Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jeffrey's Manila RestoReview 2008: Zucchini's

Zucchini's Grill and Vinotek, Quezon City

I have to come out and say I'm a little biased about this place. My previous trips here have been nothing but beyond expectations. I can still taste their wonderful Cream of Apple and Pumpkin Soup (with roasted walnuts and apple chips) and the Lamb Lollipops with Saffron-infused Rice.
However, this actually works against them for my review today. I was expecting nothing but pure gourmet ecstasy. Sadly, I was not as impressed this time around.
For appetizers, we shared a Sea Scallops dish served multiple ways, and a Duck Breast Salad. The Sea Scallops dish had nothing memorable and was mostly mush. Even the element served with foie gras lacked flavor. The salad looked pretty appetizing but alas the duck was overcooked, and eventually renders the dish flavorless just as a salad dish with overcooked meat.

The soup never fails to impress. I tried the Roasted Mango Soup instead of the usual Apple/Pumpkin. It tasted more like Squash soup as it was more savory than sweet. I think it was probably a squash soup mixed with some mangos, and mango bits to give it a little bit of a sweet after-taste.

The Lamb Lollipops a la Provencale (with Escargot Ragout, Cauliflower Puree, and Zucchini Florentine) was pretty interesting. The taste of the lamb paired with the Provencale sauce was quite disappointing, but I was more interested in the sidings. The Escargot Ragout had a very subtle taste but a very distinct presentation, it was mixed light and airy, similar to a garlic mash. The Zucchini Florentine was some spinach contained in a section of zucchini, covered with some melted cheese. Disappointed by the taste, but presentation is still wonderful.

Dessert? I can't really remember if Zucchini's has good desserts or not. I ordered the "Frozen Coconut Souffle". I've never heard of such a thing.... souffle, that's frozen? (Okay, maybe it's because I'm just not an experienced gourmet.) Plating, presentation, and originality are all off the charts. This was some crazy concoction from the chef's demented psyche. The base of the dish was thin slices of pineapples caramelized with sugar and created little saucers of pineapples. On top of that in the center was some type of frozen coconut custard, similar to panna cotta, accented with a cherry on top. This was more a work of art than food. Visually impressive, but hard to eat. The custard was alright, but the pineapples were very hard to cut, and definitely way too sweet.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Monday, January 28, 2008

Portal humor

A Day In the Life of a Portal Turret

It's a little nerdy humor, but it's great. It will only make sense if you've played Portal.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Jeffrey's Manila RestoReview 2008: Buon Giorno

Buon Giorno, Tagaytay

Modern Italian. That sums it up pretty well.
We started with a number of appetizers Frutti Misto fried seafood platter, creamy Pumpkin Soup, and Pepperoni pizza. They were all are fresh interpretations of very traditional dishes.
The entrees were all cooked to perfection.
I ordered the rack of lamb and it was tender and delish. Their Prime Rib was also superb. Perfect and moist, I have no complaints whatsoever.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

On our way back from Tagaytay, we got some pastries from a place called Rowena's.
Mmm... damn. If you ever go by, pick up some of their buko tarts, ube tarts, strawberry or blueberry tarts. DAMN. They are all good. I've never had such good buko pie tarts before. It's so creamy it tastes like egg custard. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!
Not too sweet, not chunky. Creamy and delicious all around.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jeffrey's Manila RestoReview 2008: Cafe Uno

Cafe Uno, Tomas Morato

They always have a unique variety of dishes, varying locations of culinary inspiration.
Their uniqueness doesn't carry much weight though. Their cooking is absolutely terrible.

The Roti with Onions and Gruyere started everything off with a nice twist. Roti's not usually served wet, but I liked the new approach to a standard cultural (Malay) dish where it's served dry with some spicy sauce.
Scottish Smoked Fish Chowder, was too smelly. Too salty. It was something new, but most people wouldn't be able to take a few sips before throwing up from how smelly the fish was. I know it's supposed to be salty because it's smoked, but you don't want people to be choking on it. They need to lighten the concentration.
The Green Pea Puree was standard fare. It's just puree of green pea.

The Grilled Wrasse was more fried than grilled, the fish was actually pretty tender, but the onion sauce was way too salty and too strong.
The GrilledBarramundi was even less thrilling. The fish lacked any flavor at all. The bean sauce they used to try and cover up the lack of flavor was still lackluster and merely a reminder of how unskilled the chef is.
The salmon was alright. A little overdone, but nothing special.
So far, the only dish they actually had any success from what we tasted was the Rack of Lamb with horseradish. Perfect counterbalance sauce for lamb.

Creme brulee. TERRIBLE. The creme was not cooked enough. It wasn't creamy at all. It had the consistency of cheesecake. It was warm. How can you serve creme that's not chilled? And to top it off, the sugar wasn't completely caramelized.
The Chocolate Fallen Cake was okay.

Overall score: 2/5

Friday, January 11, 2008

The blurring of desktop and web

There is a merge/shift in using web technology to create complicated desktop applications. Desktop applications normally take a much more difficult approach using desktop programming. It is starting to create a paradigm shift in the design of web application technology with the introduction of development frameworks such as Prism by Mozilla, AIR by Adobe, and Silverlight by Microsoft.

This new wave of integrated technology allows for rich Internet applications to be made into a desktop experience. Although each of the technologies has its own strengths and weaknesses, all of them are striving to push integrated web media onto the desktop. Hopefully more of these new media applications will hit the desktop and revolutionize the stagnant slow, dull desktop applications of the past 20 years.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sony HDR SR12

Wired has a brief video up on the new Sony HDD Camcorder at CES. I'm a little skeptical about it since most consumer level camcorders are unable to perform any decent quality in their recordings.
However, the review talks about recording in full HD, 1080p quality. That's a pretty big leap in modern video quality for consumer level products. The reviewer also talks about the image stabilization feature taken from the Sony Alpha cameras. If the camera even delivers on either of the two features, it'll be so far ahead of the competition.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Bill Gates has humor!

Bill Gates' retirement video from CES. Hahaha. I gotta give props to him for having humor and making light of himself.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy 2008!

I'm going to start it off on a sad, sober note.
I always thought of myself as someone who's a very solitary person and I would be okay not being with family.
Well, that's gone straight out the window. This is my first holiday season (Christmas and New Year's), spending it without family. Mostly just together with friends. And well, friends are friends, they're not family. I have really been in a rut. I just realized how much I miss them. It's like some type of psychological torture.

Now a little bit wiser and less solitary, but still feeling lonely.

Another year has passed, and I have grown some more.