Summer Getaway: White Rock Waterpark and Beach Hotel

Itching to go somewhere out of town but on a shoestring budget? Why not have a pocket vacation to a nearby resort? My family and I don’t have anything planned for the summer, so my daughter Bea and I decided to go to my hometown of Olongapo on the last weekend of March. Once there, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take a day-trip to White Rock Waterpark and Beach Hotel located in Matain, Subic, Zambales — just approximately 20 minutes away from Olongapo City.

Bea soaking up the sun in White Rock

Bea soaking up the sun in White Rock

The resort has been there since I was a kid, but I didn’t realize it had improved so much over the last several years. The sprawling 7-hectare property now boasts of two wave pools, a kiddie pool with water slides, an adult pool, a zipline facility, hotel rooms and villas, and a scenic beach, among others. The day tour rate is P650 per person and P325 for children ages 3 to 7. The fee includes a free use of kayak and access to the waterpark’s facilities. We totally enjoyed the Giant Wave Pool — Bea stayed there for hours dancing and just splashing in the cool water.  The waves run for 30 minutes every hour on the hour accompanied by loud, happy tunes. That was really fun!

White Rock Waterpark and Beach Hotel

White Rock Waterpark and Beach Hotel

We dined at the resort’s in-house Sunset Cafe, but bringing of food and drinks is allowed provided that the guests will rent a table. I prefer just ordering off the restaurant’s menu. Anyway, we haven’t had so much fun on the beach in such a long time! Because I grew up in a small city very close to beaches, I became so sick of going to the beach when I became older. I always avoided the beach and preferred to go somewhere rather cooler and indoors. But I didn’t want to deprive my little girl of some fun under the sun, and our trip to White Rock was definitely awesome. I wouldn’t mind going back. Just a piece of advice: Don’t forget to bring sunblock and apply it as often as possible.

Cost of this getaway:

Bus fare from Victory Liner Pasay station to Olongapo : P218 x 2 = P436

Jeepney fares to and from White Rock:  P92

Entrance fee to White Rock: P650 x 2 = P1,300

Lunch and snacks in Sunset Cafe: P975

Souvenirs (bracelet and keychains): P140

Bus fare from Victory Liner Olongapo to Pasay: P223 x 2 = P446

Total cost: P3,389.00

Categories: Weekend Getaway | Leave a comment

Raffles Makati

Someone once proclaimed that life begins at 40 (it’s actually the title of a 1932 non-fiction book authored by Walter B. Pitkin). I personally believe my life really began at 25, but I still wanted to make a big deal out of turning 40.  So on my 40th birthday last March 8, I chose to celebrate that milestone with my loved ones in this luxury hotel: Raffles Makati.

The Lobby / Writers Bar

The Lobby / Writers Bar

Inaugurated on December 3, 2012, Raffles Makati boasts of over 200 residences for extended stays or private ownership and only 32 suites (broken down into 23 Junior Suites, 8 Executive Suites and 1 Presidential Suite) for hotel guests. Booking online was such a cinch, and I was able to reserve a Junior Suite about a full month before my birthday. Upon confirmation, though, I was informed via email that the Raffles swimming pool will be under rectification during our stay. I have to admit I was very, very disappointed. But even that didn’t douse my excitement about our overnight stay.

Writers Bar

so happy at 40

Upon arrival, we were immediately treated to welcome drinks at the Writers Bar. My husband Caloy had coffee, I had tea and our daughter Bea had fresh orange juice. Peanuts and potato chips were also served on the table. After that, we were ushered into our junior suite , where this sweet surprise was waiting for me –

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me!

On the small dining table in our suite were some delectable pastries and confections as well as a chocolate cake adorned with fresh mixed berries. There was also a welcome card signed by the hotel’s manager, Mr. David Batchelor. But my heartfelt thanks goes out to the ever-gorgeous Monique Toda, Director of Communications of Raffles Makati, for arranging this wonderful surprise and for making sure I had the grandest time on my birthday. One of the perks of blogging is meeting important people in the hospitality industry, and Monique is the sweetest (and the most beautiful) hotel executive I’ve ever met through the years. I just love her!

