Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Food’

Kung hey faaat choy

February 18, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Food No Comments →


Saffy and her stuffed toy sheep, with a box of the world’s greatest hopia. Delicately flaky crust, finely ground mung bean paste. Hopia that you have to get from Xiamen, since they invented it.

New Yorkers discover embutido

January 09, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Food, Places 2 Comments →


Read The Rich Tradition of Filipino Embutido in the New York Times.

After reading this piece we looked up Elvie’s Turo-Turo in the East Village and found out that it has closed. Nooooo!

Good, cheap embutido: Teresita’s of Guagua.

We haven’t been to New York in years. We should go this year.

A French-Filipino bistro in Paris

December 17, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Food, Places No Comments →

Cuttlefish in ink and spicy cabbage at Le Servan. Credit Edouard Sepulchre

Restaurant Report: Le Servan, Iya’s daughter’s restaurant.

Salad and fish at Duck and Buvette

December 10, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Food No Comments →


We liked the food at Cafe Provencal on the second floor of Shangri-La Mall (the old wing), so we were a little distressed to find that it was gone. In its place is a cafe called Duck and Buvette. We would’ve tried it sooner except that we thought everything on the menu had duck. It doesn’t.


As a devout meatatarian we hardly ever order salad of our own free will, but we had the weird urge to eat leaves. Maybe we had a roughage shortage, maybe our taste buds were just bored. So we ordered the grilled romaine salad with parmesan and anchovy garlic dressing. It was excellent, and we don’t even like vegetables. As you can see, they did not stint on the cheese.


For our main course we wanted the duck pie with foie gras, but they didn’t have it yesterday. Also we could feel the lettuce expanding so we decided to have something light. We had the brandade de bacalao dip—creamy cod and potato on grilled bread. Not only was it very good, but we could fool ourself that we had had a virtuous lunch.

A buvette is a food stall by the market, carinderia, basically. Duck and Buvette is bright and casual, reasonably-priced (mains are about Php390), and with an interesting wine list. We will be back to try the rest of the menu, with a glass or three of their bubbly. They also sell freshly-baked goods. Here’s their menu.

The second best bakery in Paris

November 21, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Food, Places, Traveling No Comments →

2nd best
Every bakery claims to make the best baguette in Paris. This bakery in Montmartre does not care to be in that overcrowded group. It proudly proclaims itself the second best in the region.

grocery cat
The cat at the grocery doesn’t care because cats don’t eat carbs (except in Italy, where cats eat pasta), but he’s very friendly.

The hearty quiche and the saucy menu

October 28, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Food, Language, Places, Traveling 12 Comments →


We expected to pass out any minute from jet lag, so we had dinner in the neighborhood. Our friend took us to a restaurant called L’été en pente douce. Meaning “Summer on a gentle slope”—slope, as in the side of the hill, which requires climbing these stairs. (A second flight of stairs takes you to the basilica of Sacre Coeur. A week or so of this and we should have quads of steel.)


The restaurant serves a very good quiche, which is a meal in itself. We had champagne, this being our welcome dinner. A glass of champagne is only slightly costlier than 6 ounces of Coke. Around here Coke is more expensive than the house wine, so have the wine.

Even before the quiche arrived, we were royally entertained by the menu, in French and English versions.

ass of summer

According to various translation apps, the title means “the pot-gossip of summer” or “the pewter-pot summer”, but according to a native it could also be interpreted as “the ass of summer”.

personal of room

The translations, though perhaps overly literal, sound very grand. The French menu even asks: “Do you have an emptiness?” Why do restaurants back home never ask us existential questions?

dry so very dry

Who could resist “a dry wine, so very dry for a muscat that it causes raised eyebrows among wine connoisseurs”?

We were so fascinated by the menu that we had to ask for a copy. The waiter feigned hurt and said, “If you’re just going to laugh at it…” but we assured him that it was the laughter of genuine admiration. The menu doesn’t just offer specials, it proposes them. (“We are the only restaurant to offer this” becomes “We are the unique restaurant to propose this.”)

montmartre cat

Outside, a cat waited to be served.