Enjoy a Seafood Feast at Choobi Choobi

Seafood Barkada Bag

Seafood Barkada Bag

SEAFOOD lovers, rejoice! Choobi Choobi, the concept restaurant that originates from Cebu is now all over Metro Manila and its suburbs, and it is teeming with seafood items on its menu. What makes it a real cause of celebration is that the seafood is as fresh as it can get, it is cooked into a wide range of simple but extremely delicious and flavorful dishes, it is offered in generous family-style servings, and it is priced reasonably, too.

When Choobi Choobi opened its first store in Metro Manila, its owners, led by Stan Tanchan, basically wanted to bring delicious Cebuano food to Manila for everyone to enjoy. Choobi Choobi is primarily a seafood restaurant not only because Cebuano cuisine is heavy on seafood dishes but also because Tanchan happens to own one of the best shrimp farms in Cebu, and it is equipped with a blast freezer. So, the restaurant is able to bring the freshest shrimps and seafood from seafood to Manila on a regular basis.

Choobi Choobi combines Cebu’s seafood bounty (such as shrimps, fish, squid and clams) with imported seafood (including baby lobsters, lobster fish, giant bamboo clams and Chilean mussels). It specializes in seafood in one-pound bags, which diners keep coming back for. Consider these choices—Shrimps in a Bag, Scampi “Baby Lobsters” in a Bag, Chilean Mussels in a Bag, and the ultimate Seafood Barkada Bag (combination of shrimps, scampi, and Chilean mussels with corn).

Shrimps in a Bag (Php225 for half-pound bag, Php395 for one-pound bag) gives diners the choice of having the shrimps cooked in either of four ways—Butter Garlic, Sautéed in Garlic, Spicy Gata (coconut milk and spices), or Whole Choobang (Cajun sauce). You can add sweet corn for an additional Php45.

Choobi Choobi at Panay Ave., Quezon City

Choobi Choobi at Panay Ave., Quezon City

Singapore Style Salted Egg Shrimps

Singapore Style Salted Egg Shrimps

Another shrimps in a bag offering of Choobi Choobi that has become a crowd favorite is Singapore Style Salted Egg Shrimps (Php440 for a one-pound bag). It fits perfectly into the salted egg craze, which has been sweeping the world since last year. It began in Singapore and is definitely making quite a big impact in the Philippines. This dish of Choobi Choobi has a lovely salted egg sauce bathing the fresh shrimps. Diners can have sweet corn added for a minimal fee of Php45.

Stan's Fried Black Pepper Shrimps

Stan’s Fried Black Pepper Shrimps

Also not to be missed is Stan’s Fried Black Pepper Shrimps (Php440), which is a one-pound platter of crunchy shrimps that are so crunchy you can even eat the shell, especially since it is coated with Stan Tanchan’s special black pepper sauce. This is one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.

For the imported seafood in a bag offerings of Choobi Choobi, there is Scampi “Baby Lobsters” in a Bag (Php580 for a one-pound bag) as well as Chilean Mussels in a Bag (Php325). The latter can be had in four flavors—Tao Si Sauce (black bean sauce), Spicy Gata (coconut milk and spices), Steamed Garlic, and Whole Choobang (Cajun sauce). Also available, although not in one-pound bags, are Giant Bamboo Clams (Php140 per piece) and Lobster Fish (Php110 per 100 grams).

Seafood Barkada Bag

Seafood Barkada Bag

The ultimate and most frequently ordered seafood in a bag variant is the Seafood Barkada Bag (Php645 for a one-pound bag). It is a combination of shrimps, scampi, Chilean mussels and sweet corn).

Aside from the one-pound bags, Choobi Choobi serves a wide range of a la carte dishes, ranging from appetizers, soups and salads to main dishes, desserts and drinks. A lot of it is seafood, including boneless bangus, scallops, gambas, tiger prawns, scallops, squid, pompano, halaan (clams) and pla-pla; but the restaurant also carries quite a number of chicken, pork and vegetable dishes.

Some must-tries:

Grilled Pompano

Grilled Pompano

Grilled Pompano (Php90 per 100 grams). It’s a whole fresh pompano fish that’s grilled to perfection. The fish is definitely fresh and naturally flavorful.

Lola Pepang's Fried Manok

Lola Pepang’s Fried Manok

Lola Pepang’s Fried Manok (php345). A signature dish like Stan’s Fried Black Pepper Shrimps, this is a whole chicken prepared following a family recipe that has been passed on for four generations.

