Chef Hasset Go's Treats Tease

I am hoping that you are not on a diet.

You gotta kill me for this post and the upcoming six posts this week.

It's all about fattening desserts that we all love.

Since it is rare to share my own recipes,

I'll share chef Hasset's unique and affordable dessert recipes.

From Chef Hasset's quick and remarkably easy 15 minute energy mug cake

to utterly delicious Pandan - White Chocolate Mango cake,

that all looks spectacular, and incredibly delicious,

would definitely satisfy your cravings,

Only if you made one.

Brace yourselves for the sweetest recipes, coming up.

The recipes were from Chef Hasset and brought to us by The Maya Kitchen when they held a cooking demo "Desserts to go" last month. This month's cooking session is "Authentic Thai Flavors".  Chef Tum Supawade Lungtip of Jatujak Thai Restaurant will share the secrets of this fabled cuisine on August 4, Saturday, 9am to 1pm at The Maya Kitchen.

Other classes for the month of August include Lifestyle Courses: Kiddie Workshop, August 11, 18 and 25, Saturday, 8:30-10:30am, Day 1 cookies and cupcakes, Day 2 . salad and pizza, Day 3 chicken and pasta meals. European Breads, August 25, Saturday, 10am-3pm. Kakanin, August 25, Saturday, 1-5pm. Baking with Maya Mixes, September 1, Saturday, 1-5pm.

Certificate Courses with Hands On: Fundamentals of Bakery Production, August 1-4 and 22-25, Wed-Sat; August 11, 18, 25, and September 1, Saturday, 10am-3pm. Cake Decorating (Basics and Advanced) August 9-11, Thursday-Saturday, 10am-4pm; Catering, August 9-11 Thursday-Saturday, 10am-4pm and Advanced Culinary, August 28-31, Tuesday-Friday, 9am-3pm.

TESDA Registered Program (pre-registration required), Commercial Cooking NCII, 400 hours lecture-demo workshop with on-the-job training, starts on August 14, 9am-3pm.
For more information, log on to or or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F  Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City or call 8921185 / 892-5011 local 108.

Spelunking and Hiking: A Must Do Outdoor Activities in Boracay's Neighboring Island, Crystal Cove

The great majority of travelers who pour into Boracay island don't even realize that there is another world to explore out from the crowded shoreline, their group were thinking the same until they went exploring the nearby Crystal Cove Island Resort.

At first, the island-hopping (also called Leapfrogging) trip seemed destined not to happen as they wait long hours on the beach for their special boat ride. They spent the hours of waiting frolicking on the beach while their guide was looking for available boat as an alternative transport. He was very apologetic for the delay. It was around lunch time when the exclusively rented boat came in. They decided to escape lunch and boarded the boat immediately. Due to the time constraints, instead of leaping from one island to another, they asked their guide to bring them in one island that would fill their inner thirst for adventure.

The island is just a stone throw away, a 15 to 20 minutes ride from the front beach of Boracay or Bolabog. Crystal Cove Island Resort is a 2.5 hectare island, located at Tabon Point, Caticlan, Malay, Aklan catering to both those who wish to just unwind or for thrill seekers. There are various fun activities one can enjoy: sight seeing, cove exploring, spelunking, hiking and snorkeling, and swimming.

Picnic Area

They docked safely in the island and paid PHP. 200.00 at the entrance, Crystal Cove Island does not impose any time limit in the island during island hopping tours for a particular day. They hiked atop the hill and were captivated with the view overlooking the sea with mini islets that surrounds it.

The rocky contours of Crystal Cove With its staggering variety of terrain could have been custom-built for hiking. Hiking trails have been built to suit walkers of all fitness levels and offer some truly magnificent mountain scenery as it links the  2 caves of Crystal Cove.

They reached cove 1 and  were smitten by by its natural charm. Josh had a hard time  negotiating to climb down the cemented stair passage that's just enough for human body. No need to wear protective suits, shirtless Carl hop here and there like a kid. They wanted to swim underneath but hesitated because of the strong current on that day.

