Saturday, February 18, 2012

Picky Eaters: Wok Mee (Movenpick Tower & Suites)

And I thought Valentine's Day would not be as fancy as last year. NOT! (last year was like kick-ass awesome, long story.. ;D) --- The night before V-day was really unexpected.

Anssaar (Rob's good friend) came by and sneaked these up for my husband. 
                              I actually thought that it was his Valentine's gift for him. LOL

Yeah, I know this is elementary and far too predictable but it really is not. You should meet my husband. He pulled it off AGAIN. So props to him.

I ditched our company's Sports Day event and stayed at home with him and granted his wish of going to the gym that day. (Qatar National Sports Day was recently proclaimed a holiday and was coincidentally to be celebrated every 14th of February, perfect timing!)

Little did I know that I would be driving ourselves to our Valentine Dinner later that evening at an Asian Restaurant at Movenpick Suites in Westbay.

Wok Mee

Rob had booked a table for two for 7:30. My bad, we arrived 15 minutes late. We tried looking for the receptionist to lead us to our spot but we just went inside since she was nowhere to be found. Then a waitress, who turned out to be the receptionist we were looking for, suddenly appeared. We told her that we had a reservation; however, she informed us that since "we were late" the only available table was a long one where we would need to squeeze ourselves in. It can accommodate up to 14 people seated on 2 long benches placed on opposite sides.

The day's specials and other promos were listed on a chalkboard in the enclosed kitchen as depicted below. Unfortunately, since we came late, we were not able to avail both 50% discount and the Valentine's Day promotion. Bummer.

Minutes after, we sat next to a Chinese (or Japanese or Korean) family and ticked the names of the dishes we wanted on their menu (which looked like a checklist form with tick boxes fastened on a metal clipboard --- like in the Noodle House!). Luckily, it didn't take long for us to have better seats since one of the couples eating before us have finished their meals and left the resto.

The place was lit by egg-shaped lamps glowing on each table. The rectangular lamps in the ceiling and the mood set by the lights gave the place an intimate ambiance. After a few minutes, we were given hot towels to freshen up (similar to ones given by airline companies).

Complimentary Appetizer: Salad with some crisps and Peanut Sauce

Cinderella Mocktail

The drinks and desserts were presented in separate traditional booklets. This one tasted like grapefruit but was a bit bitter due to it having Grenadine.

Shrimp & Chicken Dumplings

 The Shrimp and Chicken dumplings were exquisite. However, two baskets with three dumplings each were not enough. Oh and there was a variety of condiments to spice up your meals.

For the mains, we ordered Pad Thai and Gong Bao in Szechuan Sauce. Rob ordered 2 bowls of rice. All for him.
Steamed & Egg Fried Rice

Pad Thai with Tiger Prawns 
Would you believe that I finished the entire plate of Pad Thai without sharing? Though it did not taste like the ones you can find in Mango Tree and Tai Chi, finishing an entire plate all by myself was a positive note to Wok Mee's version.  

Gong Bao - Chicken with Cashews and Chili in Szechuan Sauce

We wanted to try the desserts but we no longer had the patience to wait since the main courses were served after an hour. We understood the likelihood of the drag since it was V-Day but the delay was a tad too excessive.

Dimsum: Qrs.48/- (Php 567.00)
Gong Bao: Qrs. Qrs. 72/- (Php 850.00)
Pad Thai with Tiger Prawns: Qrs. 108/- (Php 1,280.00)
Egg Fried Rice: Qrs.32/- (Php 380.00)
Jasmine Rice: Qrs. 12/- (Php 142.00)
Cinderella Mocktail: Qrs.25/- (Php295.00)
Pepsi: Qrs.15/- (Php 177.00)
Aqua Panna: Qrs. 22/- (Php 260.00)
Bill for Two: Qrs. 334/- (Php 3,384.00)