Choobi Pata

Choobi Pata

Choobi Pata (Php465). It’s a whole pork knuckle that has been fried to a golden crisp. It is tender and juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

Cha Tao Miao

Cha Tao Miao

Cha Tao Miao (Php190). This dish is listed on the appetizer menu. You would not think a simple vegetable dish like this could taste so good.

Pork Barbecue

Pork Barbecue

Pork Barbecue (Php30 per stick). Juicy pork barbecue that has been glazed with a lovely sauce!

From the fish and seafood to the meat and poultry, all the way to the vegetables, everything is fresh and finger-licking good.

Choobi Choobi's Post-Shrimp Kit

Choobi Choobi’s Post-Shrimp Kit

Speaking of finger-licking good, Choobi Choobi actually encourages diners to eat with their hands because every table is provided with a Post-Shrimp Kit, which includes a box of tissue paper, wet wipes, alcohol, candies and mints. Here, you can really let your hair down, relax and enjoy your food.

To wash it down, diners have a healthier option than softdrinks, as the restaurant’s extensive beverage menu includes fresh fruit and vegetable options, such as Fresh Pineapple Organic Wheatgrass, Fresh Pineapple Organic Kale, Mango Basil Shake, Lychee Kale, Banana Shake, Mango Banana Shake, Watermelon Shake, Grape Juice, and Fresh Apple Carrot Juice, at Php130 per glass.

 

(Choobi Choobi’s Cebu branches are located at Parkmall, SM City Cebu North Reclamation, SM Seaside Cebu, Robinsons Galleria Cebu, and Pueblo Verde-Lapu Lapu City. In Metro Manila, it can be found at 102 Panay Ave., Quezon City, as well as SM Manila, SM Sta. Rosa, SM Southmall, Ayala Mall Legaspi, SM Baliwag and SM Dasmariñas. It has also set up stores at SM City Iloilo, SM City Bacolod, Limketkai Mall Cagayan de Oro, Centrio Ayala Mall Cagayan de Oro, SM Lanang Davao, SM City General Santos, and Dipolog.)

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Great-tasting Recipe Ideas
on ‘U.S. Master Chef Season 8’

Doña Elena Brings Master Chef Season in the PHCHEFS, home cooks, working women and plain foodies now have something more to look forward to while watching the all-new Season 8 of U.S. Master Chef, which premiered on June 8, 2017, at 8:00 p.m., on Star World.

All episodes of the newest season shall be showcasing hilariously yummy dishes, presented by a mix of personalities who are out to change the culinary scene one recipe at a time. James Beard awardee and Mexican-American chef Aaron Sanchez has joined acclaimed pastry chef Christina Tosi, and main host and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay as judges, so expect this trio of talented chefs (who come from different backgrounds) to be a riot.

But the delicious recipes are not going to be confined to just the show. Doña Elena Olive Oil, the season’s major sponsor, will be airing great-tasting healthy recipe ideas in between commercial gaps. From dipping and sautéing to frying, Doña Elena Olive Oil unveils an all-new feast of healthy meal ideas for foodies who are constantly on the lookout for interesting stuff to whip up in their own kitchens. Expect Doña Elena Olive Oil, the consistent No. 1 olive oil brand in the Philippines, to share important tips that will make viewers kitchen experts by the time Season 8 of U.S. Master Chef airs its last episode.

Doña Elena Olive Oil contains 80% monounsaturated oleic acids, which are better known as good fats. It is also rich in Vitamins A, K and E, a combination that effectively helps lower bad cholesterol in the body.

Exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation, Doña Elena Olive Oil is available in all major supermarkets and groceries.

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Experience Authentic Dim Sum Dining
at Marco Polo Ortigas’ Lung Hin

Assorted authentic Cantonese dim sums available at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila's Lung Hin

Assorted authentic Cantonese dim sums available at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Lung Hin

NO Chinese restaurant can survive without a good variety of dim sums on its menu. More so one that offers Cantonese cuisine. This is because dim sums play an important role in Chinese history, as they were served in tea houses to refresh travelers who trod down the Silk Road. In more recent history, dim sums serve as appetizers in a full meal, such as lunch or dinner, and they are also enjoyed as the main food during afternoon tea.

And so Lung Hin, the authentic Cantonese restaurant at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, is showcasing a wide selection of authentic steamed, pan-fried and deep-fried dim sums prepared by dim sum master chef Wong Chiu Lung and his team. Chef Wong hails from Hong Kong, where the best dim sum comes from, and he is backed by long years of experience as a dim sum chef.