Suite 908

Suite 908

The lobby of Raffles Makati may not be as grand as, say, Makati Shangri-La or The Peninsula Manila, but the rooms are  sublime. The Raffles Junior Suite exudes an understated elegance while still being tastefully stylish. The 60-square-meter accommodation has spotless hardwood floors, a nice parlor with charming furnishings, a separate living room and dining area, a walk-in closet and a very spacious bathroom. Everything about the suite is impressive.

our room for a night

our room for a night

Afternoon tea service at the Writers Bar is inclusive in the room package and I was so looking forward to it. Offered daily from 2:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon, the Simply Classic Afternoon Tea set is said to be good for two persons, but in reality, it can be shared by 4 to 6 (if they all have tiny appetites). Seriously, four of us partook of the set and we still had so much leftovers (that is not to say that the food wasn’t good, it was just plenty). We started with some finger sandwiches (roast beef, smoked salmon,  ham, cucumber, and egg salad), then moved on to scones served with clotted cream and jam, and then finally a three-tiered serving tray with tartlets, choux pastries, cakes and macarons.

afternoon tea set

afternoon tea set

I’m  a self-confessed tea lover (I’d like to believe I was some sort of British royalty in my previous life… haha!) and I must say I really enjoyed the gourmet tea at Raffles. It’s by Harney & Sons Master Tea Blenders, and I fell in love with its tea selections instantly.

"Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world." T'ien Yiheng

“Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world.” — T’ien Yiheng

Cocktails follow from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., also at the Writers Bar. My husband and I took the opportunity to have our “date night” and enjoyed our free canapés and unlimited specialty cocktails and beer. I got to try the iconic Singapore Sling, a drink consisting of gin, cherry brandy, pineapple juice, lime juice and lemon juice. My favorite foodie/travel host, Anthony Bourdain thinks it’s disgusting, but I kind of liked it. What I didn’t like was the Cranberry and Cucumber Mojito, just because it had way too much cucumber. Ulk.

left: Classic Singapore Sling; right: Cranberry and Cucumber Mojito

left: Classic Singapore Sling; right: Cranberry and Cucumber Mojito

The morning after, dear husband and I had a sumptuous breakfast at Spectrum, the hotel’s all-day buffet restaurant. The breakfast spread was awesome without being overwhelmingly excessive. What sets Spectrum apart from all other hotel restaurants is the fresh honey station, where guests can see real live honey bees hard at work! I love taking my tea with honey so I really appreciated this unique feature.

*burp*

*burp*

We couldn’t leave the hotel without taking a dip in the pool over at Fairmont Makati, which shares the same address with Raffles. Fairmont‘s pool is admittedly bigger and perhaps even nicer, but Raffles‘ is more private. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to enjoy it because of the ongoing rectification. Maybe that was a good thing because my husband said that we shall be back for it.

Fairmont Makati's swimming pool

Fairmont Makati’s swimming pool

Making that decision to spend my 40th birthday in Raffles Makati proved to be right, and the luxurious and relaxing experience was truly worth the price of the overnight stay. I mean, if life indeed begins at forty, this is exactly where I want it to start.

Categories: Hotels, Staycation | Leave a comment

Spread the LOVE

The sweetest treat came on Valentine’s Day in the form of these Premium Fudgy Brownies from Mary Grace Cafe. Imagine, the cafe gave out 143 boxes of these humongous brownies absolutely free to the first 143 persons who signed up on its facebook page! How sweet is that? It took me only about a minute to register and what I got in return were the chocolatiest brownies ever!

