Best for 2013
Thanks to the following for all the wonder “full” moments in terms of food and drink for 2013.
1. Best Tex Mex in Cebu – Banana Moon Cantina in Basak, Mactan. The freshly baked warm corn bread crumbled over their well spiced and balanced chili is to die for. Real stone ground nachos with garnishes of authentically picked jalapeño. The burritos and soft tacos were well worth our trip from Cebu City.
2. Best Cebu Ngohiong – Fried, Crisp, and Fragrant Ubod and Pork Rolls. Four Best are:
a) Fairlane Subdivision
b) Cheevers (You disappeared on A.S. Fortuna)
c) Lincoln (Lincoln, Chinatown)
d) Ateks (President Roxas St. Barangay Kasambayan)
3. Best Middle Eastern Restaurant in Southern Tagalog – Middle Easts Bistro San Pablo – Mezze Platter of Hummes, Baba Ghanoup, Tsatziki and Fattouch start one off for the Kebab platter of freshly grilled meats and authentic sumac. The Pastitsio or baked Mac is creamy and true comfort. End the meal with an authentic Baklava and Turkish coffee.
4. Best Native Restaurant in Rizal – Balaw Balaw – still is the place that captures the flavors of the lakeshore area. The legacy left by the artist, Chef Digon Vocalan is still evident in their preparations such as Minaluto – fisherman’s mixed packed meal, their buro and balawbalaw; Alagaw leaf fritter and their Bagoong Rice.
5. Best Korean Restaurant in Boracay – Jujumburi – The fried seaweed roll is a delight; Raw beef salad or Yukhue is well executed and the Jokbal or steamed pig’s leg is fragrant, tasty and has just the right bite. It’s amazing how this little kitchen can churn out all these items on the menu.
6. Best Seafood pulutan in Boracay – Two Season’s Oyster Sisig, crisp, tasty and redolent of the sea, delicious with the generous two season’s cocktails or their sub zero beers.
7. Best Sandwich in Boracay – Chicken Loop in Bulabog – A hefty pita packed with grilled chicken. Replenishes any tired hiker or surfer who finds this place.
8. Best Muslim Food – Keyo’s Little Kitchen in Zamboanga – Samiera and Alan Tungupon’s Tausug heritage is evident in the sophistication of their flavors and offerings of dishes with the lineage from the Royal Sultanate of Sulu.
9. Best Classic Zamboanga Restaurant – Alavar’s – still is the place to never miss every time one is in Zamboanga. The care and personal touch of Marissa Alavar Alfaro has given the restaurant its continuing longevity.
10. Best Italian Restaurant in Cavite – AmoramaTagaytay – The wood fired Pizza and puffed Bombolinis are as good as ever, homemade pastas are consistent.
11. Best Bar-Café in San Pablo – Tasty Treats – Great Bar mates of Dinamitas, freshly grilled chicken and pork barbecue. Choice hot and cold coffee creative with homemade cheesemaker and tastes.
12. Best Bordeaux Wines Tasted:
• Chateau Angelus and La Fleur de Bouard from Wine Story
• Chateau Angelus – 1998, 2000, 2005, 2009 – An ethereal blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon
• La Fleur de Bouard – A new vineyard from Angelus Winemaker Hubert, the 2009 has forward fruit and fabulous complexity.
• Chateau Pichon Longueville – 2009 – Totally a classic that will give years of drinking pleasure to the collector. (Philippine Wine)
13. Best Italian Wines:
a) Pio Cesare from Golden Wines – Daring wines that veer away from traditional methods but take a second look at terroir and grape pedigrees. Favorites are: Fides a Barbera d’ Alba Doc 2010 – Nebbido planted in a Barolo Area!
b) Barbaresco DOCG 2008 – done in French barriques to give a suppleness and softness.
c) IL Bricco “Barbaresco” Doc 2008 – rich ripe, fruity, excellent ageing capabilities.
d) Barolo DOC 2008 classic Barolo with the complexities of vanilla, plum, spice from double French Oak ageing.
e) “Ornato Barolo DOCG 2008” – beautiful, sensual and powerful earthy, pepper, mushroom, toast and plums from 36 months of ageing.