Steamed Scallop Dumplings

Steamed Scallop Dumplings

Hakao with Gold Leaf

Hakao with Gold Leaf

The dim sum offerings of Lung Hin include steamed dumplings with fillings, such as Scallop Dumplings, Spinach Dumplings and Shrimp Dumplings, Chiu Chow, and simple but tasty shrimp dumplings with gold leaf, better known as Hakaw or Har Gow. Filipino favorites, such as Chicken Feet with XO Sauce, Barbecue Pork Bun (better known as Siopao), Pork Siomai with Truffle Sauce (which traces back to the Yuan Dynasty), Cordyceps Flower Siomai, and the Dragon Boat Festival favorite Abalone Glutinous Rice with Lotus, are also available.

Steamed Pork Siomai with Truffle Sauce

Steamed Pork Siomai with Truffle Sauce

Vegetarian Dumplings

Vegetarian Dumplings

Aside from the popular steamed dim sums, Lung Hin also carries quite a number of pan-fried and deep-fried dim sums. There is the savory Sesame Radish Cake and Pan-fried Radish Cake with XO Sauce. Then there is the Fried Taro Puff, whose thin outer coating of taro “explodes” into a feng chao, or honeycomb, when it cooks in hot oil.

Not to be missed is the crowd favorite, Baked Barbecue Pork Buns, which are perfectly crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, with a flavorful barbecued pork filling.

What Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Lung Hin promises is an authentic Cantonese dim sum dining experience like no other.

 

(Lung Hin is located at Level 44 of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City; with telephone number 720-7777.)

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At Locavore, Filipino Food
Gets a Modern, Exciting Twist

Garlic Butter Sugpo

Garlic Butter Sugpo

WE Filipinos are certified foodies at heart. We constantly look for new flavors to try, so the food scene in Manila has become a virtual playground for restaurants specializing in different cuisines. Whatever we want to try, there is a restaurant that we can go to. But, in the end, we Filipinos will always go back to our comfort food—Filipino food—especially dishes that we grew up with and hold fond growing-up memories of.

No question about it: Filipino dishes are flavorful and delicious. But sometimes they lack presentation because they are often served family style. We have to tweak them to make them look more appetizing and, from time to time, combine techniques or ingredients to breathe new life into traditional Filipino dishes so that they do not become boring. Come to think of it, this is really how we Filipinos like our food—we crave for familiar flavors but want to find something unique and different in them at the same time.

This is where Locavore comes in. Established in 2015, the restaurant reinvents Filipino food by serving Filipino home-cooked meals with a twist. The menu is playful and innovative, and contains a lot of items that are guaranteed to catch diners’ attention.

Lechon and Oyster Sisig

Lechon and Oyster Sisig

Lechon and Oyster Sisig—Instead of the usual pork face and organs, Locavore’s version of sisig uses crispy lechon and oysters. Not the usual sisig variations such as Chicken Sisig, Bangus Sisig, Tuna Sisig or Tofu Sisig, this offering of Locavore makes an unusual but interesting combination that, yes, works beautifully on the palate.

Sizzling Sinigang

Sizzling Sinigang

Sizzling Sinigang—We are used to having different versions of Sinigang, which is a soup dish complete with meat and vegetables. The meat (including bangus (milkfish), sugpo (prawns), baboy (pork), baka (beef), salmon and other types of fish) differs, but is commonly combined with kangkong (water spinach), tomatoes, radish and sitaw (stringbeans). Locavore reinvents Sinigang by turning it into a sizzling dish, with the soup turned into a thick sauce and served on a hot sizzling plate.

Kimchinigang

Kimchinigang

Kimchinigang—Another variation on Sinigang, this dish adds Korean flavors into the all-time favorite Pinoy dish. It remains as a soup dish, but with the addition of kimchi (Korean preserved cabbage with spice), it takes on a Korean flavor profile.

Dinuguang Lechon

Dinuguang Lechon

Dinuguang Lechon—Now, this is another combination dish—of Dinuguan (blood stew) and Lechon (crispy pork belly). The pork belly is marinated and fried to a golden crisp, sliced, arranged on a platter, and dinuguan is poured over it, garnished with chicharon (pork skin cracklings). It’s definitely for meat lovers!

Ginataang Kaldereta

Ginataang Kaldereta

Ginataang Kaldereta—Yes, you read it right! Locavore’s Kaldereta (meat stew in tomato-based sauce) is richer and creamier with the addition of gata (coconut milk). Does it work? Anything cooked with gata is certainly worth a try.

