Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Spices: Vom Fass

"Get a bottle of White Truffle Oil for less than 200 pesos...", this phrase caught my attention while reading the newspaper. Usually a good bottle of truffle oil would cost way much more and my biggest issue about buying it  would be the size, the smallest bottle of truffle oil I've seen is 250ml. For someone like me who doesn't have much time to cook, storing a big bottle is such a waste. After reading the whole article, I planned to visit Vom Fass to check it out and buy myself a bottle of the aromatic oil.

Vom Fass

With just the bottle of oil in mind, I was completely surprised with what I saw and experienced inside the store. The store was divided into different sections...

Inside the Store

Liqueurs and Spirits. Placed on what looked like huge flasks,there were cream based liqueurs such as Tiramisu, Vanilla Dream and Gingerbread to name a few. Fruit based liqueurs such as Baked Apples, Blood Orange, Pink Grapefruit,  Peach and may more.

Liqueurs and Spirits

There was one Spirit that caught my attention, Absinthe.


Oils and Vinegars. There were a variety of Oils: Olive Oils, Nut Oils, Seed Oils, Herb Oils and there were even Wellness Oils that you can lather on your body.  It also goes the same for the Vinegar selection, there were a lot to choose from. They're proud of their Aceto Balasamico or Balsamic Vinegar and there were a lot of other fruit based vinegars. The Oils and Vinegars are stores in huge clay jars.

Oils and Vinegars

Wines. The Wines they carry are mostly from Europe, I wasn't really impressed with their selection. I do hope they'll bring in more brands and varieties. There are two house made wines, the Blueberry Wine and Honey Wine.


Whiskey. This is the coolest section in the store since the different whiskey brands are placed inside casks. I'm not much of a whiskey drinker but seeing different aged whiskeys from different regions such as Ireland, Scotland and America, I must say its a whiskey drinker's paradise. I did try one of the 20plus year old whiskey and I never tasted whiskey as smooth as that.


Whiskey Casks

The unique and best thing about coming here is you can taste anything first before buying. While I was looking and asking around, I was handed small disposable spoons by the friendly attendants and they insisted that I try out as many things I want. And I did try so much stuff, too many to mention. It's the store main concept, try before you buy.

Tasting out the Goods

In purchasing, one has to buy bottles from the store. There are different bottle designs and sizes, prices ranging from 50php to 250php. After buying the bottle, the attendants will fill the bottle of the potion of your choice, you can always bring the bottles back for refills. The store doesn't allow customers to bring their own bottle.

Some of the Bottles for Sale

Fill It Up!

With just buying the small bottle of truffle oil in mind, I left the store carrying a way lot more. Vom Fass is such an interesting and fun store to be in, it excites my sense of sight, smell and taste. Oh, did I mention that I'm already on my 2nd bottle of white truffle oil, I've visited the store twice and planning to visit again really soon!

Vom Fass
Address: Lower Ground Floor, Shangri-La Mall East Wing, Mandaluyong
Tel No: 470 5541
Facebook page:

A Flaming Glass of Absinthe anyone?...

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Spices: Galileo Enoteca (revisited)

I didn't have any doubts of going back to Galileo Enoteca, I pretty much enjoyed my last experience here. To find out more about my first visit, click here. (

Galileo Enoteca Deli

This time around, Galileo Enoteca has come up with a degustation menu with wine pairings. I had nothing but high expectations for the meal.

Degustation Menu

To start off the meal, a refreshing cool glass of Sangria was served. I was impressed to see numerous slices of fresh strawberries and peaches in the drink.

Italian Peach and Strawberry Sangria

A basket of sourdough bread with different dips and toppings was served. I was so excited to try out the chicken liver pate again and it tasted like how I remembered, simply superb!

Complimentary Bread, Toppings and Dips

Chicken Liver Pate

For starters, the server placed a huge wooden block on the table filled with excellent cold cuts and a variety of premium cheese. The cold cuts were the following: Prosciutto Crudo, Salame Sicilliano con Pistachio, Salame Piccante and Coppa Ham. My favorite among the cold cuts would be the Prosciuto and the Coppa Ham. There were four varieties of cheese namely the Ragusano, Pecorino Saffron, Pecorino Tartufo and Caprina. My top picks would be the award winning Sicilian Ragusano cheese and the Caprina brand goat cheese.

