I tried it! The KFC Cheesetop Burger

KFC Cheesetop burger should work for cheese lovers, in theory. I like my burgers, I love cheese, the idea wasn’t completely appalling. I wonder why most of the criticism came from people who enjoyed Luther Burgers and deep fried twinkies…

So I headed out to the neighborhood KFC to try it out.

This is what the Cheesetop looks like, unwrapped

I was warned by fastfood junkie friends who gave it a go that the cheese did not taste like cheese.

Upon unwrapping, there was more cheese than I thought, which I appreciated.

But after the first bite, the foodies were right, it had the consistency and flavor of plastic. Even Easy Cheese tasted cheesier than this.

For the curious, I was able to eat it like a normal burger, without the cheese sticking to my fingers.

Past the novelty of the cheesetop, it was just an ordinary chicken burger. Not something I’d order again, even for PHP50.

And dammit to hell, they phased out the double down for this.

Bon Appetit! Creme Brulee and Macarons from Chez Karine

Chez Karine sweetened up my mid-week when they sent over some macarons and creme brulee.

Pardon the pictures, I was at the mercy of the office fluorescent and my phone cam.

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The cute packaging had me cooing in incoherent fake French. And I was not disappointed by what was inside!

I. Macarons by Chez Karine

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I am used to locally-made macarons having a crunchy outside and a candied inside. This was melt-in-your-mouth love. The covering had just the right kind of chewy, not overly crisp, and the inside flavoring felt like butter to the taste. I even enjoyed the fruit flavored macarons (strawberry, and what I think is a mango-passion fruit mix) – which I usually turn away for the chocolate and coffee flavors.

This, by far, has to be the best set of macarons I ever sunk my teeth into.

II. Creme Brulee by Chez Karine

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I braced myself for this. I am a huge fan of the creme brulee, and managed expectations upon seeing that they were pre-packed. The Amelie in me missed cracking the top open.

The standard creme brulee flavor (center jar) had a taste of that crispy top with the syrup at the bottom. It’s creme brulee to go, definitely, but it hit the spot. It’s not to be dismissed as your average leche flan or kitchen pudding, however. It’s a little bit of heaven, in all it’s rich, creamy goodness with each spoonful.

I thought I’d have a bit to taste at first, then blinked and found I had gobbled it all up.

I am particular about my favorite desserts, but this proved me wrong. Heck, writing this all down makes me crave some more.

Thank God Chez Karine is opening a cafe in Serendra, Taguig, on June 24, 2012. I can hardly wait to go there, girl friends and boyfriend in tow, for coffee and confectionary dates.

Searching for Close-to-Authentic Nasi Goreng in Manila

It was Indonesia that made me a foodie. I never realized how many tastes, textures, and flavors there were until I bit into a nasi goreng special. Cooking Master Boy, an anime, described certain flavor fusions to be like “A tornado in my mouth!” I first laughed at the horrible metaphor until I actually realized what it meant to have a tornado in the mouth. It’s damn good stuff, that.

Mom worries that I have spoiled palate. I have been fortunate enough to travel around Asia and Europe and taste cuisine as it should be. I’ve had escargot in France, I’ve had dimsum in Hong Kong, lauriat in China, ramen in Japan, and pasta in Italy. I’ve even had kangaroo jerky from Australia. My Indonesian maid cooked nasi uduk from scratch, as in, she would get an entire coconut and grate it herself from scratch. That’s a big deal to even locals, who don’t mind stir-frying in the instamix – that’s what they’re made for anyway.

The good news is, I’m not that spoiled. I can still be happy with Chinese and Japanese fast food. I find though that I’m ridiculously hard to please with Indonesian food. The closest I got to authentic was a stall in Salcedo Market that even served a recipe for rendang. Sadly, It closed shop some time ago.

Banana Leaf isn’t perfectly authentic, but they got the Nasi Goreng right. It has the right color and texture, and goes great with their satay. For some semblance of Indonesian cuisine, it works. It keeps my taste buds happy for a little while. Banana Leaf’s flavors are far more satisfying than Nasi Lemak at Robinson’s Galleria, which an acquaintance recommended to me as Singaporean-owned with authentic Singapore-Malay-Indonesian cuisine. I had high hopes for Nasi Lemak but was very disappointed when I recognized their nasi goreng as a fushion of nasi uduk with ikan asin. There is a stark difference, ok? Nasi Goreng is supposed to be reddish and pasty, while Nasi Uduk is a coconut-based rice.Their laksa was also disappointingly thin, though it captures a similar flavor to the Singaporean laksa we all know and love. Not great, but ok. Probably better as long as you haven’t tasted the real thing.

For authentic, you’re better off buying instant.

Matahari snack stands in some branches of SM and Metro Gaisano malls stock Indofood instant noodles and other products. Their stock is limited and differs from branch to branch, but it works. You might also get lucky at Robinsons Supermarket’s Asian Food section, which has excellent instant pho noodles called Oh! Ricey! and instant laksa that noodle fiend-friend, Khursten, highly recommends.

Are there any IndoMalay food places I’m missing in Metro Manila? Let me know! Sate this foodie, let’s put it to my nasi goreng or mie goreng taste test!