They traced the pre-charted  paths for another 20 - 30 minutes hike to the next attraction of another inviting cove called cove 2. Along the way, they stopped several times to stare at the beautiful scenery, chatted and took pictures of them together.

The water emits a siren call against the treacherous and rocky hill, Rome slip into a different frame of mind, he felt electric. It was beautiful, stunning and amazing!  It was a fascinating experience to be closer to nature.

Tour guide is not necessary you will not lose track in the island. Picnic areas, nipa huts and resting places are scatted throughout the island in case you want to have a break or take a nap. Cottages are also available should you want to stay overnight.

Exploring Cove 2 was an intrepid journey. Adrenaline kicked in  as they crawl inside the tunnel of cove 2 and experience another striking cove.

Rome got claustrophobic, he was a little bit scared to be trapped by rising water inside. He can never imagine himself crawling into a cave but gobsmacked when he saw what lies at the end of the ends to the deep blue and angry sea. While both Rome and Josh wondered why most cavers search for a cave's end, Carl seems to find the answer.

The cave is unique - it is real wonder of nature. To visit this cave gave them a special feelings - Trust and unrelenting friendship.

Asia's Culinary Masters in Marriott Manila's Flavors of Asia Buffet (Part 2 of 2)

You have no idea how arduous it is to edit and collage all pictures of the food I have sampled whenever I go in a buffet with uncountable dishes. These images I've took during Marriott Manila's Flavors of Asia buffet are some of the finest cuisine (selected out 200 images) I have ever eaten in the world-class hotel to feast your eyes on, guaranteed to seduce and send a strong desire for you to savor a charming Asian dinner that assures an enjoyable age-old tradition of bonding through a delicious mix of aromatic, spicy, rich, sweet, and hot Flavors of Asia. 

This post is your last call to try Marriott Manila's Flavors of Asia Buffet before the month-long celebration of oriental flavors ends...

With familiar sights and swish sound from a nearby specialist chef who worked his magic and created steaming hot pot meal - Vietnamese Pho in front of our eyes, the elegant M Cafe has a feel of zen-like when I entered. Bamboo steamers, native place mats and crews dressed in Asian uniform made a palatable atmosphere mix in a modern ambiance. From a wide range of dishes that cover a spectrum of Asian cuisine, exotic aroma filled the huge and highly decorated dinning room which I thought more appropriate to describe as Chinatown-feel hence on a luxurious level.

A 360 degrees glimpse of a hundred and more Asian dishes while looking for a spot to settle was overwhelming, I seated next to Eugene of Hefty Foodie.  The inviting salad table with 8 different types of dressing in bottles that was beautifully placed on one side and ample selections of toppings on the other side captured my attention. I was thinking to try it first but I was held up at the grill station.

I began my dinner with two skewers of satay from a wide range of satay made of  lamb, beef, duck, pork, and chicken in different kinds of sauces such as peanut, chili and soy. My first plate includes shrimp and pork crepe, crispy roasted duck and huge chunk of succulent beef steak with peppercorn and red wine sauces.

The cold cuts station was really hard to resist so I gave in to the mind boosting precooked seafood patiently waiting to be picked. "Somebody give me a calcibloc", I joked halfheartedly to my fellow bloggers while shelling out fresh tiger prawns meat.  Taking the crab fats out from its shell was challenging but brought so much glory in my taste buds when I locked my lips. Hmmmm, who said I care about heart attack? lol!

Flavors of Asia will not be complete without Japanese cuisine, albeit not the highlight of the buffet, tempting display of maki, tempura, sushi and sashimi were also available from the Japanese station. Who am I to say no to this famous Asian cuisine?

I was reaching saturation, but there are more Asian dishes to enjoy. I get an injection of Malaysian and Thai cuisine that everyone was raving about, a fragrant mix of punchy aromas and dynamic chilli heat ranging from a warming stew, red and green curry, to sweet and sour sauce dishes. It’s a great blend of flavours, everything was well presented.

