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added sugar (e.g. pancakes with syrup, and cereal). This is going to be tough, but once you get into a routine where you actively select non-sugary food options, you’re on the right track.

Choosing the wrong flavors can be detrimental to your health TEXT KAT PATIÑO-MARQUEZ ILLUSTRATION REESE LANSANGAN

Ice cream, Cheetos, M&M’s, instant noodles—we’ve all craved for these one time or another. Even if these indulgences are kept on a once-a-week basis, that oncea-week can quickly turn into once-a-day. Before you know it, you’re eating cookies today, munching on Doritos tomorrow, and devouring bagnet after that. Why do we crave for unhealthy food so often? It’s because it’s what our palates are used to. Once you start consuming salty or sugary food on a regular basis, it inevitably develops into a habit. Thankfully, like any bad habit, there are ways to kick it. Sure, it’ll take a lot of discipline, but it works to stop the vicious cycle of picking up a bar of chocolate every time you’re feeling stressed or low. Here are some steps you can take to reset your taste buds to crave healthier food options. Cut back on the sugar We’re not just talking about the occasional ice cream cone or chocolate bar. If you can, try to reduce sugar in all of your food and drink intake. That means leaving it out in your coffee, avoiding iced teas and sodas (especially sodas!), and shying away from food with any

Ditch processed food completely Processed food changes the way our palates react to food. Because of the high salt, sugar, and fat content in processed food, anything without the same high-level content won’t be as “tasty” to us. So, to go back to liking whole foods again, kick processed food out the door. This includes processed sugars (as mentioned earlier), fast food, canned goods, chips, hotdogs, bacon, pasta, and white rice. It may be a lot to let go of, but this will make a huge change in your taste bud reprogramming and your health. Start consuming whole If you’re one of those people who have difficulty cutting back on rice, that’s okay—there’s an alternative. Whole foods like brown rice, whole grain pasta, and bread are great additions to your diet when you’re doing a palate detox. Not only are you reducing your sugar intake, you’re also consuming additional fiber and getting your palate used to the taste of healthier food. This is also a great time to start eating more vegetables and fruits. Try adding a salad with every meal (with homemade dressing, of course) and having fruits for snacks. After a good few weeks of consuming only whole foods, you won’t even crave for the bad stuff anymore.

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Working out too much and obsessing over achieving the perfect form can be a problem TEXT ROMEO MORAN ILLUSTRATION MARTIN DIEGOR

In an age where society has put one of the highest premiums on health and fitness, have you ever stopped to wonder if you’re working out and eating properly for the right reasons? Sure, we spend hours exercising and painstakingly counting calories to both look and feel good, but there are some people who do it to make up for some crippling insecurity. Although those of us who have gotten into the healthy lifestyle have done so because of an insecurity, are you sure you’re not killing yourself overdoing it? If you’re overworking and pushing your body to the limit trying to look a certain way, then you may have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Put simply, it’s when a person is too preoccupied with a physical flaw or defect that’s either imagined or blown out of proportion, resulting in a perceived sense of ugliness. In extreme cases, he or she resorts to drastic measures such as plastic surgery to change the way he or she looks. It’s where a lot of body image disorders stem from, and both men and women are susceptible to it. While this is commonplace—cautionary tales of people trying to look a certain way have, unfortunately, become the norm in this century—there is a certain offshoot of BDD that doesn’t get enough attention. It’s a brand of BDD (and perhaps obsessive-compulsive disorder) that largely affects men called muscle dysmorphia, also known as megarexia or bigorexia. It’s when males are overly concerned with attaining a

muscular appearance even when they already look fit or muscular; muscle dysmorphia causes one to think that he or she is still small and weak. It starts affecting men (and also a percentage of women) in their late teens, usually when they begin to have access to weightlifting, and estimates of men affected number in the hundred thousands. Athletes are likely to be affected by a body image disorder because of the correlation between how they look and how they perform in sports. People affected with muscle dysmorphia also tend to have low self-esteem that’s tied to their physique—they could have been either too thin or too fat during their formative years. It could be as innocuous as a guy constantly checking his body out in the mirror, or as extreme as skipping work or social events because he’d rather work out. What’s worse is that in their minds, they could never achieve the look they’re aiming for, worsening their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Like with most body image disorders, there’s no magical cure for muscle dysmorphia. Right now, the only way to combat it is to retrain how an affected person thinks about himself and approaches exercise, often through cognitive-behavioral techniques and therapy. What’s also important is that gym buffs who may be spending too much time pumping iron should be aware, so they don’t end up falling further into the trap.