I'd give 3 and a half forks for the overall dining experience at Wok Mee. The food is impeccable which is the most important thing. The Gong Bao was divine, and their Dimsums were the best I've had by far. Though I've fancied other more authentic tasting Pad Thais, I can never complain about theirs. It was above average for me.. it wasn't bad, that I'm sure. I did not have any issues in the parking space, and the place was clean. The ambiance was terrific especially that night. So I'd give it a plus.
On the downside though, in my opinion, I think the prices were a bit high. The place is not for casual dining if one is very particular of his budget. We recommend this restaurant for more important occasions though. When we got there, the staff were bustling all over the room. The lady told us in a very uncomfortable manner that we got there late. Customers aren't suppose to feel that. We were aware we didn't get there on time but instead of explicitly telling us so, she should've just shown us to an available table. The manner they spoke and interacted with customers, in my opinion,  were not at par with the kind of service the restaurant boasts as being 'The Best'. The staff at Chopstix - Grand Regency Hotel possesses the exact finesse and propriety that I am talking about.

We might come back here on a month anniversary or if my husband does not forget his Company ID to avail of discounts.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Picky Eaters: American Grill (Somerset Tower)

Fridays are not complete without hanging out at some breakfast spot around 8 to 10 in the morning for a decent cuppa coffee or perhaps a plateful of hot pancakes. For this reason, we thought of blabbing about our dining experience and came up with...

The Picky Eaters is a weekly journal about our experience at a restaurant, coffee shop, diner or any place where we spend our Friday ritual. It may also include any place we've been to for an unplanned date since Rob always gives me random excuses to dine out. My blab will give focus mainly on: (1) Food, (2) Place, (3) Service, (4) Price, and (5) Overall experience. So, without further ado, my first Picky Eater blab is for:

American Grill

Located in Westbay where the only landmarks I am familiar of are W Doha and Kempinski Hotels, according to Rob it's at Somerset Westbay Tower (just a couple of steps away from Kempinski) --- he's never wrong, Haha! And so we found the place after a few turns looking for the nearest parking space. Later on, we realized that we should've parked in front of the restaurant which is ironically at the back of the hotel. :)

We were greeted politely by fellow Filipino servers, I asked them if we're too late for the breakfast buffet. And yep, we're quite disappointed by her response. Diner atmospheres have always been a plus for me. The hard wooden floors, posters, and framed memorabilia of American history, high chairs surrounding the bar, brick-walls, a couch, and good music.

The breakfast menus were handed over to us and within a minute Rob had set his eyes on All American Slams. The winner was a big plate of pancakes, bacon strips, fried potatoes, veggie sidings, and 2 eggs cooked according to your pref (scrambled, sunny side up, what have you). He also had a cup of Cappuccino.

Rob's All-American Slams


Mine said: Create your Own Omelet. I told the waitress I wanted everything in it (mushrooms, green bell peppers, bacon, grated cheese, onions, tomatoes, topped with more mozzarella cheese). It came with a mug of Hot Choco.

My Put-Everything-In-It Omelet. LOL

Hot Chocolate

The waitress got our orders mixed up for not writing them down but it's all good. She was always smiling and asked us if the food was good or if we needed anything else. We didn't wait for too long to be served with our food. So, as long as the basics are there when it comes to service, it's an ok for me.

The food is good, as far as my taste buds can tell,. At first, it seemed to me that when my omelet was served, I've ordered Nachos with melted cheese on top but when I forked the tender vegetables enveloped by the melted cheese and eggs, I found that it's utterly tasty after all! Rob cleaned his plate with his toast while my tummy's full up and satisfied. Coz of this, we didn't eat for the rest of the day until dinner.

The tab is Ok for a hotel restaurant. Could be cheaper if we got there earlier for the breakfast buffet which costs Qrs.40 per person (Php 472.00), Not quite sure if it includes refreshments though. 

