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Week-Ender #75

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A few Sundays ago, the family got in the wagon and headed to one of the foodies markets on the other side of town. It’s a foodies haven except you couldn’t really sit down and eat as a good size crowd were all looking to eat. Yes, there were sandwiches and hand-held food items you can eat on your feet but for most of it you need to sit. Get ready to wait.

One I had to try on my feet, even if it wasn’t so good for the health was Offbeat’s burger. It is not any ordinary burger and believe me I’ve had my fair share. This one has a good size beef patty with a slice of cheese, a slice of ham and a sunny side up egg all squished together in an original Krispy Kreme doughnut. Oh, it was frightening to look at but good for the soul.

The patty was flavorful with the ham and cheese adding that extra layer of savory with the soft texture of the sunny side up egg. All the savory culminated in the sweet burst from the doughnut and that is a whole meal-appetizer, mains and dessert all in one go. Hats off to Offbeat (no pun intended) for the unique yummy item in that big white tent.

Good on you for giving us humans another way for quicker extinction. Below are more photos from the weekend market.

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Sincerity

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The very polluted Pasig River that runs through the Binondo area

Binondo aka Manila’s China Town akin to the dirtiest parts of the world. Where trash is controlled chaos, where the Chinese underworld operates, where wholesalers call home and where food is always a comfort.

One restaurant that stands out is Sincerity, already an institution serves up Chinese food from the Fujian Province of China. This is real, unadulterated Chinese food. On a diet? Skip this place. The closest thing they have for dieters is the Coke Zero. Armed with an 85mm f/1.8 and an empty stomach, for an hour and a half, the place gets shot with a Canon and a healthy bill at meals end.

The EF 85mm f/1.8 on a x1.6 crop sensor DSLR like the Canon EOS 7D goes all the way out to 135mm in full frame numbers. It is a great walk around lens even if zooming in and out takes a bit of walking. This is one lens where it can reach the good stuff-like say in a car, roll down the window and bang, you have the shot. Streets in downtown Manila are one way and narrow. The 85mm f/1.8 also one of the sharpest, cheapest and lightest in Canon’s lens collection. Short enough as well not to cause too much undue attention.

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Remnant from the last Chinese new year

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Admist controlled chaos

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Interior views of Sincerity

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Tableware presentation the old way

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Kikiam- a roll stuffed with chicken, pork and other good stuff

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Ma-chang (肉粽) or zongzi (粽子)- gluttinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves and stuffed with pork, chicken, mushrooms and nuts

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Oyster omelet (蚵仔煎)- made with oysters, eggs, tapioca starch and eaten with a sweet chili sauce

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Stirred fry Chinese vermicilli with various meats and seafood.

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The classic and very tasty Sincerity fried chicken

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Lunch time traffic

ELEGANTLY SIMPLE

The design was surprisingly elegant and minimalist.

Another shoot with Vanilla Kitchen last week had a custom themed Angelina Ballerina birthday cupcakes and cakes. The clover/flower accents brought out the cake while the chocolate cupcakes framed the detailed toppings perfectly.

Caught a little torch action with another set of cupcakes as well (second to the bottom photo). The award-winning smoke still steaming from just torched icing shot-what did I win? A cupcake…

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Kelsey’s Chocolates

Once upon an afternoon, on location and surrounded by chocolates, we did a simple lighting set up. Photographed the small wonders the entire afternoon and finished just short of 7pm. Not only did we enjoy the shoot but came away with goodies from Kelsey’s Chocolates. Thereby making our wives happy for our profession.

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Kelsey’s Chocolates have a premium line of chocolate truffles at very affordable prices. Hand made from quality Belgian dark chocolates.

Dark chocolates are chock full of antioxidants called flavonoids that protect us from heart disease caused by free radicals. That’s a lot of scientific words for such a sweet little treat. All that means is have dark chocolates regularly to stay alive longer-no harm, no foul and very enjoyable. Besides, I heard somewhere that chocolates are an aphrodisiac.