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Inspire some Christmas cheer with these charming tree ornaments TEXT, STYLING, AND PHOTOGRAPHY INA AMOR MEJIA

FELT SNOW BALL ORNAMENTS What you’ll need: Plain white felt cut into 6 circles (about 3” diameter) Medium-sized needle and white thread Scissors Twine or string

Procedure: 1. Fold each circle right in the middle, running your finger on the crease. 2. Join 2 folded circles by aligning their creases, with their folded “petals” pointing outward. Sew the 2 pieces together along their creases with a simple running stitch. Don’t cut the thread. 3. Fold each circle so the 2 pieces look like one single circle, joined in the middle with the stitch. 4. Put the second pair of circles on top on either side, aligning their creases on the middle, sew them together on the crease.

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5. Repeat with the final pair of circles the same way, making sure the previous circles are folded, and your last stitch goes through the middle of all the aligned creases. Knot the thread. 6. Using the needle, pull out the knotted thread through one of the petals to the top of the ornament so you have two pieces of thread sticking out on top. 7. Loop a piece of twine, and work the thread into its knot to form the loop for hanging. 8. You can sew the petals together at the lower bottoms to keep them fanned out.


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SPACE Andrea Mago took her children, Olivia and Lily, into consideration when designing the home. Apart from her daughters’ rooms, all the common areas are also childproof.

How a shared exacting vision has built this family’s dream home from the ground up TEXT SEPTEMBER GRACE MAHINO PHOTOGRAPHY TAMMY DAVID

Having a peg, for some reason, has gotten a bad rep, as if it were a cop out, a sign of a lack of imagination. Andrea Mago, however, is more than happy to divulge the different and long-compiled pegs that have helped build the dream home that she and her young family now live in. “Our [master] bathroom is inspired by the Banana Republic store,” she says of the 20-square meter space anyone would be content to live in. “The walk-in closet, its shelves, by Massimo Dutti; I literally took photos for the furniture-makers to copy.” In fact, almost all of the furniture in the two-story L-shaped house came to be that way, with Mago and her husband commissioning carpenters in Pampanga to create pieces that fit in with their vision, built one peg at a time. The result is an American colonial-style house that somehow marries the clean beauty of a showroom and the comforting, lived-in feel that makes home home. Cool neutral tones and the illusion of one room flowing into the other greet visitors from the foyer, and sunlight filtered in through windows high up near

the ceiling adds a sense of expanse, almost in sync with when a visitor inhales while taking in the view. Then, the details start to come to focus, each one purposefully chosen and placed. “We were really particular with, like, the molding, the door frames, how much beveling to put in each door and drawer... My husband had to look for all the doorknobs and the cabinet handles in the United States because we couldn’t find ones that fit in with the look we wanted.” The living area walls, in a nearly intimidatingly chic shade of taupe that sets off nicely against the big, custom-made Shaker cabinet at the end of the hall, had been repainted around five times before they were deemed perfect. The ones in the rooms upstairs were in eight different samples for the couple to find the right kind of white they were looking for, something that doesn’t have a bluish tint to it. With the help of interior designer Guia Tiongco, they filled in the picture of their ideal abode, one that would remind them of their trips abroad, particularly in the East Coast. As local suppliers hardly stock

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SPACE Andrea, with her children (below), spends her days as a fulltime mom, part-time owner of Beyond Rockwell. Injecting a sense of playfulness in her offsprings’ spaces was a priority.

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“Our [master] bathroom is inspired by the Banana Republic store; the walk-in closet, its shelves, by Massimo Dutti.” up on American colonial-style fixtures and furniture, they relied on Store One for their customized pieces, from beds to chairs to the big table in the kitchen. “It’s amazing what local carpenters can do,” Mago says. “You just tell them the kind of color and wood treatment you like and they can do it.” From the high ceiling of the living area hangs an Azcor chandelier, almost medieval with its massiveness and blunt angles. For the dining room, however, only something that’s both stately and homey will do. “We got that from Pietro. It’s hard to find American-looking chandeliers, the ones with the little lamp shades.” As for the house exterior, the aesthetic took a slight turn for the European appeal, with the couple wanting “a hint of something like Casa Armani,” in remembrance of their leisurely walks around Spain when Mago was still pregnant with their first daughter. It has been almost two years since the family moved into the house, which took a year and a half to construct. Somehow, though, it has retained its minimalist yet expensive look, quite a feat with Mago’s children, Olivia, 3, and Lily, 2, behaving like kids do. “Oh, well, we’re only about 40 percent done with the

place,” she reveals, laughing. She then counts off what else has to be done: “There’s still a lot of furniture to get, a lot of accents, paintings, lighting fixtures, art. Even our dining room isn’t done yet.” If the wall color selection process is any indication, it’ll be quite some time before the couple decides the house is finished. “See, we don’t want to buy just whatever. It has to be something that’s perfect for the space. Maybe in another year, we’ll have it complete.” Unfinished or not, their home has already hosted a number of gatherings. The cozy kitchen in particular is a frequent hub of conversations and activity, from breakfasts before morning school runs to domesticated catch-ups with friends, the smell of baked goods mingling with the chatter. Despite Mago’s mock frustration with how long they’re taking to complete the house, she’s obviously proud of the lovely space she and her husband have built. “It’s exactly what we had envisioned from the start, what it’s supposed to be,” she says. The pegs have helped, sure, but the result—or what is there of it already—has a charm that’s all its own.