All American Slams: Qrs. 34/- (Php 401.00) 
Capuccino: Qrs.16/- (Php 189.00) 
Create Your Own Omelet: Qrs. 36/- (Php 425.00) 
Hot Chocolate: Qrs.15/- (Php 177.00) 
Bottled Water: Qrs.6/- (Php 70.00) 
Bill for Two: Qrs.106/- (Php 1,250.00)

To conclude, the overall dining experience was 3 forks out of 5. The place is perfect for a Friday morning munch if one wants a comfy atmosphere and good food amidst the city jungle of Westbay. We might go back for their burgers and sandwiches next time as I've heard they are popular for such. If one would like to give them a try, they are open as early as 6 in the morning up until 11 PM.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kit's Dinner Cheat Sheet: Stir-fried Bamboo Shoots & Bean Sprouts

My cravings for vegetable dishes last week were pretty obvious. Here is yet another meal I have prepared for the husband which garnered the seal of his approval though he is never a veggie fan.
Finding the vegetables that I grew up eating are hard to find in the Middle East. Lucky me, I saw the two main ingredients I used in this dish in Carrefour, one fine grocery day. 

Stir-fried Bamboo Shoots & Bean Sprouts *

The Stuff:

- cooking oil (3 Tbsps.)
- Blue Dragon Bamboo Shoots (yes, it's canned - couldn't find the fresh ones), drained
- Bean Sprouts (it's rare here, glad I found a pack in a more pricey veggie section), cleaned
- Yellow Bell Pepper, sliced
- Button Mushrooms, sliced
- Baguio Beans, cut into half-inch parts
- Carrots, cut into strips
- Spring Onions, chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
- Soy Sauce (1 Tbsp.)
- Oyster Sauce (4 Tbsps.)

How it's done:

Heated my skillet in Medium Heat, added cooking oil. Sauteed the garlic and onions until tender. Tossed in the baguio beans, carrots and mushroom, stirred and left it for 2 minutes. Tossed in the bell peppers, and bamboo shoots and poured the soy and oyster sauce. Dashed some salt and pepper. Added the Bamboo shoots and mixed and left it simmering for 5 minutes. Finally, tossed in the bean sprouts and removed the skillet from heat while continuously stirring.

Best served hot on top of steamed rice with spring onion garnishing. :)

FAST FACT: Oyster Sauce is a must have in my cupboard while Spring Onions inside my veggie chiller. Ain't that obvious! Hahahaha!


* Another light bulb foodie from Kitty's Kitchenomics.

** The image above was taken using my iPhone, post-processed in Instagram.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kit's Dinner Cheat Sheet: Pan-fried Beef with Veggies in Oyster Sauce

Dinner was similar to Lunch (read my previous post).. with a twist! Instead of half-inched steaks, I've sliced them into a thinner sort which made them easier to gnaw. The vegetables, on the other hand were sauteed and drenched in Oyster Sauce! The meal had certainly capped the day.

Pan-fried Beef with Vegetables in Oyster Sauce *

Buttered Beef

The stuff:

- Silverside Steaks, thinly sliced
- Butter
- Salt & Pepper

How it's done:

I've rubbed the meats with salt & pepper and set aside. Heated my pan in medium and added 4 tablespoons of butter. After the butter was melted, laid the meats into the pan and cooked until both sides are well done.

Vegetables in Oyster Sauce

The Stuff:

- Butter
- Chopped Garlic
- Chopped Spring Onions
- Baguio Beans, 1-inch cuts
- Carrots, strips
- Red Bell Peppers, sliced
- Broccoli, steamed
- Oyster Sauce
- Sugar, 1 Tablespoon
- Salt & Pepper

How it's done:

Sauteed garlic and onion in butter. Added baguio beans, carrots and bell pepper then mixed. Poured in Oyster Sauce and sugar then mixed. Added salt and pepper then mixed. Finally, I tossed in the broccoli and removed the pan from heat then mixed the vegetables altogether.

The dishes are perfect with steamed rice. :)


* A light bulb foodie from Kitty's Kitchenomics.

** The image above was taken using my iPhone, post-processed in Instagram.

Kit's Lunch Cheat Sheet: Silverside Steaks with Stir-fry Veggies in Cream Cheese

We're totally full up with what we had in breakfast (refer to my previous post) but since Friday's the only day we could eat together and I usually spoil Rob with his fave home-cooked steaks on weekends, let me share with you the cheat sheet of cooking a full steak meal, my way.