These are the dishes that marries the pungent and the assertive with the smooth and silken; Kalio daging (braised beef spiced with turmeric and coco milk), par lad prik (deep fried fish with chili sauce), ayam rendang (chicken with coco milk), sauteed squid with pineapple and cucumber, massaman near (massaman curry with beef). I almost swoon when i tasted the green curry chicken.

Dessert was my final stop in sealing the evening to remarkably sweet and truly special. With Marriott's buffet, I made sure to have a room for luscious desserts regardless of the amount of food I've taken. There is no doubt about it, from fresh tropical fruits, gelato, ice cream, cakes to chocolate fondue, M Cafe is the premier brand when it comes to dessert. I could honestly say that it was a taste of heaven.

The towering chocolate fountain was surrounded with fresh fruits, marshmallows, cookies and brownies. I dipped some grapes into the thick chocolate while thinking what would be my next sugar intake. The dessert station was a mix of western and Asian desserts. Signature cookies, finest chocolates, breads, cakes,  pralines and other unique confectioneries were sophisticated inside the glass chiller.

Asia's healthy sweet treats were morale boosters: Baoloy (taro ball), kolak biji salak (stew sweet potato ball with palm sugar in coconut milk), che troi nuoc (dumpling in ginger syrup), pumpkin custard, vun bai tury (pandan leave jelly), xoivi (sticky rice cake), and banh chuoi nuong (banana cake) were blissfully lined up on a table.

The complex Asian cuisine was undeniably oriental. Not only I had a fantastic sociable evening fueled with Asian inspired refreshment.  Quite apart from the food though, so much of the charm of M Cafe lies in its ambiance.

It's a restaurant, it's a cafe, and it's a destination.

Marriott Manila still running its Flavors of Asia Buffet until the end of this month. For inquiries or reservations, call Marriott Café at 988-9999.

Travel Sickness?

Few more Boracay posts, luxurious Bellaroca experience, and a dozen of out of town getaways are pilling up on my external hard drive to be posted on this blog site. Plus, the Ayala Triangle project, Chef Hasset Go's recipes, and omellette series are waiting to be posted on my food website, The Cuisineuer. Geez, I can't breath just by thinking of these enormous pending tasks.

I've been away because I was sick. I been sick for a week now, I acquired flu somewhere and I hesitated to take any medication.  I was thought to let it pass, besides,  the pain was tolerable. But I've decided to take herbal medicines when my fever continued for 2 days and now I'm well. 

Reinventing Great Invention

Heavy rainfall that caused metro wide flood ruined my idea of a perfect weekend. My plan to watch the showing of Batman's The Dark Knight Rises with my longtime "apple of my eye" has been cancelled. Instead, while listening to the rain falling on my unit's tin roof, I found myself engaged on a deep thought, entertaining answers to  the question: What is your greatest invention?

While some of us was destined to move the world with their inventions, there are no greatest invention for the rest of us but ourselves. Our thoughts and desires invent who we are and perhaps the greatest invention we have had.

At this point of my life where I found myself living in a stagnant but world of great achievements, what else could be a greatest invention? An iPhone apps, time travel device, cure to cancer and aids? Oh yes, how about something realistic?

Up skill. This is something realistic and doable. I am weighing the possibilities of reinventing myself by enrolling to an intensive MBA course rather that pursuing my original plan to enroll in French Classes. If I could pave away the financial challenge, I am eyeing to do both. My timeline would be at least three years. For the first year, I got to secure financial stability and enroll to gmat tutoring to prepare for the great self reinvention. I got to prove to myself that I could do it. So who's with me?

