Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lenten Confessions and Reflections: TSS' Visita Iglesia 2011

Something sad happened to me at this time of lent; something that really brought me to tears and bothered me a lot. Though I know I am the type of person who always look on the brighter side and that I am brave enough to face every trial that I might encounter, the damage it caused had greatly affected my happy disposition and scarred my self esteem. I really wondered why these things are happening. I didn't do anything wrong to carry a burden like this. And why during the Holy Week? At first I thought that it's unfair and unbearable but after praying and receiving some help from Him through my family and friends, I came then to realize one thing: He wants me to use these problems to reflect on life and keep my faith even stronger. So when my friends asked me out to stroll around Manila and do the traditional Visita Iglesia with a little Lenten Season food trip on the side, I immediately said yes. This way, I can go on a journey of faith, repent, uplift my spirit through His blessings of good comfort food and get back what I have lost when I was down.

Our first stop for the Visita Iglesia is the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, better known as the San Sebastian Church. Completed in 1891, San Sebastian Church is noted for its architectural features - the only all-steel basilica in Asia and an example of the revival of Gothic architecture in the Philippines. It has also been implausibly reputed to be the first prefabricated building in the world and more credibly claimed as the only prefabricated steel church in the world. San Sebastian Church is under the care of The Order of the Augustinian Recollects who also run the San Sebastian College. While praying after lighting few candles, God have had me realized that whatever I am going through will be nothing for through His glory, everything will be happy again and that He wouldn't give us problems that we're not capable of handling. Faith.

San Sebastian Church

Formally known as the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat and the house of Sto. Nino de Praga, the San Beda Chapel is located inside the San Beda College in Mediola, Manila and was built in 1925 by the Benedictine Monks, who also run the college. The chapel has a neo-Gothic architecture, similar to other 20th century churches in the country. I greatly admired its painted walls, especially the one that is on the sanctuary, which has a theme inspired by the birth of Jesus and the vaulted ceilings, depicting the 14 stations of the cross and the 16 allegories in the virtues and theology of the church. This church has taught me to be thankful for all the things that is happening in our lives, both for the good and the bad ones. Everything happens for a reason and whatever it may be, God only wants the best for us. Gratitude.

San Beda Chapel

A brief and refreshing walk along Mendiola and the streets near the Malacanang Palace will bring you to the San Miguel Church. Built in 1630, San Miguel church was also regarded as the National Shrine of Saint Michael and the Archangels and was distinguished as one of the European Baroque churches in the country. Being in this church is exactly like being touched by an angel; or should I say angels. Imagine being surrounded not just by the Archangels but by real life, God-given angels - my dear family and friends who never failed to give me overflowing love and undying support. Through them, I feel revived and happy, always ready to face the world and its challenges. Friendship.

San Miguel Church

After a short jeepney ride from Malacanang, we arrived at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, the St. John the Baptist Church or more popularly known as the Quiapo Church. It is the home of the miraculous Black Nazarene which was said to be brought by the Augustinian Recollect Friars in 1606. Visiting this church amidst of the massive crowd surrounding it made me believe that miracles do happen and it does even in the simplest ways we could ever imagine. Whatever our problems may be, will be solved if we know to offer it all to Him and pray. We just have to put our trust to the Lord and let Him be your guide in everything that we do. Trust.

Quiapo Church

Walking through the busy streets of Quiapo with my friends also made me think that even at this very moment, God is still blessing me. He never let me went into this journey alone but instead showered me with love and laughter from my friends, making every weight of the burden lighter. With this thought in mind, I didn't notice that we have already passed Carriedo and we already reached our next stop: Sta. Cruz Church.

The Sta. Cruz Church, the home of Our Lady of Pilar, was built by the Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits in 1608 as a parish for the growing Chinese immigrants in Manila who were converted to the Catholic faith. The original church was said to be damaged twice by earthquakes and was also completely destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945. The Spanish baroque style is very evident with the church's architecture and was completed in 1957. At the entrance, I was embraced by the warm flickering lights of the candles and so I did bow my head and offered a short prayer. I first thanked Him for everything that I have, that in spite of all the hardships in life, still He gives me a lot of reasons to smile. Hope.

