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Glass of wine a day can stave off Alzheimers, study finds

Posted in Diseases/Disabilities, Food/Drinks, Wine by Erineus on July 15, 2009

July 14, 2009, 5:07pm

VIENNA, July 13, 2009 (AFP) – Moderate consumption of wine could reduce the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s disease among those over 75, according to a study revealed at a conference in Vienna.

Excessive consumption, on the other hand, can increase the risk, researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina found.

Kaycee Sink, one of the authors of the report, said they monitored 3,069 people of 75 and upwards over six years, asking them to note their alcohol consmption.

Among those who restricted themselves to one or two glasses a day, especially of wine, the risk of Alzheimer’s was reduced by 37 percent.

For those already suffering minor memory problems who drank more than two glasses a day, the risk was twice that of non-drinkers with similar impairment.

Another study released by researchers at a California medical centre for war veterans showed that those who had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder were twice as likely to contract Alzheimer’s than other ex-soldiers.

The study covered 181,093 veterans aged 55 and over, who were monitored between 2001 and 2007.

Characterized by forgetfulness, agitation and dementia, Alzheimer’s is caused by a massive loss of cells in several regions of the brain. The disease occurs most frequently in old age.

An estimated 37 million people worldwide live with dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease causing the majority of cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

With the aging of populations, this figure is projected to increase rapidly over the next decades, rising from 7.1 million in 2000 to 16.2 million in 2050 in Europe alone.

The Alzheimer’s Association 2009 international conference in Vienna is attended by some 6,000 scientists, doctors and other experts on the disease. It runs until July 16.


Miriam Santiago asks where the best Wagyu is

Posted in Food/Drinks, Hotel, Hotels/Restaurants/Bars by Erineus on May 7, 2009

By Reggie Aspiras
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:13:00 05/06/2009

MANILA, Philippines — I beg you to send me a list of your recommended dining places in Metro Manila. If you could, I hope you could specify which ones serve good Japanese Wagyu steaks. I would also like to know if you have your own restaurant. Thank you very much.

Your friend and admirer,

Miriam Defensor- Santiago

It is a privilege to be read by you, Madame Senator.

I no longer have a restaurant. The last was at Shangri-La many moons ago, where, I recall, you were once our guest.

On places to enjoy Wagyu (a term referring to all Japanese beef/cattle, from “Wa,” meaning “Japanese/Japanese-style,” and “Gyu,” meaning “cattle”), I indulge myself only in two places. I haven’t done the Wagyu rounds since I’m extremely satisfied with these two places.

It is a matter of whether I’m loaded or broke; I remain a purist on the subject. If I cannot have the real deal, I will settle for an excellent US prime steak which is no less delicious or satisfying.

But since you want a range of options, I asked my colleagues for a well-sorted list of restaurants that serve Wagyu.

My thanks to chefs James Antolin, Sau del Rosario, J. Gamboa, and Ed Quimson for their inputs.

Tsukiji’s Wagyu Ohmi Beef

It is unanimous! Tsukiji is the place for honest-to-goodness Ohmi Wagyu.

Ohmi is the official beef of the Japanese Imperial household. Whether as shabu-shabu or yakiniku, either way, it’s delicious! I would go for the sirloin over the rib eye for true heart-clogging, mouth-watering satisfaction. (Call 843-4285/812-2913.)

Tokujyou-Karubi at Urameshiya

Urameshiya is another personal favorite for Wagyu. My pocket loves it and so do my taste buds. This is a sulit Wagyu experience. I suggest you call and reserve. They run out of Tokujyou-Karubi sometimes. (Call 813-2210.)

Umu’s Shabu-Shabu

Umu at Dusit offers an array of Wagyu in different grades, cooked in a multitude of ways. Gyu no Tataki-Wagyu Carpaccio Japanese-style (A3 level from Tochigi, Japan), Teppanyaki: Kuroge Wagyu (A3 level from Tochigi, Japan) and Kuroge Wagyu Beef (A4 level from Ibaragi, Japan). From the Robata Section, there’s Gyuniku Kushiyaki, skewered Wagyu Beef (A3 level from Tochigi, Japan). (Call 867-3333.)

