I let a perfectly fine work opportunity slip away very recently just so I can be with my Bea on her first day back in school. Now that she’s in the third grade, I felt that this would be a good time to start working again, since she gets off school at almost 4:00 pm anyway. But then I had to weigh things carefully and so, to make a long story short, I decided to continue being a stay-at-home mom for now. I can’t complain about it, really. My husband, who is currently juggling several jobs as a lawyer and a teacher, is a very good provider and is supportive of my hobbies: dining out and blogging about it. So I’m still blessed and extremely grateful.
Yesterday, while my husband was at work and my daughter Bea was in school, I went on a solo food trip at the SM Mall of Asia. I’ve been there many times and yet I feel that I have not completely toured the area. I cannot imagine how many restaurants, kiosks and food carts there are in that mall. The choices are endless and kind of overwhelming — they even keep growing! But I had one goal and that’s exactly where I went for my first stop.
A proudly Asian doughnut brand, J. Co Donuts & Coffee originated from our Southeast Asian neighbor, Indonesia. It has already expanded to Malaysia, Singapore, China, and now the Philippines. The shop offers some of the most inventive and unique doughnut creations like the Alcapone, Copa Banana, Green Tease and Mona Pisa. Each piece is pegged at P42 (or about US$ 1.00).
Since I love avocado so much, I had the Avocado DiCaprio — soft and delicate doughnut with a rich and creamy avocado frosting lined with chocolate shavings and filled with light and airy avocado mousse. The creaminess reminded me of my favorite avocado mixed with condensed milk. Others might find it overly sweet, but I liked it. I brought home a box of 3 donuts and Bea was so delighted with her Choco Caviar Strawberry.
J. Co Donuts are fresh and yummy, they could give other doughnut brands a run for their money. It doesn’t matter where your loyalty lies, I think it’s a good thing to have a lot of options and alternatives in the market. It provides healthy competition among the rivals as they try to improve their products, and we, food lovers, end up very happy.
After that sweet start, I hankered for something savory and/or spicy. My search ended at Peanut Butter Company. Although I’m not so crazy about peanut butter, I’d occasionally eat peanut butter sandwiches — at home. It’s not something I’d order in a restaurant, you know what I mean? It’s just peanut butter. You slather toasted bread with it and it’s done. At Peanut Butter Company, however, they add peanut butter to just about anything: pasta, chicken, even fish.
I don’t usually eat the white meat part of chicken, but wings are a different story. There’s just something about nibbling at those little bony wings that makes eating them a lot of fun. The BBQ Chicken Wings (P165) at PB Co. are coated with a special batter and sauce and then drizzled with its very own Chili Peanut Butter (available in jars at the store). They have just the right amount of spice that’s lip-smacking good.
While they’re not the very best chicken wings around, I’d have to give PB Co. a thumbs-up for that interesting spin on my favorite wings. Perhaps I’d give the chicken curry pasta (with peanut butter) a try the next time I drop by.
My third and last food find yesterday was this Mt. Arayat Special Halo-halo (small – P70). To be frank, I’m not a fan of the so-called “white halo-halo” that the province of Pampanga has become known for, but I became very curious to try this particular concoction.
For all the Kapampangan‘s boisterous nature, I wonder why they make such lame halo-halo. What’s so “special” about this one is that there are only a few ingredients: kidney beans (mashed and whole), chunks of pastillas de leche, corn kernels and corn flakes. They use fresh carabao’s milk and there’s no added sugar so the subtle sweetness comes naturally from the beans. Really not my type. And for its price, I even felt shortchanged. I’d choose the cheaper halo-halo from the streets over this one anytime.
Well, this food tripping activity is no way to live for a 38-year-old like me, whose metabolism is, sadly, not anymore like before. But I choose to enjoy my momentary solitude. This morning I tried to jog the calories away lest I want my arms, belly and hips to grow any bigger than they already are.