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 Cronutsâ„¢. 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. 😉

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. 🙂


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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Valentines Day 2013 Buffet and Specials from Metro Manila Restaurants

Valentine’s Day may not be officially a holiday, but it’s one of the most celebrated days of the year. It’s when couples are extra caring, loving and romantic towards each other. If you’re looking for a restaurant to call for reservations for your Valentine’s Day celebrations with that special someone, we’re here to help!

Where to celebrate Valentine's Day 2013 in Metro Manila

Here are the restaurants in Metro Manila with special Hearts’ Day menus for you and your boo:

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Boosting Your Brain Power with Food

I remember back in my senior year in high school, a few months before I was scheduled to take the UPCAT (entrance exam), I noticed my mother buying bananas and vegetables more often, feeding me peanuts and forcing me to eat tuna (I wasn’t into fish when I was younger). She told me all about their benefits to my brain and they should help me while I review and study for the UPCAT (not that I needed help, really 😀 ).

I’m no expert nor did we consult any nutrionist or scientist to back up her claims, but throughout the years, I learned she was right. There are many foods out there that have been proven to boost brain power, but their effects are not immediate. So, if you’re looking to improve your mental health, you might want to change your diet now to include some of the best brain food items out there.

There’s broccoli. They’re supposed to be something kids hate, but we actually loved it even when we were younger. Every time we’re in Baguio, expect us to come back to Manila with kilos of broccoli to enjoy at home.

Broccoli is brain food

Berries (blueberries, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, etc) are known to have high levels of flavonoids which can help with dealing with stress too.

Nuts are good sources of Vitamin E that help slow down cognitive decline. I know peanuts help promote good memory. Same with egg yolks. 🙂


Even with all these healthy and nutritious food, you have to remember that though they can help you, if you don’t get enough sleep or rest, don’t expect that much improvement. Your brain needs rest from working, with all the processing, analyzing, deducting and even daydreaming it does. Take it from me. I used to be very good at memorizing things, especially numbers. But, after years of suffering from insomnia and not sleeping enough, I’ve noticed how forgetful I’ve been. With my recent lifestyle change, I’m gradually seeing positive changes, especially now that I’m eating healthier at home, including these brain foods I listed above.

What’s your favorite brain food? Let me know at the comments section. 🙂

Oh, I passed the UPCAT with flying colors, by the way. 😉

A Sweet Start to My Day, Thanks to Splenda

I work full time at night and one of the many things I enjoy is a cup (or two) of coffee to perk me up so I can fulfill all my tasks more efficiently. Since I work online and I’m in front of the computer for 7-8 hours straight, even with my current routine of exercising 30-45 minutes per day before my shift, I know I have to control my calorie and carbohydrate intake because I don’t get to move as often as other people who work in an actual office and commute on a daily basis.

Perk me up with coffee and Splenda No Calorie Sweetener

I used to like my coffee black and bitter, but lately, I see myself adding at least a tablespoon of sugar to a regular cup of coffee, and about 2-3 teaspoons when I opt for the 3-in-1 blends. If you add that up in a week, that’s a lot of sugar, which is not good for my low calorie, less carbohydrate diet (I’m trying to eat healthier at home).

Conversion chart at the back of box of Splenda No Calorie Sweetener

Thankfully, there’s Splenda No Calorie Sweetener. The content of each packet of Splenda is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of sugar, but it has none of the calories. On the box, there’s a conversion chart that should guide you. Yes, you read that right. The good thing about using Splenda is it sweetens my coffee without the calories and carbohydrates I usually get from sugar, making me enjoy my cup of coffee, even twice a day, with less guilt. 😉

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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 - CertifiedFoodies.com

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

Continue reading Dimsum Break : Finally in SM North Edsa!

Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child!

Julia Child in her kitchen

Today, August 15, 2012, marks the 100th birthday of Julia Child, the iconic American chef who changed the world of gastronomy through her amazing talent and passion for cooking – oh, and not to mention her personality! How Americans eat and cook at home was never the same because of her as she brought the intimidating art of French cooking to the USA. She may have passed away years ago, but her legacy will continue to nourish future food lovers.