Other places and ways to enjoy Wagyu:

145’s Manhattan

145 Degrees Fahrenheit serves Wagyu from US corn-fed herd, 300 g of premium chuck steak, grade 7-8, pan-seared to medium with roasted beef bone marrow served with haricot vert and a choice of mashed potato or creamed corn. (Call 703-2725/332-1955.)

Wagyu Ox Tongue

Restaurant Ciçou offers Wagyu Ox Tongue braised in court bouillon and seared with butter with confit baby potatoes and sauce ravigote. (Call 889-6728.)

Tivoli at Mandarin

Order grilled or char-grilled Australian 9A-grade Wagyu rib eye, 700 g good for two to three persons, served with Caesar Salad, sauces and garnishes (spinach puree, mushroom fricassee, pommes pont neuf with garlic caramel, bone marrow sauce) for P12,880. (Call 750-8888.)

Carpaccio Ristorante Italiano

To open Mother’s Day, they will serve Wagyu Carpaccio. Order one day in advance. (Call 843-7286 and 867-3764.)

I’m Angus Steakhouse

They grill US Wagyu Rib eye upon request with your choice of sidings and sauces. Their Baby Back Ribs are good and rather reasonably priced, and so are their US Chilled Angus Prime Steaks. Their bread is delicious! (Call 893-1573.)

Pinoy Wagyu Burgers at Malcolm’s

For those who crave for hearty burgers, there’s Malcolm’s Deli and Malcolm’s Place. These burgers are from Wagyu raised right at the foothills of Mt. Kitanglad, Bukidnon. (Call 844-0000.)


They offer Wagyu Rib eye, Rib eye and Prawns, 24-ounce Cowboy Cut, Tenderloin, Striploin, 18-ounce T-Bone and 24-ounce Porterhouse, served with your choice of sauce. I’ve had friends who’ve tried Melo’s Wagyu and were quite pleased. (Call 899-2456, 924-9194 and 7712288.)

Should you want Wagyu at home, here are the numbers to call:

Mr. Tanaka—0917-2011716, by order and bulk sales only. (Thanks Maritess for sharing your source.)

American Wagyu Snake River Farms—Call Anna, 0922-8151750.

Philippine Wagyu, Umalag Farms—Call Allan Cueva, 0920-9192911 and 0920-9043410.

Wagyu Miyasakei Beef, Sakura—815-1274

My new class schedules are out, my Gourmet Cocinera Series for beginners and household cooks is ongoing, and a new series on the hows and whys of cooking for beginners is about to start. Dr. Francis Dimalanta and I are doing “The Well-nourished Child Series: A Behavioral and Nutritional Approach to Battling Childhood Food Issues.”
On May 23, I am conducting a “Food and History Trip Back in Time” in Taal, the grand lady of Batangas, with heritage preservation advocate Dindo Montenegro.
For inquiries, call 928-9296/927-3008. Look for Jane or Jhem at 647-4744/0908-2372346.

E-mail the author at raspiras@inquirer.com.ph.http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/lifestyle/lifestyle/view/20090506-203538/Miriam-Santiago-asks-where-the-best-Wagyu-is

Lechon: Asia’s best pig ever

Posted in Food/Drinks, News Feature by Erineus on April 28, 2009

Updated April 29, 2009 12:00 AM

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MANILA, Philippines – Despite the bad reputation pigs are getting these days due to the swine flu virus, a pig in the Philippines has made it to Time magazine’s Best of Asia list as “Best Pig.”

Time magazine, in its recent issue, hailed the Filipinos’ favorite roasted suckling pig or lechon as the “Best Pig” in Asia.

In an article written by Lara Day entitled “Pork Art,” she said it was the review of TV chef Anthony Bourdain, “whose love of all things porcine is famous,” of the lechon that helped it gain international limelight.

Bourdain, with his show No Reservations, visited Cebu and declared that he had found the “best pig ever.”

In his blog, Bourdain said that of all the pigs he tasted all over the world, “the slow roasted lechon he had on Cebu was the best.”

