MANILA -- Check out some of the latest news in the local food scene.
PANDAN ASIAN CAFÉ
Pandan Asian Café celebrates its third anniversary with new dishes from chef Myke “Tatung” Sarthou.
The café, which was opened right before the pandemic lockdowns, not only survived but prospered because of the celebrity chef’s take on pan-Asian food and being a safe space for the surrounding community to hold intimate private events.
Aside from the new dishes, Sarthou reintroduced entrees that have been removed from Pandan’s menu during the pandemic.
New to the menu are Tom Yum with Prawns, Oyster Cake, Peking-Style Roast Chicken, Duck Red Curry, and Fish Fillet and Three Kinds Mushroom with Thai Sauce.
Pandan Asian Café is located at 76 Scout Limbaga in Quezon City and is open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
THE COFFEE ACADEMÏCS CAFÉ MOLITO
The Coffee Academïcs Café gives southerners a taste of its unique specialty coffee experience with its new branch at Molito Lifestyle Center in Alabang.
Originally from Hong Kong, this full-service restaurant version of The Coffee Academïcs developed quite a following among the brunch crowd in its first branch in Legaspi Village, Makati since it opened its doors back in 2017.
You can try the Sticky Coffee Pork Belly, which slowly braised in TCA coffee and spices and glazed with more coffee. It’s a filling egg fried rice bowl with seared bok choy, mushrooms, cucumber and pickled onions.
Pair this with the Turonccino which is basically turon reinterpreted as a dessert coffee drink. It's a shot of espresso with turon milk, whipped cream, banana chips, and salted caramel.
The new branch is open every day from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight.
Katsu specialist Saboten opens a food court version at Mitsukoshi BGC.
Saboten, Japanese for cactus, gets its name from the spiky exterior of its katsu. Unknown to many, this katsu restaurant is franchised from Japan. Ingredients are imported from Japan and it even had a Japanese bread technician to ensure that the bread for their panko is perfect to get that loud crunch.
For Saboten Express, the prices are more affordable in this food court version than the standalone restaurant sans the bottomless servings of rice, miso soup, and coleslaw with Japanese dressing.
Exclusive to this branch is the Black Pepper Katsudon which does have quite a kick. Raintree Restaurants executive chef Kalel Chan also recommends pairing the Cheese Katsu with its in-house Japanese curry.
The new Saboten Express branch is located inside the Itadaki Food Court at the basement of Mitsukoshi Mall BGC.
THE GIVING CAFÉ
The Giving Café (TGC) brings its formula of providing good coffee and hearty meals to the malls with its first stand-alone counter branch in SM Marikina.
When it started back in 2017, the founders of TGC were content to just maintain the first café on Sheridan Street in Pasig. But to support their advocacy of helping coffee farmers, they finally opened up to building more branches, and even franchising.
The idea behind building more TGCs is that part of the proceeds of one branch supports one coffee community. The new SM Marikina counter supports a community in Cavite that is studying grafting higher value Arabica and Liberica coffee onto Robusta trees increasing the earning potential of the farmers.
The counter features coffee brewed and pulled from Henry & Sons beans, as well as hearty rice meals like adobo and rendang.
SEBASTIAN'S ICE CREAM
Sebastian’s Ice Cream kicks off 2023 with all-new limited edition ice cream pints available at its online store. These are the most popular flavors that head sorbetero Ian Carandang came up with last year and tested at the Podium store.
The new flavors available are Cookie Dough Explosion (fior di latte ice cream with unbaked chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough, peanut butter cookie dough, and brownie batter); Manggang Mangga (mango ice cream with mango sorbet ripple and mango chunks); Ube Champorado (malagkit rice simmered in ube milk folded into ube ice cream that was part of its Kakanin Ice Cream series); and Leche Flan con Naranja (leche flan ice cream with candied orange peel).
Aside from these new flavors, Carandang invites adventurous ice cream lovers to visit the Podium to try out his new and experimental creations. Debuting in the chiller is his Orange Sorbet and Orange Julia for those looking for that chilled nostalgic mix of milk and orange.
Cookie Dough Explosion, Manggang Mangga, and Ube Champorado are priced at P405/pint while the Leche Flan Con Naranja is priced at P465/pint.
TOKYO MILK CHEESE FACTORY
Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory entices cheese fans to its new Mitsukoshi BGC branch with its Nama doughnuts.
Exclusively available at this branch, Nama doughnuts were created by a culinary team in Japan. Chef Yuichi Inoue and his team trained the Philippine team with uniquely Japanese techniques to make these delicate donuts.
The flour is developed specifically for Nama doughnuts, ensuring its unique soft and subtly chewy texture; only pure Hokkaido butter is used to make sure every bite is full of creamy richness from Hokkaido milk; even the frying oil is exclusively developed for frying doughnuts and it’s the reason why Nama doughnuts are not as greasy as other doughnuts available today.
The Nama doughnuts are available per piece or a box of five. It comes in: the Classic Nama Doughnut (P95/each, P435/box); the Rare Cheese Nama Doughnut (P135/piece, P635/box) filled with cream cheese and tossed in sugar; and the Mascarpone & Custard Nama Doughnut (P135/piece, P635/box) filled with mascarpone cream and sweet custard cream before being dusted with some powdered sugar.
Nama doughnuts are currently only available at the newest Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory Branch located at the basement of the Mitsukoshi Mall in Bonifacio Global City.