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RE-IMAGINING THE GRAIN Four prominent chefs’ artistic interpretations of the unknown adlai TEXT PRISTINE L. DE LEON PHOTOGRAPHY GABBY CANTERO AND PATRICK SEGOVIA

In the highlands, where rice is a scarcity rather than a staple, the natives grow, reap, and savor the adlai. The tear-shaped crop, able to grow in almost all soils, is known to withstand periods of dry spells and downpours; it has become a symbol of resilience through the changing climate. The Department of Agriculture has been promoting the crop, creating a niche market, and prodding more farmers to cultivate the grain. Slowly, the adlai is shedding off its status as a mere substitute for rice. Here, four pioneers of the culinary industry present their own renditions of the adlai, showing that whether cooked in chicken stock or caught in the conflict between sweet mango and goat’s cheese, the grains exert the same pronounced texture, complementing the rest of the dish yet asserting its own integrity: breakable yet bold, and showing a reverence for grit.

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Imagining Farm House Dessert by Miko Aspiras Miko Aspiras combines raw, unwashed Tapol adlai with the washed and roasted Kibua variety. He crushes the Tapol and combines it with caramelized honey and butter, while cooking the Kibua in coconut milk and mixing it with muesli and cacao nibs. “Adlai is very versatile,” says Aspiras. “It doesn’t lose its crunchy characteristic as easily as corn and rice. It’s very mild but it gives any dish a perfect smoky flavor.” A bold departure from the common dessert, the nutty adlai texture finishes the unlikely combination of Davao goat’s cheese and mango mousse.

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Tuna Kilawin with Puffed Adlai by Rob Pengson “Filipino food isn’t really given much reverence as international cuisines,” says Rob Pengson. Playing up the local fare, he took the essentials of tuna kilawin, enhanced it with atchara and vinaigrette, and combined it with Japanese elements: mirin jelly, miso mayonnaise, and crab salad, organic from Visayas. “Instead of making it like sushi with adlai, we puffed up the adlai like rice crispies. It adds texture to an otherwise very delicate dish.” Comparison is the thief of joy, he adds, and so instead of comparing new Filipino fare with the tastes of the traditional, Pengson states, “I want to drive it to a place it’s never been before.

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Adlai and Chicken Adobo Ssam by Amy Besa When Amy Besa was still in the Netherlands cooking for De Karpendonkse Hoeve, the Michelin-starred restaurant in Eindhoven, she served chicken adobo paired with adlai. That the owner herself wanted to acquire the grains for her restaurant was enough indication of the dish’s success. For this ssam, lollorosso wraps the chicken adobo and adlai cooked in chicken stock and leeks. Besa retains the al dente texture of the large adlai variety from Batangas, and pairs the dish with guava and pear chutney. “[Adlai] has its own integrity,” she says. “A cook needs to understand the quality, texture, and flavor of the grain.”

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Insalata Filipina by Gaita Forés Championing both Italian and Filipino cuisines, Gaita Forés has rendered the insalata in the colors of our flag. The adlai, cooked like rice, is colored with blue tarnatte, a medicinal flower that’s also considered an aphrodisiac. Save for the truffle oil, each ingredient is sourced from within the country: red and yellow capsicums from Bukidnon, heirloom tomatoes from Tagaytay, buffalo mozzarella from Negros. The adlai renders a nutty texture to the dish, reminiscent of farro grown in Italy. “What I like about the adlai is it’s something we can now say is proudly Filipino,” says Forés. “I love using it and promoting it. It’s healthy, interesting, and a little bit exotic.”

Adlai available at Ritual, 926 Arnaiz Ave., Makati City.

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THE WILD SIDE A survival guide to the best camping meals


Climb a mountain and stay overnight at base camp, ride a boat and camp on a secluded island, or maybe drive away and get lost in the wilderness. Whatever your choice of destination and the means to get there, backpack your way to a rugged escapade, bringing good food to survive a weekend straying from the well-trodden path.

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Escalivadas with fried egg and bacon-wrapped sausage Who says camping means eating only canned goods? Well, you can, but you can also cook your food with a little bit of extra effort. Escalivada is a dish of roasted vegetables that typically consists of eggplants, bell pepper, and onions. Wrap them in aluminum foil and leave on the fire while heating the pan on top of a griddle. Fry your eggs and bacon-wrapped sausage, and you’ll have a fancier breakfast welcoming you after a long night under the stars.

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Curry cream pasta May your feet take you to the shores of an untouched island and give you the opportunity to buy fresh clams and mussels from the locals, which you can grill in their shells and make a five-minute pasta with. In a pan, sautĂŠ onions, garlic, and ginger. Add some curry paste and coconut cream. Once the shells are open, transfer the clams and mussels into the cream and start mixing until the sauce thickens. Toss the cooked pasta into the pan and add salt and pepper to taste.