Silverside Steak, Cheesy Veggies & Brocolli with Curled Fries (optional) *

Silverside Steak

Cooking stuff:

- Slabs of Silverside Steaks
- Light Soy Sauce (Less Sodium)
- a Tablespoon of Oyster Sauce
- Salt & Pepper
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 5 Tablespoons Oil
- a Tablespoon of Sugar
- 3 cloves of Crushed Garlic
- McCormick Mix Herbs

How it's done:

For a minimum of 1 hour prior to cooking time, I've placed the steaks in a platter enough to soak & cover them in their marinade. The marinade is a mixture of Soy Sauce (at an amount that can soak the meats in the platter), Oyster Sauce, Sugar, Salt & Pepper (Mid-sized granules for Steaks, Not ground nor Whole), Crushed/ Chopped Garlic and 1 Tablespoon of McCormick Mixed Herbs. Turn over the side of the steaks after 30 minutes to evenly soak the meats on both sides.

Heated up my griller to high, added butter and after it's completely melted, I've laid the steaks evenly then set the stove to medium heat. When the pan was running out of butter, I've added some cooking oil to keep it from burning. Cook your steaks according to your preference. We like ours well done.

When it looked like my steaks are almost cooked, I've poured a tablespoon or two of marinade on the meat, let it simmer for about a minute then turned over the meats on the other side, poured another tablespoon of marinade to add flavor to the cooked steak. Now, for the..

Steak Gravy

Cooking stuff:

- Instant/ Ready to Cook Mushroom Soup (Canned, Powder)
- Salt & Pepper
- Oyster Sauce
- Parsley
- Butter

How it's done:

Heated up the butter in a small pot while I mixed a half package of Mushroom Soup powder in a glass of hot water (half-full). When the butter was completely melted, I poured the soup mixture and stirred. To get the brownish, gravy color I've added Oyster sauce in the mixture. Added a dash of Salt & Pepper. When it thickened, I removed it from the stove, poured it over the steaks on each plate and topped with chopped parsley.

The Veggies

Cooking stuff:

- Butter (2 Tablespoons)
- Broccoli (steamed)
- Red or Yellow Capsicums (triangular slices)
- Spring Onions (chopped)
- Baguio Beans (1-inched cuts)
- Carrots (sliced in to strips)
- Cream Cheese (mine was Kraft's Philadelphia)

How it's done:
I've prepared my steamed broccoli while I was cooking the steak (you can also cook it while doing the gravy). I've melted the butter in the same pot where I cooked the gravy. Added the beans and the carrots, stirred and dashed with salt & pepper. After 2 minutes, I added the capsicums and spring onions and continued stirring. Then, I removed the carrots & beans from the pan. After a minute, I've put the cream cheese and stirred, spreading it all over the bell peppers & onions. Removed them from heat and placed them on the plate alongside the other veggies.

Instead of having rice, we've had Mcain's Seasoned Curly Fries to complete our meal. We actually thought we'd never going to have dinner that night but.. well, we had. Haha!

* A light bulb foodie from Kitty's Kitchenomics.

** The image above was taken using my iPhone, post-processed in Instagram.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kit's Breakfast Cheat Sheet: Three Cheese Veggie Toasts, Scrambled Eggs & Buttered Corn

This post is about sharing the most recent dishes I have prepared using some ingredients common in these 3 meals. It's easy, some ingredients are optional and can be substituted by any other stuff sitting in your fridge. Let's start with breakfast:

Three Cheese Veggie Toasts with Scrambled Eggs & Buttered Corn

Three Cheese Toasts

You'll need:
- Loaf or Tasty Bread (I've used Milk Bread, Rob's fave)
- Pizza Sauce or your favorite Ketchup or Sweet Style Spaghetti Sauce
- Grated Mozarella Cheese
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Spreadable Cream or Cheddar Cheese
- Chopped Spring Onions
- Sliced Red Bell Peppers (Capsicums)
- Kernel Corn
- Salt & Pepper

How to Prepare:
- Turned my Oven or Oven Toaster at 250.
- Put the Spreadable Cream or Cheddar Cheese on each slices of bread.
- Spread some Pizza sauce or Ketchup.
- Cover the Sauce with Grated Parmesan Cheese.
- Cover the Parmesan with Mozarella Cheese.
- Garnish with at most 3 slices of Red Bell Peppers on top of the cheese, some Kernel Corn and Chopped Spring Onions.
- Load the bread slices on the pan and into the oven and toast for 5 minutes until the cheese melts.

