MANILA – As temperatures – and tempers – continue to soar, several restaurants in the metro have come up with new summer treats to help their customers cool down. Here are some of our favorites:
Mesclun Restaurant and Cafe
Ice Cream Sandwich. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for ABS-CBNnews.com
Chef Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara grew up with ice cream. So in coming up with her Samalamig coolers for summer 2014, all she had to do was recall her childhood and pay tribute to her family’s much-loved Arce ice cream brand.
One can’t help but feel nostalgic upon seeing her rendition of the Ice Cream Sandwich, which immediately brings back childhood memories. Even if it’s already more sophisticated – she used Japanese milk bread to provide a sturdier textural contrast and added whipped cream and strawberry syrup – biting into the sandwich was pure pleasure.
Carabao Milk Halo-Halo. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for ABS-CBNnews.com
The chef also created a Carabao Milk Halo-Halo in keeping with the tried-and-tested Arce formula. The carabao milk is presented separately but the ice cream and the shaved milk ice are really more than enough to create a rich, cool treat with well-chosen ingredients that include banana cue, red beans, pinipig crunch, sago, macapuno and nata de coco. In addition to the standard barquillos, she added a whole yema, for a very special halo-halo indeed.
Quezo Real Milkshake. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for ABS-CBNnews.com
She also created two milkshakes based on two popular Arce flavors: Avocado and the Quezo Real, which comes with a sprinkling of cheese on top of the whipped cream for a natural salty-sweet pairing.
Mesclun has branches at Serendra, Eastwood and Linden Suites, Ortigas Center.
Bono Artisanal Gelato
Molten Brownie Sundae. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for ABS-CBNnews.com
This popular gelato chain continues to attract hard-to-please foodies with its creative flavors and the overall quality and rich texture of its products. For summer 2014, Bono emphasizes its homegrown roots with new flavors inspired by classic Filipino treats like Buko Pandan and Ube.
Bono even made an alcoholic gelato – reminiscent of the special flavour it concocted for Rogue magazine last year – dubbed Mango-sake, with the mango bits pre-soaked in the Japanese rice wine for an added kick.
But the new flavour that we just had to try was the Molten Brownie Sundae. Despite the summer heat, the combination of warm brownie and hot chocolate fudge with a scoop of vanilla gelato provides a cool sugar rush to get you through a hot and humid day.
Bono has branches at SM Aura, SM Makati, SM Megamall, Podium and SM Mall of Asia.
Sebastian’s Ice Cream
The local ice cream brand known for its zany local flavors like green mango and bagoong and sapin-sapin is at it again. Among its new flavors for summer are the intriguing Champorado with Dilis and the why-didn’t-I-think-of-that Hopia.
Champorado with Dilis. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for ABS-CBNnews.com
But it’s Sebastian’s Ala Mode Bars that should be the star of the summer, as it managed to put one up over the much-hyped Magnum ice cream bars.
Vanilla Brownie. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for ABS-CBNnews.com
Sebastian’s version actually includes a layer of cake that’s topped with ice cream before it is dipped in chocolate. The addition of the cake makes the Ala Mode Bars so much more interesting. Sebastian’s promises to release new flavors each week through the summer and we tried the Vanilla Brownie, which has a base made of brownie and topped with vanilla ice cream – very simple but delightful.
Mango Mania. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for ABS-CBNnews.com
Another Sebastian’s innovation for summer 2014 are the Fruitsicles, its take on the humble iced candy, and made from real fruit. Again, it will release new flavors every week and we chanced upon the Mango Mania, which is truly refreshing with lots of actual mango chunks and not just frozen juice.
Sebastian’s Ice Cream has branches at SM Mall of Asia, Podium and Regis Center in Katipunan, Quezon City.