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Restaurant Review: Buffalo Wings N’ Things, Megamall

The Man and I (actually more him) are big fan of chicken wings. We discovered this pretty awesome place in one of our rambles around one of our favorite malls, Megamall. Buffalo Wings and Things is an unassuming restaurant located in Mega A basement, near the events area. Nearby establishments are Sumo Sam, Toy Kingdom, and the north side of the food court.

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It’s a pretty small place, filled with mostly couple-tables that spill out the front of the restaurant. However! The most important feature of this restaurant is those packs of tissue for each table. For a place that will require you to eat with your fingers, this just makes sense! The counter is all the way inside, beside the kitchen.

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They have a big standee of their menu out in front of the tables. If you’re eating brunch to a late lunch/early dinner, you may also want to check out their Fan Faves, which is a selection of their best sellers at a great price.

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Our standard order is as follows. For me, I get a Set A from the Fan Faves menu, which gives me half a pound buffalo wings of my choice of flavor. My favorite is Garlic Parmesan! This set also gives me a side of NY Dirty Rice (which I share with The Man) and a regular sized Downtown Iced Tea, which I would upgrade to a large one. This costs Php199 + Php20 for the tea upgrade.

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The Man’s order is 1 pound buffalo wings of his choice of flavor. We’ve tried different variations but I think he has settled on the Firehouse Classic as his favorite. He gets a large Downtown Iced Tea and a Bleu Cheese add on as well. His order comes up to around Php380.

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Summary: Our new favorite place to get wings! It’s where we would usually eat whenever we find ourselves at Megamall. Pretty great flavors, acceptable ambiance, excellent service, and a good supply of tissue!

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Food: 10
Service: 10
Ambiance: 7.5

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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Restaurants

 

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Maggi Magic Meals Chicken Pastel

One of my staple baon viands recently is Chicken Pastel, made so easy because of Maggi Magic Meals. I discovered this when Maggi was giving out samples at my work place. The idea of the Magic Meals is simple: put the required ingredients in the provided plastic bag, tie it shut, place it in the rice cooker along with your prepared rice and water, and cook it for 45 minutes. Let me show you how I did this Chicken Pastel.

This is what the Magic Meal pack looks like. As you can see, I bought it at Hi-Top for Php32.85.

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It has two sections. The top section contains the special food-grade plastic that will hold the ingredients. The bottom section contains the flavoring powder that will transform those ingredients into chicken pastel. At the back you will see very detailed instructions. (Click the images for a larger version.)

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I’ll now show you the steps I took to create my latest batch of chicken pastel.

1. Prepare your ingredients. Here I took a largish carrot and a medium potato, which I peeled and diced. I also have half a kilo of chicken thigh fillets, which I cut into small parts and scored the meat sections three times each to let the flavor in. I chose thigh fillets because it’s boneless (making it easier to eat when I take it to work) and more flavorful than say, breast fillets. This batch is extra fatty, which contributed to a creamier pastel later on.

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2. Open up the provided plastic bag. It has a red sticker that keeps it folded. I take the effort to remove all traces of this sticker to make sure I won’t have sticker bits or glue in my rice. Put all the ingredients in the bag, then add the flavoring powder (bottom section) and 1/4 cup of water.

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3. Seal the bag, making sure that the bag will lie flat and there isn’t much air inside.

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4. Place the bag inside the rice cooker, making sure that most of the bag is submerged in the water. I usually cook two cups of rice here, so there will be enough water to accommodate the magic meal bag. Turn on the rice cooker. Usually the rice will finish cooking faster than the 45 minutes required for the magic meal. What I do is to just set the rice cooker to warm (so as not to burn the rice) to keep the cooking of the magic meal going. I turn off the rice cooker at exactly 45 minutes.

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5. The chicken pastel is ready to serve! Cut open the bag and slide out the cooked pastel. Be careful here because the bag is probably very hot.

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This batch will probably give me about two to three sets of baon. I just spoon it over the rice and seal my bento, and it reheats pretty nicely in the microwave. I will probably keep on using this kind of chicken, because it really made the pastel creamy and decadent.

Maggi has three other kinds of Magic Meals: Lechon Paksiw, Bicol Express, and Afritada. I’ve tried the first two, and Chicken Pastel remains my favorite.

Have you tried Magic Meals? Which one did you like best?