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Grilled corn and twice-cooked steak Camping shouldn’t stop you from creating a fancy dinner for you and your friends; all you’ll need is a campfire and a griddle. Grill the corn still in its cob, leaving it directly on the fire until the cob is burnt. Set up your griddle and place the steak on the side, where the flames won’t directly hit the meat, for a smoky flavor. Grill it for 10 minutes on each side. Place a pan on top of the griddle and sauté the butter and minced onions. Sear the steak on both sides to the doneness of your liking.


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Smoked kesong puti with grilled zucchini salad Prepare the vinaigrette before your trip. Pack kesong puti, sliced zucchini, tomatoes, some strawberries, and a bundle of lettuce. These can fit in a small container, or use a mid-sized bag to conserve space and keep your traveling light. Directly grill the fruits and vegetables, but for added flavor, wrap the kesong puti in banana leaves before grilling.

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Pioneering local tea culture, social action, and the virtue of taking it slow TEXT LEX CELERA PHOTOGRAPHY GERIC CRUZ

For a place whose name literally means “rust,” as medicine only to be taken when we feel sick. Tsaa Calauan, Laguna is a city that sits on the good end Laya [intends to] elevate our local herbs [into a] of the sunrise, its face unobstructed by skyscrapers pleasing lifestyle drink. [We] develop blends where or tall overpasses, surrounded only by trees easily healthy but bitter herbs are complemented by [those touched by the sun. At Site 2 of the National Housing that are] flavorful and aromatic.” Authority’s resettlement projects in Calauan, the same Tsaa Laya’s teas currently comes in five blends: holds true: wild grass grows between brick houses Lemon Ginger, Centella Mint, Java Banaba, Tanglad, and concrete streets. The soil is good for planting, and Pandan—all without a tinge of artificial flavor. but, as its name forewarns, there’s rust around the Packed in triangular bags, the leaves inside are unlike area. Most residents relocated here after losing their the finely minced contents of tea bags commonly homes and livelihood to typhoons. A community found in most houses. had moved due to demolition, Here, inside one of the housesliving without electricity or clean turned-manufacturing plants water in Calauan. in the NHA Housing Projects, “Tsaa Laya [intends Jamir Ocampo witnessed Ocampo gives a tour of the plant. to] elevate our local this firsthand. After taking up He has a fast, yet softly Economics at the University enunciated speaking voice, his herbs [into a] pleasing eyes occasionally of the Philippines and then squinting when Environmental Management affixed on an imaginary object lifestyle drink. [We] at Kyoto University, Ocampo across the room, giving the develop blends where became part of the Commission impression that he’s not paying of Human Rights, where he was But that isn’t the case healthy but bitter herbs attention. assigned to survey and document when we hear what he’s saying. the human rights situations in are complemented We ask him how he began the Calauan. He looked back to his business, and he goes into some by [those that days in Japan, where tea was a sort of soliloquy explaining the dining staple—a tradition he had process of tea, listing down the are] flavorful and enjoyed even before his tenure— individual ingredients he uses for aromatic.” and decided on what he calls a Tsaa Laya’s herbal blends, then “simple connection of dots.” going into his encounters with At the British Council’s Social tea culture in the Cordilleras, Enterprise Competition in 2012, Ocampo proposed branching off into a slew of several topics at once. a social enterprise called Kapwa Greens: a project Ocampo’s one particular encounter with local tea that would develop herb-based products for a culture came in the form of gipa, a native herb. “In community needing sustainable livelihood. Ocampo plant taxonomy, gipa is a cousin of camellia sinensis won funding for the Calauan community, and using so it somehow resembles the taste of classical teas. the business model of herbal tea production, he I have tried this tea in Baguio, where I was born. I began developing the product Tsaa Laya. have hiked the highest ranges of mountains in the This year, Ocampo competed at the Singapore- Cordilleras to study how this plant grows wildly. based Impact Accelerator Program and won an Gipa tea has been traditionally consumed as a equity investment that was used to finish Tsaa Laya’s regular, leisure drink by various ethnic groups of tea factory. Why tea is both a livelihood project and the Cordillera. That only means we have our own a business, Ocampo explains: “Since most Fillipino Filipino tea culture.” We concede that local tea herbal teas only emphasize its health value without drinking culture isn’t as apparent as say, coffee’s. To working on its taste, we usually treat our local teas find the practice of drinking tea far away from the

