Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cebuano Take Away Food

Filipinos are always eating, and when they cook meals, they tend to cook like there is no tomorrow. If they are not cooking, they are eating out or buying take away food. And they snack throughout the day as well.

Anyway, I am so missing this... (notice, no red meat?) from last year...

Top to bottom to right: Sauteed Kangkong (water spinach), Guso salad, Shell/Clam soup, Calamari, Lato salad and the is an Escabeche yummy fried snapper.

My brother and sis-in-law brought this food one evening at my parent's house just before I got admitted to the hospital. They actually wanted to eat out but my parents and I couldn't go as I was not feeling well. They instead bought food for the family and they brought my favourites. Whilst my mom cooked some shell soup for me.

When I am home in Cebu, Philippines I always 'home' order seaweed salads such as lato and guso and a hot shell/clam soup. I am in heaven!

I do not think I will be visiting the Philippines this year as I will be meeting my parents in another country. But you never know. I have not booked yet so things can change.

Travel Period: November 2014
Destination: Cebu South (Cebu), Philippines

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Germany: Ludwigsplatz in Karlsruhe on a Rainy Evening

I hate rain, especially when it rains down on my travels. I only love rain when I am at home, sitting in my lounge chair with the plaid covering my lower body and I am watching the rain outside the window. A bit selfish but that is how it usually goes =)

But sadly, I have been rained down many times. No one can help it really. We are dependent on the weather, especially here in northern Europe where the weather sucks, big time. Such as one rainy evening in Karlsruhe early this year. I was out in the city looking for a nice restaurant for dinner. No matter how pretty a city is, when it’s raining, it looks rather depressing.

Ludwigsplatz on a rainy day in January.

Ludwigsplatz, a triangular square in Karlsruhe is a lively place during summer and when the weather is good. Just look at how Ludwigsplatz looked like on a January rainy evening (see above). The next day by the way, it snowed, albeit wet snow. Compared to the the picture below.

Ludwigsplatz on a lovely summer day. What a difference!

I settled at a corner restaurant for dinner and ordered pasta with gambas (prawns). I cannot remember the name of the restaurant though. I am sometimes bad at taking down notes.

Nevertheless, I didn’t expect the prawns to come with scales and heads. Not in Germany or northern Europe where people prefer their fish scaled and their meat filleted. I mean most of the pastas garnished with shrimps and prawns in northern Europe are usually served scaled and without heads.

This dish was tasty though so I forgive the chef =)

Pasta with big grilled prawns and a chardonnay.

So dinner is done, time to go back outside under the rain. I was not looking forward at all.

Instead of walking back to my hotel, which would probably take me 20 minutes, I took the tram. This is much faster and warmer. It is not fun at all to walk in the rain in the evening.

Back at the hotel and having a cup of espresso at the bar, and oh a nightcap as well before calling it a night.

Travel Period: January 2015
Destination: Karlsruhe (Baden-Wurttemburg), Germany

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Mosselen met Friet (Mussels with Fries) in Antwerp, Belgium

There are 3 countries in the world that one can easily get this kind of dish throughout the year -- a pot of cooked/steamed mussels and fries, and these are:

1) Belgium
2) France
3) Netherlands

I will not be surprised if this is the national dish of Belgium. Interestingly though, most of the mussels come from the Netherlands, in the province of Zeeland where they are cultivated in many huge mussel fishing farms. They are called Zeeuwse mosselen (Zeeland mussels) which are by far the most popular and most eaten in Europe.

So I was craving for this dish and thought it is much better to eat this in Belgium. Antwerp calling!

The nice thing with the restaurants in Antwerp Centrum is that no matter what their cuisine specialty of the house is, they always serve a pot of Mosselen met Frites, the traditional way. The fries are also Belgian style which are normally bigger and their mayo is quite sour compared to the Dutch mayo. The Belgians prefer it this way I guess.

In the Netherlands and France, you will really have to search for seafood restaurants to eat this dish. Which makes the Belgian cities (especially Brussels and Antwerp), the best place to go to satisfy any mussels craving.

I managed to finish the whole pot myself. I was quite surprised =)

We ate at an Italian restaurant  called  Ristorante Del Sud Classico at the Koornmarkt.

Minestrone soup, for the Dutchman.

It was all bad timing for us as it rained the whole time in Antwerp. We forgot to bring the umbrella that was sitting at the back of the car in the garage so we were kind of soaked. This is my a bit soaked hair and face. And oh, the lovely Duvel as well.

Dutchman ordered some spare ribs. He has no complaints so far.

My delicious pot of cooked mussels. I ordered the natural flavour. I prefer it this way. Other flavours include wine, provencal and curry. This was excellently cooked. Look at that juicy and succulent looking mussels.

I shared those Belgian fries and mayo with the Dutchman who was more than glad to gobble them all =)

The view of the restaurant inside.

Yup, the mussels at Ristorante Del Sud Classico are indeed from Zeeland, the Netherlands, and this is the view from the toilet, the square of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal Antwerpen).

Travel Period: August 2015
Destination: Antwerp (Antwerp), Belgium

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Monday, August 24, 2015

SAIL 2015 Amsterdam from the EYE Film Museum

These pictures were taken at a work event I attended during the SAIL 2015 Amsterdam in the EYE Film Museum. We had a terrific view of all the boats that passed by. The event rented a boat as well where all the guests (sailing per batch) were taken on a tour of the IJ Haven passing by all the tall ships on display at the SAIL 2015 event. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the boat tour as I was busy chatting with a number of guests. They actually sailed 3 times, which means I had 3 boat tour opportunities that I missed! Helaas.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the event. We had a lovely view from a great location on the Het IJ River. The weather was fantastic and everyone was out.

The EYE Film Museum is located in the north of Amsterdam. To get here, simply take the blue and white GVB boats (take Buiksloterweg) at the back of the Amsterdam Centraal Station and this will bring you across the river, near the EYE building. They go frequently and the boats are free of charge. Thanks to the Amsterdam local government.

Crossing the Het IJ River now from the Buiksloterweg station (this is the middle boat station or pont). Locals call the boat 'pont' or 'pontje'.

Catching a glimpse of the other boat. There are 2 boats at this station that go back and forth. Do take note that there are other boat stations as well, and this is the middle one. 

Hello I'm A*DAM. There are many festivals going on here at the SAIL event. You can see at the back of the Hello I'm A*DAM poster a DJ is on the turntables making music.

EYE Film Museum in the north of Amsterdam.

A pretty boat with nice sails.

SAIL 2015 Amsterdam was lucky because days before the event started it rained so bad, for days, in the Netherlands.


There were food trucks below the EYE Film Museum building and a temporary outdoor terrace was made available.

This was a concert boat and they were singing typically Dutch folk songs.

The outdoor terrace of the EYE Restaurant.

Yours truly with a chilled white.

The food just kept coming! My favourites were the cheese and prawn sticks (not in the photo).

The IJ Haven and IJ River at its busiest. Boat owners come here to see the event with the boat of course than with the car, train or bike.

The blue and white flat boat is the pont (or pontje) that brings passengers from both sides of the river  to and fro for free. They are located at the back of the Amsterdam Centraal Station.

The food trucks just below the EYE Film Museum building.

Visit Period: August 2015
Destination: Amsterdam North (Amsterdam – North Holland), The Netherlands

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