Sunday, 30 July 2017

Sip and Gogh

When I was a kid, I’d always thought that I'm good at drawing, I would take my doodles, show and brag about it to my mom. I was always so confident and proud until my mom took me to a studio for summer art workshop. As I walked inside, there where kids younger than me who were drawing a simple apple but with all the shadows and shading, the drawings were beautiful. I was astounded and at that time I knew that my ‘artistic’ creations were nothing compared to how their drawing looked like. Feeling dishearten, I didn’t enroll anymore and I wouldn’t draw as much but my love for art never stopped.


Broken Barriers


Red or White?

"Let's Go..."

The Dark Side (Glow in the Dark)




I always enjoyed looking at different artworks in different art forms. One of my favorite things to do is to look at artworks in museums, studios and malls.  I would always say to myself that I’d someday buy art pieces from famous maestros and I’ve never thought of making my own painting. This was  until I heard about Sip and Gogh.


Sip and Gogh



Sip and Gogh is a studio where you can create your own painting. For 1000php, you’ll be provided with all the materials you’ll need to make your own masterpiece, included in the fee is a choice of your drink and some snacks to go with it. 


Salami Platter


Nibbles Platter

Being a wine lover, I always look forward to drinking wine while painting. As a glass of wine comes as an option. 

Wine while painitng?....why not!


Selection of  White and Red



One can opt to join a feature painting session where the set up is like class where everyone paints the same painting, the teacher would teach the step by step process on how to draw the said painting. Or you can choose from the different paintings on display to replicate. Or like me, you can go freestyle and create your own. From beginners to experts, from the young to the old, or for those who can’t draw to save their life, everybody is welcome.



Paintings on display which you can Replicate



Sip and Gogh has different branches but the one I always go to is in Kapitolyo, Pasig. The art studio is spacious, clean, well lit and so comfortable to be in. 



Sip and Gogh Kapitolyo, Pasig



The best part about this place are the teachers/instructors, they are all well skilled and patient in teaching the students.  Every one of them are so friendly and warm that once you enter the place you feel welcomed. Whenever I go visit the place, I usually end up talking with the teachers/instructors, they are always willing to share their tips and techniques about painting. Moreover, it doesn’t stop with painting alone, I’ve also learned other form of artworks from them.



Beginner?..No worries! The teachers are always there to help




For art lovers or those who’s looking for a new hobby, I strongly suggest that you try out painting. Just like me, you’ll be surprised with what you can do.  Head over to Sip and Gogh and unleash your hidden creative side for it unleashed mine. The paintings above are some of my creations that I made in the studio.





Sip and Gogh Kapitolyo Branch
Address: 2nd Floor Ace Hotel and Suites, United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Operating Hours: Mon to Sun, 10am to 10pm
Tel. No.: 632 0069


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Spices: Cuisine Wat Damnak

After having so-so meals around Siem Reap, I didn't have high expectations on our meal in Cuisine Wat Damnak. But little did I know, we were in for a very pleasant surprise.





We got there pretty early and were warmly welcomed by Ms. Carole. She asked where we preferred to have our meal, inside where there is air conditioning, in the garden or in the tree house. She suggested to dine inside because it was a hot humid night, we followed her suggestion and took our seats inside. She also apologized that her husband, chef Joannes Riviera couldn't come out because it was a full house that evening.


Tree House Area

Garden Area

Indoor Area


There were two sets of tasting menu to choose from and you can also pick from a five or six course meal. We opted to go for the six course since the difference was only $4. We tried both tasting menus, the five course costs $24 while the six cost $28.







I was kind of surprise to see a piece of fried fish that was served, it's supposed to be our amuse bouche. The fried fish was served with an citrus oil and herb emulsion. It looked really simple but it was cooked and prepared perfectly. Crispy skin, tender flesh and the sauce had a perfect balance of flavors.


Amuse Bouche for the night


Since our meal was really affordable, we decided to have wine pairings for some of the dishes. We got to pair four types of wine. I felt that the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc would have worked really well for all the dishes.


Grand Noir Varietal Blend


Norton 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon


Grand Noir Chardonnay

Mussel Bay Sauvignon Blanc


I'll start with the 1st Tasting Menu. Up first was the Angkor Stout Braised Beef Shank, peanuts, green and fermented Cabbage. The beef shank was so juicy and tender and it matched well with the crunchy tasty cabbage and peanuts.