We then walked through the streets of Chinatown and Ongpin and though we're very hungry and thirsty, we decided to visit one more church before having lunch. I already saw its bell tower from a distance and getting closer to it made me even more astonished with its old world structure and charm. Situated at the heart of Chinatown, the Binondo Church was formally known as the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish and the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz. Considered as one of the oldest places of worship in the country, this church was founded by the Dominican priests in 1596 also to serve the Chinese converts to Christianity. Named after the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz, who used to serve as a altar boy at this very same church and died as a martyr in Okinawa, Japan for not denouncing his religion and faith. I was surprised that upon leaving the parish, someone gave me a prayer book and a rosary. It's like God is trying to tell me not frown for what I am going through now is just a part of his great plan for me. With that thought, I smiled, looked up into the sky and prayed. God, through his countless blessings is constantly making me strong and brave, one important thing that I learned from visiting this heritage site. Courage.

Binondo Church

From Binondo, we rode a tricycle and headed straight back to Chinatown to eat a light lunch at Wai Ying Restaurant. Since it's lent, I decided to eat light and avoided pork meat. I had Hakaw (prawn dumplings) and Soy Chicken, for drinks, the phenomenal Wai Ying Lemon Tea and Milk Tea. Hakaw or hakao is a soft dumpling with shrimp or prawn inside. It has a translucent steamed wanton exterior and some soft-cooked egg dough and shrimp interior. It's very mild in taste, perfect with the chili soy and calamansi sauce.


If you're looking for the traditional Soy Chicken, go to Wai Ying Restaurant and you'll never be disappointed. I love the tasty Chinese-style chicken meat that is roasted to perfection and the flavorful soy sauce that greatly complements the juicy white meat and steaming hot rice.

Soy Chicken Rice

True to what I've heard about the Wai Ying Cold Lemon Tea, it was made from freshly brewed tea with just the right sweetness of honey and citrusy, fresh lemons that you have to crush with a spoon to gently flavor your drink and get that distinct lemon taste. What makes this drink a hit thirst quencher is the shaved ice that you can spoon out to get that extra refreshing experience - perfect to beat the summer heat!

Cold Lemon Tea

I also fell in love with their Cold Milk Tea. It was very delicious with the right balance of sweet and bitter, black tea-like taste. I can't get over how the milk, when combined with the tea, creates a concoction that almost tastes like a creamy caramel or arnibal in Filipino. Just like the lemon tea, it is also served with shaved ice making it more refreshing.

Cold Milk Tea

After eating, I thanked God for these blessings and for giving us a chance to be gathered again and share these great tasting food. We rested for a while, freshen up a bit and then headed straight to our next church to visit. Next stop, The Manila Cathedral.

The Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica, formally known as the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, is the ecclesiastical seat of the Archdiocese of Manila. It has been destroyed and damaged by fires, typhoons and earthquakes, yet over the years it was also continued to be rebuilt until it became a minor basilica. It's actually one of the historical churches that went numerous restorations and a great proof of our country's rich culture and history. What I love about this church is its majestic main facade that is graced by statues of saints sculpted in Roman travertine stone (the old ones are originally made of molave wood). These saints are namely, St. Rose of Lima, St. Jacob the Great, St. Andrew the Apostle, St. Francis Xavier, St. Polycarp and St. Anthony Abbot. As I entered the main entrance, I was amazed by its Neo-Romanesque architecture and the details given to every part of the church. Inside, I silently prayed and thanked Him for giving me a positive outlook and cheerful demeanor inspite of the things that are happening and that I will continue to be a blessing to others and share the great things He blessed me with. Kindness.