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metro is telling of both how little we know about tea and how little we know about life away from the city lights. By then, we’ve gotten how passionate he is when he talks about teas. His long, winding monologue dragging us with him to a spiral, rising as we listen to him intently. In contrast to being idle, certain members in the Site 2 community grow their various herbs in plots of land in front of their homes. The residents themselves began planting various herbs even before Ocampo visited the site way back in 2009. “Before we started the project, a number of residents in Calauan have already been planting a number of herbs such as tanglad and herba buena, which makes herbal gardening easier to establish,” Ocampo says. He simply used his ardor for tea to answer the community’s livelihood problems. The three housing units used as manufacturing grounds for Tsaa Laya are now tended to by women from the community who are more than able to work. Herbs grown from the nearby gardens are handpicked and dried with the aid of special machines. The tea bags are packaged by hand, with roughly 1,000 bags produced in a day to satisfy demand. The use of machines are necessary in making tea, but the other parts of the process are natural. Ocampo walks around one of the gardens and points at one of the plants, pinches off a leaf, and

puts it in his mouth. “This is local mint. Very refreshing.” He goes to the far end of the garden and picks another one to smell. “Lemongrass, or tanglad.” The gardens are simple and admittedly a bit crude, but Ocampo and the women who tend the garden are proud of their mini Eden. Herbs are, in fact, resistant to pests and are able to combat weeds. Asked why he named the venture “Tsaa Laya,” Ocampo says the reason comes from the advocacy to bring Philippine tea into the spotlight, rooted in its initiative to help the displaced and the marginalized. Ocampo hopes people who drink Tsaa Laya will be more mindful: “When people spend time steeping our teas, finding delight in the aroma and flavors of the herbs, and simply looking at how the loose herbs unfurl in hot water, I hope the whole tea experience will let them spend time with themselves and realize that we have a choice to withdraw from this daily grind, and to retreat to our own place of solitude and meaningfulness. I also hope that our tea drinkers will feel proud, that they are more than consumers, but are also part of the Tsaa Laya story in rebuilding the lives of marginalized Filipinos displaced by typhoon disasters and relocation.” Treat drinking Tsaa Laya a rude awakening or a wake-up call. Yes, Philippine tea is making a resurgence beyond the medicinal, made with the hands of those who touch the earth to make a living.

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Tsaa Laya’s tea bags are packaged by hand. Jamir Ocampo, founder of Tsaa Laya, takes a bite off a leaf from one of th`e garden’s mint plants.


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Exact measurements for each tea bag are taken with a micro weighing scale and measuring spoons to ensure quality.


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COV ER STORY Nanay Narcita supplies Tsaa Laya with various herbs from her garden (right). A worker demonstrates the packaging process (below).

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“I also hope that our tea drinkers will feel proud, that they are more than consumers, but are also part of the Tsaa Laya story in rebuilding the lives of marginalized Filipinos displaced by typhoon disasters and relocation.”

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ACID SOLUTIONS Little jars containing big flavors from preserved seasonal local ingredients


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FEAT URE Eli Lapid, owner of Hummus Elijah, delivers homemade hummus and falafel all over the metro.


Israel is known as the land of milk and honey, but it would never have occurred to anyone to visit the nation for a gastronomic tour. My first trip to Israel was in the ’80s. Shortly after landing, family friends whisked us off to eat a meal in a restaurant attached to a gas station. A miscellany of food was served on our table: pita, hummus, baba ghanoush, Israeli chopped salad, tabbouleh, falafel, kibbe, and shalsik. Because of this eye-opening and mouthwatering experience, our trip continued on to be a food awakening of sorts—and I have been hooked on the food of the region ever since. In 2002, Israeli cuisine was introduced to the world because of a cookbook named Jerusalem, a celebration of both the city and the cuisine. It was a product of the collaboration between Israeli chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, who found themselves cooking in London. The book instantly became an international sensation, with online discussion groups debating about which of the more popular dishes are better. Although we still have to travel to London to enjoy the cooking of the Ottolenghi empire, Manila has become home to many expat Israelis who are homesick for their native cuisine—a few of them answering their

demand for the taste of home, delighting the rest of us in the process. “Hummus is like oxygen for us. It can be a full meal,” Eli Lapid muses. He is the owner of Hummus Elijah, known to make incredibly good hummus. He says it all began with one sit-down dinner with some friends at home. After he served a plateful of homemade hummus, encouraging comments overflowed and the idea of selling it arose. “I went after [what] my heart [wanted],” he says. Initially targeting the Israeli expat community, he now runs a brisk hummus delivery business. Hummus Elijah offers several variants, some uncommon to most people: the creamy and smooth classic, mushroom hummus, hummus with egg, and the chunky mashawsha hummus. Each order comes with a generous serving of pita bread and even includes homemade harif, the green “spicy sauce” accompaniment known as sh’ug which will set your mouth on fire. As an Israeli friend put it, “Eli knows the secret hummus recipes of the best hummus places in Israel.” Recently, to meet his customers’ requests, Lapid has also started making falafel, flavorful fried vegetarian chickpea balls.

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FEAT URE Clockwise: Beni Levi prepares an order of his famous falafel; each sandwich comprises four pieces of falafel; Originally a supplier of Israeli bread, Michael Tiveg started selling lahmajun and falafel sandwiches this year.