Angkor Stout Braised Beef Shank, peanuts, green and fermented Cabbage




The Shrimp Roll with toasted coconut and water lily stem, wild betel leaves and passion fruit dressing didn't only look beautiful but it tasted of it as well. This one was easily one of our favorite dishes of the evening. Every aspect of the dish was really well thought of.


The Shrimp Roll with toasted coconut and water lily stem, wild betel leaves and passion fruit dressing


Next up was the Braised vegetables with frog meat, toasted rice puree and curry broth. The frog legs was melt in your mouth tender, beautifully cooked veggies and the curry tasted fresh and sweet.



Braised vegetables with Frog meat, Toasted rice puree and Curry broth


The Grilled Tonle Sap Croaker Fish in Galangal Leaf, pounded wild eggplant and green tomato salad was simple yet so hearty.

Grilled Tonle Sap Croaker Fish in Galangal Leaf, pounded wild eggplant and green tomato salad


To sum up the first option course was Fresh rice flake Panacke with caramelized banana, Cambodian Cinnamon, chocolate pot de creme.


Fresh rice flake Panacke with caramelized banana, Cambodian Cinnamon, chocolate pot de creme


The second tasting menu starts with Pan fried Chlang fish, green mango, pickled eggplant with palm sugar and green peppercorn. Fish tender and juicy that complimented the crunchiness of the green mango and flavors harmoniously blending together.


Pan fried Chlang fish, green mango, pickled eggplant with palm sugar and green peppercorn




The Duck and Holy Basil Crispy Rice Cake, homemade Oyster Sauce and Fresh Cucumber was also one of our favorite dishes for the night, I liked the play of contrasting components of the ingredients, crunchy and tender plus richness and freshness.

Duck and Holy Basil Crispy Rice Cake, homemade Oyster Sauce and Fresh Cucumber



The Cauliflower, foraged Candle Yam and Scallop Soup, smoked Garlic and Coconut Emulsion came in two parts that is served with white rice on the side. On the main plate was perfectly cooked scallops, leaves and smoked garlic. On its own this was already so tasty but when you pour in the coconut emulsion, it brings the dish to another level. Again, one of our favorites.


Cauliflower, foraged Candle Yam and Scallop Soup, smoked Garlic and Coconut Emulsion 


Chinese influence was so evident in the Stir fried Wild Mushroom with Prawn and Crispy Vermicelli, mince Pork, Tofu and fermented Soy Bean sauce. Prepared and cooked perfectly, it kind of reminded me of the stir fried duck meat that is usually done with a 4-way Peking Duck course.



Stir fried Wild Mushroom with Prawn and Crispy Vermicelli, mince Pork, Tofu and fermented Soy Bean sauce


For dessert, it was a refreshingly sweet and tangy Chilled Fruit Soup with Mondulkiri Tea, Lime Sorbet and Meringue.



Chilled Fruit Soup with Mondulkiri Tea, Lime Sorbet and Meringue


The Petite Fours that ended our meal was pretty interesting, they serve bite size pieces of assorted sour fruits and a line of half sugar and half salt. Based on what we experienced before, petite fours are usually sweet, it leaves a happy satiated ending to a meal. But after having the sour fruits in Cusine Wat Damnak, it made us want to have more. I'm not sure if this was a ploy to bring people back but it sure did worked for us, we would have come back the next day if only it wasn't our last night in Siem Reap.


Petite Four


We've eaten at a number of top ranked restaurants in Asia but I've never experienced having such an aromatic meal, every dish that was placed in front of us exquisitely smelled beautiful. My mouth would literally start to salivate whenever I get a whiff of each dish. During the time we ate here, Cuisine Wat Damnak wasn't part of the Top Restaurants in Asia list but I believed that in due time Cuisine Wat Damnak will receive its much deserved recognition. I thoroughly enjoyed our meal as it was one of my most unforgettable meals I had. True enough, a year after, I'm ecstatic to see Cuisine Wat Damnak making it on the list of Asia's Top 50 restaurants. Truly well deserved.








Cuisine Wat Damnak
Address: Wat Damnak Market Street, POBOX 93108
Phone Number: + 855 77 347 762
Website: www.cuisinewatdamnak.com