Manila Cathedral

Also inside the historic walled city of Intramuros is another world heritage site and the oldest church still standing in the country, the San Agustin Church. One of the famous Baroque churches in the Philippines, this is under the auspices of The Order of St. Augustine and has also survived a lot of calamities and natural disasters. It also hosts an image of Our Lady of Consolation and was famous by it beautiful interior, ceiling and walls, all with intricate and magnificent trompe l'oeil mural. We were really amazed by this church and so we stayed for a while and offered again a little prayer. I wholeheartedly thanked Him for refraining me from despair and for giving me the ability to confront fear especially in times of uncertainty and intimidation. I humbly asked for His continuous guidance and blessing for my friends and family. Humility.

San Agustin Church

We ended or Visita Iglesia in another Baroque-style church which features a small park near Manila Bay, no other than the Malate Church. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Remedies, the patroness of childbirth. Also, this church houses in its main altar an image of Our Lady which was brought by the Spaniards in 1624. It was built also by the Augustinians and was considered as one of the oldest churches in Manila outside Intramuros. In this church, though tired and hungry after that whole day of walking, I wholeheartedly raised it all to Him and offered all these sacrifices for His glory. These are nothing compared to what He did for mankind. I am forever grateful for this wonderful day of faith. Sacrifice

Malate Church

As I end this blog about my journey of faith, let me share you guys this verse that greatly moved and inspired me:

"For I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

So, whoever you are reading this blog right now and whatever problems you might have in your life, don't forget to pray to Him for He's always ready to listen. Always remember that God loves us and that He's got a better plan for you and for me. Now, The Strolling Spoon doesn't just walk with a happy tummy but also with a strong faith and a hopeful mindset. Happy Easter everyone!

Like me on Facebook to see the other pics for this TSS' Visita Iglesia 2011: The Strolling Spoon

Credits: Special thanks to my dear friends namely Gideon Ian Grefalda and Danyoela Mapagu-Grafalda for allowing me to use their shots for the following churches: Quiapo Church, Sta. Cruz Church, Binondo Church and the Manila Cathedral and to my best friend, Bherry Fortuna for allowing me to use your camera for some of my shots, most especially the food shots. To Cj Carreon, Yedy Calaguas, Chrissie Adriano and Raemon Santos for being such great good friends and company! ^__^

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chicken Charlie, The Strolling Spoon's Newest Addiction!

"What a perfect day to be rewarded and have an amazing food trip", that's what I exactly whispered to myself after racing with time and running a lot of errands after work. It was such a busy morning, so I decided to relax by grabbing by favorite Spring Peach Iced Tea and then went to meet up with my dear friend, Yedy, for another exciting food review. All thanks to Spanky Enriquez of the Manila Boy Blog for inviting us into this another great affair - an event in a restaurant that has been intriguing me for already quite a time, a foodie place no other than the Chicken Charlie!

Today marks Chicken Charlie's first anniversary and to celebrate it, let me give you a quick tour down the memory lane where it all started and further introduce you to the BonChon fried chicken that made me crave for more after every bite. Ifore Yu, young entrepreneur and owner of Chicken Charlie (named after his dad, Charlie) said to have loved the BonChon that he tasted during his stay in New York. When he came back to the Philippines, he decided to create his own version of that Korean/New York style fried chicken and mastered the process of double-frying. And to share his delicious discovery to everyone, he opened his first store at Retiro-Banawe, then expanded and built a second store in San Juan and now the third branch in Malate.

The process of double-frying is what sets Chicken Charlie apart from the usual fried chicken that we know, for it takes a significant amount of the fat, making the chicken extra crispy (even without any breading) and grease-free. Since they only use 100% natural oil, Chicken Charlie contains 0% trans fat - outrageously delicious treat without the guilt!

Chicken Charlie Wings in Soy-Garlic & Spicy (poked with a stick)

What I love more about Chicken Charlie, aside from its undeniably crunchy exterior is its tender and juicy meat. Their flavorful fried chicken wings and drumsticks are not also drowned in sticky sauce but instead hand brushed with their signature soy-garlic or spicy sauces, making the glaze just enough to cover and add a layer of flavor that will surely tickle your taste buds . If asked which of these two glazes should I go for, I might have a hard time and end up having both since each has its own distinct taste that is a sure hit to the palate. Also, each chicken wing or drumstick is a perfect balance of flavor and texture, giving you an extraordinary delicious taste and a soul-satisfying crunch like no other.