Chori-silog

Chori-silog

Chori-silog—The Pinoys’ favorite silog (sinangag at itlog, or garlic rice and fried egg) finds another exciting variation with chorizo instead of tapa, tocino, longganisa, hotdog, daing na bangus to combine with the sinangag and itlog.

Pho-lalo

Pho-lalo

Pho-lalo—This is another multiracial intermarriage between the Vietnamese noodle soup, Pho, and the Filipino beef shank soup dish, Bulalo. It’s definitely richer and tastier.

Sugpo con Mayonesa

Sugpo con Mayonesa

Sugpo con Mayonesa—Usually, it is fish, specifically lapu-lapu (grouper), that is presented as “con Mayonesa” (or “with mayonnaise”), and the mayonnaise is piped artistically on top of the boiled or steamed fish. Locavore’s version has prawns in place of fish, and it is coated with mayonnaise sauce and bathed in oil. It is an interesting variation that’s worth trying.

Locavore also takes pride in its take on traditional Kare-Kare, using chicken wings instead of the usual ox tail, ox tripe and pork leg, and these are glazed with Kare-Kare sauce and buttermilk ranch dressing, then garnished with singkamas (jicama) and mango with bagoong (shrimp paste). Its version of Pinakbet also commands a steady following, as it combines locally grown vegetables—sigarilyas (wing beans), kalabasa (squash), okra, pickled ampalaya (bittergourd), talong (eggplant), zucchini and mushrooms—with bagoong broth to make a flavorful vegetable dish.

Kinilaw Platter

Kinilaw Platter

Mac's Boneless Fried Chicken

Mac’s Boneless Fried Chicken

Fresh Lumpia

Fresh Lumpia

Beef Pares Stew

Beef Pares Stew

Ginataang Kalabasa

Ginataang Kalabasa

Luglog

Luglog

Other exciting dishes on the menu that offer slight twists to classic Pinoy dishes include Kinilaw Platter, Garlic Butter Sugpo, Mac’s Boneless Fried Chicken, Fresh Lumpia, Boneless Lechon Belly, Beef Pares Stew, Ginataang Kalabasa, and Luglog.

Aside from its delightful menu mix, Locavore boasts of a good selection of locally brewed beers, such as Joe’s Brew, San Miguel and Privo Paha, as well as excellent signature cocktails infused with local produce, such as calamansi, Batangas dalandan, Bukidnon pineapple and siling labuyo.

And, oh, if you are wondering what Locavore means, it is derived from the words local and vore, which, when combined, means “one who eats food grown locally whenever possible. True to its name, the restaurant uses local organic ingredients to prepare not just dishes but complete meals.

 

(Locavore is located at 10 Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City.)

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Chicken Nuggets

Chicken NuggetsWHEN the kids are in school, moms are always on the lookout for new baon ideas that are both easy-to-prepare and nutritious and at the same time delicious. It is always a problem to make kids eat healthy and nutritious food because junk food—such as chips and instant noodles—are always readily available both in and around the school. So what should moms do?

Why, find good recipes that they can prepare at home and make them look interesting, of course! Yesterday (June 22, 2017), I shared with you the recipe of Jolly Creamy Chicken Mushroom Burger, a back-to-school recipe courtesy of Jolly, a leading brand of canned fruits and vegetables that is imported and exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation. Today, I want to share with you another back-to-school recipe from Jolly—Chicken Nuggets. It is most interesting for me because, by following the recipe, we should be able to make chicken nuggets at home. So there will be no need to buy those commercially available packed chicken nuggets that use extenders and preservatives to prolong their shelf lives.

For the chicken nuggets:
500 grams ground chicken breast
2 Tbsps. salt
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
2 Tbsps. Good Life Oyster Sauce
1 cup Good Life Breadcrumbs
1 198-gram can Jolly Mushrooms Pieces and Stems, chopped
store-bought sweet chili sauce

For the coating:
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Good Life Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil for frying

1. In a bowl, combine ground chicken, salt, eggs, pepper, oyster sauce, breadcrumbs and chopped mushrooms. Mix well.
2. Flatten chicken mixture by rolling it out to 1/2-inch thickness. Slice to form cubes that are 1-inch per side. Set aside.
3. Dredge chicken nuggets in flour, dip completely in beaten egg, and coat with breadcrumbs.
4. Deep-fry in hot oil in batches of 5 to 7 pieces per batch. Cook until golden brown.
5. Remove from oil.
6. Serve with store-bought sweet chili sauce.

Posted in Poultry, Recipes Tagged , , , ,