"Love is all you need." -- The Beatles

“Love is all you need.” — The Beatles

I’ve always loved Mary Grace, the cafe and the lady behind it. She does not know me at all personally, but I remember seeing her when her first cafe in Serendra opened in 2006. Ms. Mary Grace Dimacali graciously held open the door of her restaurant so that I could ease my Bea’s stroller into it. She had this warm smile on her face that one can easily surmise was genuine. Her warm and friendly personality is evident in her shops and her staff. They seem to be very well-trained and happy in their work environment. Ms. Mary Grace is precisely the kind of entrepreneur that this country needs — a loving mom and a dedicated wife who values home, family and faith. She spreads love all around with her comforting dishes and delicious cakes and pastries.

Someday I hope to be just like her.

Categories: Cravings, Promotions/Freebies | Leave a comment

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s Shio Ramen

At first, I couldn’t understand why people would be willing to wait in line just to get a table at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Glorietta.  But then again, I was never really into ramen. My cravings for Japanese food usually revolve around sukiyaki, sashimi, okonomiyaki and even takoyaki. Ramen, a typical Japanese noodle soup dish, is something that I’ve only recently learned to appreciate. So I guess you can say I’m a neophyte to this whole ramen craze.

As I have learned from my research, sometime in March 1988, a modest ramen shop called Ramen Santouka opened its very first store on the island of Hokkaido in Japan. It offered only one item on its menu– Shio Ramen (salt-flavored ramen). Soon enough, it became a big hit and now it can be enjoyed all over Japan and around Asia. Here’s why:

pizap.com13908917563301

Shio Ramen

The soup is not served piping-hot as one would expect, but just the right temperature because the broth is only simmered, never boiled. Imagine all those pigs’ bones simmered for about 20 hours… yes, 20 hours! What you get is a creamy, rich and flavorful soup base for your ramen. Then they add in salt for its signature shio ramen (other soup flavors are miso [soybean paste] and shoyu [soy sauce] — which I have yet to try).

My daughter Bea says her favorite component of the shio ramen are the noodles, which are perfectly flavored to complement the delicious soup. I, on the other hand, love every single ingredient in the bowl. One slurp of the soup and I instantly felt like I was transported to Japan, one of my dream travel destinations. The chasu quite simply melts in the mouth while the menma and kikurage provide an extra layer of texture with their bit of firmness to the bite. The shio ramen is the only one garnished with the umezuke, which gives a slightly sour taste to the ramen. All together, the shio ramen is one perfect dish for the cool weather we’ve all been experiencing these past couple of weeks.

Categories: Cravings | Leave a comment

St. Giles Makati (St. Giles Classic Hotel)

I won an overnight stay in St. Giles Makati from its photo contest on facebook (there were only 7 entries and 5 winners, go figure) and I used the free accommodation right away. I was with my husband, Caloy and our daughter, Bea and we wondered who Saint Giles was and how come a hotel chain was named after him. I searched his name on Google and read about his life but couldn’t find the connection. Anyway, among other things, Saint Giles is the “patron saint of Edinburgh, Scotland, where the St. Giles Cathedral is a prominent landmark.” (Wikipedia)

Now back to our wonderful, albeit short stay at St. Giles Makati last December…

the lobby/reception

the lobby/reception

Towering at 35 stories high, St. Giles Makati is situated right smack in the center of one of Makati’s busiest districts, along Makati Avenue corner Kalayaan Avenue. My husband was attending a Christmas party at the A. Venue Mall the day we checked in at the hotel, and it was so convenient because the place was just nearby. We were warmly welcomed by the hotel’s Ms. Armina Mangune and were billeted on the 28th floor, specifically in Room 2820, which offered a nice view of the bustling Makati Avenue.