Julia Child is known for her larger than life personalityFor us here in the Philippines, some may say that she hardly had any influence on how we Filipinos eat or cook. We have our own ways of cooking that can be traced back hundreds of years. We have always loved cooking and eating at home, and most of the influences in our culinary world are from the Spaniards (Europeans) and our neighbors here in Asia. However, with our ever-growing curiosity in tasting what the world has to offer, we, in many ways, have been touched by Julia Child.

I’m sure many of the chefs and culinary experts here in the country are very familiar with Julia Child. Her techniques, her recipes and her cooking tips will continue on for generations to come, I’m certain of that. When you slather on mayonnaise on your favorite bread or dish, or when you prepare and eat an omelette (or omelet), in a way, Julia has been a part of making all those possible to do in our very own homes.


How Julia Child Influenced Us

We may be thousands of miles away from France and America where Julia Child has been a household name, but through the internet and all the technology we enjoy now, she has touched our lives too.

Continue reading Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child!

Indulge in Vermont Classic Frozen Custard by FIC

The weather might be gloomy and it might not be the best time to enjoy anything cold, but you can’t deny the fact that when you’re stuck at home with family or friends, nothing beats a movie or TV series marathon with your favorite comfort food. And Fruits in Ice Cream has something new and delightful for all of us: Vermont Classic Frozen Custard, their latest dessert creation.

FIC's Vermont Classic Frozen Custard gift pack


Frozen Custard?

FIC is the first to introduce this frozen custard treat to the Philippines. You might be wondering how it’s different from ice cream. Frozen custard is actually the same as ice cream except it has a higher concentration of egg yolks and is churned more slowly, making this dessert richer and more indulgent. When you see French ice cream on a menu, that’s another name for frozen custard. (Oh, and Ken has a recipe that doesn’t require an ice cream maker) 🙂

Recipe card for making your choice of concoctions with FIC Vermont Classic Frozen Custard

When FIC sent over a cup each of their Vermont Classic Frozen Custard base flavors, we were pleasantly surprised to see everything else that came with the package. Aside from the 3 varieties – French Vanilla, Brownie Batter and Cheesecake – we got an assortment of toppings and a recipe card.

Various toppings for FIC Vermont Classic Frozen Custard

Ken and I tasted each of the flavors first before we combined the toppings based on the recipes, and we literally had a hard time figuring out which one’s our favorite ’cause they’re all darn yummy! Usually, I’d go for anything chocolicious, but the tanginess of the cheesecake flavor and the creamy goodness of the French vanilla was too irresistible. The Brownie Batter still ended up as my top favorite because it has this slight bitterness to it that I love about dark chocolate. 🙂

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Haagen-Dazs Up to 50% OFF Sale + Must-Try Local Ice Cream

Last week of June, we wrote about Haagen-Dazs closing all their Philippines stores. To cap off their stay here, they are holding a massive “clearance” sale. You can now buy Haagen-Dazs ice cream for UP TO 50% OFF (note that not all products are sold at half off)!

The Great Haagen-Dazs Sale

Here are the participating stores and supermarkets nationwide (Metro Manila, Baguio, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Cebu, Bacolod, Davao, CDO, Gensan, etc) that are selling Haagen-Dazs ice cream at half off (click image to view a larger version):

Participating supermarkets for Haagen-Dazs ice cream sale

The promo will end on September 15, 2012, so you still have 2 months to grab all the Haagen-Dazs ice cream you can get before they finally say goodbye to the PH. We’re planning on checking the Haagen-Dazs products and their sale prices at S&R and Landmark Trinoma to see if they’re worth the fuzz. If you can give us feedback, let us know at the comments section.

NOTE: This promo was posted on Haagen-Dazs Philippines’ official Facebook page.