14. Best Value Italian Sparkling – Igadi from IVANCA Wines of Cebu, delicious apple notes and crisp lemony notes.
15. Best New World Wines:
a) Luis Felipe Edwards 900 (Best World) – spicy, peppery dark fruit.
b) Henry Tardia by Lagarde – A luscious, late harvest imported by Carlo Lorenzana
c) Henry Garda No.1.2006 – A five grape blend with their best choice grapes.
d) Pedro Ximenez Triana (Bodegas Hidalgo) – sweet, honey-like with dark dried fruits: figs, dates and prunes.
e) Don Melchor 2009 – The iconic wine of Concha Y Toro; elegant, velvety, black and red fruits and spices! (Fly Ace).
16. Best Spanish:
• Telmo Rodriguez Wines (Golden Wines)
• Lanzaga – Rioja DOC – red and black cherry, pepper brown sugar.
• Pago la Java – Toro coffee, mocha, plumy, floral.
• Malaga D.O.C. – flowery, honey, mango, luscious.
17. Best Imports:
• Bread from France – Chateau de France breads – the amazing freezing technology gives one bread as fresh as what you can get in the Parisian mornings with the authentic flours used. Favorites are Pain complete, Senen Grains, brioche and their baguette of course.
• Best Spanish Cheeses – (Barcino) – Their line of Manchegos re fabulous; favorite is the Queso de Oveja Gran Reserva that is aged and covered with buttery and sweety pungent lard is from dairy curd.
18. Best Local Specialties:
• Angono – the row of duck stalls in the evenings in their commercial area. Fried Crispy Itik and baycon (bacon) which is actually crispy fried duck esophagus.
• Davao – Malagos Chocolate – by Rex Puentespina – a single origin chocolate that is complex and has its own character from the “terroir” of Mt. Apo. This is World Class chocolate still being developed to compete in terms of mouth feel. It is a great discovery waiting to happen in the world for chocolate experts. Malagos has also spurred other artisanal makers to start marketing their small production chocolate.
• Best Kakanin discoveries in Davao:
o Puto Maya – Bankerohan Market mornings served with tablea chocolate or kinutil (tuba, tableya, egg).
o Puto Taktak – the belly filler made of steamed Cassava and raw brown sugar, easy street food in Davao.
• Best Merienda:
o Cecil’s – Ultra soft chicken sandwich, Dinuguan, Pancit Luglug, Durian Pie.
• Zamboanga – (Hoping that those damaged will rise up again)
1) Reem Halal (near City Hall) Siagol or stingray Cairo (near City Hall) Junai – Chicken sumon with a hot beverage and other snacks that are available fresh during the day.
2) Ali fast food (Canelar Street) – Bubungkong – Banana and glutinous rice; Tamal or their version of Tamalis with vermicelli.
3) Edna’s (Sta. Maria and San Roque – pastille with vegetable and bihon in orange colored vinegar dip; Daral crepe made from glutinous rice.
• Guinamos and Kaong Vinegar at eHarvest corp.
1) Magdalena’s chocolates – famous for cashew and dried mango coated clusters. Their pure chocolate is very complex with good floral and fruit notes. Work is currently being done on their pure single origin bar.
a) Best Roast Pig in Bali – IBU OKA – A few meters away from Royal Palace in Ubud.
b) Best Duck Restaurants – Bebek Bengil in Ubud – The pastoral ambience of rice fuels, huts and fountains will entice you as you dine on the crispy duck.
c) Bebek Tepi Sawah – The smoked duck here is excellent and the service is gracious.
d) Best Casual Chinese in Beijing – Mei Zhu Dong Po (Chaoyang Branch) This large branch is unbeatable in terms of quality and price.
e) Best Vietnamese Barbecue – Barbecue Garden Namky Khoi Nghia street, Hi Chi Minh.
f) Best Vietnamese Chicken Noodle soup – Cat Tnong. Thu Khoa Huan 1 Benthanh D-1- The tastiest and most aromatic chicken.
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