The last installment on DCF's Christmas Gift List food bazaar event.
What looked like spaghetti meat sauce on toast turned out to be Tomato Eggplant Pâté on mulawin bread. Finely minced roasted tomatoes gather on top of a slice of toasted bread; a dash of grated cheese clumped atop. My taste buds' search for the eggplant is immediately forgotten as I taste the pleasant reciprocity of the quite spicy crimson sauce and the grated cheese, with a sporadic dot of salinity from another inscrutable ingredient.
Shreds of tinapa covered in fiery orange oil -- a testament to its inherent spicy flavor -- lay nestled in between two faces of snowy white mantao bread, similar to the ones used for siopao. From afar, it is redolent of my favorite cuapao sold in our high school canteen years back, thereby conjuring up fond memories which made me anticipate this bite. The spicy smell and the glowing sebaceous color ignite the senses, and as I munch on the dough, its sweetness helps alleviate the hotness of this piquant Spicy Tinapa in Tomato Sauce.
Spot: 16 Manager St. GSIS Village, Project 8, Quezon City
Contact Nos.: 0917.805.1188 or 216.9495
Three gigantic Ensaymadas by Addie Wijangco gingerly wrapped in translucent wax paper are displayed, each on the center of three tiered plates, with place mats of bright yellow petals accentuating the muted colors. I looked for an opened sample, and I saw a partially exposed one nestled in a pedestal bowl just behind the display. I surreptitiously unveil the huge golden bread when a waft of its fragrance reached my nostrils, immediately igniting visions of myself devouring it while I surmise its distinguishing quality. Its magnificence is bejeweled with tiny sugar crystals and tufts of grated cheese. Biting into it is like resting your face on a very soft pillow; an airy vacuum lay somewhere along the wedge of this roll. But the scent surpasses the taste, I'm afraid, and all I'm left with is appreciation for its majestic, sinuous curves.
Addie Wijangco Ensaymadas
Contact Nos.: 0917.8523343 or 586.7615
The trio of cakes offered by Tina Diaz of Taza Platito smells wonderful as it looks. Bits of walnuts and a drizzle of caramel take center stage in the Date and Walnut Cake, with rose-like cream pipings dotting its circumference. This date-embedded cake succumbs easily to the bite, attributable to its dampish texture. As with the aforesaid cake, the Banana Cream Pie has rosettes of whipped dulce de leche cream outlining the rounded perimeter with shavings of dark chocolate situated at the middle. A fork's intrusion reveals slices of bananas awash with cold velvety vanilla custard. As I reach the bottom of the pie, I am greeted with an all-too-sweet chocolate ganache, urging me to munch on another forkful of bananas to curb the saccharine taste.
I adored Tina's Yema Torte which is reminiscent of a favorite local delicacy, the silvana. But this version is made special by the soft yema sandwiched between two crunchy meringue discs. I nibble the edge, and an echoing crunch escorts a crisp then chewy composition of sweet airy meringue then goes on to abound your mouth with the creamy custard filling. It's a circular piece of heaven right there.
Spot: 12-A Scout Tobias cor. Fr. Martinez Sts., Quezon City
Contact Nos.: 0922.8001368 or 373.2732
The refreshments from TWG Tea definitely served their purpose. The Moroccan Mint Iced Tea, imprisoned in a covered glass container with a little stainless steel faucet in front, had a hue of an ordinary iced tea but the taste revealed something else. A bit hollow, bordering on bland, just like how tea really is, with a faint sweet undertone and a tincture of coldness due to its minty flavor, it's as refreshing as drinking a glass of cold water after brushing your teeth with mint toothpaste. And yes, I mean that in a good way. The Creme Caramel Milk Tea lies at its side in an identical vessel. A dessert-like smell touched my nose as I brought the cup near my face. A creamy taste imbued with a rush of caramel sweetness deluged the mouth but I am with no complaints. The milky texture soothes the throat and the dulcet flavor lulls the overworked palate. With both samples supped to the last drop, I still can't seem to make up my mind which of the two I favor more; I'll just take them both then.
Spot: Distributed locally by Manila Global Brand Distribution Inc.
Contact Nos.: 0999.533.3512 or 624.0838
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Just being near the booth of The Vanilla Company sent me swirling into oblivion with the heady smell of vanilla beans encapsulating my senses and making everything else around me disappear save for its inebriating aroma. A tiny ceramic Chinese soup spoon carry in it a lump of tiny black vanilla seeds -- a pastry chef's best friend.
TVC imports two types of these vanilla beans, one of which is the Tahitian Vanilla Bean which is the rarer breed. Plumper, longer and fewer seeds are its identifying properties; its mixture of flavors tainted with caramel and anise. The more popular one is the Bourbon Vanilla Bean which emits the distinct creamy and sweet flavor of pure vanilla. The TVC couple handed out a Silver Label Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean to each attendee, its intense scent apparent despite its sealed enclosure.
The Vanilla Company
Spot: VanillaCo Enterprises, P.O. Box 14144 Ortigas Post Office, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Contact Nos.: 0915.460.8888 or +6346.860.2993
Chef Ed Quimson and Chef Booj Supe of M Cuisine prepared a very special dish called Iberian Chicken. Chunks of marble potatoes, sweet roasted cloves of garlic and occasional slices of onions adorn a bed of stripped and shredded roasted chicken. A forkful causes a dribble of oil to trickle down my chin, the unctuous poultry meat perfectly seasoned with herbs and a splatter of pepper. I take a bite of the paella that went with it but the pack of flavors storms the mouth, making the roasted chicken fade slowly in the background and so I pair it with the subdued Chicken Ham instead, which tastes a lot like Christmas ham sans the sugar crystal syrup I so fondly bathe them with.
Spot: 128 L. K. Santos St., San Juan
Contact Nos.: 0917.823.7000 (Chef Ed Quimson) and 0917.840.6000 (Chef Booj Supe) and 470.4812
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll be brief about this. The Tocino from Tres was sweet just like any other tocino, and I've had more tender ones. The Longganisa was salty and had a bit sour aftertaste. The Tapa was a bit rubbery but the sauce was nice and not too briny. In a nutshell, there really wasn't anything exceptional or remarkable with these processed meats in terms of flavor and physical composition. At least not for me.
Spot: G/F The Block, 103 SM City Mall, North EDSA, Quezon City
Contact Nos.: 0908.893.7786 or 352.7030 or 352.7032
I kept my ticket as a souvenir as it has an autograph of Lori Baltazar at the back. And look who else I saw perusing the goodies at the event, Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet. It was definitely a fun afternoon of gormandizing and overindulging, and I look forward to more of these food affairs.