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5.299 TEITY 15 Highlight : Tangho (hotpot)

-Cycle 5, Item 299-
31 (Fri) October 2014

-Chinese-
Tangho

3.5

at Tao Yuan

-Malate, Manila-

with various members of SCREAM

TEITY.  Try Every Item at Tao Yuan* (see previously 5.298 Braised Pork Belly with Taopok). Attempting to eat my way through the restaurant, all 222 items (excluding shark's fin and desserts).  From what I've seen so far, it would seem to be one of the best in the neighborhood, solid on all counts: taste, quality, variety, service, vibe, proximity, maybe price.  Once I've tried everything, I'll know exactly what to get, depending on the circumstances, whether it's for a quick bite on my own, a casual night out with friends/colleagues/family, or a formal occasion hosting bosses/VIPs.  That kind of certainty, in the unpredictable culinary landscape of Manila, will be invaluable.

*The domain has recently expired, but I leave the link in case it comes back up.

Something of a sequel to TERRP (Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place), which had me eating my way through an entire mall, all 85 restaurants (see generally 5.247 Original Recipe Fried Chicken...), much to my eternal regret and shame.

BLUE: highly recommended / GREEN: respectable / YELLOW: mediocre / ORANGE: better avoided / RED: never again / GREY: off-limits due to ethical concerns

11 new items tonight, total 69 down, 153 remaining; 15th visit so far, averaging 4.67 items per visit, on pace to finish at TEITY 50.

I discovered this evening that the on-premise hotpot menu differs from the on-line version that I'd initially scanned, so I've remade it as above.

Condiments: minced fresh garlic, minced deep-fried garlic, peanut sauce, chili oil, chopped fresh chilies, chopped scallions.

Tangho is a green vegetable.  Judging by the distinctively herbaceous bitterness, it would seem to be related in some way to Korean ssuggat (쑥갓) (crown daisy), though with thicker stems, less leafy.  More research required.  Stand by.

Corn (3.0) + Golden Mushroom (2.25) (enoki)--sweet and soft corn, good; enoki was okay, though didn't contribute much.

Sp. Pork Bones with Preserved Vegetable Soup (3.25)--not that much flavor initially, but eventually developed into a very rich broth; big chunks of pork were nice; the "preserved vegetable" wasn't readily apparent, forgot to ask.

Clams (2.0)--in the heavy pork stock, the subtle flavor of the clams was drowned out, though presumably they helped to enrich the final broth.

In the background, HK Kailan (3.5) + Cabbage (2.0)--most primo example of gailan that I've seen in a long while.

Shrimp Paste with Taopok (2.0)--would seem to be great combination but didn't really taste like anything.

Handmade Fishballs (2.0) + Taro (not for us, for James and family) (shoulda grabbed one) + Shrimp Dumplings (3.0)--dumplings were good.

Egg Noodles (2.5)--left them in a bit too long.


For my inaugural hotpot experience at Tao Yuan, I was quite satisfied across the board.  Pretty much all of the ingredients were fresh and high quality.  The highlight was the tangho, a jolt of sharp flavor, very welcome to the Korean palate--when we hold a Korean WPRO staff dinner here, I'll consider making a special request to add this to one of the other meat dishes (see for example 5.288 Special Beef Brisket in Pot).  The portions are kinda large, such that a meal of sufficient variety would be practical for a group of at least 3 or 4.  In any case, it was the best hotpot meal that I've had in Manila thus far (see for comparison 5.032 Fish Fillet Set), 5.213 Shrimp Balls).

To be explained in tomorrow's post, November 1 is a national holiday, but because it happens to fall this year on a Saturday, the country gets the preceding Friday off, which means that I got to stay home today, which means that I got to see the sunset from my apartment for the first time in a long while.

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ADDENDUM

10 (Fri) April 2015

Finished (see generally 6.095 Done).

5.298 TEITY 14 Highlight : Braised Pork Belly with Taopok

-Cycle 5, Item 298-
30 (Thu) October 2014

-Singaporean-
Braised Pork Belly with Taopok

3.5

at Tao Yuan

-Malate, Manila-

with colleagues

TEITY.  Try Every Item at Tao Yuan* (see previously 5.296 Ba Kuh Teh).  Attempting to eat my way through the restaurant, all 222 items (excluding shark's fin and desserts).  From what I've seen so far, it would seem to be one of the best in the neighborhood, solid on all counts: taste, quality, variety, service, vibe, proximity, maybe price.  Once I've tried everything, I'll know exactly what to get, depending on the circumstances, whether it's for a quick bite on my own, a casual night out with friends/colleagues/family, or a formal occasion hosting bosses/VIPs.  That kind of certainty, in the unpredictable culinary landscape of Manila, will be invaluable.

