Biscoff vs Speculoos : The Cookie Butter Battle

Being certified foodies ;), my bro and I have always been curious. We LOVE talking about food and how much people enjoy recommending restaurants and food products we simply must try. On our spare time, we check on social media and our favorite food blogs for what other foodies’ are eating or craving for. And early this year, probably the most talked about was the cookie butter, specifically Lotus Biscoff and Trader Joe’s Speculoos.

Lotus Biscoff vs Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter

We’ve always loved peanut butter. We buy from the market here and not the commercial ones you see at the grocery. A spoonful of peanut butter is our usual indulgence after a meal. We thought it couldn’t get better than that when it comes to simple guilty pleasures. Well, we were wrong. A rich spoonful of cookie butter makes a whole lot of difference. 😉

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Dimsum Break : Steamed Rice Craving, Satisfied!

I wrote about how excited I was that Dimsum Break is opening a branch in SM North Edsa last year, and I was desperate to finally have a taste of their Steamed Rice again after years of longing for it since I moved back here in 2009 after my 1-year stay in Cebu. Days after their opening in October 2012 (I know, this post is a year late), I dragged my nanay to their first branch at SM Annex and ordered away.

Dimsum Break's Original Steamed Fried Rice

Cebu may be known for many delicious food, but I’m willing to bet that Steamed Rice is on the list of dishes that Cebuanos, or anyone who has lived or even visited Cebu, are craving for when they go anywhere else.

Dimsum Break is the self-service, fast food restaurant of Harbour City Dimsum House, one of the popular Chinese restaurants in Cebu. I’ve dined in both restaurants there and the quality of the dim sum and Steamed Fried Rice are well-kept, so I know they’d make sure to maintain the quality even here in Manila.

So, Steamed Fried Rice, or simply Steamed Rice, is like your typical rice topping dish – rice topped with a savory mix of their ‘secret’ rich sauce, peas, shrimp and pork. The sauce is what makes this rice bowl so irresistible. We’ve tried making them at home – check out Mai’s Steamed Rice recipe – but we have yet to finally uncover the formula of Dimsum Break or Harbour City’s Steamed Rice.

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Cronut #1: Croughnuts by Dolcelatte

As soon as the cronut craze hit Manila, I got so curious to find out what the hype in New York was all about that I began listing all the places that offer their own version of this popular pastry, and it eventually led to my post on where you can buy cronuts here in the Metro which now has over 10 places listed (I think I’ve updated that post 4 times this week). I planned on how we’ll finally try most of them (we’re skipping a few) and concluded that the easiest local cronuts one can get hold of are Dolcelatte‘s.

Dolcelatte Raspberry Creamcheese croughnut

So, over 2 weeks ago, I texted Dolcelatte. It was a Wednesday night and no one was answering their hotline. I think I was calling past 7pm. 😀 My friends Badeth and Joanne (my new food trip buddies!) wanted to have a taste too, so I listed all the flavors we all wanted and sent our orders through text. Early morning of Thursday, they called me up to confirm my orders and the time of the pickup – 5pm, Saturday, at their South Triangle branch along Quezon Avenue.

It was hassle-free. No need to wait in line for hours just to be disappointed when the store or restaurant runs out of stock. No need to prepay either. The thing is, if you’re pre-ordering, you have to order a box of 6 of Dolcelatte’s version of cronuts – they call them croughnuts. They do have stock they reserve for walk-in customers at Php 110 each. Pricey, I know. We suggest you split a box with a couple of your friends since you can all pick your own flavors anyway. 😉

Fast forward to Saturday, we hurriedly left our prior meetup to head on over to Dolcelatte. We thought people would be lined up, ready to take our croughnut orders if we’re not there on time. Silly me. 😀

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Fish Ball Sauce Recipe, Just Like Manong’s

There is no doubt we Filipinos love our street food. And if you ask me about my favorite, it’ll have to be fish balls (or fishball). Nothing beats eating fishballs off a stick, piping hot after you just skewered them off a street vendor’s deep-frying pan. But THE best part of it all is dipping them into their famous fishball sauce. YUM!

Fishball sauce recipe just like Manong's!

I’ve always been curious about this well-loved fishball sauce recipe. I studied in UP Diliman and I’m sure many of you have heard that we love eating fishballs there from Manongs who sell them across the campus. It was where I got hooked on the sweet sauce, and I then moved on to the spicy version. I noticed something. It seemed to me that wherever I go, even outside the campus, the taste of the fishball sauce of every Manong fishball vendor (yes, I call all of them manong) I met had the same taste. I wondered, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!? 😀

Over the past decade or so (ugh, I’m old), I’ve asked different vendors about their sauce. Most of them took wild guesses. There were a couple who refused to tell me anything, which, to me, was an indication they really had no idea, and some were so convinced they had the right recipe.

Of course, I tried to make them at home and failed three times (twice, I was adding vinegar). It was only in late 2004 that I learned the right recipe. The manong who sold fishballs at our home in Navotas told me about his fish ball sauce recipe. The thing is, I didn’t get to making it til a year later. It was too late for me to thank him because we already moved to Malabon, but I’m forever thankful. Charot! 😀 Continue reading Fish Ball Sauce Recipe, Just Like Manong’s

Van Gogh is Bipolar : A Must-Visit in Manila

This is part 2 of our blog post on Certified Foodies about Van Gogh is Bipolar, an extraordinary restaurant located at Maginhawa Street in Quezon City. If you’re visiting Manila, or you live here in the Metro and you want to bring your friends to a new restaurant, this is a must-visit.

Jetro of Van Gogh is Bipolar

Since I took a ton of photos at the place and some of them are not GP enough to be posted on our food blog 😀 (you’ll find out later), I decided to post them all here.

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A Mesmerizing Dinner at Van Gogh is Bipolar with The Burp Society

Ever since we started this blog, we’ve had this insatiable thirst for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. I can count with one hand the number of restaurants that left me speechless, but they’re mostly just because of the flavors and the food. None of them had a significant effect on me both gastronomically and emotionally. I’ve never had that experience yet.  Not until last June during The Burp Society‘s dinner meetup at Van Gogh is Bipolar by Jetro Rafael. I left that night with my heart filled with glee. 🙂

Van Gogh is Bipolar at Maginhawa Street

You most probably have heard of this place. The owner, Jetro, is an artist and has long been struggling with bipolar disorder. He discovered that changing his diet may play a big role in his healing. He cooked dishes with ingredients that made him happy, or at least improved his mood. It was his friends who encouraged him to share his mood-altering diet – he calls it the “Cuckoo Diet” – by opening up his own restaurant at Maginhawa Street. Here, he wants to continue celebrating his imperfections and embracing his flaws… something we should all learn to do. 🙂

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Moonleaf Tea Shop and Sweet Studio

Who would’ve thought that Filipinos, young and old, would become as addicted to tea as we are now? Credits to the introduction of milk teas to our Pinoy tastebuds, we started to appreciate the wondrous flavors of various teas. We were no longer limited to tea bags as we began to venture out to other tea variants and blends. And if you’re a fan of milk teas, I’m sure you’ve heard about Moonleaf Tea Shop.

Moonleaf Tea Shop Milk Teas - hot and cold

I have to admit, I’ve been loyal to one milk tea shop for the longest time. Ken and I have tried other milk tea shops and we see ourselves returning to that familiar place all the time. So it was definitely about time I found Moonleaf.

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