice, ginger and garlic.

Garlic naan... nice warm soft and chewy, similar to pita bread but fluffier... brushed with oil and garlic bits... excellent with the saucy dishes!

For dessert... Gulab Jamun, cheese ball dipped in sugar syrup. Surprisingly not too sweet, it tasted like moist spongy pastillas de leche.

It was an overall excellent dining experience for me and I've learned to appreciate Indian cuisine even more. They have a lot of other dishes in their menu and I hope to come back and try each one of them. Namaste, indeed, is the place to go if you're craving for good Indian food.

Namaste Indian Cuisine is located at Unit 1A Kensington Place, 1st Ave. corner 29th St., Burgos Circle, Crescent Park West, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kare-Kare at KKK

I love Kare-Kare, a filipino stew made with peanut sauce and a variety of meats, usually oxtail, beef and tripe, and a variety of vegetables.

I remember as a kid, we would often go to my grandfather's house and he had a huge gilingan (millstone) where they ground roasted peanuts and toasted rice grains to make the kare-kare sauce.  My mom would also cook kare-kare at home every once in a while.  She would have a large pot of meats, buntot ng baka (oxtail), tuwalya (tripe), and bituka (intestine) and boiled them until tender. The vegetables were blanched separately... puso ng saging (banana blossom), pechay, sitaw (string beans) and talong (eggplant).  Nowadays, ground roasted peanuts and ground toasted rice grains are available in the local markets, even kare-kare mixes, but nothing beats kare-kare made from scratch.

I find it difficult to cook kare-kare, so I rarely do.  But since I love the dish, I order it whenever I try out a Filipino restaurant.  So far, I've tasted different versions of kare-kare at different restaurants, some were okay, some were so-so.  The latest I've had was the kare-kare at KKK Pinoy Food Revolution at SM Mall of Asia.

I took my kids with me at the SMX Book Fair, and after traipsing around the huge convention hall, with tired feet, growling stomachs and books in tow, we headed for the KKK restaurant at MOA.  A friend of mine told me that she liked their kare-kare, so I was interested in trying that out.

Kare-kare... I liked it.  The peanut sauce was tasty, meats were tender and vegetables were blanched right.  I also liked their sweet-salty bagoong, a perfect pair for this dish.

Other dishes we ordered were Crispy Bangus Belly in Mango Sauce.  This was also delicious, my first time to taste bangus (milkfish) with singkamas (jicama) in ripe mango sauce...

 ... and Gising-Gising, a vegetable dish made from kangkong stalks, jalapeƱo peppers, tuna flakes, tomatoes and onions, cooked in coconut milk.  I loved the spicy taste of this dish.

And we had Halo-Halo for dessert...

KKK Pinoy Food Revolution can be found at the Entertainment Wing, Ground Floor, SM Mall of Asia.