Where to Buy Cronuts in Manila

If there’s one thing we love about the widespread use of social media in the country today, it’s got to be how the hottest, latest and yummiest trends from all over the world quickly become all the craze here in the Philippines. The most recent fad has to do with the sweet, flaky goodness of CronutsΓ’β€žΒ’. And if you’re yearning to know where to buy cronuts here in the Philippines, read on.

Cronuts by Chef Dominique Ansel

Photo from Dominique Ansel Bakery

If you haven’t heard of these delightful pastries yet (have you been living under a rock? :D), Cronuts are made with a special laminated dough closely similar to croissant dough, and fried like donuts (originally in grapeseed oil), filled in with cream, then rolled in sugar and glazed or topped with frosting. The original cronut is a creation of Chef Dominique Ansel who owns a bakery in New York and if you check their website, his cronut recipe requires a more complex method, which is why it took him 2 months and 10 tries to finally perfect the recipe that will enable him to fry the laminated / croissant dough without it breaking apart.

Chef Dominique Ansel - Cronuts

Photo from Crains New York

Wildflour Cafe Cronuts Croissant DonutsSince he launched the cronuts in May this year, everyone seemed to be clamoring for a taste and this quickly spread all over the world (with people lining up for hours and some even paying as much as $100 for one cronut), and has finally reached the Philippines last month through Wildflour Cafe + Bakery. Thankfully, I haven’t seen anyone who’s too obsessed with these pastries yet here in Manila.

I first heard about the cronuts when I saw all the tweets about it on my work Twitter account (I have social media clients based in NYC). I asked Ken if he can make them at home. He said it’s not an easy task to make such an intricate pastry. But, he said he’ll try to make his own version at home. We’ll see. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, between the two of us, Ken’s the only one who has tried Wildflour’s cronut. He loved it, but he’s not as enamored as everyone seems to be. Still, he said, there’s no doubt it’s a beautiful creation, which is why I cannot wait to have a taste. We’re now on a quest to find out which cronuts are the best, so I listed down all the restaurants and pastry shops here in the Philippines that are serving these croissant-doughnut hybrids. If you know of other places we haven’t added yet, let us know. πŸ™‚


Where to Buy Cronuts in Metro Manila

Note: The photos in this post are not ours. See the photo credit links at the bottom of each photo. Those without labels were taken from the resto/store’s Facebook pages.

UPDATE: So far, we’ve tried the cronut versions of Dolcelatte and Le Coeur de France. We’ll post our reviews of them soon.

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Red Sinigang with Del Monte Tomato Sauce

If there’s one Filipino dish I can bear to eat daily, it’ll have to be Sinigang. Our nanay has tried a variety of Sinigang – with seafood, pork or even chicken and beef (yes, she has tried all sorts of proteins with this dish). She has always cooked it the traditional way, but she was excited and welcomed the idea of adding a tasty twist to a classic dish – Sinigang with Del Monte Tomato Sauce.

Del Monte Red Pork Sinigang recipe

Sinigang is a savory sour soup that we Filipinos love. The acidity may come from green mangoes, guava and, more widely used, tamarind (sampaloc). Pork, bangus or shrimps are the usual main ingredients, along with vegetables like kangkong (water spinach), okra, chili (siling haba/pang-sinigang), and onions. Our nanay also add slices of tomatoes to it, but we both haven’t encountered or tasted this dish with actual tomato sauce.

Del Monte Tomato Sauce for Red Pork Sinigang

That’s until we found out about Del Monte’s Red Movement where they take classic Filipino dishes and add their famous, Filipino favorite tomato sauce into the mix. Some combinations may sound weird, but knowing the brand and the recipes they share through Del Monte Kitchenomics, we know they wouldn’t just come up with concoctions like the Red Bulalo or Red Pesang Bangus without actually testing and proving that adding tomato sauce to these dishes actually works. If you want the recipes for these other dishes, visit www.delmonte.ph.

