Vanilla Cafe in Baguio City

I would like to believe that I have some level of proficiency on determining what and how good food would be like.  My taste buds know how to ascertain and adjudicate what good food is.

And though I love cakes and may seem to have the sweetest tooth on the planet, I have never been a fan of Red Velvet cakes.  And though I have yet to encounter a Red Velvet cake that makes my taste buds do a double-somersault with one and a half twists in the free position, I think I just had one that is the most remarkable.  

red velvet… it tastes delicious or it tastes beautiful

But my appreciation of this Red Velvet was not due to my taste buds doing a standing ovation but it was my sense of sight that makes me rejoice and be delighted towards the cake I was consuming.  I was at awe about the look, design and colors of Vanilla Café inside Kamiseta Hotel located in Baguio City, the tourist summer capital of my country. 

I guess this is the cutest café I have seen in Baguio.  The interiors were so stunningly pretty, it will definitely put some very sweet delicious smile on every one’s faces.  The café was so visually attractive, the happiness it ignites would surge towards all the other senses making all dishes they serve to be so happily pleasant and appealing.       

Vanilla Café have seem to possess some enchanting potion that smoke-screened my usually resplendent sense of taste.  I actually could no longer recall if the Red Velvet I had was good or mediocre but what I know is that I was smiling while consuming it inside Baguio City’s lovely and bewitching Vanilla Café.     

Hindi lasang masarap.  Pero lasang maganda!

Lorenzo’s Way Desserts

Costillas De Ternera Guisada, Spanish Garlic Chicken, Paella Negra, Lengua Estofada and Prawns in Creole and Hollandaise Sauce are some of the sumptuous main dishes found in Lorenzo’s Way restaurant, one of the refined casual dining establishments in Manila.

These highfaluting and pompous sounding dishes may be the some of the best main courses for human consumption but for me the main course remain to be the last dish served in any meal.   As what the common saying goes, “save the best for last”!  That would simply be the dessert.

Having dessert perhaps is like all the other events and circumstances where the so called “last” is considered the highlight.  Aside from sex, cases in point would be a beauty pageant, an awards night, a bingo social and even the Filipino tradition of Santacruzan in which the last part is considered the best part.

Lorenzo’s Way restaurant happens to serve my most favorite desserts!

extra-ordinarily creamy yet classic, Leche Flan
extra-ordinarily creamy yet classic, Leche Flan
blissful with this Pecan Pie
blissful with this Pecan Pie
Gigil Tart. It was immediately sliced as soon as it's served for we could no longer wait, only to realize that we haven't taken a photo yet!
Gigil Tart. It was immediately sliced as soon as it’s served for we could no longer wait, only to realize that we haven’t taken a photo yet!
my favorite! choco banana volcano,
my favorite! choco banana volcano,

Unlike responsible adults, I would rather skip the starters but never the dessert.  Two reasons I guess is the enticing visual appeal as well as that of the pleasurable palatal sensation it generates.

Mapapa-klap yor hands ka sa sarap!

Banana Choco Lava Cake by Lorenzo’s Way Greenbelt

When dining out, I always consider the dessert as the main course.  I admit, I love dessert and I have the biggest sweet tooth ever!

You may not know it yet, but if you happen to be in the Greenbelt area in Makati City Philippines, one superb dessert can be found at Lorenzo’s Way.  And I strongly suggest discovering what you might have been missing! It’s called Banana Choco Lava Cake.

It is the type of dessert that would not overwhelm on the first bite.  It has just the right amount of sweetness.  It’s a warm, moist chocolate cake that would make you feel like it just came out of the oven surrounded by a creamy sauce topped with thin slices of caramelized bananas!

banana choco lava cake
it’s insanely delicious!

It’s the type that would make you crave for more every time you have a bite.  This dessert is so unbelievably yummy!

Mapapamura ka sa sarap!

Luscious Main Course at Georgetown Cupcake

inside georgetown cupcake, los angeles
inside georgetown cupcake, los angeles

Quite a bunch of people know that oftentimes dessert is actually my main course.  I don’t always have desserts but when I know that it is to be served and available, it becomes the primary course, the gastronomic apex and the highlight of my meal.

When me and my friends where visiting places of interest along Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles, we decided to delay our lunch and instead entered the fancy store of the famous Georgetown Cupcake.