In the article, Time wrote on how the lechon is prepared and how it has become the country’s most beloved dish and a source of fanatical adulation.

Though varieties differ regionally – stuffing can include any combination of lemongrass, tamarind, star anise, garlic, green onions and chili leaves, while condiments range from a light vinegary dipping sauce to a thick liver-based gravy – the basic concept remains the same. A pig is roasted for hours over a fire of open coals, slowly rotated on a bamboo spit, lovingly basted and meticulously supervised until its flesh is so tender, moist and succulent that it can be sliced with the edge of a plate, and its skin so crisp it can be punctured with the tap of a finger,” Time said.

Even Time couldn’t help but gush on the lechon.

“It was just a matter of time before the world found out. You could call it the Platonic idea of a pig, but it’s doubtful if Plato, or even an entire faculty of philosophers, could have imagined anything so exquisite,” Time wrote in its glowing review.


Affordable veggie meals

Posted in Food/Drinks, Hotels/Restaurants/Bars by Erineus on April 22, 2009
April 22, 2009, 2:11pm
Spicy Garbanzos Menudo. (Photo by PINGGOT ZULUETA)
Spicy Garbanzos Menudo. (Photo by PINGGOT ZULUETA)

Think hospital food and you will think twice about ordering. But at the Manila Adventist Medical Center and Colleges Inc. (formerly the Manila Sanitarium and Hospital) cafeteria, you are in for a nice surprise. This purely vegetarian eatery goes beyond the usual pinakbet and lettuce-and-tomato salads. The nutritionists and dietitians manning its kitchen and counters have found innovative ways to cook their greens.

The food offered behind the sanitized glass counters is really quite imaginative. You can choose from among unusual items such as the slightly spicy Garbanzos Menudo, just-right-to-the-bite Tofu Kilawin, and the filling Kidney Beans Guisado. The Mushroom Rebosado can stand to be a little crispier, but the veggie burgers and pizzas are guilt-free ways to have your “meat” and eat it too. The cafeteria also carries soups and desserts that are light and right. The great thing about these healthy items is that they are msg-free.

Another impressive thing about this cafeteria is their emphasis on wholistic health. According to the hospital’s director for marketing, Dr. Ian Kenneth C. Bermeo, the caf does not serve sodas, coffee, or artificial juices. At the end of the food queue, you will be greeted by a container of buko pandan or a fruity gulaman juice. Hot tarragon tea is also available for those who want to warm up. Then, as you pay for your order, another surprise is in order. The prices are so affordable, that a two-viand and one-cup-of-rice combo will set you back by only P75.

There are also wholesome breads that you can take home for the kiddies. The wheatgerm cookies make the perfect pasalubong, because they deliver the right amount for crunch without the cloying sweetness and the excess calories. The cinnamon bread is their best-seller, according to Bermeo, and with good reason. This cinnamon loaf is wheat-bread based, less sweet but more flavorful — because it is not smothered in sticky syrup, you get more of the cinnamon taste.

A taste of history

The cafeteria itself is a refreshing sight. It came as a surprise when Bermeo revealed that the eatery has been around since the 1920’s, making it probably the oldest existing vegetarian restaurant in the country. The venue is brightly-lit, modern, and very conducive for light, leisurely meals. You will forget the fact that you are right smack at the lower ground of a high-traffic hospital in Pasay City.

“This restaurant has been open to the public, and we get a lot of people here who are not just Adventists or vegetarians. The focus here is on good and healthy food. Many of the customers are not only from the hospitals, some come from the nearby bus stations, and those who just want to enjoy a wholesome meal,” says Bermeo.

The cafeteria has become so popular, that there are plans of building another restaurant within the same complex to accommodate the students of their nearby college.


Have a ‘cocktale’

Posted in Food/Drinks, Hotels/Restaurants/Bars by Erineus on April 22, 2009
April 22, 2009, 2:17pm
Peach Mango Smoothie
Peach Mango Smoothie

When the weather gets too hot and the heat becomes too unbearable, even burning sweat-drenched bodies, we start to find ways to beat the summer heat.