*The domain has recently expired, but I leave the link in case it comes back up.

Something of a sequel to TERRP (Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place), which had me eating my way through an entire mall, all 85 restaurants (see generally 5.247 Original Recipe Fried Chicken...), much to my eternal regret and shame.

8 new dishes, total 58 down, 163 remaining; 14th visit so far, averaging 4.21 items per visit, on pace to finish at TEITY 55.

BLUE: highly recommended / GREEN: respectable / YELLOW: mediocre / ORANGE: better avoided / RED: never again / GREY: off-limits due to ethical concerns

Taopok/taupok is a type of Singaporean tofu.  Deep-fried, with soft wrinkly skin and spongy interior--similar to the tofu used to make Japanese inari sushi.  May be stuffed with additional ingredients or added on its own as a component to a stir-fry.  

At Tao Yuan, the Braised Pork Belly with Taopok was excellent.  A harmonious trifecta of soft and squishy textures from the taopok, pork belly, and mushrooms.  Garlicky brown sauce, complemented by bright chunks of bell pepper.  A strong contender for the permanent rotation.

Chicken Feet** with Taosi (0.5)--nibbled an itty bitty piece to make it count but that's as much as I could handle.

Sesame Ball with Bitter Melon (1.0)--should be called "Bitter Melon Ball with Sesame."

Scallop with Minced Vegetable Soup (2.0)--green = spinach.

Mixed Mushroom with Ox Tongue** in XO Sauce (2.0)--the same dish as Sauteed Mixed Mushroom with XO Sauce (see generally 5.252 Seafood Hofan), only with tongue, sliced so thin that it was indistinguishable from the mushrooms.

Happy Birthday Noodles (1.0)--grainy noodles and quail eggs.***

Fried Rice with Salted Fish and Diced Chicken (1.0)--salted fish.

Curry Fish Head** (0.5)--supposed to be the showcase dish, but took over an hour to arrive, by which point we were ready to leave and took it go; would've been the worst dish of the meal, way too oily/creamy from the coconut cream.  

The occasion was lunch with staff to commemorate my position this week as the unit's acting coordinator, which I've assumed by virtue of everyone above me being away on duty travel.

A win-win situation, as Filipinos generally tend to like outer/inner parts of animals**, the opportunity allowed me to order dishes that I wouldn't order for myself or most of the other people that I usually eat with.  

Later for dinner, I hung out with CAL and BB at Café Adriatico, where we had tapas.

**While I don't have any dietary restrictions, aside from Rule 2.0, I generally prefer to avoid any part of an animal on the outside--such as skin, ear, tongue, foot, penis, ball--or the inside--such as central organs.   The only exceptions would be oxtail in soup, lower intestine as sausage casing, upper intestine via barbecue.  Otherwise, I'll stick with the nice and clean muscle tissue in between.  

***I've never eaten a quail egg in my life, totally creeps me out.

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ADDENDUM

10 (Fri) April 2015

Finished (see generally 6.095 Done).

5.297 Hamdesal

-Cycle 5, Item 297-
29 (Wed) October 2014

-Filipino-
Hamdesal

0.5

from McDonald's [takeout]

in my office

-Ermita, Manila-

solo

Pandesal is a type of Filipino bread.  Made of flour, yeast, egg, sugar, salt.  Despite the name--from the Spanish for "bread (pan) of salt (de sal)"--it's sweeter than it is salty.  Soft and squishy.  Often dusted.  Usually eaten at breakfast, either on its own or as a sandwich.

The Hamdesal is a breakfast sandwich developed by McDonald's Philippines.  Consists of a pandesal + slice of ham + egg + mayonnaise + syrup.  Straight up simple sugar syrup--not maple syrup, which would also be disgusting but at least could be explained on the basis of twisted precedent.  

If passed, the law will be the most comprehensive legislation on tobacco control in the Region, a model for other countries to follow.

Pulled an all-niter to finish drafting the new tobacco control act for Papua New Guinea, a project that had remained incomplete since our in-country mission a couple weeks back (see most recently 5.278 Local Lunch Again!), deadline fast approaching.  11 hours nonstop, from 1800 to 0500--facilitated by the obsessive-compulsive part of my brain.  