If you’re aching to know how our nanay made her Del Monte Red Sinigang, read on.

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Go Bananas over Sugar Stop’s Minion Cupcakes!

The sold-out stock of collectible toy versions of these cuties, the nonstop posts from people who can’t seem to get enough of them and the thousands who lined up on the first week of Despicable Me 2‘s screening are clear indications of the minion mania here in the Philippines. Adults and kids alike LOVE them and couldn’t resist their cuteness, so it was just inevitable that edible versions of these minions will soon take over our newsfeed. On our top favorites are definitely Sugar Stop’s Minion Cupcakes.

Sugar Stop Minion Cupcakes - so darn cute!!

If you’ve watched Despicable Me 1 and 2, you’d see how much more screen time the minions got in the sequel. Universal Pictures knew it, we all fell in love with the multi-lingual minions (yes, we paid attention πŸ˜€ ), so much so that people are now demanding for a movie featuring only the minions. Well, we think that’s a crazy idea, but let’s get back to the Minion Cupcakes by Sugar Stop.

We found out about them through Twitter. They sent us a tweet telling us to check out their minion cupcakes. Ken and I are both in love with these minions, so when I saw the photo, the first thought that came to me was, “How can anyone eat them?!?! They’re too darn cute!!”.

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Yabu : An Extraordinary Katsu Experience

When Yabu opened last year at Robinsons Magnolia, we initially weren’t that excited. We thought it’ll just be another hyped, overrated restaurant. We couldn’t be far more wrong. We were invited to the opening, but couldn’t come because of work. The anticipation started to build up when fellow foodies started raving about them. So, one weekend, we trouped to Robinsons Magnolia (which isn’t really accessible to us) to finally feed our curiosity (pun intended). πŸ˜‰

Yabu - An Extraordinary Katsu Experience

Since they haven’t opened any other branches yet that’s closer to us (we’re looking forward to their SM North Edsa branch!!), we couldn’t dine in as much as we’d love to because their nearest branch is at SM Megamall. Commuting from Malabon to Ortigas is such a hassle because of the traffic, so it took us awhile before we had a chance to dine in again, finally, at their SM Mall of Asia branch about a week ago. They now have 4 branches and from the looks of it, they’re not slowing down.

Anyway, back to our Yabu katsu experience. If there’s one similarity I’ve noticed from restaurants that didn’t wow us, it’s the number of dishes on their menu. When I see that there are too many items on it, I somehow expect to be disappointed. I prefer to see a smaller menu because that means the restaurant gets to focus more on the quality and flavors of the dishes they serve rather than coming up with mediocre dishes while trying to please everyone.

And this is exactly why we fell in love with Yabu. Though they have other items on their menu, you know that they’re focused on one thing: to give you the best Katsu experience – consistently. With every slice and every bite, you’ll sense the technique and passion put in every katsu they serve. It’s no wonder people are coming back for more, hence the Katsu craze.

Yabu - Jumbo Prawn Set with Japanese Black Tiger Prawns

“Delicious is in the details. At Yabu, everything is prepared meticulously, and nothing is left to chance: from using Koshihikari, the finest japanese rice, to knowing the exact second of lifting the pork from the bubbling oil. Discover what makes our katsu better than the rest.” It’s no wonder since they claim to have learned the art of making the perfect katsu from Chef Kazuya Takeda, the head chef of a renowned tonkatsu restaurant in Tokyo.

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Xin Tian Di Chinese Restaurant at Crowne Plaza Manila

It’s been awhile since Ken and I last ate at a Chinese restaurant together. I think the last time was when we went on our DIY Binondo food tour (which we’ll be blogging about very soon!) last year. So when we were invited to check out Xin Tian Di restaurant at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, we gladly accepted.