For most Filipinos, summer is synonymous with beaches and immersing in cool waters. But for those who can’t afford to travel outside Manila, the summer scene means stalls selling halo-halo in every street corner, hawkers with fresh buko and other tropical fruits, and every home starts to retail cool treats such as ice candy, samalamig, and what have you.

Through the years, the people’s palate and taste preferences have become more sophisticated. They start to wander into ice cream parlors that offer numerous flavors: from the simple and traditional vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, they now have more complicated flavors which can be a combination of two flavors or more. And they now come in different types: soft ice cream, gelato, and sorbets, among others.

Dessert places are also sprouting in the metro, people can now have frozen treats such as frozen yogurts, shakes, and smoothies; some even specialize in fruits and fruit juices. Just reading their menu is enough to whet the taste buds of the consumers. But nothing beats fruits as the ultimate summer treat.

As always, summer is the season to load up on fruits. Aside from the tasty possibilities, study shows that fruits have vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that can control blood pressure, prevent diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke and hypertension, and cancer, and maintain overall body health.

One of the cool places where Filipinos can simmer the heat down this summer is Cocktales, a dessert parlor by the Fruitas group. Lester Yu, Fruitas and Cocktales founder/CEO, originally wanted to provide an alternative dessert place for sweet-toothed individuals who want something light and healthy after a heavy meal, but the place is slowly gaining a reputation as a summer haven.

At Cocktales, dessert lovers can try their different concoctions that come in four categories: Desserts, Shaken, Stirred, and Hot Items.

Desserts are actually fruit bowls, with a bed of shaved ice and topped with a milky sauce. They have the Beauty Boost (a bowl of detoxifying papaya), Tropical Paradise (a mixture of various fruits), Caribbean Dream (a combination of banana and papaya), Coconut Paradise (a blend of various fruits with shredded coconut meat and topped with vanilla ice cream), and Mango Bananarama (a fusion of mangoes and banana, with tapioca and rice balls).

Then, there are the heavenly Cocktale drinks (of course, minus the hangover since they are just inspired by popular alcoholic drinks). They have the Chocolate Apple Martini, Vanilla Lychee Margarita (chilled lychee shake in margarita glass), Long Island Iced Tea (blend with the English breakfast tea), Watermelon Mojito with a touch of ginger and mint, Mango Daquiri with tapioca balls, and Piña Colada, a mocktail with pineapple and mint, among others.

Then “Stirred Up” the summer with these juices: OJ Booster (orange juice), Silk Skin (coconut juice with stripsof coconut meat and lychees), and Lemon Cola (cola with a kiss of lemon). Hot Items to watch out for are Nana Rosa’s Hot Cacao and Evening Calm.

Whatever you do to cool down, don‘t forget to drink lots of water to hydrate your body this summer!
Cocktales is located at the 5th level, Atrium of SM Megamall, with another one soon at Trinoma Mall.


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Taste the dream

Posted in Food/Drinks, Hotels/Restaurants/Bars by Erineus on April 22, 2009
April 22, 2009, 11:05am
O'sonho's Sea Bass. (Photo by PINGGOT ZULUETA)
O’sonho’s Sea Bass. (Photo by PINGGOT ZULUETA)

It has always been a dream for Cris and Nik Barancik to open a Portuguese restaurant so they could share their passion for the cuisine with everyone. With that, it’s only fitting to name their restaurant as such, o’sonho pronounced as “o-son-yo” which means “the dream” in Portuguese tongue.

“We chose that name because for us, opening this restaurant is a dream in so many ways. We have always aspired to open a Portuguese restaurant since we’re such big fans of their cuisine.

Whenever we travel, we’re constantly looking for the best Portuguese restos in the area and then when we come back here, we’re like, how come we don’t have Portuguese restaurants in the Philippines?” Cris tells.

Apart from that, the couple are big fans of eating out, all the qualities that they believe a good restaurant should have, they tried to put together in O’sonho; friendly service, reasonable prices, and good food.

“We wanted people to have a place where they can enjoy a nice atmosphere, very classy setting, and good gourmet food without spending too much. That’s also why we picked the name O’sonho, we want our customers to share the dream with us,” Cris quips.

