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The Oarhouse Pub of Manila: the drinks are good; the food, even better

The first time we went to the Oarhouse Pub, it was owned by an expat. It was a hangout for photographers and photo journalists, and my friend Ben Razon was one of them. He invited us to visit, we fell in love with the balbacua and had a nice time hanging out.

That was many years ago. The owner has since passed away and his widow has sold the rights to the business. Ben now owns Oarhouse and the pub has moved to a new home. We went there last Saturday. Balbacua is no longer in the menu but the new menu did not make us miss it one bit.

What did we order? A lot. Spicy chicken, potato wedges, cheese sticks, nachos, chicharon bulaklak, a pitcher of mango daiquiri and a pitcher of mojito. (…more…)

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Linguine with anchovies and caramelized lemons

My friend Joel and I occasionally swap food tips and items in our must-make list. We go over everything food in the New York Times but for different reasons. He grew up in Ozamis nurtured by the bounty of the sea and now lives part time in New York. I do it out of nostalgia more than habit.

There used to be a list of food blogs in the now-retired Diners Journal section of the NY Times site. The list was put up at a time I like to think of as the golden age of food blogging — a time when food blogs were real personal journals of real foodies rather than websites of wanna-be product endorsers. The list was a permanent fixture in the Diners Journal until the section was retired last year. My blog was on that list and I’ve always felt that I was in good company there.

The Diners Journal has been archived but the habit of reading the NY Times food section never left me. I was so thrilled when a separate recipes section was launched recently. It was in that new recipes-only section that Joel found a very intriguing pasta recipe which he promptly shared with me. It’s called pasta with fried lemons and chile flakes. I cooked my version a couple of weeks ago but was too busy learning the content management system (CMS) over at my latest gig, Southeast Asian Food, that I hadn’t have the chance to post the pasta recipe. I’m finally getting over the labor pains of learning a new CMS. (…more…)

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Tofu and mushrooms with pickled chilies and onions

Chilies mellow and lose some of their heat when pickled. I didn’t know that until yesterday. What chemical magic happens to the chilies, I have no idea. I won’t even bang my head worrying about it. The relevant thing here is that the mellow chilies make a wonderful ingredient for braised tofu and mushrooms as the cooked dish comes out with a hint of heat.

I made this vegan tofu and mushrooms with pickled chilies and onions dish for Sam last Sunday. Yep, there’s too much in that bowl for one person. What she didn’t finish, I added pan fried pork belly the next day for us omnivores. (…more…)

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