Xin Tian Di at the Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila in Ortigas

Located on the fourth floor of the hotel, Xin Tian Di is Crowne Plaza’s signature Chinese restaurant. Aside from a menu of Chinese dishes, they also offer various Asian cuisines such as Indonesian, Singaporean, Szechuan and Nonya (Peranakan). Upon entering the restaurant, you’d feel the welcoming ambiance of the whole place, from their friendly staff up until their comfy chairs and tables.

Inside Xin Tian Di restaurant in Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila

I love the colors and the interiors altogether, offering a very warm atmosphere and good acoustics, making Xin Tian Di a perfect venue for business meetings or get-together with your friends or family.


Xin Tian Di Dim Sum Unlimited and Yum Cha

Before we go to what we had for dinner, let me tell you first about one of their famous offerings: unlimited dim sum.

Xin Tian Di’s Dim Sum Unlimited is available now during lunch (11:30am-2:30pm) where you get to choose from over fifty (50) dim sum for only Php 1,188 nett per person. The Dim Sum Unlimited menu includes appetizers, entrees and desserts, so you can enjoy a complete meal for that price.

And good news for all you morning people! Starting on July 14, 2013, that’s this Sunday, Xin Tian Di will start offering a breakfast edition of their unlimited dim sum – their Yum Cha promo, which will be available from 7am til 10am. For the price of Php 588++, you’d get to choose among 36 varieties of dim sum, and even includes rice, congee, noodle, dessert and house tea.

These are awesome deals you shouldn’t miss, especially if you feel like hoarding some dim sum over breakfast or lunch. πŸ˜‰ Oh, and make sure to check out Deal Grocer since I’ve seen them offering deals there. A few months ago, I bought vouchers for dinner at 7 Corners (will blog soon!), Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila’s other restaurant.

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Krispy Kreme Speculoos Cookie Butter Doughnuts

With all the hype surrounding the Cookie Butter these days (and it’s for good reason!), it was inevitable that people will start thinking of various ways of enjoying and sharing these heavenly cookie butter spreads. We’ve only had a chance to taste Biscoff‘s, and we’re still on a long queue of frantic foodies clamoring for a taste of Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter, so we thought that our closest chance to finding out how it measures up to the other brand was with Krispy Kreme’s Speculoos Cookie Butter Doughnuts.

Krispy Kreme Speculoos Cookie Butter Doughnuts and Original Glazed

We were at Ortigas last Monday and I insisted that we drop by the Krispy Kreme store in Robinsons Galleria. Sadly, they ran out of the Speculoos doughnuts (at 8pm, what was I thinking?! πŸ˜€ ), but I had no issues ending up with a dozen of Krispy Kreme’s Original Glazed doughnuts. We love, love, love them! Argh. Writing about this makes my mouth water. Too bad I ate the last one this morning. Pfftt. πŸ™

Imagine my glee when we came home and found out Krispy Kreme delivered a box of doughnuts for us to enjoy. I was supposed to rest for a bit before work, but how can I when there’s a dozen of these yummy treats waiting for me?!?! πŸ˜€

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Innovative Social Media Ad Campaigns

The rapid growth of social media has made it common for unique and innovative ad campaigns to appear on a regular basis. Hiring an advertising agency, with an emphasis in social media outreach, is a crucial make or break for your brand.

Some of these have been hugely successful, and some not so successful. Due to the constant evolution of social media platforms, however, testing and tweaking any campaign is always essential. Let’s take a look at three social media campaigns that have created a real stir.

1. ‘Do Us A Flavor’ Γ’β‚¬β€œ Lay’s

Lay’s the popular chip maker, created a great crowd sourcing campaign as part of their 75th anniversary. Through a highly successful interactive campaign, they offered people the chance to create a new flavor for their potato chips.

Do us a flavor

Followers were given the chance to submit their own flavors via their Facebook page, with a couple of well known celebrities – Eva Longoria, and Michael Symon – choosing the winners. Not only is this a great way to create crowd interaction, but it gave the winners either $1 million as first prize, or 1% of the total sales of the new flavor over 2013 – whichever turns out to be bigger.

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