Top Picks at 2nd Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell

If there’s one day we allow ourselves to completely indulge on good food, it’s at the Ultimate Taste Test. This time is no different. Upon seeing the lineup of food purveyors that will be presenting their new products for the coming holidays, we couldn’t wait to be there.

Our 2nd Rockwell Ultimate Taste Test tickets

Sadly, Ken couldn’t come because he had to work, so I invited a long-time friend of mine to join me. He’s a food lover too and we both genuinely enjoyed the experience together. Thanks, Alex! 🙂

Since I came from work, I wanted to take a few winks before I went to Rockwell. We finally started our UTT food trip at around 3pm and we finished past 6pm. Take note that we didn’t get to taste everything. Some of the purveyors there are already familiar, so we chose to head on over to the new ones that piqued our interest the most. Plus, the fact that we were already too full at 30+ food items tasted, we just had to skip some.

Just like before, it was hard to pick our (mine and my friend’s) top favorites since there were many standouts, but the decision on who makes it here was all on me. 😉 In no particular order, here are our top favorites from the 2nd Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell:


Bayani Brew Iced Teas

Since there’s only one beverage at the event that we absolutely loved (except for the beer, of course), I’m putting Bayani Brew on top of our list. Dubbed as Filipino iced tea, their line of products are made of nutritious, local ingredients from Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Bulacan. Their section at the UTT was mostly crowded because they were very enthusiastic in telling people about their products. And it’s good to see that many were genuinely interested, including us. 🙂

Bayani Brew Iced Tea - ingredients from Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm

We were given a taste of 2 of their iced tea flavors. The original variant was a combination of calamansi, lemongrass and pandan. It has this refreshing aroma, and as soon as I took a sip, the exciting combination wanted me to drink some more.

The other flavor was Purple Leaf, brewed from sweet potato, purple leaf tops and lemongrass. What made this iced tea pink was the talbos ng kamote extract. It changes color after brewing, as we were told, thus, staying true to Bayani Brew’s promise of no artificial colors or flavors. If you like your iced tea with an extra dash of sweetness, you’d definitely love this one.

Ron Dizon, the Social Enterprise Head of Bayani Brew, said that they haven’t officially launched Bayani Brew yet, but the price is Php 35 per bottle when they become more readily available here in Metro Manila.

There’s one thing that Ron said that resonated in me – the fact that foreigners are more aware about the hard work of our very own Filipino farmers and the abundance of quality local ingredients that we have available. The beautiful lady pictured above is French, and she was very eager to tell us about the product and what they do, which is just amazing. That’s why we appreciate events like the Ultimate Taste Test where those businesses who can’t go on full-blast marketing are given a chance to let us know that they exist or what they have to offer.

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One Night of Foodgasm

A few weeks ago, Ken and I were invited to be blogger judges at Foodgasm, a food tasting event and competition that was organized by UP Economics Society. Having been a supporter of up and coming food entrepreneurs, we were excited to see who’ll be there. We went home glad that all but two of the participants were completely new discoveries to us.

Foodgasm by UP EcoSoc at Mercato Centrale

The event was held at Mercato Centrale, tent area. The venue was a little tight considering the number of foodies who were there to partake on what the food purveyors had to offer. I believe the a/c wasn’t on, so we were hot and sweaty by the end of the event, which I’m sure wasn’t part of the Foodgasm concept. 😉 We think that’s something they can improve on next time around. Still, it was a successful event. 🙂

Before we tell you our favorites, we’d like to congratulate Blue Toque for winning that night. Everyone, including us, loved The Ultimate, their mouth-watering multi-layer cake. Keep it up, Blue Toque! 🙂

Blue Toque's The Ultimate - Winner!

Now, let’s get on with our top 5. This list was based on the collective mind of me, Ken and our 2 food trip buddies that night – Ken’s friend, who is also a budding chef, Marge and our nanay. There were a total of 17 participating food businesses and only 5 made it to our list. There were some that almost made it and we’ll share them with you later on this post. For now, rightfully so, the spotlight is on our TOP 5:

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Twinings Diamond Jubilee Tea Blend : A Taste of Royalty

As one grow older, it’s expected that many aspects of ourselves – personality, outlook in life and even our palate – mature as we come of age. In my case, last year, when I decided to shift from drinking coffee everyday to enjoying tea instead, I found myself wanting to taste all sorts of tea out there aside from the tea bags I’m so used to. So, when Twinings sent over this Diamond Jubilee Loose Leaf Tea Blend in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s 60-year reign, I didn’t waste any time to have a taste of royalty at the comforts of our home.

Twinings Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Blend

Twinings has been the official tea of the British Royal Family since 1837. In fact, they were granted the Royal Warrant for tea by Queen Victoria 175 years ago and has been marking very important celebration in the royal family with new blends, tin cases, caddies, etc.

This Twinings Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Blend is as special as the significant event it’s celebrating. The limited edition tin case itself is already worth buying this.

Twinings Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Blend - green

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Dimsum Break : Finally in SM North Edsa!