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2013 in Random Cooking

 

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Restaurant Review: Wingman, The Collective

In our endless search for good places to eat, we stumbled upon Wingman on the suggestion of a friend. Wingman is located in The Collective, a commercial hub along Malugay Street. It took quite some time for us to actually go there, as Wingman is kind of hard to find or go to if you’re not very familiar with the back streets of Makati. To those who might be interested, here’s a map to The Collective.

I will start off by saying that you might have problems parking there. There are only about six parking slots in front of The Collective, and if you’re not lucky enough to score one of them, you’ll have to make do with street parking. It appears that street parking here is acceptable, mainly because it’s a one-way street. There are parking boys to assist you, or maybe the security guard.

Once you’re able to park, you will see Wingman as the leftmost establishment. It is long and narrow, and can seat about 20-30 people. The Man and I usually just take one of the couple tables along the bar. Here’s a view of the bar from our table.

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As this is Wingman, of course we have to try out their buffalo wings. We took the set of 12 wings, which we can order in two flavors. We tried out the classic hot and the hickory barbecue, with the bleu-cheese add-on. It comes with a side of raw carrot sticks and ranch dip. This costs Php350. I have to say that this justifies the name of Wingman.

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We also ordered Roast Beef Au-Jus, which is a roast beef sandwich that comes with a dipping bowl of what I can call steak juice. It costs Php260, and it already comes with a side (your choice of fries or onion rings). Conveniently it comes sliced in half, so the Man and I are able to split this sandwich without much trouble. This is amazing! We ran out of sandwich too quickly, and unfortunately Wingman does not offer any bready sides that we can dip in the leftover steak juice. I would say that I would gladly take a trip out to Wingman just for this dish.

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For our drinks we just got their bottomless lemonade, which came in this quirky shade of blue. Php80 each for this.

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Summary: Arguably the best place to get your buffalo wings fix. The drawbacks here would include 1. it’s also a watering hole (we aren’t really drinkers) 2. limited parking slots and 3. they don’t have a good place to wash your hands. The ambiance of Wingman itself is pretty great, but I’m docking points because of the location and lack of amenities of The Collective. We paid about Php800 total for two people.
Food: 10
Service: 10
Ambiance: 8.5

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in reviews

 

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Couple of chicken fillet experiments

So I got some time to cook last week, and I’ve been hankering to try some baked/roast chicken recipes. Unfortunately I only had skinless chicken thigh fillets at the moment, so I decided on these two.

First up, garlic-and-sugar roasted chicken fillets from Food.com. I like how easy it sounded, and it didn’t seem very odd to substitute thigh fillets for the breast fillets. I used about half the recipe, so 2 tbs of brown sugar and 2 garlic cloves, for about 4 thigh fillets (I thought 2 thigh fillets is equivalent to 1 breast fillet). Here’s what came out:

It came out surprisingly juicy, and one can clearly taste the sugar in it. Unfortunately, there may have been too much sugar. Chicken should probably not be that sweet. I will try variations of this recipe until I get the right mix.

The second dish is bacon-wrapped chicken rolls, from Allrecipes this time. I had a pack of Earle’s bacon to try out, and this seemed like a perfect dish. I used three of the largest thigh fillets I had. Unfortunately I didn’t have a meat mallet, so I made do with a flat cheese grater! Of course it didn’t really do too much and the fillets didn’t really become any flatter. I also didn’t have any fresh herbs, so I just used my dried herbs (sage, thyme, and basil). I rolled the herbs and chopped garlic into the fillets, wrapped a bacon slice around each, and secured with a toothpick. Here’s how it looked:

As there were only three rolls, and the other baking dish I had was much too big, I decided to roast some vegetables along with the bacon-chicken rolls. I chopped up some potatoes, carrots, and an onion, sprinkled a generous amount of olive oil on them, and topped with salt, pepper, and a bit of dried rosemary. Here’s a picture of the roast veggies along with the bacon-chicken rolls.

All I can say is, damn it was good! The chicken was juicy and the bacon went really well with it. Perhaps the two things I would change for the next time is a bit less herbs (since after all, I was using dried!) and maybe a longer baking time (I baked it for only 45 minutes).

I love cooking. 😀

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Random Cooking

 

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Week 34 of 52: Spaghetti and Vegetables

Double feature this week!

