Sunday, May 20, 2012

CHINESE Cravings...Try your Luck

My previous trips to China has caused me a permanent ‘irrational cyclical’ craving I cannot explain.  More often that the other international cuisine, I experience this unexplainable want for Chinese food every so often.  I can almost liken it to my chocolate and cheese cravings which just pop up without warning.  This craving even led me to deciding and explore the streets of Binondo in Manila just so I can have my taste buds revisit the flavors that China offered me during those visits.  So what’s my quick fix when the craving comes?  I thank the heavens for Fortune Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant in Pampanga.

They currently have three (3) restaurants if I’m not mistaken and boy, do they satisfy my cravings.  And yes, one other reason for me liking them so much is that they do not unnecessarily kill my budget.  I can further qualify that for those who may be apprehensive on this price claim.  I happen to almost eat to the place twice or thrice a month so go figure.

I am a fan of their dimsum selections and appetizers.  They even made my ultimate favorite ‘MACHANG’ available ehe… although what the streets of Benavidez in Binondo offer are incomparable, I’d say, Fortune’s offering is my first aid remedy.

Spicy Shrimp Dimsum
Kutchay Dumplings ( i think, ehe)
I cannot remember -- Dumplings, tehee
Their Lauriat offerings also are superb.  Word of advice, if you guys intend to try the ‘fast food’ version, opt to go fine-dining, Fortune style instead.  With just a fraction more of the price, you’ll get better serving portions, better ambience and hey, complimentary teas, and my ultimate fave from this selection are the Sweet and Sour Lauriat and the Asado Lauriat.

Chinese restos have been famed for their delectable rice offerings; so far I’ve tried their Yangchow, Fortune special and the Seafood.  ALL of them are a meal in itself.

Yangchow Fried rice

 Now a separate note will be given on their Fortune Shabu-shabu.  Yes, slowly pull down those eyebrows for a minute.  Shabu-shabu is a Japanese word (I know my basics opchors, ehe) but Fortune Restaurant serves this as part of their menu and I would have to recommend it with both thumbs up.  It’s almost perfect for that rainy season.  

I have been known to take friends for a try of this meal and I haven’t have disappointed customers so far.  Hey, come to think of it, Fortune should sign me up as an official endorser already for all the direct referrals and press releases, eeheee…

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ninja Hometown - TOKYO TOKYO

It has been a while since I wrote a fast food feature.  Not that I am a snob to these food fares, it’s just that in my quest to showcase the available and best kept secret food houses of Angeles City (and beyond), it has taken quite a ‘back seat’ so-to-speak.  But I think now is a good time to show to you one of my all time favorite.  I am even torn into putting them under this category because apart from the fact that they are located on malls and that they serve food ‘fast’, everything else (as far as my taste is concerned) is good food worthy of the non-traditional fast food group.  I am talking about Tokyo Tokyo.
Yes, for those who have been following me and my (mis)adventures, you know I have a soft spot for the international cuisine and I must say Japanese way / methods of cooking hits the right note for my taste buds.   The first time I ate in this resto was way back in my early working career and if I’m not mistaken it was either in Mega Mall or in SM North EDSA.  It was a rare treat for me back then since there was no Japanese fast food option back home.  In the past, to enjoy Japanese fares meant expensive restaurants. So having to have a chance to eat within the usual budget was already a triumph for us.  If my memory serves me right, I ordered the Tempura meal… and I was in cloud nine. Ehe….

Looking into their website (as of this writing), the site is undergoing renovation as it has this note (see left screen shot image), so I contended myself with information from the rest of the web so I can provide you a backgrounder of this great restaurant.  And it was through researching that I found out that this resto is not that young after all.  Some note that it was founded in April 7, 1985 and has its headquarters set in Pioneer Avenue, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.    They have about 50+ stores under their belt and as mentioned earlier, mostly are at the prime malls.  From my readings, I also found out that since its inception, they have already been heralded as a food nook that really does provide FREE RICE REFILL or aptly dubbed with a Filipino touch as their ‘EAT-ALL-YOU-KANIN’ (Kanin referring to rice for our non-Filipino readers).   
This is actually one of my reasons for stopping-by more often than not…tehee… But mostly, I visit Tokyo Tokyo for the variety and ‘break’ it is able to give me from the day-to-day food options I have.  

This is by the way, my curse.  Having a family of good cooks, who are Kapampangans (redundant, ehe), and who loves eating (and let me add a touch of some adventurous food tripping every now and then), makes it very difficult for me to appreciate other food.  Often, I have to pretend to like a food or find it amazing when it has been transformed as a ‘so-so-dish’ in our household.  The spaghetti is one of this.  Gone were the days that eating spag is something worth looking forward as it has become one of those dishes served just when the feeling of wanting one is there.  Pesto is another.  We make our own and stock our own pesto, just in case we want some.-

Tokyo Tokyo in Clark, Pampanga
 My loyal favorites are their Sumo Remix, primarily because it’s big enough to share; their Red tea, which we have been discussing as maybe having that certain ingredient that makes you feel full already; the California Maki and recently introduced variations (photo below of the American maki); their Kani Salad, which I must say is expensive the way I see it considering the serving volume, but it is fantastic; their Sushi treats, ehe…and last but not the least is their dessert options.  

Pork Tonkatsu and Beef Misono
Tempura Sumo Mix with Beef Misono
Chicken Karaage and Tempura Mix
California Maki
Crab Salad
American Maki --- SPAM it is.
As a last note, I chanced upon their Japanese burger options, my eyes are now set to get a hold of these burgers and write something about them VERY SOON.