Afternoon Tea in Manila: Dusit Thani

* Part 6 of a series *

Hotels are certainly some of the most reliable and ideal places to unwind and savor some of the finer things life has to offer.  Thus, in my quest to try the different afternoon tea offerings in the metro, I turned to one of our family’s favorite hotels: Dusit Thani Manila. In fact, I am a Dusit Gold cardholder, which means I get to enjoy discounts and other perks every time I stay or dine in any of its hotels worldwide.

Dusit Thani Manila's Afternoon High Tea

Dusit Thani Manila’s Afternoon High Tea

This Afternoon High Tea at Dusit Thani is the most affordable among those I’ve sampled in hotels so far — priced at P495 nett — and let me tell you why.

afternoon tea

afternoon tea

I must say that I love its unique three-tier serving tray that’s designed like a birdcage. It’s absolutely adorable. Service was great, as usual — the server even gave my daughter Bea some cookie nibblers and a glass of cold water even without her asking. However, the food selection was rather disappointing. The bottom plate had a pair of smoked salmon sandwiches and a pair of edam cheese sandwiches. They were very plain and… blah. The middle plate had a couple of chocolate chip cookies, which were not as chewy as I had hoped. Actually, I really wished they were scones instead of cookies. The topmost plate was a dessert sampler: a slice of what tasted like food for the gods topped with frosting, a small piece of cheesecake topped with strawberry, and what seemed to be an opera cake. None of them was a tasty treat. It’s such a shame because I’m very fond of the sweet creations in the hotel’s pastry shop, Dusit Gourmet.

Dilmah Earl Grey Tea

Dilmah Earl Grey Tea

Dusit serves Dilmah tea, which is very good, but because it was served a good 20 minutes ahead of the food, my tea was already stone-cold before I even started to eat. Oh, well….

I still love Dusit Thani Manila, especially its dining outlets Benjarong (for authentic Thai cuisine) and Umu (for delectable Japanese cuisine). The afternoon tea, however, leaves much to be desired. I wish they could improve on it because I know they can.

Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.”

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Afternoon Tea in Manila: The Peninsula

* Part 5 of a series *

Filipinos certainly love buffets and The Peninsula Manila recognizes that. So aside from offering just an afternoon tea set for two, it also has an afternoon tea buffet available daily at its majestic lobby from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. The buffet spread is really impressive. Well, what else can you expect from the Pen?

Let’s start off with tea. The Peninsula Manila serves  TWG Tea and I chose its Sweet France blend: “The elegance and refinement of France concentrated in a teacup. This gracious TWG blend combines green tea with exotic flowers and a touch of chamomile to create a fresh and soothing cup.”

Sweet France tea

Sweet France tea

I’ve already discussed the differences between afternoon tea and high tea in a previous post. Afternoon tea is supposed to be a light snack between lunch and dinner, or what is commonly known in our country as merienda, while high tea is a heavier meal taken later in the day, like an early dinner. It’s safe to say that the Pen‘s afternoon tea buffet fare falls under high tea, except that the hours when one can enjoy it fit into the afternoon tea time frame. But, whatever. For my first plate, I got some fish fingers, grilled fish and pineapple on a skewer, smoked salmon in a bagel, sausage roll, bacon and marble potato salad, shepherd’s pie and beef on bread. So deliciously filling!

my first plate

my first plate

I was already full, but there was still so much food to try. I guess that’s my main problem with buffets — I tend to force myself to eat way too much so that I can get my money’s worth. This indulgent afternoon tea buffet costs P1,350++ per head so you can understand why I kept going back to the buffet table. Ha ha!

second plate

second round

Finally, I got some Pinoy favorites and fixed myself a glass of halo-halo, one of The Lobby‘s bestsellers. The buffet spread changes seasonally but I do hope these delicacies will always be part of it.

sweet ending

sweet ending

Sure enough, I didn’t have room for dinner after overindulging in this afternoon/high tea affair. It’s nice to try the Peninsula Manila‘s afternoon tea buffet once — just once — but then I must say it defeats the whole concept or purpose of afternoon tea. Personally, I enjoy the simpler afternoon tea set more but this buffet was quite a gastronomic experience nevertheless.

“Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors.” – Alice Walker

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Afternoon Tea in Manila: Poetry & Prose Patisserie

* Part 4 of a series *

With afternoon tea gaining more popularity in the city, more dining establishments are now offering it as a regular part of their menu. One such restaurant is Poetry & Prose Patisserie located on the Streetscape strip of Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong. It’s a charming little place, reportedly inspired by the tea rooms of the famous Angelina of Paris, and the menu is decidedly French.

