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Rogue’s Appetite Issue, Mecha Uma, Susi, Lao Lianben at Blanc & Other Stuff

Rogue Appetite Issue

Check this month’s issue of Rogue—it’s the appetite issue! Aside from it having awesome articles about food, I have also made some art for it. I remember being so, so, so scared and excited when Rogue first asked me to make art for them way back when. I think they might’ve been the first magazine to ask me for a visual thing—I used to just write for people—so forgive me if I’m being a little sentimental. It’s still a pretty big personal thrill when I see my stuff in print, though. I mean, I really like the feeling.

Rogue Appetite Issue

Anyway, the stuff I made was for this awesome section. Neal Oshima took the photos and the other spreads are by Paolo Lim, Ryan Villamael, Liv Vinluan, and Jacob Lindo. My heart’s like, frakking gushing. I can’t even explain.


I also grabbed a copy of L’Officiel, which I haven’t properly looked at. I’ve thumbed through it a few times, though, and I really, really like it. HELLO NEGATIVE SPACE. <3 I thought I'd never find you here! Mecha Uma, Bruce Ricketts
Photo by Sarie Cruz

On Sunday, I managed to try the tasting menu at Mecha Uma (thanks Nicky & Sarie!) and it was honestly the most glorious meal of my life. Not to get into specifics, but I think I’ll rank the dishes from the okay to the best/my favorite, with vague descriptions of what I can remember.

  1. Palette Cleanser — watermelon, pickled radish, chartreuse jelly, and nuts, I think?
  2. Lamb — lamb rib, curry-seasoned eggplant, foie gras (yeah, I was gutted), some type of mash (ETA: it’s cauliflower!). Beautiful, but I’m picky about lamb dishes apparently.
  3. Scallop — scallop with guava, papaya, avocado on a puffed up kropek-esque (lol) shell made from discarded scallop bits and squid ink.
  4. Oyster — oyster in shredded potatoes with two sauces, a leek snap pea/edamame-based one and one using the oyster juice/brine blended with buttermilk
  5. Dessert — mango custard with black sesame shortbread, a meringe, plum sauce, and panna cotta, I think?
  6. Tuna Japanese tanigue/Sawara — tuna sawara on a bed of monggo with carrots. I’ve never eaten monggo prior to this dish, and I feel like I can’t ever eat it again, to be honest, since my intro to it was so great.
  7. Eel Liver — candied eel liver with mushroom on some risotto
  8. Sashimi — 4 kinds of fish: sea bream, hamachi, bonito, otoro. My fave of the four was the bonito.
  9. Squid — firefly squid with some type of custard, sago, uni, and squid ink. An easy second favorite.
  10. Matsusaka — matsusaka beef with 3 “sauces,” salt with seaweed, wasabi + horseradish, a sake-based sauce with the best bleu cheese my mouth has ever had the pleasure of meeting

It was so fun, finding out which ones everyone liked the most/least, because everyone had a different opinion. I don’t know if I should still review it, really, since the menu tastes according to the ingredients they have at hand, but let me just say that it’s truly an experience. There’s something about Bruce Ricketts and his relationship with food and how he actually makes his dishes. It was nice hearing him talk about it.

Sarie is writing her own review, which will probably be more comprehensive + un-vague, so watch out for that here.

ETA: Sarie’s review is up here!

Photos from yesterday

And because I really have no clue how to blog anymore, I’m going to screw compartmentalizing and dump photos from yesterday here. Isa got back from her trip to Prague so my sister and I met up with her. We tried Susi, a place we had always meant to but failed to try. My verdict is: it’s good, but it’s also pretty pricey. The shakes Beng and I wanted were also unavailable.

I got the lentil salad (yum!), Beng got the pitifully small mushroom quiche (no clue; I didn’t taste it) and a green smoothie, and Isa got “Moby Dips” (no lie, that’s the name) and I tasted the pesto and sundried tomato-hummus dips, both of which are so good. The bread’s great, too—soft and a bit springy.


Beng and I dropped by Blanc for errands and to check out the Lao Lianben’s Black Water: A Monk’s Dream, which you can catch until the closing reception and his book launch on May 30. If you’re interested, it’s going to be from 2-6pm (more info).

I always say that not much has been happening, but the truth is, I kind of just forget about them, I think. Like clicking “archive” on your email inbox for an email you’ve read but will ultimately forget later on. I’m trying to be better at it, though. I don’t know what’s happening, I think I’ve checked out mentally, but like one foot’s still rooted in reality. Or something.

Anyway, one of the things my dorkus heart is looking forward to is the Kelly Purkey x Life Documented Manila workshop that’s happening on the 6th! Can’t say I have an excuse for being excited about a scrapbook workshop, but whateva. Kelly Purkey is so cool, I’d love to just travel everywhere and design shit on the fly. I don’t think I could do that, even though it sounds like the perfect thing to do with your life.

My mental state would unravel, completely.

And because I want you to smile, I’m signing off with a Twitter account that I love with all my heart: zaynasaflower.