Scrambled Eggs
I used 4 eggs, a non-stick skillet, butter, salt, pepper, and some left over cheese. Greased the skillet with butter until hot enough to cook the eggs. Beated 4 eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Once hot, I poured the beaten eggs into the skillet while stirring constantly until it's soft and fluffy (not runny). Added a dash of salt and pepper until it tastes just right. Turned off the stove and stirred in the leftover cheese for an added flavor.

Buttered Corn

After the eggs have been transferred to the plates, I've added a spoon of butter in the skillet, then mixed in the frozen, pre-cooked or canned kernel corn. Added salt and pepper or a squeeze of lemon juice while continuously stirring. Transferred into the plates and added a teaspoonful of butter and grated cheese on top. Lovin' the cheese!!! LOL

* A light bulb foodie from Kitty's Kitchenomics.

** The image above was taken using my iPhone, post-processed in Instagram.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Of Happy Fridays and Macarons!

We woke up friday in the morning, feeling too lazy to get up (hmmm..i think that's just me. haha!) for our weekend routine: have breakfast and go to Carrefour afterwards. Columbus Cafe that day's a bit crowded, my husband hesitated to stop there and grab some coffee coz our usual couch was taken by some young Arabs, and so we headed to our next favorite breakfast spot: Paul..

Told my husband to consider this a milestone coz I finally got a chance to munch on 
the sought after Raspberry Macarons at Paul!

I also let him have this divine treat. 
Oh come on, you might think I'm exaggerating but it really tastes good. 
It is a bit pricey though. 

My Vanilla & Rasberry Macarons!

Hot Choco & Madeleine

Hot Choco, Capuccino, & Paul's House Bread

Rob's Roast Beef Sandwich

At Carrefour. Oh look, these oranges matched my sweater!

Lookie, lookie me and my pink macaronie! Boy, I'm such a happy girl!

Friday's a happy day. If I've mentioned that Fridays are all about chores..well, you have to scratch that! We all have bad days yah know. :)


*all pictures were taken using our iPhones, post-processed in Instagram.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

will blog again... for real.

This is yet another blogger account, but not a separate or personal blog though. Like our facebook account this time, it is shared. Sabi ni Rob, this might be one of my year's resolution. Maybe he's right. Coz i actually promised myself not just to read again but to write more as well. Hence, my "iPhotoblog: Shoot & Tell" is being updated almost everyday to have a bit of an easy start in writing.

Here's what started my day: (1) Stuck in Traffic; (2) Sandstorm Day 2 (3) A/C knob in my car was stuck in Heater mode. Missed calls in my office phone showed that my boss rang 20 minutes before I arrived. Of course I told him I got stuck in traffic and that my car had a problem. I never lied.

Wore my 3-inch heels at work not thinking I was still on my 2nd Month-end Closing (Hell)Day. I took this photo to show Rob I've been a very brave woman this morning.

The day in my office was not a very good day as expected. As always, the boss yelled at anyone. Like a lady in her PMS day. I thought he'd miss my name in his "Roll Call of Shame" after I had finished my work earlier than usual, but then he suddenly got pissed at his other staff's stupidity and told me off as if it's my fault. 

I stated my case and left, my ears went scarlet, half-wishing I could cast the Cruciatus spell at him.

Finally, that's dinner. Nothing fancy. Just fries and Squid Balls. The sweet and sour sauce was absolutely delish (of course!).

Tomorrow's my restday. Friday --- Grocery Day... and Laundry Day... and other Chores Day.


"Rest"day nga ba?