First off, I started with this really nice vegetable dish I found from The Pioneer Woman. It’s basically a bunch of vegetables cut in similar size and roasted. Here, I used a small and a large potato, a medium carrot, and a large zucchini. I seem to have put too much pepper, but it turned out pretty delicious! Addicting, even. I think this is because the whole thing tastes like some sort of chips or fries.

The second dish is Filipino style spaghetti. I’ve been meaning to try this out for the longest time because my husband prefers that to the Italian style spaghetti (non-sweet). Good thing I’ve discovered Jun-blog, as he has a great recipe for this style of spaghetti. I mostly followed his recipe to the dot, except I substituted tomato ketchup for banana ketchup (turns out I didn’t have any?). It may have affected the overall taste and texture. My husband commented that it was a little bit too runny. Next time, I’ll use banana ketchup and see how it compares. I also used jumbo hotdogs so the slices were enormous! I’ll downgrade to regular hotdog next time. It was a very satisfying lunch!

We had the spaghetti and roasted veggies for lunch, with a side of potato chips for him and some Gardenia bread for me. Here’s how our spread looked like:

My plate of spaghetti:

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 25 of 52: Cooking for the folks!

I didn’t do anything new this week, because I made a special day of cooking massive amounts of food for my folks during one of my rest days. My dad’s digestion has become a bit delicate, and won’t accept anything too oily anymore. I decided to make some stuff that aren’t oily at all. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, and wasn’t able to take pictures of the food I made.

I took a quick grocery run before going to my parents’ house; luckily there’s a nice supermarket on the way. I bought a bunch of carrots, some onions, a bit of ginger, a half kilo each of ground pork, ground chicken, and frozen shrimp, and a pack of dumpling wrappers. All of those cost a total of Php450 (~$10.35). I also brought with me my cooking sake, mirin, and my really nice grater.

The first dish I made is a huge batch of shrimp siu mai (recipe from Just Bento). I made two batches, one using half the ground pork and the other using half the ground chicken. I forgot to bring my sesame oil, but that was fine because I didn’t really want any oil in my dishes anyway. It went into my mom’s huge new steamer (I was the buena mano user aka I was the first to use it!).

While the siu mai was cooking, I started on my second dish: stewed chicken and carrots which I did before. I unfortunately misremembered the amount of ground chicken needed. I thought I only needed the remaining 1/4 kilo, but it turns out I needed a full half kilo. My mom had some more ground chicken, but it was frozen, and there was no time to wait for defrosting. I decided to just substitute with the remaining 1/4 kilo of ground pork instead.

The siu mai finished steaming just as I was ready to start stewing the chicken/pork. There might have been too much of the pork, too much carrots, or too little of the broth, but it was a bit of a tight squeeze. The cooking came to its predictable conclusion, and I served those two dishes with a bit of my stocked mediterranean soup and some vegetable kaldereta.

My folks were a bit overwhelmed by the amount of food, I think. Luckily my brother arrived early to partake of the dinner. I heard that the leftovers went into my dad and my other brother’s baon for the next few days. Sulit!

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 18 of 52: Chicken Paprika

I have been trying to find alternatives to Shake-n-Bake, as I’ve done here. It hasn’t been very successful so far, and I haven’t had the chance to try some variations on that recipe I did before. Lucky for me, there was a likely candidate in a cookbook I borrowed from my in-laws: The Recipes I Love by Norma Olizon Chikiamco.

The basic idea of her Chicken Paprika is similar to Shake-n-Bake: coat chicken pieces in a powder mix then bake in the oven until done. The main difference that I found very interesting is using a baking dish lined with melted butter as opposed to using a cookie sheet.

Chicken paprika - Fresh out of the oven

The powder mix is just flour, salt, and ground paprika. Her recipe called for using a bowl to coat the chicken, but I think this will work pretty well if we put the powder mix into a plastic bag and coating the chicken through shaking.

I used chicken drumsticks, and brought it as baon. It tasted great! I may have found a great substitute for Shake-n-Bake, although this did not come out crunchy. Think of KFC classic chicken, and it would not be far from the texture that came out of this chicken paprika. As for the taste, I can stand a bit more paprika for extra kick, but this tasted well enough for a non-spicy dish. I’m thinking of substituting some of the flour with panko breadcrumbs to add crunchiness to the chicken.

Baon!

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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