Chicken Charlie Drumsticks in Soy-Garlic & Spicy (poked with a stick)

Aside from their fried chicken bestsellers, Chicken Charlie also offers great meal starters such as Potato Wedges and Cheesestick Dynamite. Their Potato Wedges are made from fat and fresh European potatoes cooked with the skin on - a perfect chicken side dish the way I want it. It's also not like any other french fries that we can buy in some fast food chains for theirs has more bite and texture into it and is cooked with 100% natural oil. (healthy! healthy!) Nothing really compares to the taste of the real thing.

Potato Wedges

Cheesestick Dynamite is another way to fire things up when dining at Chicken Charlie. As what Ifore have mentioned, this fiery treat should come with a warning sign because of its delicious spiciness that will surely elate your appetite. Imagine one big green chili coated with creamy cheese, wrapped in wanton and then deep fried to perfection - nothing but a creamy, spicy and intense burst of flavor in your mouth. Dip it in garlic mayo for an added layer of flavor and creamy taste.

Cheesestick Dynamite

For drinks, Chicken Charlie also offers something new to the public aside from the regular sodas and iced tea - Bundaberg Sarsa Parilla and my personal favorite, Ginger Beer. These two goes very well with the fried chicken - the Sarsa Parilla, with its root beer and cola flavors makes every gulp sweet and refreshing while the Ginger Beer, with its mild and inspiriting flavors cleanses the palate making you crave for more of the flavors from both the soy-garlic and spicy chicken glaze.

What's even better about Chicken Charlie is that everything is freshly cooked upon order which means that you're getting excellent quality food made with the best ingredients possible. And if you're on a tight budget and you don't want to sacrifice the taste of your food, Chicken Charlie also got your needs covered. Their prices are very affordable and is truly worth it. Prices are ranging from 99php/4pcs to 235php/10pcs for wings and 199php/4pcs to 379php/8pcs for the drumsticks. They also have the Charlie's Bowl that for only 59php you can already eat strips of their famous soy-garlic glazed chicken and sauce on top of steaming hot white rice - a delicious and satisfying meal for people on the go.

Charlie's Bowl

Visiting Chicken will not only allow you to experience good food and amazingly delicious fried chicken but at the same time first-rate customer service that will truly round up your visit to be worthwhile. As what Ifore have shared with us, Chicken Charlie wants to give out the best not just in terms of food but also with regards to the whole dining experience.

Ifore Yu, Young entrepreneur and Owner of Chicken Charlie

friendly service crews of Chicken Charlie

Truly, my experience with Chicken Charlie is exceptional. I don't usually eat chicken wings but through their superb quality and taste, they have made me crave for it and eat it like there's no more tomorrow, haha! Next time, I'll be visiting one of their branches with friends, to spread the love and share this great news, that only Chicken Charlie can deliver. ^__^

For franchising inquiries contact them at:

Tel. & Mobile Numbers:
Banawe: (02) 742-3333, 475-3781, 0932-2519475
San Juan: (02) 477-7422, 736-9315, 09323125854


Visit their branches at:
Banawe: 808 Banawe Street, Barangay Sienna (near C-3)
San Juan: 15 J. Abad Santos Street, Little Baguio
Malate: 1635 Adriatico Street, Malate Manila

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Heavenly Cupcakes from the Kitchen of Klar Joseph

I am a certified sweet tooth and a pastry lover. Since I was a kid, I am always seen eating either a slice of the classic Chocolate Chiffon Cake (I used to call it CCC) or any of my favorite chocolate bars. I remember one time when a friend asked me if I could give up having dessert and just have a heavy and delicious main course and end it right there. I laughed and said no, of course. I'd rather skip the full meal and go straight on indulging some heavenly desserts like these delicious cupcakes from the Kitchen Of Klar Joseph. It's my first time to taste their cakes, and from that moment on, I fell in love with it.

