Thursday, October 11, 2012

San Marcos Cake - Best Cake Ever!

I tried the San Marcos Cake at a Christmas Part two years ago (yes, I only got around to writing about it now).  The cake looked very simple but surprisingly, it was light, not to sweet, and incredibly tasty.  It was so good that after I had finished my slice, I camped in front of the cake to snag any piece that remained after everyone had gotten their share (walang tira! bigo!).  One can easily eat half of the two-tiered cake; maybe the whole cake if you skip the rest of the meal.

The cake is made up of vanilla sponge (at least I think its vanilla sponge), custard filling in the center, whipped cream all over; with a creme brulee topping.

The cake can be ordered from Valle Verde 2; text or call 0916 745 7729.  The last time I checked, the plain creme brulee topped cake was P700; the mango topped version (which I still have to try) was P800.

This is one of the best cake I have ever tried (at least the best for my peculiar, I mean particular taste)!


Hi my (small? very small?) army of readers.  Will try to update more often (and will try to post pictures, but am notoriously bad at remembering).  Thanks!

Feeling Blue about Purple Oven

I heard somewhere that Purple Oven (the bakeshop) supplies the cakes for Starbucks (I don't know if this is true but that's what I heard). So I was pretty excited to hear that the bakeshop had opened a branch near the Makati YMCA (which is a great location as it was pretty much on my way to work). Another good thing, the store usually is open by 7am.

 Unfortunately (you knew this was coming), good location notwithstanding, Purple Oven has proven to be a great disappointment. The loaf cakes I had tried were really nothing special (in fact, I can honestly say, at least two were some of the worst cakes I have ever tried). More so because of the premium pricing (P240 to P280 for a smallish loaf).

On two separate occasions, I bought the Apple Crumble and the Orange Almond loaves. On another visit, i bought their lemon squares for a merienda at the office. Both loaves were 'not very good' (I am being diplomatic here; note the heavy sarcasm). The Apple Crumble was dry and did not have discernable apple; it was torture trying to finish a slice (which I managed with a large cup of coffee). On the opposite end of the moistness scale was the Orange loaf, which oozed with oiliness but again, lacked flavor (the orange proved rather illusory). It was torture of another sort, trying to finish a slice of this slab of oiliness (this time around, even the coffee didn't help). The lemon squares were better; i found them a bit sweet but my officemates enjoyed them (P480/two dozen).

 I haven't tried their iced cakes; so I am not able to render any judgement on these (and I am unlikely to, given my experience). The bakeshop also had petite sized cakes and tarts, but curiously, one can only buy these in groups of six (curious given that one of these small cakes would still be big enough for two to share). I tried to buy some of the small cakes but apparently, the remaining five would be left forsaken if had taken one of the group away. On a similar note, my purchase of the lemon squares was an afterthought; I had originally wanted to buy two boxes of 24s of their brownies but the store only had boxes of 12 left. A box of 24 sells for less than the box of 12; the store personnel couldn't sell me the four dozens at the lower price (i suspect it was because the brownies had already been packed by the dozen and been recorded as such). The bakeshop seems to have an extremely strict inventory policy (no breaking up of grouped cakes; no repacking allowed). I must admit, this inflexibility annoyed me (just a bit).

 I truly wanted to like Purple Oven, truly (hence my multiple trips back); this would have been the perfect go-to-place for desserts and baked stuff. Unfortunately, it seems I may need to go elsewhere.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


Just returned to my blog and was surprised it had been more than a year since my last post. I admit I had a case of tamaditis; will make it my new year's resolution to try to update more often.

Myron's has been at Greenbelt for a long while; had a (not so) recent dinner there and it was good (better than I remembered from my first visit). Our group split a mushroom and cheese appetizer, a salad, steak and chicken (my apologies for the generic description but i blame this on my fuzzy memory given that this dinner was a couple of months back. Will update once i get my hands on a copy of the menu). All the dishes were pretty amazing (particularly the mushroom and cheese thingie) except for the chicken which was quite forgettable. Although price points were on the high side; serving sizes were generous.

Service was excellent, attentive but not stalkerish. Expect to pay upwards of P1000.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Had been planning a meal at Canteen for the longest time, after having discovered the good old chocnut ice cream from Uva still being offered here. Finally got around to it the other day.

I really wanted to say i liked the meal; but I can't. We both ordered fish (mainly because most of the other meals were not available that day; in fact, it seemed they had more items not available than available). She had the miso glazed mahimahi fillet with soy rice; i had the crusted fish fillet with citrus dressing. My friend found her order too salty (I didn't try so I can't comment); my fish, on the other hand, was spoiled (weird and funky smelling and tasting). The restaurant did offer to change the dish, but I kinda lost my appetite (just asked for a tuna sandwich; ate half and gave away the other half).

Masochists that we were, we stayed for coffee and dessert. Having tried the chocnut ice cream previously (which I must add was very good), we opted for the Trailer Park Reeses Peanut Butter and Jelly Monte Cristo and the Bananas Foster with Mantecado Ice Cream. The less said about the Monte Cristo the better (unless you two years old or hugely fanatical for deep fried bread), basically, it was not good. The bananas foster, on the other hand, I am conflicted about; having run out of mantecado, the restaurant served the dessert with chocnut ice cream. It wasn't a good pairing; lumalaban ang chocnut flavor with the caramel sauced bananas. Perhaps with the mantecado, it might have been better.

