Thursday, January 13, 2011

Michell's Cakes & Pastries + More Filipino Specialty

Last new year's holiday vocation, me and my son had a road trip to San Fernando Pampanga and dine to the restaurant near by Bliss Hotel where me and my some we spent for the whole week. And we drove the new toyota altis with plate no: RHH 159 (a rental car) yes, it's quite a drive just for convenient to visit my relatives and headed back to hotel every night. I really didn't want to waste any single minute on the roads doing commute. I was so busy for the past few days and had cough and colds on this hush weather condition in Taiwan and its quite bloody cold, and I'm so late for my updates. Here's some a few information  on my whole week in San Fernando, if you are traveling in this area.
I had been craving for typical Capampangan dishes for a whole week and from mom kitchen. I decided to go for sweet desserts in the evening. And we found this pastry shop along the gasoline station.
The inside was a quite unlike in other restaurants, I have been in San Fernando, not that much people. The atmosphere it was excellent environment. Some people could have feel that the place was great with its nice ambience and pretty cakes.
We started with the pistachio meringue or pistachio sansrival and yes it was really good. I really love sansrival and this kind rivaled by classic favorite. It melted and at the same time, the chewy goodness is still there
I will more often than not pass on anything chocolaty, and go for something along the crepe. When I saw  of the mango pandan crepe on the menu, I couldn't help. Its funny how our eyes like to play tricks on us. A part of this on my curiosity about how each mango pandan crepe with macapuno for just Php180. Will taste in terms of its texture and sweetness level as I’ve had it come in different flavor. The hint of pandan and macapuno (sweet coconut strips) flavor provided a refreshing tone to it, but overall the crepe were well cooked, the batter was light, it was quite heavenly delicious, unique and the taste of which was further heightened by the fragrant of pandan also deserves a very high rating. Undoubtedly the best crepe I had eaten.
Charles order the "Castle in the Clouds" is made of fluffy Belgian waffles tucked together layered with glazed bananas on a cloud like bed of whipped cream, drizzle with chocolate sauce with strawberry. It was so good! I have no vocabulary to describe it, excellent or fantastic are simply not good enough to explain how it tasted like. However the drinks we had it was disappointed, I order the Vienna coffee and when it came it was a ordinary brewed coffee with fresh milk and it serve in paper cup. But the flavored iced tea it was okay.
The patisserie offers a variety of selection of pastries. Pick things up at the counter and eat in.
Another good example of having to have grown up eating a particular treat or ethnic food in order to fully appreciate it. It was my last night so I settled the ensaimada for four of us and a gift for my daughter. Ensaymada-ensaimada are hugely popular throughout the Philippines, and are a pastry that originated in Majorca Spain. The bread itself was very soft and supple, I’ve had ensaimada before and these were the real deal. It’s a super moist and it’s very cakey, while being a bit spongy, so props on top with sugar, margarine or butter and grated cheese. These weren’t too sweet either.
This delightful mini sweet tart merigue and mini loaf fruit cake were wrapped in coloured celllophane. Pretty good food on the go or even as a gift to someone and is so good to eat! I bought this fantastic sweet box as present gifts to my son 3 teachers in music school, elementary and for his tutor during thursday evening class. And to be thankful for allowing him to take a vocation with me. The holiday sweet treats are displayed infront of the pastry shop for customers to see.
The mini sweet tart with meringue were crust fully complements the tangy pecan and caramel sauce filling! These just so deliciously decadent and divine! I am off to find some of the mini fruit cake are my dream during holiday season. They are rare in Taiwan, the only thing you may find during christmas is the panneton. The mini fruit cake was dried out but yet that was hidding yummy. These 2 mini holiday sweet treats are soooooo good and so worth your efforts!
Pretty interesting is the love what you are seeing. Got my attention in this room is the Fiorgelato or Frigorifero ice cream it was suprised for me that is quite cheap and for Pinoy is already expensive, I guess.
And so we try the pistachio and bubble gum flavor. Overall the food at Michell's are pretty good though, the service was okay with very friendly and attentive staff. By the way visa and credit cards are not accepted here. I will love to give it try again on my return over a few years.
Michell's Cakes & Pastry
Jose Abad Santos Ave., Northwalk II
San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines
For my second day, we went at Max's restaurant in SM Mall Sn. Fdo. with the whole fam for lunch. Seven member of my family include my mother, brother, sister in law, nephews and nieces had the same choice is the grilled chicken with rice and the rest is sizzling chicken, sweet and sour pork. It was great, they went through rounds of rice and washed it down with their sweetened iced tea. I order the fresh lumpia and lumpiang shaghai with a dipping sauce was delicious, compliments with sago't gulaman drink. Max chicken burger with cheese for my son and to my youngest nephew. I didn't take the photos and it was packed  too many people surround you, almost you cannot moved. Their sariwang lumpiang ubod or fresh palm heart spring roll is quite a bit bland. The crepe wrapper was thin, not too floury, and the peanut sauce was tasty but not that great! I prefer the traditional homemade fresh lumpia is made of shrimp, shredded pork, tiny sliced of vegetable; cabbage, carrots, sprouts, beans sauted with garlic and onion.
Halo Halo Special of Max's Restaurant S.M Pampanga Branch
All of us we order the halo halo special a popular Filipino ice dessert that contained red mung beans, leche flan, ube, gelatin, bananas, jackfruit, grated cheese, sago, pinipig, crushed rice and condensed milk. It tastes really good and dessert best shared between fam. We also try their dessert sampler which contain cream cheese brownie with ice cream, leche flan, ube creme decadence, buco pandan. A refreshing dessert made of fresh buco strips, green gulaman and sago. It is then flavored with sugar, coconut milk and pandan are beautiful and pretty tasty. The atmosphere it was noisy and chaotic when its packed, the chair and table are too closed from each other. Probably not the best place to go to take someone for date. But a good place for Filipino fine foods.
On the third night, I saw the bibingka stall infront of Mexico Church then I couldn't resist, I brought one in the hotel for late night snack. The last time I ate bibingka was almost 10 years ago. One of the reasons I look forward on this vocation. Bibingka is one of the local terms used to describe Filipino rice cake and is made from rice flour, eggs, and sugar cooked in charcoal or clay oven. Before baking, line the clay plates and greased banana leaves with soften butter, and topped with fresh grated coconut. During near Christmas season, bibingka is usually sold near the parish so churchgoers can buy the native delicacy after mass, it can be eaten for almusal (breakfast) and merienda (snack). This bibingka with queso and salted eggs it was simple but very delicious, I can say this is the food of the gods. I've tried many bibingkas from childhood and this one of the best. Getting off the car in unfamiliar place for me after over more than decade living abroad it's well worth it!
A one stop destination for delicious cassava cake is the Joriel cassava cake shop. Its located near Poblacion Mexico along the way to Sn. Fdo. The counter is amply stocked with cassava boxes which the owners attests is made fresh daily. Unlike other gift shops whose shelves and counters are busy with an assortment of sweets. But Joriel offers well just that cassava cake. This cassava cake that I grow up with is made of fresh boiled grated cassava or kamoteng kahoy is a kind of rootcrops similar with taro, condensed milk or sugar on it, coconut milk, buco string with just the right amount of cheese on top.  Since its my husband one of the Filipino sticky sweets. so I brought 2 boxes of cassava cake back at home in Taiwan. Inside the box, nestled in a bed of aluminum foil, will last for 3 days or week at room temperature and 2 weeks if frozen. This is best eaten freshly cooked while still hot, or simply place in the microwave. This cassava cake is the softest, smoothest, super moist, its gooey and most of all it melt in your mouth. I tasted a lot more of the condensed milk flavor though. My husband and my daughter loved it! Definitely we will say the same thing its heavenly delicious and belly good! Another food for the gods.
Now for the food at Bliss Hotel San Fernando. We had a large selection for breakfast in bed with hot instant coffee or iced tea. We ordered the usual Filipino breakfast fare for the rest of the week. I got this tapsilog a combination of rice, egg and tocino. The Tocino is one if the popular dish in Philippines and a signature dish of Capampagan people. The tocino it was chewy but tender, salty, sour, sweet and yummy for one word to describe it.
Then my boy had this garlicy sausages or longaniza almost every morning. It was wonderful and with excellent flavor.
Then I try the Filipino hot dogs and one of my favorites during my childhood. This hot dogs is very authentic if it has that red glow. You may find the elements of salty, sour and meaty taste on it. They are quite very different than American hot dogs. Trust me if you never tasted them before they are quite so good!
I had the whole fried fish or daing for the next morning and ate every part of it. We also had come for dinner in the Hotel Restaurant on our first day. The ambience is quite silent there's no other customer except us. The food at the hotel in dining area it was horrible. The pork barbecue ribs it was hard and over cooked, the tuna steak is dried out, the fried calamari it wasn't fresh and made of frozen foods, the french onion soup it was the most worse onion soup I ever had. However most of the food in Pampanga are really quite so good it is totally incomparable!


Gloria Asuncion said...

Cassava and bibingka is one of my favorites. I am feeling hungry at this point. If anyone here in Taipei where we can buy all this pinoy deli.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm pretty sure that its Frigorifero Gelato. There is also a branch in SM City Clark.