Poetry & Prose

Poetry & Prose

However, afternoon tea is headlined as The English Tea Sets (Thé Anglaise), available daily from 2:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon. There are three choices, namely: Le Sablière (tea for one – P305+) consists of 2 regular scones, 3 mini-French pastries and a pot of tea; Duchess of Bedford (tea for two – P588+) has 4 mini-scones, 4 tea sandwiches, an assortment of 6 mini-French pastries plus choice of tea; and Queen Victoria (tea for three – P758+) includes 6 mini-scones, 6 tea sandwiches, 9 assorted mini-French pastries and tea.

Queen Victoria set

Queen Victoria set

I was with my daughter Bea, my friend Rodelyn and her two kids when we tried the Queen Victoria set last year. We also ordered additional items like beignets, mille-fuille and macarons apart from the afternoon tea. I thought that the selection of finger foods was very satisfactory.

desserts come first

desserts come first

The topmost tier had the sweet stuff: cake slices, profiteroles and madeleines. The second layer was devoted to scones, while the last layer held assorted tea sandwiches. I had no cause for complaints. They’re all good.

Harney & Sons

Harney & Sons

Tea is by New York-based Harney & Sons Master Tea Blenders, another high-quality tea brand with which I’m totally in love. I’m just so glad that it is already being distributed in the Philippines so I can always enjoy its finest blends. The Paris tea, for instance, pays homage to La Ville Lumière with its blend of fruity black tea, vanilla, caramel and a hint of lemon and bergamot. It has a very calming effect.

The thing I love most about Poetry & Prose Patisserie is that the owner of the place is a certified lover of literature and food. Proof: she also owns Pages Deli, another perfect place for book lovers and food lovers alike. Cheers to that!

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis

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Afternoon Tea in Manila: Makati Shangri-La

* Part 3 of a series *

Strictly speaking, there are remarkable distinctions between Afternoon Tea and High Tea. First off, the former is a light meal consisting of finger sandwiches, scones and small cakes or pastries. It is usually taken during the mid-afternoon hours between 3 o’ clock and 5 o’ clock. The latter is significantly heavier, like an early dinner type of meal. Historically, afternoon tea was identified with the high society, hence it involved the use of fine china (i.e., fancy teapots and teacups), while high tea originated from the lower/working class or laborers who got home from work at around 6:00 p.m. and were therefore famished. Traditionally, high tea consisted of meat dishes (such as steak and kidney pie), fish, vegetables, bread, baked beans and cheese. Moreover, the tea was poured from brown kettles instead of teapots, and served in mugs and not teacups.

Now that we know the differences between the two, we can safely assume that in today’s society, class discrimination is no longer observed insofar as afternoon tea and high tea are concerned. In fact, they are used interchangeably nowadays. Or perhaps, they mean the same thing to some establishments just like Makati Shangri-La.

Classic High Tea

Classic High Tea

My friend Aimee and I met up at the Lobby Lounge of Makati Shangri-La yesterday for our long-overdue afternoon tea date. The afternoon tea menu has three selections: Filipino High Tea (P650++) includes bibingka, vegetable spring rolls, pan de sal with bistek tagalog, empanada with adobo, banana turon, buco pandan, leche flan and the like; Classic High Tea (P650++) consisting of scones, sandwiches and desserts;  and the Lobby Lounge Special (P700++) which contains mostly fancy sandwiches and pastries.

scones with homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream

scones with homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream

Aimee and I agreed to just go for the Classic High Tea mainly because of the scones. The set seemed fit for royalty, and with background music of soft piano, violin and flute played by the hotel’s very own 14-piece orchestra, we knew we were in for some wonderful, relaxing time. The scones on the top layer of the 3-tiered tray, however, were a bit too dry and lacking in taste, but we managed to eat them all up anyway.

savory bites

savory bites

The second tier offered some savory bites: smoked salmon on rye, duck foie gras in brioche, ham and cheese sandwich and a little crab cake. All good.

sweet stuff

sweet stuff

Quite predictably, the third layer proved to be my favorite — desserts! Fresh strawberries and cream tartlet, pineapple panna cotta, sacher torte and marble cake slices: yum, yum, yum and yum!

