More Treats for Foodies

Aug 27, 2016

You have met quite a few Pinoy entrepreneurs who have successfully built their empire from scratch in this column. They have made us proud of our fellow Pinoys who have made their mark not only in their sector but, for some, in foreign lands as well. This column will continue to feature such enterprises and the hardworking people behind them. This new awakening to the benefits of entrepreneurship as the vehicle for economic progress has inspired many of our countrymen to dream and reach new heights they never imagined in their wildest dreams. The efforts of such programs as Go Negosyo and the franchise organizations in the country have contributed greatly to this awareness, and we are happy to share the good news to many.

But perhaps this week it's a good time to take a break and indulge our leisure side. When was the last time we featured our latest discoveries in the food front?

One of these is Cow and Chicken and, yes, like many of the new food joints in the metropolis, it is situated in 16 United St., Bo Kapitolyo in Pasig. Bo. Kapitolyo was the earliest property development of the Ortigas family, even before the nearby Valle Verde subdivisions came to be, so you can imagine how long it has been there. Many old families who reside here have empty nests already, the children having gone their separate ways, and if the houses have not been sold before, these property owners have succumbed to offers to sell out to restaurant owners and move to smaller condominiums which have proliferated in the general area.

Cow and Chicken is of a different mold than others in the area, though. The owners, Junco Flores and Sam Beltran, share a passion for coffee that has found expression in their restaurant. They source their coffee from Benguet but will soon tap Batangas for the famous Barako blend. They offer the basics now: Latte, Espresso, Cappuccino, Americano, but when our B&L staff dropped by they served a blend unique to them: the Panocha Macchiato where the distinct flavour of the panocha is extracted to blend with the coffee. They also have Choc Nut Coffee and Popcorn Latte to add to their unique menu.

Thats for their extensive coffee menu. For food offering, their concept revolves around fusion of brunch ideas. Hence, they have champorado with local wagyu Tapa; lemon cream cheese pancakes with dulce de leche and served with lemon curds; adobo glazed ribs; local wagyu tapa cheese steak sandwich; white champorado with crispy kapak (dried fish from Bataan) served with carabao's milk with dulce de leche on top; and waffle smores (baked marshmallows).

And because no one else seems to be open in the dead of night, Cow and Chicken remains open, which is good news to the staff of the nearby hospitals, call center workers or barkadas out for a late night get together. Besides, their coffee will certainly keep you up!

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Another discovery is the No Reservation restaurant and, you guessed it, it is also in Barrio Kapitolyo, the latest foodie haven in the metro. Opened only in November 2015, the owners chose to give it this name because here, there are no inhibitions, no reservations.

One of the co-owners, Jay Angeles, worked for a few years here and abroad but decided to come home because he wanted to give expression to his own creativity. Brainstorming with some friends, they decided to open a restaurant with their own twist. The co-owners have one thing in common - they all love Asian cuisine. What they offer here, though, is modern Asian cuisine, not the traditional, very familiar dishes that you and I grew up with. Many of the dishes are Japanese-inspired, some are Korean, some Thai. We asked Jay why he never considered tweaking our own native cuisine. It turns out that Jay's mother and grandmother are great Filipino food cooks, so he is leaving that to the experts because he feels he simply cannot modernize Filipino food.

Jay laid out some of their best sellers at No Reservation and you can see how they have tweaked the common dishes to come up with dishes unique to them.

The simple nachos are served as appetizers with Nori strips, the sea weeds lending a Korean taste to this modern dish.

They serve chicken wings here like many contemporary restaurants, but their wings are served together with waffles. The wings are glazed with a sprinkling of black and white sesame seeds, another Korean-inspired dish.

One of their most popular dishes here is their tender baby back ribs, also glazed and served with rice and with a mound of mongo sprouts on top of the ribs for that touch of Thai.

They have Japanese corn served on a platter, grilled, not boiled. What's interesting here is they serve this with lots of bonito flakes for that distinctly Japanese taste.

The dishes range from P150 - P300 per, so they also guarantee affordability, but what Jay guarantees more than that is the uniqueness of their dishes. He is vouching for that, saying he is certain these cannot be found in any other restaurant. Only at No Reservation.

For now, they are offering unlimited wine and scotch for a flat fee, so this should be perk up the teetotallers out there.

Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino.

For inquiries and comments (email) sunshine.television@yahoo.com

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About the Author

Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.

At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network's AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart's middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN's DZYL and DZQL.

From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.

In the early 70's, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).

In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports' living legend Pocholo Ramirez.

After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN's Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable's Channel 13.

The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport's hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.

In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry's latest technological developments.

In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star's business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.

Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.

Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)