When I first saw their booth at the Best Food Forward event with a bunch of beautiful cupcakes on display, I immediately got excited and told myself that I have to try and buy some of the these gorgeous and truly enticing mini cakes. I got more elated when I saw that they're offering my favorite cake variants namely the Red Velvet, Classic Black and White, Brownie and Caramel.

The Kitchen of Klar Joseph were owned and managed by Klarrise (the pastry chef) and Jay Francis, very cute couple who share great passion for food and desserts. They warmly accommodated us and allowed us to experience how good their cupcakes are. Jay first invited us to try their Classic Black and White Cupcake and I must say that it was simply delicious. It is a vanilla cake with dark chocolate buttercream frosting topped with thin white chocolate shaving. This cupcake is perfect for those who love the balanced sweetness and taste of vanilla and chocolate. The glossy dark chocolate buttercream frosting amazingly complements the fluffy vanilla cake, making it a great tandem. This cupcake, being black and white in color, reminds of a formal party, a great pastry addition to your future light and shade themed event and gathering.

Black & White

Next on their list of heavenly delicious cupcakes is the Caramel. It is a caramel flavored vanilla cake generously topped with creamy caramel frosting. What I love about this cake is that it is not too sweet and the frosting doesn't overpower the mild flavors of the cake. True to its tagline of "sugar and salt make everything nice", the sweetness and caramel flavors of this cupcake is well balanced by a bit of saltiness making it an interesting alternative to its chocolate counterparts. The salt also highlighted the great flavors of the sugar producing a perfect tasting caramel. It's also yummy and simple yet very sophisticated to look at, the black vanilla seeds (I think) add a great touch of elegance to this cake.


Another equally great tasting cupcake is the Chocotella. Imagine a chocolate cake with nutella mousse filling and chocolate buttercream frosting - a sure hit to chocoholics and choco-hazelnut lovers like me! I am a self confessed addict not just to chocolates but also to the nutella hazelnut spread. My mom never fails to send me big jars of this for most of the time, I eat it with a spoon as an instant dessert (haha!) I love how this cupcake combined two of my favorite, great tasting flavors and then making it into one delectable cupcake.


Let's now move on to more of my favorite cupcakes, this time with a very chic classic, the Red Velvet Cake. I have loved this cake for a very long time now but tasting Klar Joseph's version made it even closer to my heart. It tastes exceptionally good as how dainty it looks like. I love that it's reddish, moist cake has a hint of chocolate taste. What brought tears to my eyes after tasting it is the cream cheese frosting that greatly rounds up the goodness of this cake. The flavors, especially the richness of the cream cheese frosting is truly admirable and astonishing. The combination of the cake and the cream cheese frosting is so divine that I have to take some of the cupcakes with me at home. Best Red Velvet Cake that I have tasted so far!

Red Velvet Cake

I didn't see this cupcake at first but I was surprised when Jay asked me and my foodie friends to comeback for this another fabulous cakevariant - Bailey's cupcake. Upon hearing it's name, I already got excited for whether it is a cocktail or a cupcake, I cannot deny the fact that I am so into Bailey's Irish Cream (I even coined my Siamese cat's name into it). No one can resist this very luscious treat - Klar Joseph's signature chocolate cake with Bailey's cream filling and frosting - talk about the goodness of chocolate and Bailey's Irish Cream in one fantastic sweet treat! Amazing!


Last but definitely not the least is my most favorite cupcake of all - The Diplomat. An interesting and unique name for a cupcake, the Diplomat, is said to lessen tension and promotes better understanding through its velvety and rich chocolaty taste, something that they regarded as the Valrhona diplomacy. This cupcake is insanely good that by giving it as a gift and eventually tasting it can melt the recipient's heart.

