Two-in-one coffee mix. Two-in-one toothpaste and mouthwash. Two-in-one shampoo and conditioner. Two-in-one mobile phone and organizer. We live in a curious age when consumer products are marketed to be better because they’re essentially two products in one. But how about desserts? Sure, we’ve got cake a la mode but that’s about it. That is, until we heard of Custaroons.
Just what on earth is a custaroon? Well, it’s a mix of custard (or leche flan in more familiar terms) and macaroons (dessicated coconut and milk confection). Custaroon is a term coined by its creator, Gigi Gaerlan, a self-confessed sweet tooth and leche flan fanatic. Hailing from a family of restaurateurs, getting into a hobby of baking sweet treats came naturally to Gigi. In a very competitive marketplace, she felt the need for a unique product she can call her original. So she mixed her liking for custard with her mom’s recipe for macaroons. At first, she just baked batches for giving away to relatives and friends. But soon, orders started trickling in. That was way back in 2000. At present, Gigi’s Custaroons are still home-baked in her kitchen in Sta Mesa. Happyfoodies samples custaroons and shares the experience.
When the mercury constantly hit 36 degrees or higher even on days when the rains play games with the sun, it’s just instinctive to reach for something to cool with. On an assignment in the Quezon City area, our eyes got caught by a very colorful signage and a witty name for a yogurt outlet – FYI. The acronym stands for “Frozen Yogurt Indulgence,” and one look at the items on offers suggested this can be a nice place to cool down on a hot and humid afternoon.
For the foodie with a bigger than average appetite, there is a constant battle waged against small portions. Should I place two orders instead of just one? Should I place an additional order after the first one comes? Such is the perennial dilemma of the hearty eater. Count us happyfoodies in that category.
Happily, there’s no such dilemma at Bigby’s Café and Restaurant. With roots in Cagayan de Oro City, Bigby’s makes its way to Manila, opening its newest branch at the atrium of SM Megamall recently. True to its name, the food we were served came in big, nay, humongous portions. But how does the food taste? Follow us as we navigate our way to the Bigby’s food trip menu.
The food court of a mall is normally NOT the place to look for decent Japanese food. Almost always, the “food court pricing” automatically means that the food outlet would scrimp on ingredients or cut corners, ergo less satisfying Japanese fare. But happily, we found an exception and it was literally right under our noses – Banzai Japanese Kitchen in the food court of Cash & Carry Mall.
Desserts have always been synonymous with the word “sweets” but it doesn’t always have to be that way. A visit to an American country-style bakery cafe named Mom and Tina’s proved us wrong. They have a huge selection of baked goodies that are both truly luscious to the eyes and delectable to the taste.
Mom and Tina’s is a run by the Torres family (named after their Grandmother Mama Belen and her daughter Tina Torres-Santos) for a few years now. The restaurant shows that the very good home-grown food they prepare is hard not to hide for so long. Starting as a small bake shop in Pasig, their place eventually grew to a large bakery cafe in front of SM Hypermart in Ugong. And about 3 months ago they opened a new spot in Legaspi Village along Dela Rosa, Makati where we were finally able to sample what they have to offer.