Monday, February 16, 2015

Saboten

A lot of our friends know how much we love Katsu. So they've made recommendations of other katsu restaurants to try and one of them is Saboten. One sunny afternoon, we just decided to head to BGC for a relaxing stroll. It just so happen that my husband and I were in our usual "katsu mood" and so we looked for Saboten which is located at the:
Saboten Serendra
G/F Serendra, McKinley Parkway 
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

It was 1pm in the afternoon on a Sunday, we were expecting that there will be a waiting line , just like what we often experience in the other katsu house we go to. To our surprise, there was no line, tables were available and a very pleasant and warm reception was given to us. So far so good... but hey, it all boils down if the food and over- all dining experience is going to be as pleasant and warm right?

Since we're new to their menu, we just ordered what we're familiar with and a dish on the side. As we looked at the menu, tea was served which was a super plus, plus points for me. First, my husband got a Tenderloin Set (not in picture) which is a regular katsu set that comes with refillable Japanese rice, miso soup, pickles  and cabbage. The tenderloin was thick, tender, juicy and not oily.

Okay, before I proceed, I really would like to apologize for the lack of pictures. I'll update this entry on our next visit to Saboten.
Grated Radish Loin Set 395php
My Grated Radish Loin was served with a slice of grapefruit and special sauce. Squeeze the fruit all over the grated radish loin, then drizzle the special sauce after. This meal came with refillable Japanese rice, pickles and miso soup.
Chicken with Onion Radish and Seasoning 150php
Our side dish is composed of chicken bits topped with grated radish, onion and served with a special sauce.
Kid's Meal
My son gladly took the photo of his food and my apologies, I wasn't able to get the price for this one. In every restaurant we go to, I always ask for a kiddie meal for my children. There are 3 things I like about Saboten's Kid's Meal:

1. The food is served on a cute Miffy plate set.
2. Rice and cabbage are unlimited.
3. Food is served with orange juice and french fries.

This is so far has the best offer among katsu restaurants when it comes to kiddie meal.
Happy family, happy tummies!

Saboten offers dessert on special katsu sets. Well, everything that we tried are so good that we didn't notice that there wasn't any dessert included with what we ordered. Anyway, that's something to look forward to. We love the family- style way of service. Our cabbage and pickles were served in one plate for sharing and are refillable upon request. With that, our table was not cluttered, there's space for movement as we enjoy our food. Over- all, our Saboten dining experience is one for the books.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Vegetable- Clam Marinara

In a way, Marinara is an all- around sauce. Since it's made with fresh tomatoes/ tomato sauce, herbs, garlic, red wine, olives and capers it's perfect as:

1. Pasta Sauce
2. Dip/ salsa for croquettes, chips,  burrito, etc...
3. With a little water, as soup paired with your preferred bread.

I personally thought with it's name "Marinara", the sauce should come with seafood. Apparently, it's just basic tomato sauce made of fresh ingredients.

Today, I made some Vegetable- Clam Marinara. The clams in this recipe is optional. I just so happen have a supply of my favorite red clam sauce so I decided to throw in a can.

Ingredients:
  • 250g spaghetti noodles or any pasta of your choice (cooked al dente)
  • 1 whole garlic (minced)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (sliced thinly or chopped)
  • 1 eggplant (chopped)
  • 2 medium red tomatoes ( chopped)
  • 1 can of whole button mushrooms ( chopped, I prefer fresh mushrooms)
  • 1 400 g can of chopped tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can Red Clam Sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried basil or 1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil  
  • 1/8 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2tbsp Parmesan Cheese
  •  a dash of salt and black pepper granules


Procedure:
  • Cook pasta until firm/ al dente. Set aside.
  • In a sauce pan, heat olive oil and saute minced garlic until light brown.
  • Add chopped red tomatoes, green bell pepper, egg plant and mushrooms. Stir until vegetables are half- cooked.
  • Add Red Clam sauce and simmer for a few seconds.
  • Add, canned tomatoes and Parmesan cheese then mix everything evenly. 
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve sauce on top of the pasta or mix the pasta in.

Note: 

Set aside a little of the chopped parsley for garnishing.
Add red wine as desired. I did not include red wine in this recipe, because the Red Clam sauce is already a good base for seafood marinara.

Meat or any seafood is an option. You can add anything you want to make this your own. I just like mine to be filled with vegetables and I did not add any meat or sea food because the Red Clam sauce is just amazingly rich with flavor and real clams.

Friday, November 14, 2014

An Early Gift For My Kitchen--- ELBA Cookware

I've been using an induction cooker for 3 years now. It just so happen that the unit we are renting while we wait for the other condo to be finished doesn't allow gas ranges or anything that runs on gas. Since it's just temporary, I agreed to use an induction cooker and ditched my old gas range.

Through the years I've seen the miracles an induction cooker can do. The only downfall is in case there's no electricity, it won't run. Which leaves you with nothing if you don't have left- overs or anything cooked ahead if there's a situation that will require to shut down power.  But I'm thankful that for every emergency situation like typhoons, sudden Meralco maintenance and the likes, I'm able to keep up and still serve my family home-cooked food. One will just have to check the news, get updates, be aware of  anything that involves emergency measures.

Over-all with an induction cooker around, our monthly budget increased because we don't buy Gasul anymore, the budget for a gas tank that costs around 800php went back to our savings. At the same time,  there's no big increase with our electric bill even with an additional induction cooker. Also, we've freed ourselves from the threat of a gas leak.

Now, that we're preparing our new home, my new kitchen, I've decided to stick with an induction cooker. But this time, I've upgraded my equipment, an ELBA cookware.
ELBA Cooktop Induction
E 230 - 002 IS

ELBA Range Hood 
706AP Series
Since, we will live in a condo,  I feel that I don't need anything bigger. I've decided to buy a double induction. At the moment, I'm only using single induction, but I can already cook more than 2 viands on special occasions, what more if I have 2 burners. 

With an induction cooker, food cooks faster with the right amount of heat which is supplied evenly throughout the pan being used. The stove top remains cool even when in use--- so safety (check!) and of course, it's easy to clean.

I've also included a range hood that will suck in unwanted smell and oil. This will also protect my kitchen walls and cabinets from stains.

I chose ELBA because of it's durability. My parents' cookware is also ELBA, but theirs is bigger. Most kitchen items nowadays are made in China, but I was able to find something from Italy. It's more expensive but hey, it's okay as long as I know I'm using a reliable cooktop that will make cooking more fun and easy.

We haven't installed the ELBA set yet because we're having our kitchen counters custom- made. I'll post about it as soon as it's installed or I must say, once we've moved- in our new home.

Next on my list are new pots and pans and other kitchen accessories.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

LEGO Utensil Holder

I found inspiration to make this through a pin on Pinterest. Check it here.

Since my little boys are LEGO masters and my husband is a collector, I made use of some extra bricks not being used to make my own LEGO utensil holder. Here's what I've accomplished so far.
I want to make it bigger, I'll buy my own LEGO bricks soon so I can make a small LEGO corner in my kitchen.
Inside, I made a divider so that my cooking ladles won't slip and so that it will not get tangled with each other, especially with my spatulas.

The fun part of having little kids around is I get to play myself. I thought they would ask for the bricks back. But when they saw my utensil holder, my eldest son told me to keep it and he likes it a lot and I should make some more. He even gave me his opinion to make it higher. Well, that's my goal so it can hold my kitchen stuff properly.