All I could manage to eat was the egg underneath, untouched by the syrup.

The period started with a cup of Neoguri instant noodles and ended with a Hamdesal, the worst junk food that both Korea and America via the Philippines have to offer.  

5.296 TEITY 13 Highlight : Ba Kuh Teh

-Cycle 5, Item 296-
28 (Tue) October 2014

-Singaporean-
Ba Kuh Teh

3.5

at Tao Yuan

-Malate, Manila-

with solo

TEITY.  Try Every Item at Tao Yuan* (see previously 5.291 Beef Tenderloin with Special Sauce).  Attempting to eat my way through the restaurant, all 222 items (excluding shark's fin and desserts).  From what I've seen so far, it would seem to be one of the best in the neighborhood, solid on all counts: taste, quality, variety, service, vibe, proximity, maybe price.  Once I've tried everything, I'll know exactly what to get, depending on the circumstances, whether it's for a quick bite on my own, a casual night out with friends/colleagues/family, or a formal occasion hosting bosses/VIPs.  That kind of certainty, in the unpredictable culinary landscape of Manila, will be invaluable.

*The domain has recently expired, but I leave the link in case it comes back up.

Something of a sequel to TERRP (Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place), which had me eating my way through an entire mall, all 85 restaurants (see generally 5.247 Original Recipe Fried Chicken...), much to my eternal regret and shame.

2 new dishes tonight, total 50 down, 172 remaining; 13th visit so far, averaging 3.92 items per visit, on pace to finish at TEITY 59.

BLUE: highly recommended / GREEN: respectable / YELLOW: mediocre / ORANGE: better avoided / RED: never again / GREY: off-limits due to ethical concerns


Ba kuh teh is a Singaporean meat dish.  Consists of meat (ba), with bone (kuh)--typically pork rib--simmered slow-and-low until fall-off-bone tender, and served with the broth in a small individual vessel.  Seasonings vary according to style but often remain simple--commonly just soy sauce, pepper, garlic--to keep the focus on the meat.  Despite the broth, it's not really regarded as a soup--in fact, "teh" = "tea"--and would probably be served midway through a multi-course meal.

Local Abalone with White King Oyster Mushroom (3.0)--nice abalone flavor, enhanced with the simple brown sauce, pairing well with the mushrooms and lettuce.

At the time of ordering, I had no idea what the dish would be.

The Ba Kuh Teh at Tao Yuan turned out to be very good.  Perfectly cooked meat, fall-off-bone tender but not overdone so as to be crumbly.  The broth was simultaneously rich and subtle, though it seemed to be laced with a touch too much MSG, but I could be wrong--needs secondary verification.  Strong contender for the permanent rotation.

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ADDENDUM

10 (Fri) April 2015

Finished (see generally 6.095 Done).

5.295 Grilled Hangjeongsal

-Cycle 5, Item 295-
27 (Mon) October 2014

-Korean-
Grilled Hangjeongsal

3.0

at 678

-Sinsa, Seoul-

with the wife & kids, James

The Prodigal Son Returns to Abdicate His Abode, Day 3 (see previously 5.294 Chadol Doenjang Jjigae).

In town to sign the papers for leasing out our apartment.

By sheer coincidence, both James and Carmen are also in town, both on unrelated matters, James arriving last night, Carmen tonight.

I extended my stay, partly so that I could take them out to dinner in my home town as a show of gratitude for having me over to their homes on multiple occasions (see most recently 5.209 Animal Assault; 5.151 Chipirones en su Tinte, respectively).  Unfortunately, Carmen's flight got in too late, so I only managed to treat James.


678 is a Korean restaurant group.  Includes various types of establishments, from barbecue joints to fried chicken delivery shops.  Owned by talk show host Kang Hodong.  


Overall, the meal turned out well.  While the meat itself was more-or-less standard, the spread came with a respectable array of vegetable sides, which James appeared to enjoy.  Alas, I made the mistake of starting with an unmarinated cut, as Koreans would do--hangjeongsal--but James clearly enjoyed the marinated ribs that came later, after we were all kinda full.  Good times, nevertheless.

Kloud, the latest gimmick beer--"Original Gravity"--marginally better than cASS and other crappy Korean beers, but still weak.  