Room 2820

Room 2820

The hotel has a total of 512 rooms that evoke subtle elegance and feature simple, no-frills interiors that are ideal for business travelers. Our room was very clean and there was a lot of space to move around, plus it looked brand-new — after all, the hotel’s only been around for a couple of years. It’s equipped with all the amenities that make for a pleasant and relaxing stay. A fresh fruit platter greeted us upon entering the room, as well as a personalized card from the hotel’s general manager and a handwritten note from our room attendant. Such a friendly gesture!

desk / TV

desk / TV

There’s a small swimming pool on the roof top — the 35th floor — which also houses the Presidential Suite. A gym facility can also be found there, and the view of the city can be quite arresting. Bea and I took a dip in the chilly water on a cool December morning.

pool area

pool area

When you step outside the hotel, there is no shortage of restaurant choices since Makati Avenue is lined with hundreds of dining establishments and then some. In fact, Bea and I walked from the hotel all the way to the Ayala Triangle Gardens at night time, but eventually had dinner at North Park right across St. Giles Makati. For those who prefer to confine themselves in the hotel, however, there’s the in-house BayLeaf Restaurant on the second floor, where breakfast is also served to hotel guests.

BayLeaf Restaurant

BayLeaf Restaurant

The breakfast fare was typically what we always have at home, but it’s alright since I didn’t want to eat too much, anyway.

my breakfast plate

my breakfast plate

Surely our experience at St. Giles Makati has been delightful and hassle-free. Special thanks to the Assistant Communications and Marketing Manager, Ms. Armina Mangune, for making all the arrangements and for the warm hospitality.

Categories: Promotions/Freebies, Staycation | Leave a comment

A note of thanks

At the start of 2013, I took on a challenge posted by one of my online friends on facebook: a gratitude jar or box. The idea is to fill the jar or box with notes about things or events — big or small — that make one grateful. But because there’s so much to be thankful for every single day, I decided to just choose the ones I will jot down and put in my jar.

my gratitude jar

my gratitude jar

In a few hours, we shall bid 2013 goodbye. It wasn’t exactly a great year, what with all the political scandals, calamities and tragic events that shook our nation. On a personal note, we lost our dearest Daddy in March this year. We all know he is happier now, but it still aches to think that he’s no longer with us physically.

Still, God always gives us countless reasons to praise and thank Him. These are some of the notes I found in my jar at the end of 2013:

- January 3: First day back in school and Bea didn’t give me a hard time.

- January 9: Perfect day with my Caloy. I went to the gym while he played tennis and then we had a longsilog breakfast together in a neighborhood carinderia. I love my husband so much!

- February 18: Won a hotel suite accommodation in Hotel Celeste from a facebook contest.

- March 1: Thank you, Lord, for a safe and wonderful 3-day trip to Ilocos!

- March 8: Thank you, Lord, for a great and memorable birthday! Feeling fine at 39. [written on the back of a gate pass slip from Victoria Court - Malate *wink*]

- May 6: Nanay and Poppie’s 40th anniversary weekend celebration at Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

- June 5: Bea’s very enjoyable 9th birthday celebration at Red Box and Hotel Celeste

- July: Won a Club Epicure Premiere membership from New World Makati Hotel

- August 11: Got a free room upgrade to a Deluxe Suite in Hotel H2O. Super fun long weekend with the family! Thank you, Lord!

- August 14: Caloy surprised me with a Goldilocks Caramel Popcorn.

- Hassle-free claiming of Enhanced Availment Benefit from PhilPlans

- found new friends and lunch buddies in the persons of Arlene, Dette and Gem

- afternoon tea dates with my closest friend, Rodelyn

- Won an overnight stay at St. Giles Makati Hotel from its facebook contest.

- Watched Alice in Wonderland (Onstage Greenbelt 1), Cinderella (Resorts World Manila) and Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove (Smart Araneta Coliseum)

- celebrated our 10th anniversary as a married couple

For all these and thousands more, I am very, very grateful. I thank God Almighty for the gift of life, love, family, friends and salvation. I am hopeful that 2014 will bring many glorious surprises and delightful adventures.

May 2014 be our best year yet.