When asked about being called “The King of Falafel,” Beni Levi coyly responds: “It is the falafel that is king, not me.” Speaking of falafel, when you crave for one, there will always be only one spot in Manila that comes to mind: Beni’s Falafel. When asked about being called “The King of Falafel,” Beni Levi coyly responds: “It is the falafel that is king, not me.” Levi has been running Beni’s Falafel on Valdez Street in Poblacion since 2013. As with all good things, the word soon spread, and now, he has a shiny new restaurant in the A. Venue Mall, just across the street from his original outpost, which he plans to turn into a kosher and halal butcher shop soon. His business continues to grow. He opened a Beni’s Falafel branch in SM Mall of Asia last September, with another opening in Eastwood by the end of the year. Plans for one in North Edsa is in the works. The falafel sandwich, served with tahini, a spicy red sauce, is what Levi is famous for. However, his menu also boasts other fares such as hummus, sabich (fried eggplant sandwich on pita), schnitzel, shakshuka, and a Yemini soup. After baking in London, Spain, and of course his native Israel, Michael Tweg, nicknamed “Miki,” arrived

in the Philippines with his Filipina wife Cristinita and hit the ground running doing what he knew how to do: bake. Three years later, the couple and Tweg’s business partner Arik Herskovitz opened Bait Lehem (Hebrew for “house of bread”). The business started as a busy delivery service supplying many Metro Manila restaurants with pita. Last year, they set up shop at the Legaspi Sunday Market where, in addition to selling a variety of Israeli bread products including their now famous pita (also available in whole wheat), Tweg also fries up falafel and serves freshly baked lahmajun to a hungry Sunday morning crowd. Lahmajun, a delicious flatbread common throughout the Middle East, is covered in ground meat and topped with tahini sauce or garlic yogurt sauce. “It’s like an Israeli pizza,” he explains. Bait Lehem also bakes bagels, a variety of naan, and a delicious challah, which makes for excellent French toast. They also bake traditional Israeli pastries like sambuksak, a turnover-like pastry filled with tuna, beef, chicken, mushrooms, or spinach. It is very easy to get addicted to these delicious tastes, so it’s a good thing they all deliver.

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Hummus Elijah. Three Salcedo Place, Tordesillas St., Salcedo Village, Makati City. 0905-3134602. Beni’s Falafel. Ground floor, A. Venue Mall, Valdez St., Poblacion, Makati City. 0906-3491300. Bait Lehem. 2 Laura St., Mandaluyong City. 0927-1536277 / 0927-5755001

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Pops of color steal the monochromatic scene PHOTOGRAPHY RALPH MENDOZA STYLING MELVIN MOJICA

Top and skirt, Sacai Luck. Bag, J.W. Anderson.

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Cardigan, Tricot Comme Des Garcons. Skirt, J.W. Anderson. Bag, Carven.

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Top, Tricot Comme Des Garcons. Jacket, Kolor. Bag, Maison Martin Margiela.

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Top, Mary Katrantzou. Jacket, Carven. Skirt, Kolor. Shoes, Carven. Bag, 3.1 Phillip Lim.


Top, Tricot Comme Des Garcons. Skirt, Sacai Luck.

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Bag, Valextra.

All available at Univers, One Rockwell East Tower, Makati City.

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Only in this kitchen stadium does it become an art to play with blades PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK SEGOVIA



1.Rosewood serving plate, P995, Gastrochef, Komodo, LRI Design Studio. 2. Santoku knife, P1,779.75, Scanpan, SM Homeworld, SM Megamall. 3. Laguiole pocket knife, P2,300, Heima, LRI Design Studio. 4. Duo magnetic cheese knife set, P1,160, Joseph Joseph, Dimensione, Power Plant Mall. 5. Mezzaluna knife, P1,049.75, Scanpan, SM Megamall. 6.Cheese knife, P895, Rustan’s Makati. 7. Sharpening block, P600, Heima, LRI Design Studio.



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EATS Brandy Makisig, a spiced brandy gelato, offers both dessert and liquor in one cup.


Outré proves that there is a science to making food click TEXT PRISTINE L. DE LEON PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK SEGOVIA

A spot on Aguirre Street has a hoard of onlookers wondering what’s burning. There’s smoke coming from behind the counter, and you wonder if it’s a magic act of sorts or some kitchen accident causing a stir among the neighbors. Meanwhile, some curious kids in uniforms flock to the entrance, heading straight to the commotion. For the crowd of students yet unfamiliar with molecular gastronomy, Outré has whipped up the newest after-school sensation. Their liquid nitrogen ice cream lends science an element of cool. “We make gelatos from scratch,” explains owner Neslly Bretaña. “You have the mix and the liquid nitrogen. You just pour it in, and in two minutes, it freezes up.” Bretaña shares that it really takes a while for folks to warm up to

