Hapadog vs Ministop Bicol Express — the only two things I ate yesterday

So I went to the Taking Back Sunday concert yesterday. I'll actually be blogging so many things about it soon including my thoughts on Typecast, the super awesome performance of TBS, and the disadvantages of being in front sound-wise. But that might be long and I'll do it as soon as I'm not lazy. I figured I'll start with something light and talk about the food I ate yesterday. Hapadog (the "japanese style" hotdogs) and Ministop's Bicol express are the only two things I ate, actually, and everything else I consumed was just alcohol. I don't really have pictures so you have to use your imagination for this one.

Hapadog has always been intriguing. A bunch of friends have been giving me testimonials about how good it is. I've seen it before in Mercato and more recently in the newest building of Alabang Town Center. And so I was drinking with my friends as we were waiting for our tickets from Cash Cash Pinoy to arrive. The place we drank in was right across the Hapadog place so I figured I'll try it out cos I've never tried it anyway. I got this one called temptation or something like that for 175 pesos. It was a tempura hotdog of some sort. It was actually pretty good. I just think it's so overpriced.

This is where the "willingness to pay" of the consumer or the difference between worth and cost comes into play. I mean, I would have willingly and wholeheartedly paid around the same price and got Bon Chon chicken wings instead. For Hapadog, it tastes good, but I personally just didn't find it worth the cost. This is my own personal preference. I haven't tried anything else from their menu but then the first impression wasn't really that good. We actually saw John Nolan walking around in the same area and we got a photo with him. Again, something I'll post when I write about TBS in Manila as soon as I'm not lazy.

After that, we decided to drink some more and have some Slurpee rum while on the line, a technique I learned from a friend. Not only is your drinking concealed, the taste of the alcohol is also masked by the sweetness and coldness of the Slurpee. It's actually really good.

Then after the amazing performance, we were so tired that we decided to head back south. We were supposed to drink with a bunch of friends but then we were so tired and so we just decided to eat in Ministop.

My friend recommended the Bicol express. I do trust his recommendation because I learned about Ministop chicken from him (this was the time when I didn't even have Ministop outside my village yet). Not only does he eat in Ministop all the time, we actually almost got banned from one. It's a long story and we really didn't do anything wrong. It was just a manager having a bad day, I guess.

I love spicy food and I love coconut milk. That being said, obviously I love Bicol express. I actually hate it that in our region in Asia, our cuisine has the least spicy recipes, Bicol being one of the only regions that actually love spicy food.

I've always been wary of the rice toppings they sold in paper cups. I mean, it's only 49 pesos so I do expect that the serving will be very small. Surprisingly, it was a full cup of rice with a lot of sauce and meat. I don't know if this varies per branch, but the one outside my village is very generous with the Bicol express servings. Although it won't really fill me up, I could probably have two orders or get something else like fried chicken or any of their other rice topping meals. For a fraction of the price, I felt that I was more satisfied with the Bicol express. But of course, I was aslo tired and hungry. And they do say that hunger is the best sauce.

I'm actually resisting the urge to go to Ministop right now and get one.

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Harry's Ultimate Easter Sunday Apollo 13 Style Shiitake Beef Burger

I live in a household that really practices the holy week traditions. All meats, for instance, just randomly disappear come Holy Thursday. They vanish into thin air. It's like meat rapture, really.

Shiitake Happens

If the only tool you have is a hammer then treat everything as if it is a nail. I've been overusing that line a lot, really. I think it was Maslow who said that. That's where I got the idea of Apollo 13 style because most of the ingredients I use for this recipe are used not by choice but by chance. I work with what I have. I feel that this forces me to be creative and imaginative; unafraid to go against conventions and try new things. It's like what they say: Shiitake happens.

Thaw Something

Luckily, it's after midnight, sleep arm in arm in the stairwell. Just kidding, but yeah, so technically it's Easter Sunday and the tomb's supposedly empty by now so of course meat miraculously appears in my freezer. Such a magical place, this house I live in. And since S&R is always sponsoring your resident blogger with free taste of random food, they get that product placement on the photo above. 


Google results suggest that I can actually eat shiitake alone even without the meat but then what's the point in that. Randomly finding bread, I knew it was going to be a sandwich of some sort. Beef sounds perfect with shiitake. 

Sesame Oil and Worcestershire Sauce

And so I go back to this burger recipe I had from a long time ago. Sort of like Asian meets English concept that, again, is merely brought to me by coincidence and not by choice. 


I dip the shiitake in water to make it just the right ammount of soggy before frying it in olive oil (I actually prefer canola oil but I couldn't find it). I then fry the beef patties I made on the same oil I cooked the shiitake in. Shiitake mushrooms really have such a powerful and influential taste.

Japanese Mayonnaise

And since I'm already sort of going for this oriental flavor of sorts, it would be heresy if I didn't put Japanese mayonnaise. I don't even think of Japanese mayo as a condiment but more of a main ingredient, really. And so I generously bathe my sandwiches with what I consider to be one of the greatest contributions of Japanese culture to humanity.

Harry's Ultimate Easter Sunday Apollo 13 Style Shiitake Beef Burger

I actually miss my DSLR. My pictures would be so much more awesome if I could use my prime lenses. I've actually just been using my Samsung Galaxy Y and the camera does the job but of course I know how photo quality can impact a food blog such as this one.

The burger was great. Long live cows and their byproducts. There's actually quite a bit of shiitake mushrooms here so I'm thinking of making more stuff with it so be sure to watch out for that. Follow me on my Twitter to get updated on my latest blog posts. For now, you can listen to me mess around with the vocoder in my cover of Daft Punk's Something About Us:

Magnum Ice Cream and The Emperor's New Clothes

I don't think I'm in any position to write about Selecta's Magnum ice cream. I haven't tried it (although I want to) and I'm not really much of a sweets or desserts person. It's just that I've been seeing it wherever I go. It's trending both online and in real life. The fact that it's trending, I'm sure many would want to know my take on it.

magnum ice cream philippines
Selecta Magnum Ice Cream Philippines

My friend says that it's much like Häagen-Dazs (which I wouldn't know either cause I haven't really tried that out either). I guess it's always a good thing when our products are globally competitive. I mean, we can surely import this if that is the case. And we should always patronize our very own local products if they truly are satisfying and if the price is right. This helps create jobs here and improves our economy.

emperor's new clothes book cover
The Emperor's New Clothes

You gotta give credit to the marketing of this product. I mean, we don't really know if it's trending solely because it went viral on its own or because it's really planned. Like its scarcity for instance: how do we know they're not just hoarding or holding out on production to make it seem like there is scarcity and high demand. How do we know we're not patronizing blindly?

Let's never forget the lessons from The Emperor's New Clothes of what propaganda and marketing can do. If the emperor is naked, we must stand up and not be afraid to speak out. We can't just always jump on the bandwagon for if this is the case then it'll only distort market indicators, create a bubble that will eventually burst, and inevitably make our economy worse.

But that's just me, you know. Me and my weird love for paranoid conspiracy theories of connecting things that almost have no connections. It's undeniable that I am quite convincing at times. I don't know. It's just ice cream. I'm tired and weary. I'm sleepless.

It's good I got some pancit canton from this nearby sari-sari store on my way home. It's surely comfort food. But that Magnum ice cream thing, where do I get it? I heard it's like 50 pesos or something like that? What do you think of it?

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