More seductive desserts that can make you forget where you are and embarrassingly drool right where you're standing...
Even now as I'm typing this, my mind takes me back to that particular moment when my palate first got a glimpse of that Pastel de Lengua. I feel myself desperately salivating for more of the same, somehow wishing I could teleport right this instant to Villa Cafe and engorge on a serving of this ox tongue dish or two (by myself, mind you!) -- and no rice please, I don't need any distractions. A cornucopia of practically the most tender ox tongue ever to grace your own, slices of chorizo, and dices of button mushrooms are tousled in a jungle of diced carrots, potatoes, as well as elliptical spheres of green and black olives; every morsel doused in a delightful creamy and slightly sebaceous sauce. Please don't wake me up...
The Soft Lamb Shank Kaldereta was tender and saporous though I'd bet it would be a dozen times better had they served it with a tangle of mushrooms, green and black olives, red bell peppers and a slice of parmesan cheese as they would in their restaurant. I was a bit surprised with the Rellenong Bangus, as I expected it to be drenched in a creamy relleno jus, garnished with roasted tomatoes and onion rings, and sprinkled with an herb or two. In hindsight, maybe I should have asked if they had the sauce on the side, ready to be served upon a foodie's plate instead of just passing up on degusting it, shying away from the deceptively dry looking fish meat.
Spot: 7427 Glory Bldg. Yakal St. San Antonio Village, Makati
Contact Nos.: 0917.434.3143 or 478.2659
I was eyeing those macarons for quite some time, all the while trying to give my totally full stomach enough breathing space for it to digest all that I've consumed from just half of the purveyors. By the time I got around to redeeming my sample from the Park Avenue Desserts booth, the macarons were gone. All that was left were the Molten Brownie Bites, a chocolate cupcake with a cracked plateau top where its molten middle threatens to escape -- which turned out to be a bit sweet -- and an unknown sponge cake, possibly one of the 12 Days of Christmas cakes, though I can't be too sure as I've only tasted a tiny square, and none of any other supplementary flavor accompanied it.
Park Avenue Desserts
Spot: #7 G/F Maga Center Paseo de Magallanes Commercial Center, Makati
Contact Nos.: 852.6141 or 851.4366
I first pop a thin rectangular piece of the Bacon Bar into my mouth. Snippets of bacon softened by the bed of milk chocolate that enshrouds them impart a faint salty epilogue, one that is almost elusory. I grabbed the Purple Yam Yum next, its creamy yam cocooned in a multi-dimensional trapezoid of milk chocolate. It's sweet on sweet, with the flavor of ube lurking at the back of your mouth, long after your last bite. I save the best for last, the Grand Marnier -- a perennial favorite of mine, as with all the other liqueur-infused ones. A dome-shaped truffle dusted with cocoa powder, within which a butter of its alcoholic namesake is safely confined, bursts with an orange tainted flavor that satisfyingly intoxicates the senses.
Spot: G/F Rustan's Makati, Glorietta 4 and G/F Rustan's Tower, Shangri-La Mall, EDSA
Contact No.: 483.9854
Can I just say wow! The Vanilla Gateau de Crepes was sinfully delightful! Twenty layers of paper-thin crepes alternately juxtaposed with chiffon-like vanilla creme exudes an inviting heavenly smell that transports your senses to a delicate, sweet nirvana. A cool temperature flooded my mouth and as my tongue playfully tried to identify each separate layer, the artfully subtle piece dematerializes and all that I'm left with is a fragile memory and a vision of what remains to assure me that it's real.
I try to recall the flavors of the Homemade Oreos and Belgian Bite Brownies, although aside from them being too sweet than what I usually warrant, with the latter even more cloying than the former, any description falls behind an emergence of yet another fond recollection of engaging myself with more of those exquisite celestial crepes. I must explain though, any all-fudgy or all-chocolatey brownie, cake, cookie and the like guarantees a too-sweet conclusion from me. It's a personal thing and does not mean that any other chocolate lover's reception would be similar to mine. I hope that clears up any misconception about my take on these types of pastries.
Dessert Du Jour
Spot: Unit 51 Ecology Village, Dasmarinas Village Side, Gate 5 EDSA, Makati
Contact Nos.: 0917.8116272 (Mara) and 0917.8036272 (Shirley) or 806.9511
I absolutely adore Jenny Silayan's Florentines. Wafer-thin discs of chocolate marked with ridges provide a circular base for an intertwined mass of candied mango bits, sliced almonds and a pocked membrane of caramel. A loud crunch preludes a sweet taste, occasionally cut by the nuttiness of the almonds and sometimes punctuated by the bits of sweetened mangoes. Her Alfajores, two tiny rounds of shortbread flanking a pale yellow cream, gingerly collapses with a nibble, its subdued sweet taste providing comfort over the scattered mess of powdered sugar.
Contact Nos.: 0905.3784774 or 852.0557 or 502.1150
Avowedly, I'm not really a pie person. I like apple pie, though it's rare that I crave for it. It was actually my first time to eat a pecan pie during that DCF event. I fancy the Dulce De Leche Pecan Pie over the Classic. Optionally served ala mode, the cold scoop of vanilla ice cream is a welcome foreplay to the sweet warm pie it sits upon. The flaky crust crumbles the moment you sink your teeth into the soft texture of the nutty pastry. The undercurrent flavor of caramel bestows just the right amount of sweetness, gently caressing shards of pecans slowly being crushed under the weight of each bite.
Contact Nos.: 0917.5831581 or 502.4931 (Charley Braga)