unusual concepts, but the BF crowd has been bold enough to welcome this particular curiosity. It’s because Outré satiates the crowd’s craving for something new. They serve modern Australian cuisine with the gelatos. Think chips and burgers, only much less predictable; it’s like relearning the idea of basic comfort food. Their Truffled Polenta Chips—which look like humongous fries at first—break easily with a supple crunch, while the inside, soft as bread, surprises with dried corn grits that are finer than your usual potato. They’ve downplayed the cheese in the Prawn Mac and Cheese, making guests crave for seconds once they finish a steamy heap. The Pulled Pork is smoky, sweet, and spicy, lingering in the mouth. Never mind that your face would be slathered with sauce and slaw; you

won’t notice the mess when you’re indulging in the play of flavors. This entire feast, of course, merely heightens the anticipation for the gelato, with flavors ranging from the Brandy Makisig to Pink Velvet. With Christmas approaching, they’re offering Peppermint, Mulled Wine, Spiced Wine, and other seasonal concoctions. Inside the joint, kids and curious adults watch the folks behind the counter do their experiments in the open. “Outré is actually a French word for ‘queer,’ or ‘different,’” explains Bretaña. As if to back her up, there’s one Anais Nin quote scribbled on their freedom wall: “Ordinary life does not interest me.” Outré can mean another casual hangout joint or a taste of unconventional fare challenging the culinary norm. For kids, simply, it’s a stroke of magic.

Outré. Unit B, JJACC Bldg., 169 A. Aguirre Ave., BF Homes, Parañaque City. 832-2990. 0922-8228755.

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EATS Smokers converse in the glass house within the hidden bar.


Bank Bar transports its diners into a secret world of nighttime fare and flowing liquor TEXT DENISE FERNANDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK SEGOVIA

There is an unquestionable strangeness in the scenario of well-dressed ladies and suited businessmen lining up outside a 7-Eleven. Unsuspecting bystanders would probably wonder where they are for a fleeting moment or two, but little do they know that inside the convenience store lies Bonifacio Global City’s best-kept secret. Bank Bar was a space that founding partner Abba Napa simply wanted for herself. The outcome? A secluded, hidden bar straight out of a fiction novel tinged with magic realism. Set inside the storage room of RCBC Corporate Center’s 7-Eleven branch, the actual act of discovering Bank Bar’s location gives first-time diners more than the experience that they’ve bargained for: high ceilings, chandeliers, graffitied walls, and a vast bar framed by a wide selection of alcohol. Napa rattles off each guest’s choice of poison: “From akvavit to absinthe, sake to single malts, grappas to

gin and an extensive choice for vermouths, tonics, sodas and such— there’s even homemade limoncello and eau de vie, like in our Italian joint and our French bistro, just in case you may come to crave for it.” While the lounge also serves a midnight menu for bigger nighttime cravings, offered all evening long are light foods conceptualized by The Moment Group’s corporate executive chef Robert Bolanos. Bank Bar’s best-selling small plates include its Truffled Skinny Fries, Pork Barrel Chicharon (a house favorite, according to Maita Quesada, Moment Group’s head of public relations), and Lamb and Picklings Shawarma. Whether they’re visiting to close a deal with clients or simply enjoying a luxurious evening with good company, it’s hard to decide where exactly those well-dressed guests begin to lose themselves: in the alcohol or in the enigmatic pull of the place itself.

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“There’s even homemade limoncello and eau de vie, like in our Italian joint and our French bistro, just in case you may come to crave for it.”

Bank Bar. Ground Floor, RCBC Corporate Center (inside 7-Eleven), 25th and 26th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. 544-5776.

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Single Origin has everything between coffee and cocktails covered TEXT PAULINE MIRANDA PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK SEGOVIA

Across the small strip of white wall bearing the definition of the term “single-origin” is a brick one, a lamp and a clock hanging across it. You might wonder if they serve as anything other than decoration, what with the clock’s hands stuck at 10:15. But then it clicks: time is inconsequential at Single Origin. “You can stay here for 10 hours if you want,” Single Origin co-owner Carlo Lorenzana says. After all, the place is meant to be a one-stop shop with its menu covering the full range: from waffles to pizza, meats to dessert. Choosing alone will take a while. And you’ve yet to hear about their two-page long selection of drinks. The idea for Single Origin has been brewing for half a decade, Lorenzana shares, but it was only 10 restaurants later that the vision became brick and mortar.

“It’s centered on coffee, but I felt that it needed [something] more. Basically, I put in [here] everything that I liked.” The result of this everything-Ilike concoction is a space where you see kids still up and eating at 10 p.m., people drinking coffee alongside those sipping cocktails, and folks eating pancakes as the sun sets. It sounds chaotic, maybe even like a scene out of a strange dream, but Single Origin makes it all look normal. You could start the day with a Crème Brûlée—coffee, not dessert—made with espresso and caramel, topped with torched sugar. Pair it with a serving of banana Nutella waffles, and if all that sugar and caffeine aren’t enough to wake you up for the day, there are still more than a dozen other options. The tender, barbeque-coated

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Short Ribs Benedict, served with potato hash and topped with a poached egg and hollandaise, makes for a satisfying meal no matter the time of day. The staff recommends taking it with a glass of 2014 Malbec-Merlot, but pretty much anything goes. If you’re looking to end the night on a sweet note, the “Hot” Chocolate Cheesecake is the better option. You search through the rest of your mouthful of cake for that candied bird’s eye chili, but it waits until the last note of chocolate dissipates before it reveals itself. It’s these little surprises that make you follow the first forkful with another. Single Origin is not for the indecisive. It lays down all it has to offer, so it’s easy to be overwhelmed, but if you know what you want and how you want it, then Single Origin is as easy a café as it gets.