Both Cris and Nik didn’t have formal training in culinary arts or restaurant management, but people would always see them hanging around the kitchen or serving and minding their guests.

“We believe that in the restaurant business, it’s good to talk to people and find out what they think about the food, their opinions, so we can always improve the dishes for them. If we don’t come here, we’ll never know. So we really make it a point to be here all the time,” Cris adds.

Consequently, all their hard work is paying off because since O’sonho opened two months ago, the feedbacks from their customers have been relatively good. A lot of foodies are even blogging about them, giving them praises and constructive criticisms.

But what makes Portuguese dishes distinct from other Mediterranean cuisines? According to Cris, Portuguese is closely similar with the Spanish cuisine in terms of being big in sea food, spices, garlic, and olive oil. However, Portuguese dishes are richer and more filling; its spices are more apparent and full-flavored.

Take for instance their Peri Peri Chicken marinated in peri, peri sauce; the crisp-skinned roast chicken is very tender while the herb, garlic, olive oil trio in their peri-peri sauce balances out the hotness of the chilies. As what Cris said, “It explodes in your mouth in a way that truly represents Portuguese cuisine.”

For fish lovers, their Bachalau de O’sonho is something to be reckoned with; it is made of salt cod fish – a fish that’s so salty, it needs to be soaked in water for a whole day to be edible – slow cooked with tomatoes, chickpeas, potatoes, carrots, herbs, and olive oil. It should be eaten with cheese and focaccia bread to temper the Bachalau’s overpowering flavor.

Although O’sonho specializes in traditional Portuguese cooking they also offer fusion dishes from different kinds of cuisine. Take for instance their Sisig Chorizo, they took the Filipino’s favorite sisig and added a Portuguese flair by adding chorizos and cooking it in olive oil. The crunchy sisig bits combined with the diced chorizos create a playful crunch in the mouth that’s surprisingly appetizing.
However, putting up a Portuguese restaurant was quite a challenge for the Barancik’s especially because Filipinos are not very aware of Portuguese cuisine.

“The biggest challenge is educating people about the cuisine because Filipinos, only like what they know. If you put up an Italian, Asian or, Spanish restaurant, sure ball na yan but with Portuguese you either have to be very adventurous or you have travelled in different countries to know what Portuguese cuisine is. There are people who come here and tell us, ‘you know I never realized Portuguese food is really good.’ So it’s all about getting people to know about it and getting them to at least try. I’m very confident that once they try it, they’d fall in love with it too,” Cris said smiling.

O’sonho is located at 20 Jupiter St., Bel Air, Makati City.


What’s Nyonya? Find out at Makati Shangri-La

Posted in Food/Drinks, Hotel, Hotels/Restaurants/Bars by Erineus on March 23, 2009

Updated March 19, 2009 12:00 AM

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Makati Shangri-la executive chef Karl Heinz Krautler, general manager Reto Klauser, Ambassador of Malaysia to the Philippines Dato Ahmad Rasidi Hazizi, and F&B manager Steve Tai at the opening of the Nyonya food festival at Makati Shangri-La Hotel. The festival runs until March 29.

MANILA, Philippines – Circles Event Café recently launched its Nyonya food festival, which is ongoing until March 29.

The event was graced by Ambassador of Malaysia to the Philippines Dato Ahmad Rasidi Hazizi, Makati Shangri-La general manager Reto Klauser, executive chef Karl Heinz Krautler, and F&B manager Steve Tai, who is a descendant of the Nyonya line.

The authentic Nyonya delicacies are prepared by master chefs flown in from Golden Sands Resort in Penang, Malaysia, especially for the occasion.

A popular trend in Nyonya cuisine is the intermingling of Chinese ingredients with wok-cooking techniques and spices used by the Malaysian community such as coconut milk, galangal (a mustard-scented rhizome similar to ginger), candlenuts, laksa, pandan, tamarind, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and cincaluk, a powerfully flavored sour and salty shrimp-based condiment mixed with lime juice, chilies and shallots. The cincaluk is often eaten with rice, fried fish, and other side dishes.

For reservations, call 840-0884, 813-8888 loc. 7588 or 7599.