Saté, new and the only Indonesian restaurant in Ilocos Norte


Last night we were brought to Indonesia via Saté, an authentic, I repeat, a real deal Indonesian restaurant that opened in San Nicolas just a few days ago. Of course, nasi goreng and sate (satay) ring a bell, but on my latest gustatory adventure, my taste buds were treated to a higher level — a full course dinner prepared by Indonesian Chef Robby Satiawan, a former executive chef at Banyan Tree in Macau, who has also worked in other parts of the globe like Maldives, and Qatar, where he met his Filipina wife, Marie. Looks like they are loving their new home, as I feel the excitement radiating from them.


How we found ourselves at Saté was by accident, utter serendipity, as my besties Marla and Louie and I planned to go to another resto, then we changed our minds in the car ‘coz someone said there’s a new Indian or Hindustani resto in the next town, then we were thinking yogurt-based, masala and so on, and then I realized Brandon told me about an Indonesian restaurant he saw last week, but couldn’t remember the exact location (he said he went to so many places that day, if that’s not premature Alzheimer’s).


The diverse menu says a description of every dish, so ordering is easy. Found Ilocano gado (gado-gado/salad), but desired all traditional. We started with brief dishes (a la banchan) of veggie appetizers. Our fave was the pickled Ilocos ampalaya (bittermelon). By the way, Chef Robby buys everything from the tiendaan (public market). Another appetizer, perkedel, a fried corn dumpling that reminded me of our very own squash okoy, when topped with the shallot-sambal condiment (something like a spicy atchara), made beautiful contrast.


I love unusual drinks, so hot bandrek, a black pepper pandan drink with coconut bits, traditional in Indonesia the chef said, was surprisingly refreshing. Imagine a spiced sago at gulaman (the liquid).

Chicken sate and kukus (steamed chicken marinated in chili and sambal) went great with coconut rice. If you’re a chicken lover or on a diet, I highly recommend kukus, easily our favorite. Isi tahu (stuffed tofu) was also light and lovely.


The langka (jackfruit) sweet course on the menu was not available, but my discontent vanished as soon as we scooped out the flavors of the two other desserts. Penyet, grilled bananas with toasted coconut flakes and cubed jelly (with the texture of Turkish delight) sent me to cloud nine. A West Javanese treat, sarang burung, which means bird’s nest, but had pseudo bird’s nest (agar-agar) has Chinese influence. I remember to have tasted a cold sweetened bird’s nest soup back in the days when I was eco-ignorant.

Chef Robby’s cooking has fantastic balance, nothing overly seasoned nor cloying, aromatic yet delicate. And spiciness was tempered as he is still in the process of feeling the local palate. But I’m sure you can request your level of hotness.


Had to have a photo with my FB friend Trixie Ablan, who is apprenticing with the Indonesian chef.


Ending this post with a message to Chef Robbie and Marie, naragsak a isasangbay idtoy Ilocos!

Sate Modern Indonesian Dining
NationaL Highway, Barangay 1-San Francisco, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

MLBBs I’m liking now


It’s funny that I’m guilty of painting my lips with pigment, the color of lips. I guess every girl is in constant pursuit of her MLBB (My Lips But Better) lip color.

Right now, there are 2 MLBBs I alternate. Heard about Kylie liquid lipstick in the States, but bought my first tube from a reseller here. Lucky I had the chance to get hold of and choose from very wearable shades. Picked Candy K, I think the most universally flattering nude, reminiscent of the MAC hits of the 90s. Good I didn’t get the kit that goes with a lip liner ‘coz the liquid lipstick is opaque enough to cover beyond the natural lip border. (Check the exact shade in image above.) It lasts longer than any other lipstick I own. I don’t find it drying at all. I also don’t wear a lip primer nor a balm underneath. It’s lightweight like I feel I’m not wearing anything. Love it and planning to get Posie K in the future.


Got the second lipstick from Nordstrom. Tested and liked 34 La Raffinee from the Rouge Allure Velvet line, without realizing it looks so much like MAC Mehr (here), which was reintroduced last year (not sure if they’ve made it a regular).

La Raffinee is a dusty pink, but the color changes depending on the lip liner you are using it with. In photo above, I used MAC Good Timing Pro Longwear lip pencil and it turned mauvey. I like pairing it with MAC Edge to Edge for a more sophisticated MLBB.

The pigmentation is good, lasts a good 5 hours on me. Like the name implies, the velvet texture makes it special


Til my next beauty find.

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

Treat it like another setting sun


Lost for words. Preparing for “war” again.

la-paz-3la paz 4.jpgla-paz-8la-paz-9

Chanced upon at the Laoag Sand Dunes my dear Lili Palafox, my former co-worker at the Province of Ilocos Norte Tourism Office.


Photo credits: @braaatdon and Lili Palafox

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

Vigan Sinanglao

vigan sinanglao.jpg

We learned something at Vigan’s Barangay Pagpartian (butchery/abattoir/slaughterhouse), home of the city’s matadores or partidor (Ilocano for butchers), and fountainhead of the best longaniza and bagnet, including the ones we love to order at eateries we frequent in the area. Sinanglao (a good breakfast food) is not at staple at the carinderias around Pagpartian, but we were advised to go to Gloria’s Sinanglaoan at the corner of Calle Liberation and Calle Gov. Reyes.


At Gloria’s, the soup of mixed internal organs, becomes street fare. Fresh bile (papait) and a lavish serving of suka ti sili (Ilocano chili in local vinegar) accompany the soup.

Other than Dayo in Batac (sinanglao there is from Sinait, Ilocos Sur), the Southern Ilocos soup is not basic here in Norte. Our version is paksiw (innards are cut smaller).


Do like the Ilocanos do when in Ilocos.

suka ti sili.jpgpapait

Bile anyone?

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016