SPICEGASM.COM My travel tales and food hunting

January 11, 2012

China style lamb hot pot in Manila – Xiao Fei Yang

Filed under: Bars & Resto,Philippines,Travel — Alex @ 4:02 am

I’ve been wanting to make a review on this hot pot restaurant for a long time now, especially after eating here more than a dozen times. I guess the delay is due to the fact that this is a Chinese hot pot restaurant in Manila. Whenever I am in a certain country, I would prefer to feature the local delicacies instead. I finally decided to make this review any how because my Filipino friend insisted that I should make this review as he loves the restaurant so much and he wants to show it to his relatives.

Like any other South East Asian countries, Philippines has a large community of Chinese too. Chinese food is common and you don’t need to go to China town in Binondo or Ongpin just to eat your favorite Chinese cuisine. This hot pot restaurant by the name of “Little Lamb” however is a franchise from China. You can either order ala-carte or opt for the buffet style. I prefer the buffet style ( 599 pesos per head ) as I don’t want to have the dilemma of what to order.

Thin sliced lamb met eat all you can

There are quite a few hot pot restaurant in Manila but I have to say this is my favorite. The variety of dishes is way more from those others that I’ve eaten before. I like the fact that they have my favorite hot pot items like fried bean curd skin ( Foo Chook ) and those grass jelly like noodles. I’ve never come across any other hot pot places in Manila that serve the fried bean curd skin. Another plus point for this restaurant is that finding parking space is such a breeze.

Restaurant is fully air condition, clean and spacious

The glass jelly like noodles that I’ve eaten for the first time in China. Never really see other places in Manila offering this.

Quite a big selection of hot pot items

More hot pot items

The bull frog is kinda small but is all right I guess

There are few types of soup but I ordered the chicken and spicy soup made of Szechuan pepper corn.

Cooked dishes like fried pork ribs and intestine were also available. There are actually more items I didn’t get to snap the pictures like the dried bean curd skin, vegetables and wide array of innards of all animals.  I guess I was too busy eating and explaining to my Filipino friends about the hot pot items. My friend love the pig’s brain especially and his wife loves the dried bean curd skin. Both of them told me that they really love the food here and will definitely bring family and friends back her.

Little Lamb Hot Pot Restaurant
La Marina, South Drive, Area 2, Rizal Park
Ermita, Manila ( Tel : 02-5163886.


January 8, 2012

Welcoming New Year 2012 in the Philippines

Filed under: Philippines,Travel — Alex @ 6:19 pm

After Thailand, I head on to the Philippines for an unplanned trip. I was kinda coaxed by my friend Zach to travel together with him. He bought his ticket a few months ago for a very good deal with Cebu Pacific. Me on the other hand paid a pretty high price for my ticket as it is last minute booking and most likely is the high season. Nevertheless, I decided to go with him as the idea of meeting up with my Filipino friends during New Year is always a fun thing to do.

Food vendors offering their goodies in Baclaran

New Year in the Philippines is celebrated in a very unique way. It has the combination of Chinese culture influence and the local tradition. Firecrackers or “paputok” is an essential part of New Year celebration here. The sound of loud firecrackers could be heard when the month of December begins and it gets heavier during Christmas eve and of course New Year’s Eve. I was told that loud firecrackers will keep the bad spirits away. This will bring good luck to the household. The louder the sound of the fireworks, the better luck you will get in the coming year.

More Filipino food offered by vendors near the Baclaran church area

While is not only the paputok that can chase the bad spirit away, singing out loud with your Karaoke machine with your family members can also get the job done. Being Filipino, singing comes as a second nature and for sure you will hear the latest hits being belted out. Occasionally oldies like “My Way” will be part of the repertoire especially when you have sporting Lolo and Lola ( grandfather and grandmother ) amongst the group.

Wearing polka dot shirts is believed to increase your wealth as well during the eve. Putting lots of coins in your pants pocket is also highly encourage. Round fruits like orange, grapes and water melon are also decorated in the house. I used to joke to my friend that maybe putting lots of coins in the pants pocket and having those round fruits might not be such a good idea. I suggested that they replace the coins with Peso notes, the bigger the better or if real money is not available, go scan it and print more out. As for the round fruits, replaced them with bar of chocolates, especially those chocolate with gold wrapper!

All you need is a small push cart and a small wok to fry these peanuts. I like those with cili and garlic. It is call adobong mani.

A lot of Filipino loves shopping in Baclaran

A wide variety of cheap products are sold in Baclaran market.

There’s a lot of restaurant near Baclaran area too. In the background we can see Max Restaurant and also Andok’s

Most of the Barangay are decorated with colorful lights

I am never really into special occasion celebrations as I would like to believe that everyday is special. If anyone want to make a change with their life, for example like losing weight, you don’t need to wait for the New Year to do it. You can always do it like right away and the date could be July 18th or something. However, I do enjoy the part where most friends are free during the eve  and free flow of San Miguel accompanied with a wide array of food are being served.

January 2, 2012

Cheap seafood by street vendors in Thailand

Filed under: Food,Thailand,Travel — Alex @ 5:35 am

I think by now for those of you who has been reading my blog, you guys would definitely noticed that I am a big fan of Thailand street food. Besides being so affordable, the taste of the food is just simply amazing. Whenever we go out on a drinking session in some cheap beer joints, time after time we get the element of surprises. What do I mean by element of surprises? Well, whenever we go to drink in these cheap beer joints, we have no idea what our food will be. Normally these beer joints do not provide food but instead we get vendors on motorcycle or by foot hawking their goodies. It ranges from noodles, fried foods, Thai spicy salads and even seafood.

I really do love this experience, I am like a kid going to the candy store but in this case, the “candy store” comes to me. All you need to do is just sit down, chit-chat and drink, continuous stream of vendors with different type of food will just come to you. My personal favorite has to be seafood. Is normally steamed different types of shells like mussels and cockles. The river prawns are awesome too. The seafood sauce which is spicy and tangy really enhanced the taste of the seafood.

Here are some pictures of one of my drinking session with some of my friends.

Cheap Thai whiskey and Chang beer

Can’t remember what this vendor is selling but he is cool enough to let me take his picture with him doing the thumbs up

A Thai noodle vendor on her motorbike having a brisk business

Beef, chicken and pork jerky. Salty and tasty, perfect match for beer

Seafood vendor with his push cart offering various type of steamed seafood

Big headed river prawns, the head is super tasty and some people believe it serves as aphrodisiac. I not sure bout that but it surely will give you the spicegasm feeling!

Flower crab with some sort of water snails

Lots of cockles! One of the funkiest tasting seafood but loved by many Thai and Asian foodies

Baked mussels with the special Thai seafood sauce. So addictive just like pop corn, you can never stop. If only the cinema allow this item to be sold in Thailand, I bet it will beat the sales of pop corn.

Flower crab which has not much meat in it but is not about the meat, is about having something to munch and not to get full. Is kinda like eating pumpkin seeds.

There you have it, pictures of cheap seafood in Thailand. An activity where you can do it over and over without feeling bored. Most importantly, it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket when you go with a few friends.

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