Categories: From the Heart | 3 Comments

Churros by Cioccolata

Previously I wrote about our free overnight stay at The Bayleaf Intramuros, where we had the most sinfully delicious bagnet from its restaurant, 9 Spoons. Due to lack of time, I was not able to dine at the other hotel dining outlet called Cioccolata Churros Cafe, a charming little spot that specializes in pastries (churros being its signature product, obviously), sandwiches plus coffee and tea concoctions. I vowed to myself that I will go back there to sample the churros, so one early morning I took the LRT from Vito Cruz to the Central Station near the Manila City Hall and walked all the way to the walled city.

pizap.com13852869038041

Cioccolata Churros Cafe

Without wasting any minute upon arrival at the cafe, I ordered the original churros with cacao dip (P95) and paid extra for the additional caramel dip (P30). It took a while before it was served but that was fine with me as I had way too much time in my hands.  Churros are a traditional breakfast food particularly in Spain, Portugal, Mexico and Argentina.  They are fried dough pastries (similar to doughnuts) usually accompanied by thick hot chocolate as a dip. The origin of the churros is still debatable, but one story traces their roots in Spain. It is said that the first churros were made by shepherds and that the pastry was named after a breed of Spanish sheep called, well, churro.

churros with cacao and caramel dips

churros with cacao and caramel dips

Here in Manila, I’ve always been a fan of Dulcinea’s Churros con Chocolate. Cioccolata‘s version comes very close to Dulcinea‘s in terms of appearance, texture and taste. It has a slightly crunchy exterior and a soft interior. The stark difference, as far as I could tell, lies in the native cacao dip. The one in Cioccolata is darker and thicker, making it much bitter and, oddly, with a bit of a tangy aftertaste. But it was good.

cacao dip

cacao dip

However, because I’m partial to all things sweet, I actually liked the caramel dip better.  Some might say it’s overly sweet, but I preferred it over the bittersweet chocolate. I’ve never had churros dipped in caramel sauce before and my tastebuds were pleasantly surprised by this new pairing.

caramel dip

caramel dip

I found it so lovely to be sitting in a churros cafe in the city’s oldest district built by the Spanish colonial government, enjoying this popular Spanish treat. I imagined myself sitting quietly in a quaint churreria in Spain, munching on warm, freshly-cooked churros while watching people rushing about on their way to work or school. What a truly nice way to kick off the morning.

Categories: Cravings | Leave a comment

The Bayleaf Intramuros

hotel facade

hotel facade

Ever wondered why such a classy boutique hotel was named The Bayleaf? Food enthusiasts know that the bay leaf is widely used in cooking certain dishes (such as our very own adobo) for its distinctive flavor and aroma. In the Philippines, bay leaf is more popularly known as laurel, and that’s how it came to be the name of this small but elegant hotel in Intramuros — it is run by the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU), which is owned by the illustrious Laurel family. Get the connection?

the lobby

the lobby

From a safe distance, the boutique hotel doesn’t look impressive enough but I’d have to admit the edifice seems to blend well with its environment. The Bayleaf has been on my wish list of hotels that I’d like to try, but I knew that it was a long shot since my husband Caloy only likes to stay in hotels within several meters from major malls. As it happened, the bar examinations were held last month and, because Caloy is a professor in the LPU-College of Law, he was given a complimentary accommodation at The Bayleaf on the eve of the first Sunday of the bar exams. Instant wish gratification!

Premier room

Premier room

The room assigned to my husband was one of the three Premier rooms — the orange one. Each floor of the hotel has a color motif such as lime green, aubergine and orange. The Bayleaf has a total of 57 guest rooms:  40 superior rooms, 10 deluxe rooms, 3 premier rooms, 3 executive suites and 1 Bayleaf suite. Our room was just the right size at roughly 30 square meters, but it’s very clean and comfortable.