All in all, a very disappointing meal. Had really high hopes for the restaurant, it being reasonably close to my office. Sigh!

BTW, the restaurant occupies a third of a boutique. The stuff the store carried did look interesting (mix of street and club wear with eco-socio footwear thrown in (the store carried Toms)).

Saturday, April 03, 2010

In Mr. Choi's Garden

We celebrated my mom's Chinese birthday today at Choi's Garden. It was my second time to eat in this Greenhills landmark (highly regrettable but it is rather hard to park in that stretch of road). (For the unaware, Chinese people have two birthdays; one based on the Chinese Lunar calendar, the other on the western Gregorian calendar. We get to celebrate twice in year; it's a good thing.)

We ordered the old staples: sweet and sour pork (yummy! one of my favorites), fish fillet with bean curd, string beans with stir fried pork (another one of my favorites); and cha misua (or misua guisado; another favorite). The sweet and sour pork and the string beans were two of best I've tasted in a while. The pork was crispy and the sauce was perfectly balanced between a bit sour and a bit sweet. This was classic Cantonese style! The string beans were juicy; the minced pork flavorful, salty and spicy. The fish fillet was also perfectly cooked; the fish fillets were moist and the batter was not too thick. The cha misua was not too oily, a bit dry (but I like my cha misua dry) and loaded with sahog (shrimp, chicken and ham! never had ham before in cha misua).

We only had two dimsums, cha siew rice roll (another one of my favorites) and chicken feet (not one of my favorites!), so I really can't comment on the quality and taste. Suffice to say that the cha siew rice roll was not up there on my Go To list (I think the roll was oversteamed as the rice roll was a bit mushy).

All in all, a very enjoyable lunch! The bill came to about P1300 for five persons; pretty reasonable in my opinion. Worth going back to try the other stuff on the menu.

PS. Some of the dishes came out a bit oily. According to my mom, it is common practice for Chinese chefs to splash a little oil on the dishes right before serving. This is to enhance the look of the dish (bright and shiny). I would recommend a word to the waiter (hold the anointing!) IHMO, Chinese food is not suitable for people who are weight challenged who hoping to be not.

Me and Mr. Jones

Finally was able to grab a seat inside Mr. Jones (who is Mr. Jones anyway?), an upscale diner located along restaurant row in Greenbelt 5. The smallish restaurant only has around 8 tables in airconditioned comfort; more seats are available outside, if one doesn't mind the heat and a rather strong pair of misters (no not bouncers; I meant machines which spray water mist to cool the air through evaporation; end of science lesson) which instead of being pointed skywards, is tilted towards the tables and diners (yummy, finely misted dirty water in your food!). If you are like me and would prefer indoor seating (where it is cool and dry), make sure you either arrive early (11:30ish) or later (after 1pm).

Have had two meals in Mr. Jones and the dishes ranged from good to great. The green salad is a huge bowl of mixed, unusual greens, topped with soft boiled egg, orange slices, olives, grapes, feta cheese, walnuts, and parmesan cheese shavings, served with what I think is a honey balsamic vinaigrette. This was yummy; had it two days straight and still liked it (best salad I've had in a long time). I and my dining companion had the salad split into two; but even this portion size was substantial. If you aren't too hungry, half of this salad would make a fantastic light lunch. In this first meal, we also ordered the bacon-wrapped meat loaf, again split into two. The portions served to us, even halved, were substantial. The meat loaf was moist, but lacked a certain oomph. It was good, but could have been better. The slab of ground meat was served with a mound of mashed potato, baby carrots and haricot verts (green beans, pardon my french).

My second meal (which was exactly 25 hours later) I and another dining companion had the same salad (well, she hadn't tried it and i liked it still), tomato soup, and taco. The tomato soup was thick and creamy (with the addition of cream); it came with a grilled cheese sandwich; the soup alone would have made a satisfying light lunch. I found the soup a tad salty, but not to the extent that I couldn't slurp it down. It was a nice touch that the soup contained alphabet-shaped pasta. The taco was gigantic; a huge quantity of rice, black beans, tomato, onions, cheese, lettuce enveloped by a crispy taco shell (which I think is made by the restaurant; had that homemade quality, which is good). One has the choice of fish or beef; we had beef and what a lot of beef! Whole chunks of grilled steak! The taco was served with tomato and onion salsa, pickled jalapenos, and sour cream. Owing to the impending mess, I always eat my taco salad-style (which just means you break up the taco and mixed everything together, doused with liberal spikes of hot sauce). Yum!

The price points per dish is rather steep (from P300 to P500) but serving sizes are huge. I strongly recommend sharing; splitting with your friends also means you get to try more dishes! For both meals, i spent a shade or two below P500. Service is excellent and the wait staff knowledgable and helpful.

Mr. Jones is my current favorite in Greenbelt 5 (also known as the great wasteland; so many restaurants, so many bad and overpriced). I will certainly be back for more; in both visits, i failed to sample dessert owing to the huge size of main courses. The milk shakes (served to the other diners) look fantastic; the breakfast selection also seems inviting (I spent minutes reading the description for a five-stack lemon ricotta blueberry pancake).