Cold Cuts and Cheese Platter

The last wine that we had before wasn't to our liking. This time around, we had a bottle of Pinot Noir from Natele Verga's winery in Italy. The medium bodied red was really good, soft to moderate tannins, on the fruity side, smooth and really well balanced. The length of the wine is also worth mentioning. I enjoyed the wine so much that I even bought a bottle to enjoy at home.

Natale Verga's Nuare Pinot Noir

The frist main consists of Sauteed Shrimps with Garlic and Olives, Sauteed Sausages and a Saffron Arancini with Parmagiano Reggiano.

Arancini, Shrimps and Sausages

The Sauteed shrimps with garlic and olives was full of flavors, I liked that they included the shrimp heads in the dish. I would have enjoyed it more if they didn't overcooked the shrimps.

Sauteed Shrimps with Garlic and Olives

Just like the cold cuts, the Sauteed Sausages just paired with the Pinot Noir perfectly. The saltiness of the sausages brought out the fruity sweetness of the wine.

Sauteed Sausages

It was my first time to try the Arancini, it's basically a fried rice ball coated with breadcrumbs and is usually filled with a type of cheese. The rice had a tinge of Saffron and mixed with parmagiano thus making it gleam in yellow. It was love at first bite, I love how it had that light crispy crust, the Arborio rice inside was al dente and the delicious cheesy goodness of the parmigianno regianno was evident in every bite. Delicious!!!


I was sort of expecting something like a panizza when I saw pizza roll written on the menu. The Pizza Al Giro was more like a bread than a pizza. The baked goodie was dense and it had a really thick outer crust. I did enjoy the all meat stuffing inside the roll but I felt that we could have enjoy this more if served as a starter and not as a main.

Pizza Roll

The last plate of main consists of a Risotto Porcini Mushroom with Truffle Oil and Parmesan, Risotto Pescatora and a Spinach Ravioli Con Quattro Formaggi in Arrabiata Sauce. The ingredients used in making the risotto is no doubt of excellent quality but I found both too dry to my liking, I wanted it to be creamier. Between the two risottos, I enjoyed the pescatore more, the seafood flavor was prominent and it paired with the white wine well.

Risotto Porcini Muhsroom with Truffle Oil and Parmesan, Risotto Pescatora and Spinach Ravioli

Not only was the spinach ravioli presented nicely, it tasted divine as well. Everything about the pasta dish was spot on, pasta dough was al dente, the four cheese filling had the right amount of saltiness to compliment the sweet and slightly sour arrabiatta sauce on top. I could have easily wolfed down more of this.

Spinach Ravioli con quattro formaggi in Arrabitta Sauce

The white wine that was paired with the risotto pescatore was a Garganega. It was my first time to try out this type of wine and it reminded me of a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, light, fruity and really dry. For me, it's the type of wine that's best drank when paired with something to eat.

Torre del Falasco Garganega

I was already really full when dessert was served and I was just planning to give it a little taste. But as soon as I tasted the Dark Truffle Chocolate Ice Cream Cake, I had to have more. The deliciously presented sweet cold treat wasn't cloyingly sweet and it was really chocolatey. One more scoop please!

Dark Truffle Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

The second dessert was also an ice cream cake, the Mint Chocolate. I'm really not a big fan of the mint and chocolate combination, its actually my least favorite. But surprisingly I enjoyed this, the mint ice cream wasn't too minty, it was subtle enough and not too overpowering.

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

A bottle of Gran Dessert Champagne was served together with the two ice cream cakes. Sparkling and sweet, something everybody would love.

Capetta Gran Dessert

For our digestives, we had a shot of Sambuca, a sweet thick anise flavored liquer. The taste was very similar to Absinthe but this has a lower alcohol content.