Ceylon Young Hayson Green Tea

Ceylon Young Hyson Green Tea

The most important component of afternoon tea is, of course, tea itself. Makati Shangri-La offers a variety of specialty tea from one of my favorite brands (and I have so many), Dilmah. From the long list of tea selections, we chose the Ceylon Young Hyson Green Tea: “a gentle brew with a slightly sweet finish, this tea is ideal as an accompaniment to a meal, or as a relaxing afternoon tea.” And true enough, it was an excellent choice.

Makati Shangri-La‘s Classic High Tea set was very filling and highly satisfying. Our bill added up to almost P800 inclusive of taxes but, all things considered, is this afternoon tea worth its price tag? A big, fat YES.

“There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Categories: Afternoon Tea, Cravings | 2 Comments

Afternoon Tea in Manila: Chateau 1771

* Part 2 of a series *

I’ve always been kind of intimidated by Chateau 1771‘s menu as well as its high-class appeal (read: very expensive). It has that air of sophistication that doesn’t quite match my personality. The French bistro that also serves Italian and Swiss specialties has always seemed too glamorous a restaurant for me so I’ve never dined there even though it’s been around for more than 25 years. Well, that was until I saw its promotional poster in Greenbelt for its Afternoon Tea available from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. daily. The set good for one to two persons costs P595+, while the other (supposedly for 3 to 4 persons) is priced at P950+. Not too intimadating, right? So I brought my mom-in-law along one afternoon to try it.

Afternoon tea for two

Afternoon tea for two

My initial reaction upon being served the afternoon tea set was, “That’s it?” According to Chateau‘s website, the set changes everyday, depending on the chef’s ingredients for the day. When we dined there were six pairs of bite-size sweet and savory nibblers on the tray: two teensy-weensy scones with a dollop of jam on their side (no clotted cream); shrimp on bread; ham on bread; roast beef on bread; dark chocolate tartlets; and little portions of Chateau‘s famous coffee pie. They’re so tiny they looked rather sorry. [On a positive note, that two-tiered serving tray is so pretty! I wish to own something similar.] For the beverage, there was a choice of La Maison du Thé or Vittoria French press coffee. I picked the Earl Grey tea — at least, it was good.

Chateau 1771

Chateau 1771

I felt a bit embarrassed to my mom-in-law for the tiny portions of food so I prodded her to order additional food from the regular menu. I guess she was either (a) also embarrassed or (b) too polite because she said she was already too full to order anything else. But seriously, even for someone with a bird-like appetite, there’s no way this afternoon tea set will suffice. If you ask me — and I’ve tried quite a few afternoon tea in town – Chateau 1771‘s afternoon tea is not good value for money.

“Life is like a cup of tea… it’s all in how you make it.”

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Afternoon Tea in Manila: Lartizan Boulangerie Francaise

* Part 1 of a series *

My biggest regret after my short vacation in the city of my dreams is not that I wasn’t able to see some of its most iconic tourist attractions like the Tower of London or the Tower Bridge or even Westminster Abbey — it’s the fact that I didn’t get to experience a proper English afternoon tea. I have tons of excuses (It’s too expensive. I didn’t have the luxury of time. The serving was too much for me; my Bea wasn’t particularly keen on sharing the set with me. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…) but now I just hit myself on the head for having missed the once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy afternoon tea in the place where it all began. Oh, if only I could turn back time….

Tea makes me happy. I’ve been an avid tea drinker ever since I was barely out of my teens, and I’ve been obsessing over afternoon tea sets in Manila even long before my visit to the British capital. Afternoon Tea is not just a meal to help reduce hunger pangs before dinner; it is a time-honored ritual of privately enjoying a pot of tea with some light snack (i.e., bread and butter). First introduced by Duchess Anna of Bedford circa 1840, afternoon tea later on evolved as a posh social affair — with the ladies donning fashionable gowns, gloves and hats. These days in England, a proper afternoon tea is considered a luxury that is usually enjoyed on special occasions in hotels and some dining establishments.

Well, to make up for my missed opportunity in London, I have made it my personal mission to sample different afternoon tea offerings from various spots in Metro Manila, starting with this French-inspired bakery, restaurant and tea salon: Lartizan Boulangerie Française.