Made from the best and the finest French Valrhona chocolate, this cupcake is composed of rich and moist chocolate cake with chocolate filling and glossy ganache on top - a very delightful chocolate fix that many chocoholics will surely love. It tastes enchantingly awesome as it looks very plain and elegant (love that simple gold decor on top) and is like a food fit to be served only for the Gods.

The Diplomat

True to their passion of being always faithful to dessert, Klarrise and Jay Francis of the Kitchen of Klar Joseph really did a great job not just in creating fantastic and great tasting cupcakes but as well as in delivering excellent service to their customers. Now, I am not only officially hooked and a fan but also a proud new foodie friend for them. I suggest for you guys to order your cupcakes now and have the same fondness as mine. These heavenly cupcakes by Klar Joseph are The Strolling Spoon Certified!

Jay Francis and Pastry Chef Klarrise of Klar Joseph

The Kitchen Of Klar Joseph

For orders and inquiries:
Tel. Number: (02) 6339954
Mobile Number: +639175335527

Monday, April 4, 2011

TSS meets a new BFF: The Strolling Spoon at The Best Food Forward Event

A great weekend can be defined by people's varying perspectives and activities. Why do I say so? Let's say, for someone who works at night, it's obvious that it is the best time for me to catch up and sleep for outrageously longer hours. Even the social butterfly in me loves the weekend, for it is when the best parties are usually held. But what is it in a weekend that really excites me the most? Deep slumber or an all-night party with friends? Could be. But there's actually something more that I am very passionate about; something that really tickles my senses just by the mere thought of it. *giggles* If you've been reading my previous blogs, I bet you already know the answer - dear friends who eat good food together, not on a typical Sunday, but on a date when me and my friends attended The Best Food Forward Event.

I was very lucky that for this event, my friends namely, Yedy, of the Yedylicious Food Blog, Bob, Cj and Trisha were able to join me. It was a strikingly hot morning but that didn't hinder us from enjoying this one of a kind foodie affair with a cause - proceeds from this event will go to the Bayan-anihan and the Unang Hakbang Foundation - such a great way to enjoy lots of good food and at the same time help others in need. On the way to the venue (the NBC Tent at The Fort) we did a bunch of chit chats and catching ups, for some of us haven't seen each other for quite a while. I am happy that also through this event, we're not only going to have one great deal of a food trip but also enjoy our foodie friends' company.

Upon arriving at the event, we bought our tickets, grabbed the new issue of the Yummy magazine (my fave foodie mag) and headed straight to the booths. A lot of bakers and merchants, both known and new to the food industry, have participated in this affair to showcase their goods and products to the people. Let me show you how TSS and his friends visited every kiosk and enjoyed the treats they offer to our hearts content.

Risa Chocolates
For orders and inquiries:
Mobile Number: +63918-9424573
Look for Risa

Decadently delicious chocolate truffles made fresh from the finest ingredients. Try this melt-in your mouth heavenly treat in different variants such as the Dark Rum, Cerveza Negra, Orange, White, White and Dark and Macha Milk. These bite-size treats will make you crave and fall in love with chocolates over and over again.

Cuadro Chocolate Bars; comes in different variants: Lets Rocky Road (it's like having an ice cream in a chocolate bar; the combination of peanuts, marshmallows and chocolate swirls are truly satisfying); TiraMissYou (Risa's version of the classic and all-time favorite Tiramisu; light and creamy chocolate dusted with cocoa powder); White Chocolate Almondation (white chocolate laced with the refreshing and nutty almond taste. topped with real whole roated almonds) and the Bittersweet.

Simply Pie
For orders and Inquiries:
Look For: Gail Genevieve Ang
Tel. Number: (02) 3412238, 4123677
Mobile number; +639228822194

Mini Mushroom and Sour Cream Quiche

Spinach, Feta and Sun Dried Tomato Mini Quiche

Simply Pie offers Baby Pies, Puff Pies, Muffins and Healthy Cakes that you will truly crave for more with just a single bite. What I love more about these cute and tasty pies aside from its cheesy and meaty taste, is that they are made from organic and fresh ingredients making it a healthy alternative to the usual savory pies that we know.