Update: Dimsum Break at SM North Edsa Annex is FINALLY open! Read our review here.

One thing most of you don’t know about me is that I lived in Cebu for about a year. Sure, there are many dishes and food places that anyone traveling there shouldn’t miss like Taboan (best place to buy pasalubong like danggit and dried squid) and Sutukil near the Mactan Shrine (Dampa-style restaurants). But, there’s one specific dish that I have been longing to have a taste of again and that’s Steamed Rice, Cebu style. So, I was frantic when I learned that Dimsum Break from Cebu is opening a branch here in Manila – at SM North Edsa! 😀

Dimsum Break in SM North Edsa is opening in October 2012

(Photo from Dimsum Break’s Facebook page)

When I moved back here, I have been longing for another taste of their Steamed Rice. In a desperate move, I begged Mai, one of the contributors in this food blog, a pure Cebuana, to come up and share a recipe for Cebu style Steamed Rice that she made here at home. The flavors are close to the actual dish from Cebu, but there’s something missing. Still, the recipe did satisfy our craving.

Cebu Style Steamed Rice -

You might be wondering what the heck this Steamed Rice dish is. Don’t take it literally. It’s not just plain steamed rice. It’s a mix of many ingredients and with just one small bowl, it can fill you up because of the combination of the rice, the sauce, peas, the shrimp and pork (or beef). It’s so good that it’s one of the things I deeply miss about Cebu. 😀 If you’d like to try making at home, check out Mai’s Steamed Rice recipe.

Harbour City Dimsum House from Cebu

Anyway, going back to Cebu. There are 2 popular restaurants there where you can order Steamed Rice. One is Harbour City Dimsum House, which is my favorite spot. Here’s a REALLY OLD and LOUSY photo of our lunch there one weekend (taken back in 2008, I think, and I didn’t know better 😀 ):

Steamed Rice and dimsum from Harbour City - photos from 2008

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See You at the 2nd Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell!

Last year, we went to the first Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell (UTT 6.0) and we feasted on a ton of delicious new discoveries like Carmen’s Best Ice Cream, Tina Pie’s tarts, Theo and Philo Chocolates, and more! It was indeed a very memorable foodie experience and we cannot wait for Rockwell’s 2nd Ultimate Taste Test, as presented by Our Awesome Planet and San Miguel Lifestyle Brews!

This time, instead of just one day, this Ultimate Taste Test will be for TWO DAYS to accommodate 2,000 foodies. The 2nd Ultimate Taste in Rockwell will now be on September 15, 2012, Saturday, ONLY! At UTT 6.0, the whole Rockwell Tent was packed with food lovers ready to take on what 50+ food purveyors at the event had to offer. We know you would be excited about the 2-day this food tasting event. Double the fun! 🙂

This is just perfect for the upcoming holidays. I’m sure many of you enjoy gifting goodies come Christmas and New Year like us, so this is your chance to discover something new from established food suppliers / businesses or from up and coming entrepreneurs. 🙂

Tickets are now on sale! Here are the details:

  • When: September 15 to 16, 2012 – Saturday and Sunday11am to 9pm
  • Where: Rockwell Tent
  • Php 585 per ticket per day.
  • If you choose to come on both days, you’d get a discount. Just Php 1,000 for 2 days.
  • The ticket price includes the following:
    – Food tasting of products from at least 40+ food vendors and Power Plant Mall’s restaurants.
    (They should provide different products per day)
    – A bottle of San Miguel Super Dry, Premium All Malt or Cerveza Negra (for 18 years old and above)
  • Maximum of 1,000 foodies only per day.
  • For tickets:
    Rockwell Customer Care: call 898-1702 during mall hours
    Creative Juice Office: call 570-7827 during office hours

If you are a food business owner and you would like to be part of the Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell, check Anton‘s post on Our Awesome Planet. It’ll be a great opportunity to showcase your products.

Ken and I will be there on the 16th, Sunday, probably in the afternoon (he’s currently working). We can’t wait! 🙂 Since the event will be on the 15th, I think it’s just going to be me and a foodie friend. Ken has to work.

See you at the 2nd Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell and let’s all be food critics for a day (or two). 😉

Check our past posts about the Ultimate Taste Tests we’ve been to:

Asia Food Expo, Food and Drinks Asia 2012 : Win FREE Tickets Here!

This September is looking like a very eventful month for foodies, food businesses and new entrepreneurs alike. I guess everyone is getting ready for the coming holidays, and we’re as excited as you are. Among the many events, the Asia Food Expo 2012 and the Food and Drinks Asia 2012  are the food expos we’re looking forward to the most. And, together with Breakfast Magazine, we’re giving away TEN (10) tickets to these 2 events, so read on. 🙂

Win FREE tickets to Asia Food Expo 2012 and Food and Drinks Asia 2012

If you are planning on opening up a business or you’re thinking about expanding a current one, then, you’d be glad to know that these 2 events are specially focused on different sectors of the food industry.

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