Lartizan in Serendra

Lartizan in Serendra

If you’re fond of The French Baker, then you’ll find its high-end sister-restaurant quite impressive. With classy chandeliers and elegant chairs, Lartizan offers stylish dining comforts and features an extensive menu of artisanal breads, pastries, breakfast, lunch and dinner specialties, afternoon tea, desserts and coffee. Of course, I went for Le Thé de Apres-Midi (Afternoon Tea) which is served daily between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m.

sweet and savory pastries

sweet and savory pastries

Because afternoon tea is best shared with a friend, I invited my friend Steffi to join me for a bit of catching-up just a few days before she and her family leave for a 2-week vacation in New York. I thought it’s the perfect send-off for her because we both absolutely love sipping tea. The afternoon tea in Lartizan is available in either Le Petit (Regular – P590+) or Le Grande (Large – P850+).  Naturally, I opted for the bigger serving. The two-tiered silver tray came with 3 English scones with a mini-jar of black currant jam and fresh clotted cream, 6 sweet pastries (2 mango tartlets, 2 Parisian macarons, a mini-chocolate eclair, and a mini-fruit-filled pate-a-choux), and 6 appetizers/savory pastries (2 mushroom mini-puffs, tuna-filled tomato, fresh mango cocktail shrimp boat, and 2 roasted chicken salad sandwich rolls). I found the selection very nice and tasty; Steffi and I were particularly delighted with the scones.

Le Grande Afternoon Tea

Le Grande Afternoon Tea

Not to be outdone by the delicious finger food, the tea at Lartizan is also something else. It’s from the Paris-based gourmet tea company, Mariage Frères (Mariage Brothers), the oldest French importer of fine tea. I’ve already tasted its Rouge Provence tea blend previously, so I decided to try the Jasmin Imperial with the set. It’s made with very rare green tea infused with the most refined jasmine flowers. Very soothing, very delightful. Tea preparation in Lartizan requires meticulous attention to the amount of tea leaves, water temperature and steeping time. In fact, there’s a timer that goes off before the carefully brewed tea is served on the dining table. It’s so grand! For its lovely tea salon, great food selection and exceptional tea, I highly recommend Lartizan‘s Afternoon Tea.

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” – Henry James

Categories: Afternoon Tea, Cravings | 2 Comments

Azumi Boutique Hotel

I just celebrated my 41st birthday with a relaxing weekend staycation at the relatively new Azumi Boutique Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa. Located within the Madrigal Business Park, a short distance from Alabang Town Center and Molito Mall, this modern hotel offers 187 rooms with a simple, minimalist design.

Azumi Boutique Hotel

Azumi Boutique Hotel

Since it was just my daughter Bea and I staying the night, I only booked a Queen Room (the smallest and cheapest unit) through agoda.com a few days before our stay. The published rate is P6,505++ but I was able to snag the best deal on agoda for only P2,600net per night (without breakfast). For its discounted price, the room isn’t so bad. It’s a 25-square-meter studio-type unit that features a queen-sized bed, a day bed that’s convertible to a single bed, wood-laminated floors, a private balcony, glass-walled bathroom with privacy blinds, LED TV, a full-sized refrigerator, microwave oven, kitchen sink and other amenities for a comfortable stay.

Room 1411

Room 1411

my darling Bea

my darling Bea

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:)

After checking in early, Bea and I had lunch at Romulo Cafe, the hotel’s in-house restaurant on the ground floor. I dined at the Makati branch of the restaurant last year, when I treated my friends to lunch a couple of days before my 40th birthday, so I know that the food there is really good. After lunch, we took advantage of the hotel’s shuttle service to go to the nearby Alabang Town Center. It’s actually just several minutes’ walk from the hotel, maybe about 6 to 8 minutes, but we wanted to avoid the sun’s harsh rays. This photo was taken outside the hotel while we waited for the shuttle van –

#happy #grateful

#happy #grateful

What I really loved about Azumi is its chic lobby in subdued hues of black, white, gray and splashes of red. My eyes were transfixed on all those travel mementos displayed on the shelves. This stylish lobby is a design inspiration for me. So adorable.

hotel lobby

hotel lobby

nostalgia

nostalgia

Of course, I didn’t waste the opportunity to have my birthday portrait taken there.

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photography and styling by Bea

On the hotel’s roof deck is a long but narrow swimming pool overlooking the city. It’s a nice touch but then the breeze was too chilly in the late afternoon so we didn’t stay there for a long time. But we still enjoyed our stay despite the following: [1] there’s a tea/coffee facility in the room but there’s no complimentary sachet of coffee or a tea bag (I went down to Romulo Cafe to have my morning tea fix but it cost me P99; had I known, I would’ve brought a tea bag with me since I have a large stash at home, or I could’ve bought one from the 7/11 store in Molito Mall across the street. Anyway…..)  [2] the sounds of vehicles on the streets outside are very audible even up on the 14th floor while we were sleeping. But then again, for the price that I paid, it was still a wonderful weekend getaway. Happy birthday to me!