Sugar Pie
Desserts by Tinapay
For orders and inquiries:
Mobile Number: +639178338862

Sugar Pie's specialty is its Signature Valrhona Fudge Bars. Each nibble oozes with rich and fudgy Valrhona chocolate streaming through walnut-laden oatmeal bars. A perfect chocolate fix for all chocoholics out there.

Dragonfly Desserts
For orders and inquiries:
Look For: Cheryl Ann Lim
Tel. Number: (02) 5069922, 4158003
Mobile Number: +639178780001 / +639098888802

Wicked Bites

The Dragonfly Desserts does not only offer these unique chili-chocolaty delights but also other pastries such as Chewy Cookies, Brownies and Bars, Tarts and Cakes that will surely tickle your taste buds. All of their pastries and desserts are prepared and baked fresh upon order and has no preservatives in it. They also use the freshest ingredients available to ensure the goodness of the products they offer.

The LowCal Cafe
For orders and inquiries:
Look for: Lindy Santiago
Tel. Number: (02) 8716508
Mobile Number: +639173205463

Fudgilicious Chocolate Cake & Healthy Carrot Cake

Yummy desserts without the guilt! - this is what LowCal Cafe is known for. Their desserts are sweetened with Isomalt, an all-natural sugar substitute extracted from sugar beets. Now, everyone can stay fit without sacrificing the goodness of cakes and pastries, all thanks to LowCal Cafe!

Supreme Brazo Bars by Ces Lopez
For orders and inquiries:
Tel. Number: (02) 7225638
Mobile Number; +639178271518

Creamy, golden custard of the finest homebaked quality,
sandwiched in two layers of light and chewy meringue

Tropical Cashew Crunch
Amazing combination of flavors, the nutty taste of the cashew

highlights the creaminess of the custard.

Strawberry Sunrise
A fruity twist out of the classic brazo
- sweet strawberries and cream combined with the rich golden custard -
never tasted such great tasting fruity brazo before. yummy!

For an avid brazo de mercedes fan like me, it was such a delight to see them not just in one but in several variants that equally tastes good. Fantastic flavor innovations! I actually had a hard time choosing what variant to buy but whatever I may have picked, it was still a sure hit! I am now in love Supreme Brazo Bars!

Jimenez Bakery
For orders and inquiries:
Mobile Number: +639166064815 / +639195747784

Chocolate Crinkles
- chewy and rich; a quick chocolate fix the way I want it

For orders and inquiries:
Tel. Number: (02) 2179874
Mobile Number: +639178905747

Christa's French Macarons
a meringue-based confectionery commonly filled with jam or buttercream,
reminds me a lot of Blair Waldorf's comfort food.

Klar Joseph
For orders and inquiries:
Tel. Number: (02) 6339954
Mobile Number: +639175335527

Chocolate, Red Velvet, Brownie and Caramel

One of my favorites! I immediately became a big fan of their cupcakes upon tasting it. Try their The Diplomat, Bailey's and Red Velvet Cake (check my separate review of these stellar cupcakes) and I'm sure you'll have the same fondness as mine. All three are so great it made my heart jump out of pure pleasure and happiness! Owners, Klarrise and Joseph are also commendable not just in making these heavenly desserts but for being really nice and friendly to their customers. Great desserts with excellent customer service - perfect!

MedChef by Chef Hasset Go
Tel. Number: (02) 5856052
Mobile Number: +639154871332
Visit them at 139 Mo. Ignacia Ave., Diliman, QC

I've known MedChef through a friend and got so hooked to their Pastry Tower. Since then, I have planned on visiting their store at Diliman for the Dessert To Go Friday. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do so since my place is quite distant from their store location. Finally, thanks to BFF, I was able to buy Chef Hasset Go's Signature Dessert, the Bread Pudding Creme Brulee and also meet the talented pastry chef personally. It was a quick yet a very interesting talk, mainly about their products and how they started their business of homemade cakes, pastries and desserts.