Like what we’ve said before, we’re not completely saddened by this news about Haagen-Dazs stopping their sales here since there are a ton of other selections available to us Pinoys that are much cheaper and even uniquely ours. We’ve got artisan ice cream makers who produce high quality frozen products at various numbingly delightful flavors, so don’t fret. 🙂

Last time, we told you about the other ice cream brands you can continue to enjoy like Magnum and other Selecta products, Magnolia, Nestle, and even Arcee Dairy (wait for our upcoming ice cream series!). Now, let’s share with you our favorite artisan ice cream makers:

Continue reading Haagen-Dazs Up to 50% OFF Sale + Must-Try Local Ice Cream

Haagen-Dazs Bids Farewell to the Philippines

After what we would consider a brief period of delighting us with their high quality ice cream, Häagen-Dazs is closing operations in the Philippines. They have made this announcement official on their website and on their Facebook page.

Haagen-Dazs is closing down in the Philippines

We’ve only had Haagen-Dazs ice cream twice – once at the Haagen-Dazs store in SM Mall of Asia and the last time was when we bought their ice cream bars at a grocery store. Though we absolutely love their ice cream, we find it too pricey for us, even on those days when we desperately need a creamy pick-me-up.

And we believe this is the reason why they’re closing their stores here. Pinoys are not keen towards buying ice cream at Haagen-Dazs’ price range when they can be satisfied with a more affordable alternative, like Magnum ice cream that only costs Php 50, or frozen products from Magnolia, Selecta, Nestle and the Korean ice cream brands ( watch out for our upcoming ice cream series 🙂 ). This is sad news for those who love Haagen-Dazs ice cream. But, I bet we can still buy their ice cream from S&R.

Haagen-Dazs stores in SM Mall of Asia and Robinsons Mall (Ermita) are closing after June 30, 2012. Their Shangri-la Plaza Mall and Eastwood Mall branches will stop operations by August 31, 2012. So, if you want to give them a proper adieu by treating yourself to their ice cream, take note of these dates.

Official announcement on Haagen-Dazs Facebook page about their SM Mall of Asia and Robinsons Ermita stores closing down


Haagen-Dazs Promo Alert:

As a show of appreciation to everyone who supported Haagen-Dazs here in the Philippines (plus, you wouldn’t want all those ice cream to go to waste, right?), they’re offering some delicious promos for all.

Continue reading Haagen-Dazs Bids Farewell to the Philippines

A New Year, New Blog Design and a Series of GIVEAWAYS!

2nd anniversaryThis month of May, our food blog, Certified Foodies, is celebrating its SECOND anniversary. And we can’t be more excited about the future. 🙂

Back in 2010, after months of conceptualizing on how we can make our food blog unique, we threw in the towel and decided that our passion and love for food will get our message across – that food should be enjoyed and shouldn’t just be for nourishment.

The past two years have been CRAZY… in a VERY good way. Here are some of our achievements so far:

We are so thankful for all the blessings and recognition we’ve received through this food blog. Who would’ve thought that the food (mis)adventures of 2 siblings would take us this far? 😀

Thank you to all our fellow foodies and friends who have visited, left a comment or even lurked on our food blog to look at our food photos and articles. It means so much to us that you all find the time to drop by here, “like” our posts on Facebook or tweet with us. 🙂



New Design

Because of everything that has happened in the past 2 years, we believe this blog deserved a major makeover. After almost 2 years of slow loading time and unorganized, less personalized theme…

Old layout of CertifiedFoodies.com

…this food blog is now sporting a brand spanking new theme, designed to our own personal tastes.

New layout of CertifiedFoodies.com

The theme was mainly designed by me (Mhel), but all the design elements and additional contents were from a collaboration of both  our ideas (me and Ken). We wanted a less cluttered look, almost minimalistic design, to bring more focus on the photos.

Now, the blog loads much faster after we moved to a new server. Even with the slideshow above and gallery below, feedback has been positive about our blog’s loading time (If you have violent reactions to this, let us know at the comments section!).

Continue reading A New Year, New Blog Design and a Series of GIVEAWAYS!