What: Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake Sandwich
– We stopped by Smashcake for some much needed desserts after an on-salught of mouth-watering sauces, grilled meats, and deep fried concoctions from the vendors outside and we were due for some cooling down in the indoor air conditioned portion of the event. We thought we’d hit up the desserts at La Mesa (see below) and Smashcake after much rave reviews of their Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake Sandwich from patrons. They didn’t have samples or at least bite size portions of the frozen dessert. Instead, they sold them at $4 a piece. We obliged and got one to try. It was, unfortunately, overrated for what it was. It may have been the peanut butter cookie part but it had a very lard-like taste to it. That’s the hit and miss with peanut butter cookies, unfortunately. You either love it or hate it. This was no champ, sadly. The cheesecake portion wasn’t anything to be desired either. It was a very basic cheesecake recipe with no other hints of anything notable, flavour-wise. Overall, we had to throw the rest of it away after a bite or two. It was cold, and that was about the only thing we got out of it.
– We fared better cooling off with this icy dessert from Lamesa. It’s called “Halo-Halo”, which in English translates to “Mix-Mix”. Halo-Halo is an all time favourite dessert in the Philippines especially during the hot summer months because it is not only tasty, it is also very refreshing. Made from a mix of different sweetened and preserved tropical fruits (hence the name) that includes, young coconut gelatine, silky coconut, jack fruit, mangoes, and red bean, covered in shaved ice and often topped with leche flan (custard flan) or ice cream, and taro, with evaporated milk poured over the ice, this dessert was the refreshment we surely needed.
What: Cola Bomb
– Led by pastry chef Baron, we got a sampling of their new sweet concoction – the Cola Bomb (or I think that’s what it was called). The chef went through a lengthy explanation and the science behind this dessert, but basically, in this cup is a the spherical cola bomb, then covered with strawberry foam, dried caramel chips, pineapple gel, Valhorna chocolate dust, and a piece of dried pineapple. The idea is to consume the whole thing as a shot and let the flavour explode in your mouth. And let me tell you, it was explosive indeed! I could take down at least a dozen of these.
Where: Asian Sliders
– We visited Asian Slider’s tent about 4 times since getting there but nothing was set up or ready until about past 1pm. And at that time, we could only get Taiyaki. None of their sliders were ready. They had two Taiyaki flavour – Nutella and Red Bean. We got the Nutella one since that is the only one they had ready. Taiyaki, according to their description is a fish shaped pancake that is crispy at the edges and chewy on the inside. And that is all it was really. It is just like any pancake batter you would mix at home and add a filling like blueberries, chocolate chips, banana, or in Asian Sliders’ case, Nutella. We would have liked to have an opportunity to try out their sliders but we had to keep moving and try other foods in other tents. Maybe next time.
What: The Alfie
Where: How ‘Bout Those Meatballs
– Great to finally meat the guy behind this meatball sandwich, slider, burger…what is it again? Regardless, it is a meatball made from a blend of beef, pork, and veal stuffed with tomato, fresh arugula, buffalo mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, provolone, olive oil, and garlic. Doused in homemade tomato sauce topped with parmesan between chiabatta bread, this was a perfect blend of a meatball slider. I couldn’t eat it with the top of the bread tho coz it was rock hard, but the bottom was soaking in tomato sauce so I just feasted on that. But overall, a great sandwich.
Missing this year is Casa Manila but Tita Flip’s Kanto was in its place instead. The lineup was too long for their Sisig Fries so we decided to try Kanto as a restaurant. We also skipped Buster’s Sea Cove since we are often near their food truck.
Newbies this year that should consider talking up their products more and perhaps offering samples are: Laura Slack Chocolates, Kanga (We actually wanted to try Kanga but it’s a whole meat pie! Perhaps a smaller version for tasting would be appropriate next time.), All Mine Caramel, Liko’s Hawaiin BBQ, Francesca Bakery (BTW, they weren’t sure if their rice ball was gluten free or not), Bricks and Mortar, Me. N. U. (We came to them twice but nothing was set up until much later and we were already full and the lineup got really long), and Ice Volcano (which AliceWei1127 already tried at another food event that she wasn’t too keen on trying again).
Congratulations again to TO Food Fest, organizers and volunteers. We look forward to covering the event again next year!