Kelsey’s Chocolates, order some and try for yourselves.

Christmas is just around the corner. We offer decadent, hand-made, premium chocolate truffles, available in white and dark. Order now!!! For inquiries, please call Karen@975 6737 or 0917 848 0104 (Philippines Only)

KC has more products up their sleeves and watch out for more postings soon.

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VANILLA KITCHEN

2nd round to the cupcake saga and the contact info promised from the recent Sweet Desires post. These beauties are not only mouth watering but they are a feast for the eyes (ahem, photographed by moi on Canon EOS 7D with flash, camera left).

Without an assistant present I had them all to myself. Delicately posed in the middle of the night to sultry music playing in the background and still I couldn’t take a bite. If you do want some all to yourself, order away there’s nothing like custom made cupcakes to your liking. (Yes, the numbers and email addy works)

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THE INITIAL FOOD TASTING

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Not yet officially open but with a fully functional kitchen, the staff whipped up a great Thai meal under the pressure of scrutinizing taste buds.

At first impression the bistro ambiance is modern yet comfortable for a meal with good friends and family. It in itself is a conversation piece from the seemingly nonchalant concrete walls to the bricks flooded with warmth from the lights above. The chairs a bit too comfortable as to invite a group to stay longer with tables big enough to hold food orders and drinks. Eat slowly and savor the complete experience.

The authentic Thai food presented in bistro servings giving one a better opportunity to try more than one viands. The dishes can be paired with various wines on stock to compliment and prepare the palette for every bite. Authenticity in a certain country’s cuisine is hard to replicate in another for far too many circumstances. Mango Tree Bistro does a good job keeping the food as one would have in Thailand with quality ingredients. Right down to the perfectly presented desserts and quality coffee.

Finally, authentic Thai food with style that does not disappoint and light on the wallet. Mango Tree Bistro will officially open in mid-October. Located at Trinoma Mall, Level 3 right beside Powerbooks.

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LOST THEN FOUND

I’m going to swamped in the coming week with post processing chores after this weekend’s events. I will just post this Week-Ender one day early.

On relax mode now after finishing prep work for an event tonight with 400 plus people attending. My biggest in terms of people thus far in my career as photographer. Wish me luck and I’ll be a few kilos lighter come Monday morning.

Without further ado, I’d like to share with you a gracious night of conversation and good food. Thank you to Tito Mel & Tita Heidi. Until the next round…

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FIT FOR AN EMPEROR

Some months ago, I partook in a meal that was fit for a Chinese emperor. It involved 10 courses without the mandatory fried rice or noodles so associated with Chinese cuisine.

The experience was in a rather small culinary school in Manila. Set in it’s dinning room with two tables and full crimson red carpet typical of Chinese restaurants. But if you were looking for ambiance normally found it wasn’t there nor the waiters in black pants with colored vests. It was just all about the food.

I apologize but it seems there are only 7 images instead of the 10. I must have been too mesmerized by the gastronomic experience and forgot to shoot the other courses. Sometimes, the palette is just more important than the photography.

All photographs were captured with the Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II– the best bang for the buck in Canon’s lens line up and a great all around prime offering.

Deep fried prawn balls stuffed with quail eggs.

Deep fried prawn balls stuffed with quail eggs.

After the appetizer, the soup.

After the appetizer, a thick soup with bean sprout.

Third course of radish with scallops to cleanse the palette.

Third course was a refreshing radish with scallops in the middle and moss garnish to cleanse the palette.

Perfect sea cucumber and broccoli with superior sauce.

Perfect sea cucumber and broccoli with superior sauce.

The original, the rich but light to the taste, egg foo yung.

The original, the rich but light to the taste, egg foo yung.

A lightly fried pork belly dish with preserved black oysters and mustard greens all topped off with superior sauce.

A killer braised belly of pork with preserved black oysters and mustard greens all topped off with superior sauce.

Finally dessert, almond pastry with a sweet yellow bean paste.

Finally dessert, almond pastry with a sweet yellow bean paste.

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