Sunday, 23 November 2014

Coffeemate Be Your Own Barista Event

I was recently invited to an event that was hosted by Nestle Coffeemate. Since the venue was just a few a blocks away from where I live, I decided to attend and checked the event out. The event entitled Coffeemate University Be Your Own Barista was held at CO/OP Cafe and Restaurant.

Nestle Coffeemate Event at CO/OP

After registration, I went inside holding my own personalized apron and a cup of coffee. As soon as I sat down and saw what's on the table, I had an inkling on what's going to take place. On the table was empty cups, a jar of coffee, bowls with syrup, a handheld frother, a thermos of hot water,a  recipe book and of course Nestle Coffeemate.


Our tools for the Day

The program started with a short presentation of the new and improved Coffemate and proceeded to the introduction of tthree Baristas who were also part of the TVC. Each of them cited their credentials and shared their own coffee stories.

It proceeded to the live demo of preparing two coffee concoctions made by the two pretty professional Baristas. The first of which is the basic Cafe Latte and the more complex Yin Yang, a drink that consist of coffee and tea. Both coffee concoctions were made using instant coffee and Coffeemate, it looked so easy to do.

Caffe Latte anyone?

Now for the fun part, it was time to get our hands dirty. We were asked to re-create the Coffee Latte and add our own personalize twist. The recipe book that was filled with so much coffee concoction recipes was a big help to those who want to get it right on the dot. I went freestyle like I always do and what surprised me the most is that I got a decent froth from whisking Coffemate with water. I even drew and cut out my own stencil for some added coffee art.

Coffemate Recipe Book

Here's what I came up with, doesn't look bad eh? Looks pretty good to me. By the way, CD stands for Coffee Day.

My Coffemate Project

After creating our own respective Caffe Latte-s, it was time for the group challenge. Each table was asked to prepare and present a cold coffee-Coffeemate concoction. With the help of the Baristas, each table came up with their respective cold creations to pit up against each other.

My group mates prepared our drink while I was task to present it to everyone. Though we didn't win the challenge, it was fun to see the ideas and creativity of each group.

Lunch followed after the judges went around and tasted each group's drink. CO/OP prepared a special Salad, Pasta, Sandwich and Chips platter for the event. I enjoyed the salad the most, it consist of slivers of pears, lettuce, grapes, crumbles of blue cheese and candied walnut doused with a balsamic vinaigrette. For dessert, each of us had a S'mores Cupcake.

The event ended with the announcement of winners for the challenges. It was a fun-filled activity, everybody had smiles on their faces as we left the venue. I must say that I'm a big coffee drinker, I usually go through three to four cups a day. At home, I would always start my day with a cup of brewed strong black coffee. It's in the office that I usually have my instant coffee with Coffeemate. Though I prefer my caffeine fix, straight black and brewed, I commend the team behind Nestle Coffeemate. After the event, no one can ever say that coffee with creamer is boring anymore, Coffeemate has proven it's more than just your ordinary creamer.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Spices: Swagat

If I remember it right, Swagat is the very first restaurant that I wrote a review about in This was a long long long time ago when was just all about restaurant reviews. After so many years, I thinks it's just right that I write about Swagat again and include it here.

Being one of my favorite restos, I've eaten here a countless number of times and these are some of what I usually order. Take note that when ordering here, you'll be asked on the level of spiciness you want for each dish, from mild, moderate, spicy and extra spicy.

To start off, I usually order the Bhel Puri. The dish consists of puffed rice and sev or fried noodles mixed with vegetables and various spices, served with a tamarind sauce as dressing. Aside from the wonderful crunchy texture of the dish, what I like most about this is the burst of different spices in my mouth.

Bhel Puri - 125php

The Mirchi Pakora is such a treat for spicy food lovers like me. A whole piece of green finger dusted with spices, rolled in chickpea flour and fried. Flavorful and has that subtle spiciness that I love.

Mirchi Pakora - 125php

A common Indian snack that's very familiar to us is the Samosa. Swagat's Vegetarian Samosa is a must try, crunchy triangle pastry crust with piping hot flavorful filling of spiced potatoes and peas.

Vegetarian Samosa - 70php / 4pcs

Swagat makes their own paneer or cottage cheese for their different paneer snacks and dishes. The cheese has a soft crumbly texture and flavor wise, it's on the bland side. Thus the cheese is usually mixed or cooked with different spices. The Palak Paneer that I usually have is cooked with pureed spinach, garlic and spices.

Palak Paneer - 150php

Most of the dishes here are stewed or cooked with sauce. You won't go wrong in ordering whatever you fancy for every dish has a rich and very tasty sauce. Below are Rogan Josh, a mutton dish that is cooked in cream and butter. Fish Masala, tender strips of fish cooked in spices and onions with tomato sauce. And Shrimp Makhinwala, shrimps cooked in coconut cream with crushed cashew and different spices.

Rogan Josh - 200php 

Fish Masala - 155php

Shrimp Makhanwala - 200php

An Indian meal won't be complete without having a piece of flat bread. The bread is used to pick up pieces of meat and soaking up all the rich tasty gravy or sauce of each dish. If you're not used to eat bread with your meal, the fragrant long grain Basmati rice is an option.

Plain Roti - 20php / pc

Poori - 40php / 4 pcs

There are still a number of things worth mentioning, dishes that I tried and liked. I'll be posting more about the wonderful food this resto serves when I go back and be able to take more photos. In my opinion, Swagat is arguably the best Indian place you can find in the metro. I've been here a number of times and it has never disappoint, prices are affordable and more importantly the food is absolutely delicious and bursting with so much flavors.

Address:  119 FCC Building, Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 501 5079 / 752 5669