I've decided that I will not return to Seoul anytime soon.  Since January, the Prodigal Son has returned on 13 occasions, and now he's tired.  The next time will be to retrieve the car, whenever the relocation benefits kick in.  If the wife and kids want to see me, they know where to find me.  Yes, apparently, my car is more important than my family.

5.294 Chadol Doenjang Jjigae

-Cycle 5, Item 294-
26 (Sun) October 2014

-Korean-
Chadol Doenjang Jjigae

3.5

at Jang Yunjo Gamasot Gukbab

-Oksu, Seoul-

with the wife & kids, Dad

The Prodigal Son Returns to Abdicate His Abode, Day 2 (see 5.293 Roseu Pyeonchae).

In town to sign the papers for leasing out the apartment.

By sheer coincidence, my parents moved today.  From Bundang to Oksu, into an apartment in a neighboring complex--by sheer coincidence, the same complex as KH and JH.

Come to think of it, I don't know why they didn't just move into our apartment.  Presumably, discussions were held and decisions were made in my absence.a

Anyway, my mother spent the day supervising the move, while I babysat my father.  For dinner, we took him to his favorite local restaurant (see most recently 4.218 Hanwoo Bulgogi...), which now happens to be the closest restaurant to their new place.

The restaurant's best dish is their doenjang jjigae.  Whereas I usually make mine with a seafood base, they use bits of brisket (chadol), which makes the broth rich and beefy.  It can be somewhat heavy, especially in combination with other meat dishes, but great on its own, every once in a while.


4 families with close ties to mine have recently moved to Oksu, whether by my influence or not, even though my own family is no longer there: my parents, my best friend from high school, and two couples from my camping crew.

5.293 Roseu Pyeonchae

-Cycle 5, Item 293-
25 (Sat) October 2014

-Korean-
Roseu Pyeonchae

3.5

at Hanwoori

-Nonhyeon, Seoul-

with the wife & kids, Mom & Dad

The Prodigal Son Returns to Abdicate His Abode,* Day 1.

In town to sign the papers for leasing out the apartment, I am now a landlord but no longer a resident of Seoul.

The wife will be vacating our perfectly good home, moving five minutes across the river into a smaller/older/crappier place next door to her parents, and paying extra money for the privilege ($50,000**), including the cost for moving ($2,000)--this seems to make sense to the wife and her parents, but to nobody else.

**The typical rental arrangement in Korea requires the lessee to deposit a large lump sum of money, which the lessor may use to invest or to earn interest and then returns to the lessee in whole when the lease period is over.  In the present situation, the lump sum that we're getting for our apartment in Oksu is about $50,000 less than the lump sum that we're putting into the place in Apgujeong.


Pyeonchae is a Korean beef dish.  Consists of beef, typically tenderloin for its lean tenderness, seared on the outside, left rare on the inside, thinly sliced, served with shredded vegetables, dipped in soy sauce or other condiment.

Hanwoori is a Korean restaurant.  Founded 1981.  Landmark eatery.  Famous for dishes featuring Korean beef (hanwoo), such as jeongol*** and pyeonchae.  Located in Nonhyeon.

Curiously, whereas Hanwoori is synonymous with pyeonchae, the restaurant calls it "roseu (로스) pyeonchae," probably in reference to the cut of meat involved.  The term "roseu," coming from the Japanization of the English word "roast," refers in Japan to various cuts of meat considered appropriate for roasting (according to Mina), such as loin.  Regardless, use of the term is rather passé these days, as are any words with Japanese origins (see for example 2.360 Dak Dori Tang).

Not everything is this expensive, mostly just the dishes with beef.

I hadn't been to Hanwoori in years.

The food was as good as I remembered.  Especially the pyeonchae, accompanied by perilla, onion, bell pepper, and radish sprouts, which manages to make red meat seem healthful.  Don't know what's kept me away for so long, but I should definitely visit more often.

Nokdu Jeon ("Pan-Fried Mung Beans") (2.0)--nice flavor, but kinda limp in texture.

Various banchan (2.5)

Dotori Muk ("Homemade Acorn Jelly") (2.0)--nice salad, heavy on the perilla

***Hanwoo Beosut Guksu Jeongol (Beef and Noodle Casserole) (3.5)--the restaurant's other signature dish.

Technically, a true jeongol would comprise an on-going process of eating the components piece by piece as they cook in the pot...

...but here everything is dumped in at once and served in its finished form.

Upon request, rice porridge can be made with the left-over broth.

*"Disclaim His Domicile" and "Relinquish His Residence" were close contenders.