Jun 27, 2007

Hong Tai Yang

We discovered Hong Tai Yang as we drove home from Binondo one Sunday, when we took a detour that led us to Macapagal Boulevard. We were wondering where we were going to have lunch; Macapagal Boulevard is dotted with restaurants but we were in search of something new, and so Seaside, Gerry's Grill and classmates were out of the question.

Hong Tai Yang's billboard beckoned : "Over a 100 food choices." Clearly it was a marketing jab but what the heck, we drove in and followed the arrows to the back end of the Hobbies of Asia compound.

To our surprise, the restaurant was bustling with diners. And there, a stride from the door is the buffet counter filled with quite a variety of shabu-shabu (hotpot) and grill ingredients -- dimsum, hakaw, meats and poultry (fresh and processed, including tocino and bacon), innards and other laman loob bordering on the exotic, fish and seafood, lots of greens and other veggies....

We had a choice from among chicken, satay (which I took) and sinigang (Mike's choice) for the hotpot broth. Half an hour later we have tried half a dozen "courses," using the Teriyaki, BBQ and other condiments available, then helped ourselves to the all-you-want ice cream and halo-halo. Hay, patay na naman ang diet!

When we asked for the bill, the waiter was profuse with tips: "'Pag pumunta po kayo dito dapat yung gutom talaga kayo, tapos 'wag n'yong bibiglain. Yung iba kasi nabibigla, ayun, nagsasawa agad. Sayang din ho kasi 'yung bayad n'yo."

Oh, okay!

Anyway, we did come back four times more (and better prepared) after that, with the kids, with mom (on Mothers' Day -- boy, was the place packed!) and some friends. The kids liked the idea of being allowed to cook their own food -- and the seemingly endless supply of ice cream. :)

Hong Tai Yang opens from 11 am to 11pm daily. Lunch buffet costs P360 per head; dinner P395 (excluding rice and drinks). Kids pay only half (except on holidays). The place gets really full on weekends and special occasions, so the best time to come would be for weekday lunch, or call in for reservations.

Hong Tai Yang is at the back end of the Hobbies of Asia compound, along Macapagal Boulevard. (The entrance to the compound comes right after the Blue Lotus Spa.) HTY's frontage faces the Senate Building and is on the same row as Susan the Cooking Diva's kitchen.

Jun 26, 2007

Tokneneng / Kwek-Kwek

This post is more than a month late for the 17th edition of Lasang Pinoy, thanks to my hiatus from blogging and bloghopping (I read the LP announcement just last night). I'm hoping the good people of LP will accept it anyway and include it in the (post) round-up.

Tokneneng is the baby version of Kwek-Kwek, boiled chicken eggs coated with orange-tinted batter commonly sold on the street. Tokneneng is made of boiled quail eggs. Both Kwek-kwek and Tokneneng are my boys' favorites, and today I decided to treat them to the hygienic version. (As most people know, Tokneneng and Kwek-kwek get additional flavor from the spraying of smoke, dust and other airborne elements from people and vehicles passing by as they sit on display on the karitons.)


What's In It?

24 pcs. quail eggs, hard-boiled and shells removed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp + 1 pinch iodized salt
a pinch or two of black pepper powder
a pinch of Maggi Magic Sarap (optional)
1/2 cup tap water
2-3 drops red food color
2-3 drops yellow food color
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (for dusting)
1 cup cooking oil (for frying)

Kitchen Conjugations:

1) In a shallow pan prepare and heat cooking oil over medium heat.

2) Meantime, stir in food color into water until you get the desired tint. (Tip: Go for a little darker because the shade will pale when combined with the starches.)

2) In a medium bowl combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper and Magic Sarap or MSG (if using). Gradually add-in colored water, pouring a little at a time as you beat the batter with slow strokes. Add in any remaining water until the batter is fluid but thick. (See picture above. PS - I ran out of red food color so the batter is yellow.)

3) Pour the extra 1/4 cup all-purpose flour into a plastic bag or container. Add in the shelled quail eggs, cover/seal and roll to coat. (This gives the batter something to cling on.)

4) Dunk the floured eggs into the batter. Pick up using two teaspoons (so that you can keep the eggs rolling and coating in the thick batter and keep them as round as possible) then pop into the hot oil.

5) Fry for a minute each side or until the batter sets. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to cool and drain on a colander.

6) Serve with sweet-chili sauce or sweet and sour sauce (bottled versions available at supermarkets) or spiced vinegar (white vinegar with minced red onion and a sprinkling of ground black pepper and salt). Enjoy!

PS uli: Today's tokneneng, happening on a school day, figured in the boys' lunch box. To make sure the Toknenengs stay crisp and fresh, the sauce was stored separately, to be poured in just before eating. The extra sauce packs I take home and keep from our fastfood eat-outs came handy. :)


1) A quail egg has 3 times more cholesterol than a chicken egg.

2) The chicken figurine in the picture above is a candlestick holder, part of a set I bought in 1997. Her partner, the rooster, fell into pieces after being thrown into the air by one of my nieces, who thought it was plastic and was a toy. They were samples for an export project, and I have not found a replacement for Mr. Rooster.

3) The Easter Eggs (at the background) I bought from the Custom Clay Shop factory in San Pedro, for P10.00 each (I think they sold for P120 each at the malls). Gambel accidentally broke one of the eggs yesterday when his kicking pad flew while practicing TKD.

Jun 16, 2007

Maki Mo 'To?

After my Spaghetti House craze came my Teriyaki Boy fad. But I didn't go bananas over the teriyaki -- I went there almost everyday for the California Maki and Futo Maki.

Sorry to cross your hopes, but nope, I am not infanticipating. This craving is strictly weirdo.
Shown here are the makis I ordered at Teriyaki Boy in Megamall, right when we took a break from my ninang dress adventure. Sorry if the photo leaves much to be desired -- there's only so much that can be done under poor lighting and with a camphone.

The makis, however, performed according to expectations.