Archive for 17 September 2010

Chasing the Yum

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I first came across this show at AFC (Asian Food Channel). What got me hooked was the way he explained in getting the “Yum” factor in Asian dishes, the delicate balance of the salty-sweet-soury-spicy taste in all the dishes. I guess that’s the magic of the general Asian cuisine. I also appreciate how simple he makes things to complete the “Yum” factor. I also like when he would give simple tips to achieve the flavor and texture needed.

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Chef Jet Tila is a nationally celebrated chef specializing in all styles of Asian cuisine. He is renowned for the keen interest and excitement he brings to all his efforts.

His passion for Asian food began at an early age. As a boy, he spent time learning the ancient traditions of classical Asian cuisine in the family restaurants and at the Bangkok Market. At age ten, Jet realized his deep connection to food sprung from an even deeper connection to his history. Learning family traditions from his Cantonese grandmother further piqued his interest and in his early teens, Jet was making appetizers at his familyís restaurants. At 22, he was teaching cooking classes in his backyard ñ a phenomenon that caught the attention of the Los Angeles Times.

Jetís Le Cordon Bleu education coupled with his extensive knowledge of Asian gastronomy has given him a wide range of ideas to draw upon and a broad framework to create incomparable and innovative cuisine. In culinary school, Jet began to develop his style by seeking novel and inventive approaches to Eastern ingredients using classical French technique. Jet has also completed an intensive study program at the California Sushi Academy.” (text taken from

Though I must say that the kitchen set he’s working on in his show would have been a little better if they pizzazz it a bit because it’s boring, aesthetically . The size and perspective of the set would suffice but splash a bit of color. But in fairness to Chef Jet, his creations and the process of creation is admirable. It really makes sense to acquire the “Yum” factor in the dishes. I look forward to watching more of his shows and have a new sense of appreciation for a well-balanced, flavored meals.

E! News & Daily 10

E! News and Daily 10 are both productions of E! Entertainment. In the cable, they are both being shown in ETC (Entertainment Channel). E! News is hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic. Daily 10 is hosted by Sal Masekela and Cat Sadler.

If there’s one thing I do not understand is how come both shows are shown right after the other. I’m not sure if ETC is paying attention to this. So just to set the record straight, both shows has 90% of their stories are exactly the same. So much the same that you feel like it’s de-javu. The only difference is the placement of the stories. Daily 10 orders the stories probably based on intrigued or popularity.

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Which show is better? It’s quite obvious – E! News. Not only because E! News is shown first then followed by Daily 10. By the time E! News is over, you could literally change channels because it will be exactly the same news. And let’s not forget the hosting styles between shows. Ryan and Giuliana are perfect hosts – synergy personified. I do enjoy the portion when they would make fun of each other while hosting. Though sometimes it gets a bit pointless and under the belt but still entertaining, just the same. While Sal and Cat is a bit odd when you watch them. Cat in particular is actually good and very jolly when relying the showbiz news. I am still wondering who is the  Sal Masekela? Hosting is bad and he doesn carry himself well. I find him dirty and lousy, sad to say. No matter how good Cat is, she’s can carry all the weight of the show.

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Personally, I don’t how the shows are scheduled in the States but if it’s different from the scheduling of the local cable network please please please… THINK!!! It doesn’t make sense to show them side by side. It defeats the purpose and if you have to choose one of them, please please please… make the right one ok?

Kopi Tiam

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I first came across this restaurant since I move within the area. Kopi Tiam is one of four branches of North Park Noodle House (NP). The others are Next Door Noodle House (ND) and Tiananmen Bar (TB). Just to differentiate these branches, ND is a lower version of NP. TB is more of a chillout place with alcoholic bevrerages. Kopi Tiam, admittedly, is a bit confusing because it’s a mix-match of a lot of cuisines from Korean to Singaporean, even Japanese and American (burgers). So for me, if you want to go to a place that serves more than just Chinese cuisine, then you’re at the right place. They even offer coffee so it’s really a diverse place.

I’ve frequent the place, luckily because it’s relatively close to my residence, whether dine-in, take-out or delivery. I must admit that among the other branches, I do love the interior and aesthetics of Kopi Tiam. It’s modern and simple. It’s a place you can really chill out and relax, whether alone with company of friends or family. The food is just ok for me – nothing great and no WOW factor but still it’s good. My favorites, which I call my comfort food, are the Shredded Pork with Century Egg, Crabmeat Sweetcorn Soup, Yang Chow Fried Rice, King Dao Spareribs in Red Sauce, Korean Beef Stew and Sizzling Stuffled Talong in Tausi. Do note though that their California Maki is a bit overrated and pricey.

The first time I ordered through delivery, I was surprised to hear that the minimum order is worth Php300.00. “Are you fu@%ing kidding me?” Considering that I am very close to their restaurant, sometimes those minimum order amount should be reasonable and realistic. I had to question the amount and then after them asking for my delivery address, they changed the amount to just Php200.00 which is just right and acceptable. If they do plan to offer different rates based on the distance, then they should probe first before declaring those amounts. It comes out as a bad shock and I believe it’s more of enhancing their customer service skills.

I remember just recently when I was down with a flu and lost my appetite and thought of ordering soup from them. I ordered the Crabmeat Sweetcorn Soup and it made me feel better despite that I couldn’t taste it at first but it became one of my favorites.

I highly recommend for you to try Kopi Tiam. It’s a good place to go to and it takes you out from the NP and ND concept. If you are looking forward to order the same food from NP or ND then you might be disappointed. Only few of the famous entrées are being served there. I do suggest that when you visit them for the first time, have an open mind on the food and who knows you might like them just as much as the known foods from the NP or ND.

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