Georgetown Cupcake being founded by the best-selling authors of Cupcake Diaries and having been featured in a lot of American TV shows, it would be stupid of me if I start complaining on why we are having enchanting sweets instead of a hearty lunch.

"main course" on display...
“main course” on display…
six cup-sized heaven
six cup-sized heaven
denton could no longer wait for me to finish my photo-taking
denton could no longer wait for me to finish my photo-taking

The four of us shared a half dozen of cupcakes of various flavours.  I glugged it down with a tall-sized Illy brewed coffee.  The two most bewitching flavours were the chocolate salted caramel and lava fudge.  The moist yet fluffy texture and perfect harmony of flavours were so enchanting it feels like being in a great opera.   I can simply describe it as one great decadent self-indulging climax.

Kasing sarap ko yan!

Casssaaavvvaaa Caaakkkeee

Tasting for the first time the best cassava cake in the universe was so out of place.  It is so odd and strange that I was able to experience such an enormous gastronomic pleasure while in a wake.

This was roughly about a month ago when I and my workmates paid a visit and express our condolences to a co-employee whose dad passed away.  The wake was in the provincial town of Magalang in Pampanga.  While in the wake, we were served with knickknacks and refreshments including boxes of freshly baked cassava cakes.

When I go to a wake, I would traditionally just nibble on salty chips and snacks (like the all-time favorite burol-snack: Butong Pakwan) which is usually served in a Filipino memorial service.  I rarely eat and munch on main meals while in a wake.  But when we were served with the mouth-watering and sinful looking cassava cake, I broke my own personal tradition.  I simply helped myself to a bite of rich taste of perfection.

That cassava cake had the seamless velvety texture mixed with the perfect harmony of flavors.  Good thing I was able to control myself because I wanted to clap my hands, celebrate the happy moment and jump for joy due to the enormous palatal experience I just had.

ralo's cassava cake.  fattening? yes... but such a small price to pay for pleasure
ralo’s cassava cake. fattening? yes… but such a small price to pay for pleasure

Yesterday, I had the chance to go again in Magalang, Pampanga for an official business.  I thought I have forgotten the great gastronomic experience but I was dead wrong.   The search for the same experience I had was on!  It is no longer the mere experience of great texture and flavor but more of a lingering voice engraved on my mind.

Like some curious addiction, I texted my co-employee and inquired where in Magalang did they bought the cassava cake his family served during his father’s wake.  He messaged back telling me the spot somewhere in Angeles, Pampanga.  And, after doing some office-required stuff in Magalang, I asked the driver to bring me to Ralo’s where these rich cakes can be purchased.

we were laughing when we tried reading "Sooobbbrrraaanngg Saaaaaarrrrrrapppp" on their sign board.
we were laughing when we tried reading “Sssooobbbrrraanngg Sssaaaarrrrapppp” on their sign board.

I bought two large boxes!  I was so happy I even bought and treated the driver and my co-workers with their own box of this cassava cake.

Warning though for those who bumped onto this post and gets curious about this cake, be careful.  Because once you’re hooked all of your senses and even your soul will never be able to forget its rich taste of perfection.  Kasi nga… Soooobrang Sarrrraaaap!!!

Uulitin kooo… sooobbbrrraaang sarrraaappp!!!

Just Like Cake

mango tres leches of cafe adriatico

Can anyone be unhappy while eating cake?  Like instinct, we have all craved for cake in our happiest moments.  People actually serve cake when they’re happy. Why is it so? Because life is a cycle of pain and bad memories or perhaps like the bitter-sweetness of life, we try to make our joys even sweeter.

Like instinct also, we feel joy and the sweetness of life when precious people are around us.  Just like being served with cake.  So be still and open your eyes.  Look around you so you may realize that you are not actually sad and lonely.  Just like being surrounded with cake.  You’re surrounded by people who make you happy.  These perhaps are the same people that help you in realizing that life is a piece of cake.  You may not know, but maybe, you’re the most precious cake for somebody.

Here’s a slice of thought from a genius but defunct Pinoy band…

“There’s a fruitcake in everybody

There’s a fruitcake in everyone

There are b-sides to every story

If you decide to have some fun

Just take a bite, it’s alright

Taste the taste that sent all mothers giggling in sheer delight

Take a bite, it’s alright

A little lovin’ and some fruit to bake

Life is a piece of cake”

Tinapay? Puto? Mamon? Ano ba Tagalog ng keyk?