We also had shots of Limoncello, zesty and slightly sweet. I'm a big fan of the Limoncello and it was just the perfect way to end a great meal.


Time flies when one is having fun and this is exactly what we felt, dinner started before 7pm and we left past 10pm. It was a fun night filled with good food and good wine, the wines perfectly complimented each dish and vise versa.  Moreover, one bite and you'll know that the ingredients used are of the highest quality. All the dishes we had is  part of the regular menu but if you are interested in having a degustation meal, they'll accommodate special requests. Just inform them ahead of time.

Galileo Enoteca
Address: 80 Calbayog St. cor. Malinao, Madaluyong City
Tel Nos: 532 0482 / 534 4633

Friday, 9 May 2014

Sights and Spices meets Maputing Cooking

Maputing Cooking. I'm pretty sure you've heard of him, his videos has gone viral on the Internet. Moreover, he already has appeared on national television and is due to guest on more tv shows. The man behind Maputing Cooking is Chris Urbano. An Australian who fell in love with the Philippines, not only does he cook the local cuisine, he also speaks the local language really well.

Maputing Cooking - Mr. Chris Urbano
(photo courtesy of

I've seen most of his videos, aside from him adding little twists in cooking Pinoy food, what I found really interesting is Chris pairs wine with it. I'm no wine connoisseur but I do enjoy drinking wine regularly especially when drinking it with good food. I would usually have wine with Italian or French food, pairing it with Pinoy food sounded new and alien to me. But from how Chris explained it in his videos, it does seem plausible.

Here is just one of the videos he made, you can check out more videos at or you can search his videos on Youtube.

I sent Chris an email and we ended up planning for a simple get together. My venue of choice was one of my favorite restaurants in Makati, Swagat, a simple no frills restaurant that serves great tasting authentic Indian food.

Swagat's Variety of Curries and Roti Bread

Before heading for the resto, we made sure that each one of us will bring different kinds of wines. Chris brought two white wines for us to try while I brought one red for him to try. Chris brought two wines from King Valley, Australia. First up was the Chrismont Riesling, compared to the reisling brands I've tried before, Chrismont wasn't as sweet and it had that citrusy feel on the mouth that kind of leaves a dry refreshing feeling.

Chrismont Riesling

The next white we tried was something I haven't tried and seen before, the Petit Manseng. As Chris said its a type of varietal grape and its not that common here. I was pleasantly surprise with how the wine tasted, it tasted sweet and fruity, I got hints of grapefruits and other tropical fruits. A wine perfect for the hot summer, I would imagine drinking this while lounging on the beach. Both white wines were really good, even for first time wine drinkers, I'm pretty sure that they'll be able to appreciate both.

Chrismont Petit Manseng

The red I brought was a Spanish Tempranillo from the Rioja region, a wine that I regularly enjoy. The light to medium bodied wine has soft tannins that it's so easy to drink and pair with almost anything.

Antano Rioja Tempranillo

One of the usual topics that wine lovers talk about is how we don't get to try enough kinds and brands of wine in the country. Though there are a number of wine stores/shops, it is still kind of limited. I was elated when Chris said that he is bringing in more Australian wines from the already existing selection in his site. It was also nice to hear that he's planning to partner up with different restaurants to come up with food and wine pairings.

We're currently experiencing a 'foodie' revolution. Everyone already knows how good food should taste like and compared before we are now starting to enjoy and savor food more. What's next is something I hope and think would happen in a couple of years, a 'wine' revolution. For me, having a great meal doesn't only consist of good food, a bottle of good wine which compliments the meal completes the wonderful dining experience. I will look forward to the day where it would be common to see bottles of wine on dinner tables. Thanks to people like Chris Urbano, a person who I consider as a wine ambassador. Not only does he bring in more wine varieties to country, more importantly he educates and he shares his passion about his love of wines. I salute you! Cheers!

Sights and Spices meets Maputing Cooking

If you're a fellow wine lover or someone who wants to give wine a try. You can always send me or Chris a shout out and maybe we could meet up for a night of good food and wine. To find out more about the Australian wines that we had, visit