Keeping score

9 12 2009

WHILE MOST people “people watch”, I “wristwatch watch.”

And one of the best places to do this really subtly is at the supermarket.  Last Saturday I went to one at the Southern tip of Metro Manila.  I didn’t go there just to really do my “wristwatch watching” because I had a battle plan – a list I took down on acid-free Moleskine paper (thank God for the perforated pages!).  I love this supermarket so much because eventhough its size is not prententiously imposing, its shelves are full of groceries that can put humungous establishments to shame.

But I’m shelving my adulation of this supermarket for now, saving it for a later post.  What I want to share with you is the result of my very subtle observation on what were strapped on shoppers’ wrists!

I was totally so into my grocery list but when a gentle, mild-mannered lady reached out for the roll of plastic bag at the produce section, I couldn’t help but squint when the light reflected on the sapphire crystal of her wristwatch hit my eye.  Omega Constellation!

I got distracted and ended up “wristwatch watching” as I moved from aisle to aisle.

The tally?  Omega – 3 (2 Constellation, both ladies’, and 1 Seasmaster, gents’).  Rolex – 5 (but none was the Milgauss).  Technomarine – 2 (both ladies’, with one of the wearer treating her wristwatch-less boyfriend like an “alalay”…  Here!  There!  Get that!  No, one more!).  Gucci – 1 (ladies’, leather strap).  Philippe Charriol – 1 (ladies’).  Casio Databank – 1 (I used to wear one in high school).  Tag Heuer Aquaracer – 1.

I didn’t espy anybody wearing a Philip Stein except myself.  (Batman, I can hear you laughing!)

Oh, before I finally made my turn for the checkout counter, I almost bumped into a nice American expatriate lady toting a Birkin in the supplest black leather.

Copyright © 2009 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MuchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

I heart kutchay

9 12 2009

Mongkok's Kutchay (Garlic Chive) Dumplings

TO FEEL the love of the people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.  Pablo Neruda said that.  (And Summit even posted it on facebook.)

But when all else fails, there’s always food.

After self-control won over the debate on whether or not I should get the Chotovelli I’ve been eyeing for months now, I figured that only food could give me comfort.  There were too many voices in my head – the kind that would make the House of Tudor send me to be burned at the stake – that I realized only a familiar taste to the palate could calm me down.  Oh yeah, and tell me that I made the right decision to put off yet another wristwatch purchase.

I gave T750 at Glorietta 5 a final heartbroken – almost longing – glance and then I went on my way to dinner.  There, my choices would always be a toss up between The Soup Kitchen and Mongkok – funny that these two are actually across each other.  Mongkok won me over by virtue of having booths.  I thought that I could just get slumped onto the cushioned seat in a sulk.

At Mongkok I already have my usuals.  So I would politely motion with my hands that I don’t need the menu anymore.  But this night being an unsuccessful shopping night, I thought about asking for something new to me.  I guess I just wanted something new.

So after asking for Stuffed Tofu (partially hollowed out tofu squares stuffed with a ball of siomai ham) and Beef Tendon Noodle Soup (extra-thin Hong Kong-style egg noodles in a steaming hot beef broth with braised gelatinous beef tendon and fresh vegetables), I finally decided to try the Kutchay Dumplings for the first time.

Stuffed Tofu in a yummy brown sauce


The tofu is partially hollowed out to accommodate the siomai ham stuffing.


Beef Tendon Noodle Soup


I loved the very crisp baby bok choy!

And boy was I glad I did!  Each plump dumpling – a serving has three – was encased in translucent rice paper wrapper, teasing my eyes with the mosaic created by the deep green kutchay (garlic chive) leaves, minced pork and shrimp.  The perfectly steamed slightly thick wrapper wiggled as if mirroring my own excitement, as I took one dumpling in between my chopsticks.  I dunked it in the sauce I made out of calamansi, chili and soy sauce, and bit off half.  Though it was a huge dumpling, I could fit it in my mouth!  But I exercised self-control yet again because I wanted to see how the inside looked like.

My new-found love – Kutchay Dumplings!

Mongkok’s kutchay dumpling was a study in contradiction.  Kutchay being garlic chives, I expected to be assaulted with a really intense, almost pungent flavor, totally relying on my dipping sauce to temper the sensation.  Instead, what I savored was a subtle fragrance that brought hints of celeriac to mind.  The greens were still a bright green, with a give to the bite – not mushy at all.

I enjoyed the dumplings so much that one serving was not enough.  While I chewed, I felt a calm wash over me.  Best of all, they prevented me from doing what I intended to do to myself for being so indecisive about Chotovelli.

That is, get a plate and bust it over my head.  Hahaha!

I washed everything down with Pineapple Juice! I love it for the fiber!


Copyright © 2009 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MuchTime™©.  All rights reserved.