Okay, that was a mouthful for a title.
I was pretty excited to attend the Ultimate Taste Test (UTT) as I have never attended the first 5. This time around, the UTT was held from 11am to 9pm (whereas it was usually held at night before) at the Rockwell Tent.
Tickets were priced at PHP585 each and I’d say that it was worth it since you could stay as long as you want. You can have your breakfast, lunch, and dinner there. Some concessionaires were stingy with their samples though. They only give out a very small amount and you are only allowed to get one. Well, I completely understand as they are trying to feed 1000 hungry foodies.
I started with the concessionaires on the left side (facing the stage). I first had a taste of My Pink Wasabi’s cute dessert shaped like a mini maki—Amarula Milk Chocolate. It was such a surprise for me because I was not expecting it to be a moist and soft dessert. I thought that it will be crunchy. It was pretty good. However, I find it a bit expensive. It is priced at PHP475 for a box of 16 makis.
Off to the next booth, Mang Pedro’s. It offers one of my favorite snacks ever… taho. They brought with them 4 of their bestsellers—chocolate, ube, almond, and capuchino (yes, that was how they spelled it). I decided to try ube out of the four and I’d say that I was a bit disappointed. It tasted like any other taho. The ube flavor was not that strong at all. Maybe I should have tried almond as what the owner suggested.
Next stop was a familiar stall… Farm N’ Deli. I love their longaniza and tinapa. It really taste so good. I didn’t find it special though as I’ve tried their products before. My goal at the event was to discover new food finds.
The next stall The Cereal Bar was also familiar as I’ve seen it before in Mercato Centrale. I love love love their monkey bar but as soon as I tasted the choco-dipped barmuncher, I had a change of heart. I bought a canister for PHP280. Quite expensive but it is worth it.
Things started to be a bit blurry here now as I began to realize that there were just so many food stalls around and I was panicking on which one to try first as “pacing” is very important. I will be sharing now the top 5 food stalls that really impressed me.
#5 GOURMET KESO
I liked the Chevre with cashew and truffle oil. It has the tangy taste of cheese that will make you squint a bit and a hint of saltiness. It was love. Plus, you get to help the residents of Gawad Kalinga. Happy soul and happy tummy!
#4 THE SWEET LIFE BY ANGE
From the friendly owners to the oh-so-cute trays to the scrumptious pastries, this booth surely got a high score from me. The products they sampled out were their red velvet cake called Angelina and Sweet Surrender (similar to Brazo de Mercedes only it has graham cracker crust and vanilla ice cream). What they were highlighting though was their cassava chips.
I loved Angelina and Sweet Surrender. Angelina had this tangy taste of cheesecake. It was also moist and smooth. The Sweet Surrender on the other hand was super good. It was not the typical full of air Brazo de Mercedes. Since they used ice cream and graham crackers, it was more filling… flavorful.
I love Mochiko and its Azuki mochi. This time Mochiko came up with a new flavor… COOKIE DOUGH. It was a bit crunchier compared to Azuki. It had chocolate chips and crust. Very interesting. And I still like their booth best with the polaroids.
#2 5 LOAVES AND 2 FISH
The name has a strong recall. Lifted from the Bible, the owner said “Jesus fed 5,000. I will take care of the 1,000”. I find it really funny.
This food stall served veggie chips and dips. Non-veggie eaters do not have to fear the word “veggie” as it did not taste like vegetables at all. The chips were very thin, crispy, and complemented the dips (chicken liver mousse with salsa and sweet basil pesto-queso blanco melt with coco sugar). They also had tablea chips and dark chocolate dip. Well, it had me with the word “dark”. I got burnt by the dip though (but it was completely my fault).
#1 BAKED BY ANITA
I just love food with a twist… something that will make me go “woah, I didn’t expect this!” and it was Baked by Anita that made me utter those words.
The Bacon and Maple Mini Cupcake intrigued me. I had bacon ice cream before but I never tried a bacon cupcake so it was the first one that I tried. The bacon taste was not very strong but you could sense it with its crunch and saltiness. It went well together with maple. Sweet and salty… Yum!
However, it was the Roasted Strawberry Mini Cupcake that surprised me most. I took a small bite to taste it and the girl manning the booth asked me how it was. I told her that I still could not taste it so I ate the whole cupcake. After chewing it some more, I was surprised that the cupcake was quite sour. It was like I was eating a strawberry-flavored yoghurt. My friend told me that they also added balsamic vinegar in the cupcake. That made me remember one episode of DC Cupcakes where one of the sisters sabotaged the mix of the other by pouring vinegar on it yet it made the mix even more special and delicious. Two thumbs up to Baked by Anita!
Other food finds that made me happy:
|Chicken Cordon Bleu with a choice of aligue mayo, cream cheese or wasabi sauce and Phillychanga|
I went home full and happy. I can't wait to visit my new favorites soon. :)