Still having fun at 41.

Still having fun at forty-one.

Categories: Hotels, Staycation, Weekend Getaway | Leave a comment

Kismet

[noun] from the Turkish and Arabic word, qisma : fate; destiny; a power that is believed to control what happens in the future.

"My husband is a promise from our Father that I will have a best friend forever."

“My husband is a promise from our Father that I will have a best friend forever.”

Do you believe that destiny plays a hand in how our lives will turn out? That everything happens for a reason and is part of a grand design? Well, I do. Here’s why –

I was born in March of 1974. At the time, my would-be husband Caloy was about to graduate from high school. Between us, there is an almost 17-year age gap.

I was born and raised in Olongapo City. Caloy is a Manila boy through and through.

In 1991, when I was 17 years old, I stayed in a dormitory along Maria Orosa Street in Ermita, Manila. I was a freshman in college. Caloy, who was already a lawyer then, frequently visited the Court of Appeals, which was located in front of my dormitory building. We never met that time, of course.

By some stroke of fate, I got admitted into the College of  Pharmacy in UP Manila. Science was certainly not my strongest subject. I wanted to take up a course in Communications. I struggled through my first 2 semesters and had to take a leave of absence, also due to financial difficulties.

While I was on leave from the university, I was just bumming around at home in Olongapo when I chanced upon the TV program Remembering the Beatles. I watched it about a hundred times and became obsessed with the band and its music.

In 1994, I decided to start working in an office while pursuing my college degree in my hometown. I worked as a secretary in the Seaport Department of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, then went to school from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. everyday for 3 years.

In 1998, the SBMA had a tumultuous change of administration. Caloy, who disliked traveling outside of Manila, found himself in Subic as the deputy of newly-installed Chairman Felicito Payumo. He would shuttle from Manila to Subic and back every week for the next six years. I had already graduated from college, took the civil service professional examination and passed, so I was already made into a permanent employee.

Caloy was married to his first wife. I was in a long-term relationship. I really thought the guy I was seeing was the one and I had no doubt we will end up together. I’m so glad we didn’t. Fate brought us together for a very important purpose: so we can both become Christians.

In 1999, I applied for a higher office position and was accepted for the job. Caloy — who was the highest official of the Business Group to which I belonged — and I finally met. During one of our conversations, we discovered that we’re both avid fans of the Beatles. There was an instant connection. We became very good friends.

In June of 2001, I flew to Germany for further studies sponsored by the German government. Four months later, Caloy’s wife, Maybelle, passed away after a long bout with cancer. I came back from Germany and back to my old office in July of 2002.

In August of 2003, Caloy took me in as one of his executive assistants and we worked very closely together. A month later, he proposed to me. His exact words were, “You will make me the happiest man if you’ll marry me.”

So you see, if I hadn’t been admitted to the UP College of Pharmacy, I probably wouldn’t have dropped out; if I hadn’t been a bum for a year, I probably wouldn’t have become a Beatles fan; if I didn’t leave UP, I probably never would’ve worked for the SBMA; if I hadn’t worked there, I probably would’ve never met my Caloy, the love of my life. Our paths never would’ve crossed. And the rest, as they say, is destiny working its magic.

Until now, I still could not believe that Caloy chose to marry me — a simple, provincial lass — when he could have picked some sophisticated, beautiful, smart and a far more accomplished woman. And I know for a fact that there were so many women throwing themselves at his feet, widower or not. After all, he’s an accomplished lawyer, a brilliant professor, a responsible father and a very charming, funny guy. He’s someone I never even knew I dreamed of marrying all my life.

And whenever I still wonder why he chose to marry me, I can only think of one answer: kismet.

Categories: From the Heart | 5 Comments

Red Ginger in City of Dreams Manila

The newest luxury casino and leisure complex — City of Dreams Manila [COD] — had its official grand opening last Monday, February 2, just when my friends and I decided to pay a visit. The world-class, billion-dollar project sits on a 6.2-hectare property along Roxas Boulevard. It houses three posh hotels for guests who want to stay longer: Nobu Hotel, Hyatt Hotel and Crown Towers. We were fortunate enough to have a quick guided tour of the entire facility aboard a golf cart driven by Bien, one of the very friendly and highly-trained staff of COD.