With Great Salary Comes with Great Tax

Last week, a memorandum of good and bad news landed on my office desk. The good news was: I have received my annual increase of more than .25% of my basic salary (yey!) and this good news, however, was associated with bad news: a higher income tax (ugh!). Tax has been a subject of conversation in the office all day long and we always raise our eyebrows up to the ceiling whenever we talk about tax, we all agreed.... it’s a burden we all shared.

It is from tax where the government get the all the funds for their projects, that's what I've been told. Cutting 10% from my hard earned money is really painful for the projects I never seen nor felt .Double that pain in filling our income tax return - as an individual, it’s hard to compute tax manually and efficiently as it consume time for us to complete it. 

Understanding all about tax is easy today compared to my parent's days. One of the beauty of the digital world is that there are different types of tax advice online which we could seek help from. From understanding to easy ways to pay less taxes are available in just a click. We could also file irs tax extension at the comfort of our homes, avoiding deadlines and inconvenience.

These are just simple and basic ways I learned about taxes today. As I move forward in paying my government dues, I'm hoping to share more tax relief and helpful tips to y'all.

Asia's Culinary Masters in Mariott Manila's Flavors of Asia Buffet (Part 1 of 2)

Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)

It was such a wonderful experience to witness four culinary masters dished up their flavorful take on modern Asian cuisine when Marriott Manila brought home four of the Asia’s most famous cuisines last week. Held at the state-of-the-art meeting room - The Den,  Chef Thanatorn Krobsuay (Thailand), chef Dadang Wahyudi (Indonesia), chef Ruhizad Muri (Malaysia), and chef Phan Thien Hoa (Vietnam) presented their culinary masterpieces representing dishes from their country of origin.

Chef Thanatorn Krobsuay  (Thailand), chef Dadang Wahyudi (Indonesia), chef Ruhizad Muri (Malaysia), and chef Phan Thien Hoa (Vietnam)

Chef Phan Thien Hoa of Renaissance Riverside, a native of Ho Chi Minh presented Cha Gio - Vietnamese Spring Rolls (above picture) made from soft rice wrappers and filled with choicest meats and vegetables such as shrimps, tofu, chicken, and beef. Vietnamese dishes such as Cha Gio is notable for its minimal use of oil, bountiful use of herbs and vegetables-- which shouldn’t make one wonder why it ranks as one of the healthiest foods in the world!

Som Tum  (Green Papaya Salad)

Chef Thanatorn Krobsuay of JW Marriott from Thailand who trail blazed the first two consecutive most-talked about Thai Food Fest at Marriott Café showcased his Som Tum or Green papaya salad.Thai food definitely deserves all the hype for its four fundamental tastes that we Filipinos love: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.

Aneka Sate (Assorted Satay)

Chef Dadang Wahyudmade of JW Marriott from Indonesia made Aneka Sate -  tastier skewers and more appetizing with these selections: chicken, shrimps, calamari, beef, goat, pork and fish in assorted marinations!

Daging Rendang (Beef Rendang)

Chef Ruhizad Muri of Renaissance from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia presented Daging Rendang (Beef Rendang) which gives a taste of Malaysia’s noteworthy nyonya cuisine - a signature Penang type of cooking that blends spices from roots (galangal, turmeric, and ginger); leaves (pandan, lime, and laksa); fruit (lemon, tamarind, and green mangoes); together with other ingredients like shrimp paste and chilies.

Bringing an authentic taste of local life and hospitality, the four chefs will conduct a special cooking class for only P1, 500 net inclusive of a hearty lunch:

July 9, Thai
July 16, Malaysian
July 23 Vietnamese
July 30, Indonesian

If you wish to experience this treat that’s injected with fun and information, consider enjoying Asian cuisine by learning to cook it yourself!

For inquiries or reservations, call Marriott Café at 988-9999.

First Look: Refreshments at Marriott Manila's Flavor of Asia

On Marriott Manila's Flavors of Asia Bloggers event, which I'm about to tell you on tomorrow's post, four different types of refreshments were served. Limeaid represents Vietnam, Avocado chocolate for Indonesia, lemon grass for Thailand and Teh Taric milk tea represents Malaysia.

