Short Stops

I am winded. From clean up.  Scrub those algae. Turn things inside out.  Stomp out jumping insects in puddles of water.  Air everything out, even books.  Take inventory. Chuck whatever is too much trouble and expense to have fixed.  You can’t do all that in one day, you know.

I also did inventory on stuff I haven’t posted!  Pictures, too.  Sigh.  I really hate low-res pictures, but here goes!
I had breakout days as you know.  Spent eating out or in.
Here I was at Hyphy's (coined word for hyperactive and craaazzzy) at Robinson’s Galleria’s Veranda.  Have you noticed all the malls breaking out of the box and putting in atriums and garden/patio dining? Or a green view at least.  Anyways, I met up with a friend there.  As if we haven’t been taking Marvin’s (Nemo’s awesome fish-daddy) mantra “just keep swimming” to heart lately, we both ordered fish.  My friend ordered her favorite and I got the bestseller.  Read on.

Hyphy's is Chef Bruce Lim’s other baby, apart from Chef’s Table.  He’s the star chef on Asian Food Channel (AFC)’s Tablescapes, with Angel Aquino co-hosting.   He’s mostly Singapore based, I am told, but cooked his way through San Francisco and Singapore (and everywhere else) so he’s a natural at fusion food.  We ordered satay or barbeque that they dubbed Kanto Pork Barbeque – a street name (kanto means corner) to tone down the classy ambience.  My pictures were too red so you'll have to wait till I take better ones.  The Restaurant Project guy is right: it is better to take home food and shoot later.  Or recreate at home.
Interior lighting makes it difficult to show up food in...well..a good light hehehe.  

I like the look of the restaurant though, the patterns.  They do serve up reasonably priced food so don’t get intimidated by all that buffed wood and high ceiling. Plus the wait staff serves you right hehehe.  
Calamansi Tuyo Pasta is one of their bestsellers.  I have my version of tuyo pasta,replacing anchovies.  Chef Bruce does away with the fishiness of tuyo with a calamansi zing.  You actually forget you just ate a whole plate hehehe. Nothing like sourcing for local lemons, less expensive and more convenient supply wise. I like the bread stick flecked with chilis – kicky!

They have other fusion pasta dishes like Kaldereta Pasta (braised beef in tomato sauce).  This actually makes sense, since our kaldereta is kind of close to the Italian osso bucco except the latter uses bone marrow, like a tomato sauced bulalo. There’s Sisig Pasta (sisig is pork face grilled, chopped and then sautéed in a little oil with peppers and onions) and Malunggay Pesto (pesto is traditionally made from pine nuts and herbs, they used finely chopped moringa or malunggay instead.  If you don’t think of sisig, kaldereta and malunggay as main dishes, the twist Chef Bruce aims for actually works.  Think light handed cooking, not as rich as the original dish so the pasta isn’t smothered and overwhelmed by all that sauce. 

My friend ordered her favorite SanFo Fish Burger. I finished it off for her too hahaha.  I was hungry and it was heavy eating, with fried egg and greens and mayo, fries on the side.

 Then my suddenly free friend Joy, having cooled off things with an almost fiancée (the nth year itch, of course), asked me to bring her some place new. Preferably in Quezon City. I’ve heard of Pipino, the vegetarian place. I’ve been to Pino next door and liked the food (though mostly young people hung out there weeknights) so I figured they’d have tasty vegetarian.

So here’s what I mean about reds and not so very good cameras. My silken tofu lasagna is very tomatoey!
I like! The dish, not the picture. We were intrigued by brown rice and mushroom salpicao so we got those too. I love shiitake, sweetish and earthy tasting but not overpoweringly so (its the brown shrooms in sukiyaki). It really tastes like salpicao. You eat more rice with it. Strongly flavored sauces do that every time. We had crunchy tofu on skewers as well, their veggie version of satay. Tofu really is versatile, it takes on any flavor so if you get the texture just right, it’s a good dish. Like, if you wanted the feel of ground meet in the lasagna, you crispen tofu bits to make it distinct from the silken tofu pasta sheets. Pipino’s pseudo meats are unlike the vege-meat I had at my ex boss table. She was a kidney transplantee and had to watch her diet. I sometimes join her for lunch. Though some dishes she concocts with vege-meat were good, some you bear in mind is good for you. Or plain bear it hehehe.

There’s no dairy in the shakes; pure fruit or vegetable juice so be forewarned.  You taste real fruit.  In my case its cucumber and ginger, nicely balanced flavors although if you are acidic I wouldn’t recommend it. 

Pipino is rather small, and you have to go round the back of Pino and up the stairs to get to it. I tend to like small places: cozy, quiet ones (I go on off peak hours). Ever notice most places now have message boards? As if Facebook and texting isn’t enough.   
They’ve got desserts – gluten free and healthy.  Guilt free chocolate chip cookies too, but Joy and I figured we’ve been good and needed some guilty pleasure hahaha.  Plus we were going to edit a story; we need wi-fi and inspirational cake and coffee! 

I took her to Fleur de Lys for The Next Best Thing and Nuts About You.  TNBT is molten lava cake served with vanilla ice cream.  I like the icy-hotness when warm molten chocolate in the cake’s crater meets the chill of ice cream.  It’s like my fail-safe cake.  “Nuts” is a macadamia nut pie served with pistachio ice cream.  I had coffee and Joy went overdrive on red grape juice.    
Joy asked why we are always eating hahaha.  I say food is the only thing I am tripping on these days.  Other than books and shopping and The X-Factor.  That’s not so bad, is it?

P.s.  Is it so telling that Hyphys, Pipino and Fleur de Lys dining are all on the second floor?  Flood-safe hahaha.


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