Thursday, December 30, 2010

Noche Buena

Nochebuena, often translated as "Good Night", is a Spanish word referring to the night of Christmas Eve. In Spain, Cuba, the Philippines and Latin America, the evening consists of a traditional dinner with family.

In the Philippines, this usually comes after the entire family has attended the late evening Christmas Eve mass or Misa de Gallo. Often on the table are: lechón, pancit, fried chicken, hamon, quezo de bola, arroz caldo, lumpia, rice, and adobo among others for the main course. Desserts include ube halaya, bibingka, membrillo, rice cakes, ice cream, pastries and cakes; drinks include hot chocolate, coffee, soda, wine, beer, and different kinds of fruit juices.
-- from Wikipedia.

It's that time of year again to gain weight.  If it's Thanksgiving in the U.S., here it's Noche Buena and New Year's.  We go out of our way to prepare enough food for one night that will last for days :D.  Of course it's time for the family as well.

Well me and Therese decided to meet on the 24th of December instead of our usual third Saturday of the month since it's a busy month for parties.  24th is our only free time.  It's my only time as well to buy gifts for the family so it's a good thing we'll be going to meet and hang out at the mall (Glorietta again).  We'll be home before night time anyway so we'll have time for Noche Buena.  I was a bit worried because for the past weekends the malls were jam-packed and the traffic bad.  I'm glad my worry was for nothing.  Few people went to the mall on Christmas Eve and most are going home to their provinces so traffic in the city that day was so light.  I'm so thankful I could shop with ease.  I wonder if next year it'll be the same? Hmm.

After I finished my Christmas shopping we decided to have lunch.  We already decided beforehand that we'll have it at Tony Roma's.  It's been a while since I last ate there and I still haven't tried their ribs yet so I was curious what it was like. I ordered their original baby back ribs since that's what they're famous for and Mojitos for drinks.  I've tried Mojitos at Fridays and loved it so I want to try the ones at Tony's. 

Tony Roma's Original baby-back ribs and Steak and Ribs Combo with Mojitos and Blue Romarita
Well the ribs wasn't exactly what I expected.  I thought it needed more sauce or something.  I even thought it's no better than the ribs at Kenny Rogers or Racks.  Hmm I even think my mom could cook better.  Haha! But my mom's a great cook so she'll be better than most restos of course.  I thought I shouldn't have paid a high price for it but maybe I was paying for the ambiance.  The thing I can say about the Mojitos is it's strong. Lol.  I could tell right away when alcohol is taking effect on my body and the Mojitos got through my system fast.  Therese said her drink was pretty strong too. She ordered a Blue Romarita and her food was Steaks and Ribs Combo.  She said her steak was a bit bland and needed some sauce but she liked her ribs.  We ended up going to Starbucks after to have some 'pick me up' haha.  Well next time I'll probably be back at Tony's for the Mojitos and not for the ribs since I know I'll have more bang for the buck with the drinks there. 

Before going home I also went to Kaya Korean Restaurant to buy Japchae for our Noche Buena.  Our family watched too much noon-time Koreanovela, particularly Don't Cry My Love and First Wives Club in Channel 5, and they wanted to know what Japchae tasted like.  So far Japchae in Kaya is the best one I ever had so I volunteered to buy it for them.  I bought six orders.  My younger sister also asked me to buy a cake for her for the Noche Buena as well.  She said it's the best Mango Torte in town and there's a stall in Glorietta Food Choices.  Well sure enough it was the best because by the time I went there after lunch they said it was already sold out.  It's the Dulcelin Mango Torte by the way.  Hm I wonder if it really beats the Mango Torte  in San Lorenzo Village.  Well I haven't tasted both yet so I can't judge.  I've only tried Yulo's Strawberry Shortcake and it's the best ^_^! (just FYI). 

So Therese and I went home to our families and below is what we had for our Noche Buena.

Noche Buena - (clockwise) KFC Chicken, Cookies, Roast Chicken, Rice Syrup Chicken, Pizza, Purefoods Ham, Kaya's Japchae and salad.  (Middle) Apple pie and Buko (coconut) Salad.
As you can see this year we're pretty lazy to plan for our feast.  We just bought most of it at restaurants or stores and mom only cooked the ham and made the Buko Salad.  We didn't really follow the traditional dishes as was written in the definition of Noche Buena above. We just served the food we like best.  I was the one who suggested the Japchae and Rice Syrup Chicken which are both Korean dishes.  Rice syrup chicken is from a Korean fast food restaurant called BBQ Chicken.  It's spicy sweet and crispy and goes great with the Japchae.  The apple pie was given to us by a friend of my older sister and it's amazing as well!  The ham (star of the Noche Buena) is as always the best.  Mom knows what we like already after years of experience.

So, that's what we had for Christmas.  If you have questions just leave a comment or email me.  Up next... Media Noche! (New Year's Eve)


FECGP: Filipino Executive Council of Greater Philadelphia said...

this is cool. can we use this article with our website and provide a link to your blog? thanks.

FECGP: Filipino Executive Council of Greater Philadelphia said...

can we use your article and link it your site, your credits, your by-line? thanks.

marichan said...

Sure no problem! Sorry for the late reply