Call Marriott Café at 988-9999 for inquiries or reservations!!!

50 Shades of Summer

There are plenty of reasons why I love summer. One of them is going to the beach... and the best beaches to go during summer days will not be safe without protection from the sun's blistering heatwave. Researchers have discovered that the sun's ultraviolet rays can cause potentially fatal damage deep under the skin's surface and believe it or not... the eyes. So, before I spend a lot of time outdoors, I made sure that I am equipped with sizzling sun care and not just fabulous summer outfits.

With so many choices, where do I begin with sun protection?

We all aware that direct exposure to the sun can cause premature skin aging or worse - skin cancer.  Did you know that even sitting under a beach umbrella will not stop us from getting sunburn? Sun block and hats are definitely a "must have" during summer days. UVA rays are long and penetrating and can pass through the cornea at the front of the eye and damage the lens and can cause blindness. Thus, a good pair of sunglasses is very necessary to shield our eyes from sun's deadly rays. 

Sunblock and Sunglasses are two additional "S" to our usual Sand, Sea and Sun to define a perfect summer getaway. My personal choice of  sun screen should be with high SPF, water resistant and easy to apply like Nivea's spray. For my eye protection, I choose not just fashionable but deep dark sunglasses that offers 100 percent protection from both UVA and UVB. Of course, I change  my sunglasses every other year and I'm looking forward to try retro eyeglass frames the summer. I heard a lot of buzz About warby parker, they are providing good optical quality sunglasses with break-resistant lenses according to a friend. I think, it is this summer's brightest idea! Go ahead and check out what kind of frames would suit you.

The Ayala Triangle Project - Golden Spoon

Iced cafe leche Php 159, Mixed berries Php 20, Mango Php 20

Frozen yoghurt is not just brilliant, sinless, and sweet treat but a healthy addiction. It is a valuable source of calcium and zinc, which are good for the bones and immune system. Froyo containing bacteria such as lactobacilli and bifido have been shown to help maintain a healthy balance in the gut. It's the diet secret of Hollywood stars including Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman, Megan Fox and Isla Fisher.

Although expensive, procuring nothing more sinister than healthy frozen yoghurt is something that I never do everyday unless there are odds to beat and inner demons to whipped. For me, froyo is one of my stress relievers.

Golden Spoon branch is in the most prominent position in the Ayala Triangle Gardens. It is spacious compared to neighboring Bannaple which is always in full house during peak or even non-peak hours.  Charming smiles and sincere greetings from the staff  welcomed me as I opened the door. The place was deserted when I came in so I made a small talk with the crew while I carefully examined the store. It was organize and clean. The crew knew what she was doing, she was knowledgeable with their products and very patient explaining to me each and every flavor. I end up ordering their best seller non-fat Iced Cafe Leche and topped it with mixed berries and mango.

For me, frozen yoghurt is definitely a culinary pleasure minus the guilt. It is a taste of heaven I would say. Here are my rates:

Food Quality : 5
Ambiance      : 5
Service          : 5
Cost/Prices    :3

The project's criteria are; Food Quality, Ambiance, Service, and Cost/Prices, where  Five (5)   indicates "Exceptional Experience", Four (4)  indicates a place "worth a come back", three (3)  means "a casual place to eat", two (2)   means "acceptable", and one (1))   means "poor".

Golden Spoon, Ayala Triangle Gardens
Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati Ave., Bel-Air
Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 759-4160

Japanese for July: Chef Seiji Kamura's Crispy Kani Salad

I feel it!

The rainy days are very slow and your favorite tv series is playing all day long.

All of a sudden, you feel hungry and need to have a break from watching it gotta hit that pause button.

I guess, its good to fix a crispy Kani Salad...'twill just take a few minutes.

Put your "Revenge" excitement on hold, this dish will excites you more.