9 Spoons

9 Spoons

We had dinner at the main dining outlet, 9 Spoons, which is also where breakfast is served daily for hotel guests. I wanted to order something simple like a salad or pizza, but my daughter Bea had her heart (and tastebuds) set on the Bayleaf Bagnet classic on a bed of pinakbet (stewed native vegetables in shrimp paste). I’m so glad I heeded her request because the bagnet proved to be the highlight of our whole hotel experience. Bagnet is a regional specialty dish of deep-fried pork belly, which Bea learned to eat during our trip to the province of Ilocos earlier this year. The Bayleaf Bagnet (P400 – good for sharing) has the qualities of really good, authentic bagnet: very tender, fatty and tasty pork meat plus perfectly crisp pork rind. If this photo doesn’t make you drool, I don’t know what will –

IMG_0627

Bayleaf Bagnet

The next day, we had buffet breakfast at 9 Spoons. The selection wasn’t anything to write home about, but the restaurant offers a spectacular panoramic view of Manila and that made up for the lackluster breakfast fare.

breakfast with a view

breakfast with a view

The Bayleaf is indeed a charming addition to the historic walled city of Intramuros. I certainly would love to go back and stay another day so I could try the churros at its specialty cafe called Cioccolata. If only the hotel had a swimming pool, albeit a small one, it would be even better.

Categories: Hotels | Leave a comment

Like or Dislike? (Part 4)

In a sea of food blog sites in the Philippines, there’s only one that I read on a regular basis from the time I stumbled upon it in 2006: Dessert Comes First. Surely there are thousands of food blogs out there, but only Lori Baltazar of DCF can masterfully combine excellent food photos with her beautiful prose — she can even write about something as simple as eggs so seductively, and that to me is the mark of a great writer. I first met Lori in early 2007 and I was so inspired by her that soon after, I also started my own blog. But Lori is definitely in a totally different league when it comes to food writing. Through the years, I’ve constantly wondered why she has not cooked up a book yet, and I’ve even sent her text messages about it a few times. Well, I know for a fact that writing a book entails a LOT of work (since my husband has written two law books and is currently updating my father-in-law’s books), and that Lori will never come out with something half-baked. And so, when DCF the book finally came out, it’s even better than what I hoped for. It really is worth all the wait. If you love food and love ogling food photos, give yourself or someone special this wonderful gift. Dessert Comes First is exclusively available at all Fully Booked branches for P1,499.00. LIKE. LIKE. LIKE.

Dessert Comes First: The Book

Dessert Comes First: The Book

*   *   *

I’ve been wanting to try the green tea variant of  Nestle KitKat for quite sometime but find it too expensive in local stores. Luckily, my niece, Trisha, recently visited Japan for a few days and brought home the best pasalubong for my adult taste. I’m sure not everyone will agree with me, but for a huge green tea lover like myself, KitKat Green Tea is my idea of an exquisite dessert. I love it to bits. One very enthusiastic LIKE.

KitKat Green Tea

KitKat Green Tea

*   *   *

As a stay-at-home wife and mom, I’m usually torn between being thrifty and wanting to look good. I actually spend more on my food adventures than on what might be considered as “beauty products.” But now that I’m pushing 40, I realize that it’s time to make some effort to delay the signs of aging. I now use a night cream (Nivea Visage Sparkling White Night Care) to help reduce my very large facial pores. On a recent trip to Watsons, I grabbed a couple of Glam Works Body Scrub (in avocado and papaya) for P149.75. At buy-one-take-one, it was such a steal!  The soft beads gently exfoliate my skin, making it softer and more supple. Plus I love the delicious fruity scents of avocado and papaya. I use them alternately every other day for a luxurious bath time experience without the costly skin care products. LIKE. LIKE. LIKE.

