Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sweet Inspirations and the Mongol Empire

It was the Mongol Empire that welcomed us to their little hideout called Sweet Inspirations, along Katipunan. We came in peace, just for another round of their Mongolian Buffet, but eventually learned the art of warfare involving chopsticks and ceramic bowls in our quest to eat.

In an attempt at my preserving life, it was hard to stay put so I apologize if most photos appear fuzzy and war stricken.

[caption id="attachment_1475" align="aligncenter" width="368" caption="You and whose army?"][/caption]

While force was not deemed necessary, tactics and formation were - particularly in the queueing system, as we learned the hard way. The Mongol Empire is quite adept at this department, rushing in when the buffet lines were empty and clawing all the noodles and cabbage at the point of refill.

[caption id="attachment_1479" align="aligncenter" width="368" caption="Food Fight"][/caption]

If Gengis Khan were around, he'd probably be enjoying this food frenzy and hollering, "Welcome to Saturday Fight Night at Sweet Inspirations! Fight!" More of Saturday Night Fever.

No need to fight over food or bowls though, as waiters rushed, served, refilled food, drinks and emptied tables as if they were high on Red Bull. Don't bother ordering for an energy drink because only softdrinks and iced tea are on the menu.

Lined with vegetables, noodles, rice, viands and sauce choices, the buffet provides a gratifying assortment to the hungry and cooking-deficient. Choose between sotanghon and rice, then top them with chinese cabbage, tofu, carrots, bean sprouts,  peppers, leeks, onions, tomatoes, sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, among others. There's chili (sili) for those wanting to spice up their bowls (hopefully not your heads) and peanuts for those who want to enjoy every bite with a crunch (though my dentist would hate that).

[caption id="attachment_1480" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="All About Chemistry"][/caption]

Next came the tricky part, especially if you hated chemistry: sauce making! The instructional recipes were posted, too hard to miss, but involved lots of numbers and fractions which could be detrimental to the math averse. For the impatient and lazy (me and maybe half of the Mongol Empire), the recipes were ignored. Well, I read part of it then stopped when I saw "1 scoop brown sugar". No thank you.

I made my own mix: Teriyaki Soy. 

Not to be ignored, the meat section was another sprawling niche - with beef, pork, chicken, fish balls, squid and fish. Last time we dined there, there was no fish (fillet), so bells were ringing when I saw the fish from afar. Maybe because it's Lent, and fish was a major request by the Mongol Empire.

My bowl was complete, and while the waiting time was long, stories were abound and thoughts on dessert swam in my head.

[caption id="attachment_1486" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Pescatorian's Catch in Teriyaki Soy"][/caption]

Finally my bowl came, I named it: Pescatorian's Catch  (mainly noodles, cabbage, tofu, onions, fish, sesame seeds, garlic, chili). I had the right to name it; I made everything from scratch. From a heaping pile, it was reduced to a steaming three-quarters of a bowl. That's how much cabbage I placed!

My cousin looked at my Pescatorian's Catch as if it was a bowl from Hades, and I likewise stared at her bowl in disdain: Bowl of all Trades. Well, she did dump everything on it.

[caption id="attachment_1489" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="Prepare for battle!"][/caption]

In front of me was the Beefy Boo-yah, since I spied this kid's bowl brimming with beef, beef and only beef. Beside me was Blue Eagle Risotto - ah yes, aka growing up-I-need-rice boy. I could go on forever but then again, my "empire" occupied four tables so this might take all day.

All in all, I downed bowls and enjoyed this mighty meal. It was a triumphant battle, with no leftovers that pleased the Red Bull men. In case we are called back for duty, we have learned to be at the battle site as early as 6pm. The Mongol Empire would be so proud of us.

As for dessert, that's another battle to contend with - in another post. The Pescatorian's Catch got me all hungry, so I have to rush to the Battle of the Fridge first.


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