Saté, new and the only Indonesian restaurant in Ilocos Norte

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

MMSU Tourism students celebrate World Tourism Month

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In line with the theme Tourism For All: Promoting Universal Accessibility, of World Tourism Month, gave a talk on “promoting the country to the world through writing and photography” at the Teatro Ilocandia of the Mariano Marcos State University (Batac), before a crowd of students and their advisers from the school’s Tourism department.

Proudly representing the Laoag Eco-Adventure Development (LEAD) Movement, shared in all humility my own personal blogging and writing experience, and the passion, as an illustration to future players in the sphere of tourism. Going global is not anymore a difficult endeavor since the world has gone digital.

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Thank you, MMSU! A meaningful World Tourism Month!

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

A boho day

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And then the sun came out.

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Ahoy there! Meet the match 🙂

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{Forever 21 top, Zara cutoffs and fringe bucket bag, RayBan aviators, Ugg sandals.}

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

Prof. Leonor Briones and the Manila Concert Choir in a lecture and concert in Ilocos Norte

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Former National Treasurer Professor Emeritus Leonor Briones of the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance will be in Ilocos Norte on July 16, 2015, 1PM, to conduct a public lecture at the MMSU-Batac Teatro ILocandia. The lecture is titled “Balancing Fiscal Autonomy with Responsibility and Accountability“, and delves on the red flags in the financing provisions of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Here’s the chance to ask Prof. Briones relevant topics like the BBL and the 2015 National Budget during the meet-and-greet.

She is bringing with her the Manila Concert Choir to perform in a concert following the lecture. Now on its 63rd year, the Manila Concert Choir explores the power and language of love conveyed through songs in times of conflict and struggle in a performance entitled “Love in the Time of Revolution and War”, in homage to the resilience of the human soul in finding beauty in life’s harshest of times.

An evening gala sponsored by the City Government of Laoag is also slated at the Laoag City Auditorium on July 17, 2015 at 6PM, free of charge.

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015