Here's our monthly dose of easy recipe courtesy of renowned Japanese Chef Seiji Kamura. He showcased his unique recipes and immense talent at a recent demonstration at The Maya Kitchen later last month. 

2 pieces crab stick, shredded, coated with MAYA All Purpose Flour & fried until crisp
Mixed greens (Romaine lettuce, Lolo Rosa, iceberg)
40 grams pomelo, shredded
40 grams ripe mango, sliced

Sesame dressing: Mix together and pour over Kani Mix

            ¼ cup vegetable oil
            3 tablespoons vinegar
            2 tablespoons calamansi juice
            2 tablespoons Kikkoman
            2 tablespoons sesame oil
            40 grams white sesame, toasted & processed in a blender
            2 tablespoons honey

For other class schedules, culinary tips and recipes log on to or email

Potato Dutch Snacks, Kroketten: Finger Lickin' Good

Little birds told me that there is new and unavoidable potato snack flourishing around the city. Something that's fun and healthy... and doesn't  taste cardboard like my everyday favorite potato fries. This is something that captured my attention and finally decided to try  a new way on how to keep me going throughout the day.

So, what is trending among foodies in Manila?

Introducing Kroketten, Netherland’s favorite snack as the Dutch word means a little, round ball.“Kroketten is one of the best ways to enjoy potato—crunchy, filled with cheese and meat, while they’re deep fried in a healthy corn oil. For only P35 per order, Kroketten offers three varieties: Original Kroket, the original oblong shape with ground beef, chicken, and cheese; Kroketballen, by far Filipinos’ most favorite and has three pieces of crunchy potato balls which come with dips. 

Revealed:  miniballen, the bite sized potato balls considered best for sharing. If you plan to tweak your group’s usual snack gathering at your place, Kroketten’s potato balls are worth serving. These perfectly composed and polished potato balls are also considered a masterpiece without the guilt. The taste is impressive since it offers a snacking experience that is never boring. Since the product can last days if stored properly and has the same great taste when properly reheated, Kroketten is an absolutely healthy snack that will satisfy your guests whether for private gathering or a party! With miniballen’s assorted flavors, it’s no surprise that this type is deemed the most popular.  From cheese, chicken, beef, bacon, hotdog, longganisa, pork adobo, mango, and tuyo flakes, all flavors offer an exciting taste with a Filipino twist, especially when paired with the tasty dips.  Five pieces mini ballen P20 and the four pieces mini ballen with the 6.5 oz revitalize 10 or Nutri 10 fresh fruit drink is just P35

Speaking of fresh fruit drink, it’s also amazing to know that these delicious balls are best paired with invigorating fresh fruit juices one can ever imagine! And why not? They’re made of the purest and natural fruit juice minus the white sugar, branded exclusively by Vers En Snel by Kroketten. A Dutch word means fresh and fast, it has two signature thirst quenchers. One is a certified health booster made of mango and guyabano, the Nutri 10 while the other one is made of succulent combo of strawberry and passion fruit called Revita 10. “Since these drinks have no preservative, our health buff habitués can’t surely get enough of it! If one needs an immediate vitamin boost, we recommend the Nutri 10. But if you’re feeling tired and heavy, our Revita 10 gives an instant uplift. “And because of the ever growing demand for this product, we’re also working on bottling these drinks soon so anyone can take with them this healthy beverage”, says Kroketten president/owner Maribel Bosch.

Confident about the potential of the product, the company is also open for franchise for a very affordable total investment of P195, 00 (vat exclusive). To date, it operates in twelve malls with Mall of Asia in Pasay coming up very soon. Ultimately, the brand’s international flavor in design with a unique Filipino appeal will surely make history for being the first healthy Dutch potato snack to expand in the country.

Glimpsed: The Boracay Sunrise

It has been proven... sunrise is more beautiful than sunset. 
Just like our lives... beginnings is sweeter than endings.

This post is dedicated to my dear friend Robert Española who recently passed away. Thank you my friend for making me realize so many things.