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EATS Clockwise from left: Shrimp Po Boy; Single Origin’s wide range of drinks; Blueberry Granola; Crème Brûlé.

Single Origins. 2/F C3 Bldg., Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. 894-4042.

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Layers of sweetness with a kick of Batangas barako coffee in a cup TEXT AND STYLING CHARLIE CARBUNGCO PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK SEGOVIA




For trifle Barako coffee mousse White chocolate barako mousse Barako coffee crumbs Ready-to-eat brownies

For barako coffee mousse 1. In a pot, mix the barako coffee and sugar together. 2. Place the gelatin sheet in a bowl of water and ice until it softens. Then add the gelatin sheet into the pot. Set aside and let it cool down. 3. Whisk the cream in a mixer until it forms a soft peak. 4. Add the coffee into the cream and start folding using a rubber spatula. 5. Place the mousse in the chiller before assembly.

For barako coffee mousse 1/2 cup barako coffee 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 sheet gelatin 1 cup whipping cream For white chocolate barako coffee mousse 1/4 cup white chocolate 1/4 cup milk 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 sheet gelatin 1 cup whipping cream 2 tsp. barako coffee, ground 1 tsp. lemon zest For barako coffee crumbs 1/4 sugar 1/4 barako coffee, ground 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup milk powder 1 1/2 cup melted butter

For white chocolate barako coffee mousse 1. In a pot, mix milk and sugar. Then, pour it into a bowl of white chocolate. Transfer the mixture back into the pot and mix. 2. Place the gelatin sheet in a bowl of water and ice until it softens. Then add the gelatin sheet into the pot. Set aside and let it cool down. 3. Whisk the cream in a mixer until it forms a soft peak. 4. Add the white chocolate

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mixture into the cream and start folding using a rubber spatula. Then, add the ground coffee and lemon zest. Continue folding until everything is mixed well. 5. Place the mousse in the chiller before assembly. For barako coffee crumbs 1. Preheat oven to 150°C. 2. Using your hand, mix all the ingredients together until no dry spots remain. 3. Line your baking tray with baking paper. Assemble little pieces (in any shape you prefer) of coffee dough on the tray. 4. Bake for 8 minutes or until it gets dry and crumbly. Assembly 1. Once everything is prepared, you can layer it into any drinking glass. 2. First, pour the coffee mousse into a drinking glass and place in the chiller for 15 to 20 minutes. 3. Add the brownies and pour the white chocolate mousse on top. Let it set in the chiller for 15 to 20 minutes. 4. Lastly, add the coffee crumbs.


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A kitchen essential for those with a hectic life TEXT LEX CELERA PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK SEGOVIA

Studies show that almost half of adults are too busy to eat properly, and prefer to eat on the go. Breakfast turns to a cup of coffee, and lunch to a sandwich on a desk, alternating between bites and paperwork. But we already know this. What we don’t know (or don’t want to know) is how to get out of the fast food loop—how to get some good healthy meals into our diet without the fuss of retreating into the kitchen. It’s a matter of time and preparation—both of which yields the best results inside the one-pot-wonder that is the slow cooker. Call it what you will—a cocotte, a Dutch oven, a crock pot—under many names there is a certain je ne sais quoi that carries on to whatever food a slow cooker prepares. Whatever your stomach grumbles for can easily be solved without compromising your time, whether it be beef stew, garlic tomato soup, and even chocolate chip cookies. Exploring culinary territories come easy when steps include a little prep work, adding all the ingredients into the pot, putting the lid on, and setting the cooking time. Walk away and let it sit idly; this is one of the few times checking progress can be detrimental to the dish as it lets the heat seep away. In a slow cooker, the effort you put into it rewards you exponentially.

Soak Artisan Soap.Epicerie. Powerplant 0917-6314067. Le Creuset. Bacchus LevelMall. 1, Power Plant Mall.

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Visit our showroom to book a test drive.

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Alabang Zapote Rd., Filinvest Corporate City Alabang, Muntinlupa

Cebu Veterans Drive, Nivel Hills, Cebu City

1008 EDSA Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila

2287 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City

(02) 553 6334

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0927 315 4502

(32) 260 3333

0917 318 4762

(02) 784 5002

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(02) 815 2222

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Southern Living: 2015 November  
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