Since I don’t know the first thing about casinos, I’m foremost interested in the dining establishments in the area. There are several operational restaurants already aside from the hotel dining outlets, but my friends and I decided to have lunch at Red Ginger on the casino’s upper ground level. Red Ginger is open all day and showcases a variety of popular Southeast Asian dishes on its menu. Plus, I believe this restaurant is the most affordable choice.

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We started with Fragrant Thai Fish Cakes (P220) served with “baby cucumber and house made sweet chili sauce”. I can’t quite agree with the “fragrant” part because the fish cakes smelled, well, fishy. There are 4 pieces per order and since there were 4 of us dining, we only had one fish cake each. It’s good but I’ve had better.

Fragrant Thai Fish Cakes

Next came the Lemongrass and Forty Cloves of Garlic Chicken Wings (P320). It’s no secret that I love chicken wings and this dish easily hit the spot for me. Served with a bowl of steamed jasmine rice and 3 different kinds of sauces, the wings were so tender and tasty with just the right level of spice.

Lemongrass and Forty Cloves of Garlic Chicken WIngspizap.com14230133631541

We also tried Red Ginger‘s take on Popiah (P360) — crispy fried rolls stuffed with barbecued duck and vegetables accompanied by lettuce leaves and chili garlic dip. They’re also nice and flavorful.

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There’s a lovely array of desserts on display aside from the ones listed on the menu, but I had my eyes (and heart) set on this: Lemon Madeleines with Green Tea Spread (P190). Because I’m addicted to all things green tea, I loved it. The marriage of freshly-baked madeleines and the bittersweet flavor of matcha was just so delightful.

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City of Dreams Manila excites me. Unlike Solaire — where there’s not much to explore — COD promises to be a more dynamic entertainment spot for those who like to unwind within the city. I have never set foot in Las Vegas but I think COD gives us a glimpse, a taste of what it’s like to be in the Entertainment Capital of the World. I’m looking forward to the opening of Dreamworks’ DreamPlay in March or April. It’s a wholesome interactive play attraction for kids and fun-loving adults. Surely, it will give me another reason to visit this urban resort called City of Dreams, with my daughter Bea in tow. Can’t wait.

Categories: Cravings | Leave a comment

January 27 is Chocolate Cake Day

Since the start of 2015 I’ve been trying my hardest to avoid eating cake, mainly for two reasons: (1) I’m trying to lose the extra pounds I gained over the holidays; and (2) I’m saving up for another trip. So every time I am tempted to buy a slice of cake and successfully stop myself from actually doing it, I put the same amount of money that I saved from not buying the cake into my “travel fund”. It’s a swell idea, don’t you think? I get to hit two birds with one stone, so to speak.

But in truth, it takes a lot of self-control for me to say “no” to cakes. I mean, seriously. I LOVE CAKES.

Well, today is National Chocolate Cake Day in the United States. Now, normally I do not observe American traditions/holidays like Halloween or Thanksgiving but come on, it’s Chocolate Cake Day! It’s a food holiday, what can I say?

Dark Caraibe

Dark Caraibe

Chocolate cake comes in numerous incarnations: there’s the classic pound cake, fudge cake, devil’s food cake, flourless chocolate cake, lava cake, and so on. For today, I fancy this Dark Caraibe Cake (P220 net) from Cafe Maxims in Resorts World Manila. Caraibe is a variety of cacao beans from small plantations in the Caribbean islands. It produces smooth chocolate with a naturally sweet, fruity taste and a hint of nuts and roasted coffee. Cafe Maxims’ Dark Caraibe creation is actually a lush chocolate mousse glazed with the creamiest dark chocolate topped with fresh berries and garnished with even more chocolate. It’s a masterfully thought-of and perfectly executed confection.

Cafe Maxims' masterpiece

Cafe Maxims’ masterpiece

If you think that’s all there is to it, think again. Inside the chocolate mousse is a surprise center consisting of white cream and a crisp layer of hazelnut crunch to cut the rich chocolatey-ness of the cake.  It’s marvelous!

I’m calling upon all chocolate cake lovers to indulge in some real scrumptious chocolate cake today. Let us all unite and celebrate this special food holiday!

Categories: Cravings, Food Holiday | Leave a comment