Glam Works Body Scrub

Glam Works Body Scrub

*   *   *

La Petite Camille is a Vietnamese restaurant that originated from San Francisco, California and now has a branch in Greenbelt 5, Makati. Some weeks ago, I won a free appetizer dish from La Petite Camille‘s quiz on its facebook page. The dish was called Goi Cuon Chay or Fresh Vegetarian Rolls (priced at P195) which had vermicelli noodles, cabbage, carrots, turnips, celery, black mushrooms, basil and lettuce wrapped in fresh rice paper accompanied by its house sauce. While it was good and very filling, I prefer the Goi Du Du or Green Papaya Salad with Prawns (P245) which I ordered and paid for. Bursting with sweet-salty-citrusy flavors from the salad dressing of fish sauce, lime juice and sugar, I loved how light and refreshing it was. I can’t wait to try more of La Petite Camille‘s other signature dishes. LIKE.

Goi Du Du

Goi Du Du

 

Categories: Bookshelf, Cravings, Hotels, Products | Leave a comment

Who’s nuts about cronuts?

While the lines over at J.Co Donuts and Coffee are still very long, a new food craze is taking Manila by storm — and I’m not talking about cookie butter or tonkatsu. I’m referring to the sweet pastry that goes by the following names: cronut (trademark pending), croughnut, cro-nut, croinut or doussant. Judging from those names, one can easily surmise that this pastry is essentially a hybrid of a croissant and a doughnut, which is what it really is. It was only during the first half of this year when the cronut made its debut in New York City, but Manila quickly caught up and joined in the cronuts craze. I personally was reluctant to try it, but then I thought I’ve always been a fan of croissants/puff pastries and donuts — plus I was curious about all the hype, so I caved in and I’m not sorry.

The first one I sampled was this Double Belgian Chocolate Croughnut (P89) from Le Coeur de France. It wasn’t a case of love-at-first-bite, but I didn’t have a hard time gobbling it up. Although it’s more soft and chewy rather than flaky, it’s delicious and not too greasy (because it’s baked, not fried). The size is just right to satisfy a sweet craving. The best thing about it is the yummy chocolate topping.

Double Belgian Chocolate Croughnut from Le Coeur de France

Double Belgian Chocolate Croughnut from Le Coeur de France

Next I tried Cafe France‘s version, which is simply called French Donut (P99).  I chose the Salted Caramel variety over the Classic Chocolate and Lemon Custard. This half-croissant-half-donut obviously bathed in cooking oil — it was way too greasy. The texture of the puff pastry was okay and the salted caramel frosting was really good — more salty than sweet, which gives the pastry a nice flavor contrast.

Salted Caramel French Donut from Cafe France

Salted Caramel French Donut from Cafe France

The cheapest cronut I found was, surprisingly enough, from the Deli Snack shop of Century Park Hotel. The Chocolate Pistachio Cronut (P55) is about the same size as the one from Le Coeur de France, but it is oozing with so much cream filling that made it kind of cloying. Overall, it’s alright for its price, considering pistachio nuts are pretty costly.

Chocolate Pistachio Cronut from Century Park Hotel

Chocolate Pistachio Cronut from Century Park Hotel

The last one I sampled for the purpose of this blog entry is from The Jeepney Bakery of Intercontinental Manila. Among the different flavors, the Red Velvet Cro-nut (P130) was what caught my attention. Out of the 4 cronuts I’ve tried, this one was the flakiest (if there is such a word) and was toasted to a fine crisp but also very, very oily. There was no hint of cream cheese, just a delicate filling that tasted like Bavarian cream. The cro-nut didn’t have the distinct taste of red velvet cakes, just a sugar-sweet glaze that I adore.

Red Velvet Cronut from Intercontinental Manila

Red Velvet Cro-nut from Intercontinental Manila

Who’s to say what cronuts should really taste like? As long as they taste good, then that’s all that matters. Now that I’ve tried them, I can say that I like them a lot but not enough to compel me to fall in line just to get some. I’m not that nuts about cronuts.

Categories: Cravings | 4 Comments