Bread Pudding Creme Brulee

I gave the Bread Pudding Creme Brulee to my little sister as an advance birthday gift and she liked it a lot. She said that she had never tasted a cake this good, simple yet very creamy and rich. I saw the same smile and happiness from my dad after eating that creamy and caramel tasting cake. He even asked me to bring him some of it again. haha!

Melange Fattisserie
For orders and inquiries:
Mobile Number: +639266200572 / +639063583943

Brownie Pops, Melange Fattisserie's cute and fudgy bestseller

Liqueur BonBons
For orders and inquiries:
Look for: Joana Lim
Tel. Number: (02) 5027941
Mobile Number: +639175783339

Absolut Chocnut Bons

Absolut Black Forest

Bacardi Rum & Raisin

Recently won the Authenti-City Award by ClickTheCity at the Best Food Forward Event for having the most original Click-worthy food offering. Who wouldn't love the great combination of liqueur and chocolates made into truffles; 3 bite-size truffles is said to be equivalent to 1 shot of the liqueur. All thanks to Liqueur BonBons, we can now enjoy our favorite drinks with a chocolaty twist. Congratulations!

Mobile Number: +639178310624 / +639228118771
Visit their stores at:
Unit 3 The Cliffhouse, Maharlika East, Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City
FIC Summer Cafe, Alabang Town Center
BF Paranaque
Marquee Mall Angeles City

Mochiko offers ice cream filled mochi which is a Japanese confection made of glutinous rice flour or "mochiko". Mochi are usually filled with a sweet center such as "anko"or red bean paste and eaten as a snack. Through Mochiko's innovation, we can now enjoy the delicious mochi filled with our favorite ice cream flavors such as mango, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and even caramel. Add to that their new flavors namely black sasame, azuki (red bean) and green tea. A perfect summer treat to everyone who loves to eat their ice cream with a bite and an added twist.

Nuiu Life Cuisine
Tel. Number: (02) 55318888
Mobile Number: +639175283283

Managed by Marjorie Magtoto, a registered nutritionist and dietician who can create satifying meals based on your dietary needs, this cuisine caters to those who want to still eat gourmet food without the guilt of taking in too much calories. They have created balanced and calorie-controlled gourmet meals that will keep your body fueled throughout the day. Eating healthy can never be this good, and it's delivered right to your door.

After indulging in all of those sweet treats, it's already lunchtime and we're all craving for something heavy and savory. We decided to occupy one of the picnic tables provided at the Outdoor Grilling Area of the event and order scrumptious meals from different kiosks of our choice. We got some Lechon Cebu, Food Guru's Chicken and Angus Beef Kebab with Biryani Rice and Peanut Butter and Company's Fish Diablo Pasta.

Lechon Cebu
- juicy and tasty pork that goes very well the vinegar and steaming hot white rice -

Food Guru's Angus Beef & Chicken Kebab
- mouthwatering beef and chicken meat grilled to perfection,
infusing the flavors of bell peppers, onions and carrots to the meat -

Peanut Butter & Company's Fish Diablo Pasta
- creamy, nutty and deliciously spicy peanut butter sauce
tossed into al dente pasta and fresh fish cutlets -

Tired but very happy, The Best Food Forward Event was indeed a success. It was such a great gathering of food entrepreneurs and food lovers who have made an impact on how we can help others in need and still enjoy good food at reasonable prices. This kind of events reminds us that even though we are going through tough times nowadays, there are still aspects in our lives that we have to enjoy and celebrate - being alive, being able to eat delectable meals and having good old friends to share our meals with everytime. Events like this should be done more often, for it gives people an avenue not just to showcase what they can make but also to help people find great stuffs at affordable prices. With that, TSS is looking forward for more fantastic weekends and more BFF's in the future... cant wait! ^__^

The Best Food Forward

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