HAVING BEEN exposed to and involved in the family business at a young age, one develops a skillset, a demeanor, and a mental outlook that sticks with you. So I somehow imbibed the mindset of starting the day right. I plan a lot. That’s why I cannot be surprised by something. For me, even a simple activity has to be planned. If it’s a walk, where do I go, how do I go there, what will I eat, of course, and where, etc. Well, it’s not a walk in the park, or some “nature” thing. It’s a walk in the mall.
With the walk, there is a stop because I have to take some snacks. I have a list of my favorite fast food stops developed through the years with all that walk.
Banh Mi Kitchen is my go-to. It’s a little pricy than your value meals but it’s worth it.
Kipp’s fried chicken. Former students Ryan and Lance introduced me to this fried chicken place found in the food court of SM North Edsa. Sadly, after 2 decades, they closed down. There’s one in SM megamall or Southmall that you can still enjoy!
Have you ever tried a flavored chilled taho? I remember a taho kiosk in malls that I loved as a kid but they closed down too. I also like the taho sold in the streets but with this pandemic, one has to think twice. Lucky for me there’s Banawe Bean Curd and their freshly-made taho is like hugs in a bowl!
When in Baguio, every morning I have to have my Strawberry Taho.
Back to mall food. Elar’s is known for their Lechon. They have a spot at the Fishermall food court.
Ma’s is a small noodle house located on both cinema floors of Trinoma and SM North-The Block. It’s a subsidiary of North Park. Their mami and rice bowls are delicious, affordable, and they come in generous servings.
As a kid, I always have boxes of Magnolia Chocolait in the fridge and pantry. This past decade, in my opinion, the product changed or I have outgrown it. So began the search for the best chocolate milk. I love Latteo Milk Bar and their Chocolate Milk is delicious. Their strawberry yogurt is very good, too.
A peanut butter fan? For me, Great Harvest is the BEST peanut butter! Only found in Baler, Aurora. Their store is located beside the museum.
For cakes, if you’re an Ube fan, Conti’s Ube Custard Cake is superb! A favorite!
Betty’s Sans Rival is the best for me! They’re located behind Sto.Domingo church.
Now when in the supermarket look for Monde cream puffs. I was surprised that it tasted like cream puff!!! I was expecting it to be bad honestly.. but I was wrong!
I love pastillas! Who doesn’t?! And I have high standards because I won’t settle for the one from that girl with three bears or from a ribbon brand. Eurobake, it is. Their jumbo pastillas will bring a smile to your face no matter how gloomy!
That list just makes me crave. I leave you with a quick and easy recipe for Flavored Chilled Taho. Try it this weekend!
Till next time!
Prep time: 10-15 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes
2 c flavored soy milk, 1/2 cup separated
1 pouch Ferna or Knox gelatin powder
1 c Brown sugar
1/4 c Water
1 drop Vanilla extract
1/3 c Cooked tapioca (sago)
To make the syrup:
In a saucepot, combine brown sugar, water, and vanilla. Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer for 2 minutes. Then let cool and set aside.
For the Taho:
Bloom gelatin in 1/2 cup soy milk and set aside. In a saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of soy milk to simmer.
Mix in bloomed gelatin in simmered soy milk and mix well and transfer into a desired container. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5-8 hours or until it sets.
Top with cooked tapioca and brown sugar syrup.
Chef Chris Lachenal strives to elevate Filipino cuisine and revive dishes that are slowly losing popularity. A former chef instructor, he emphasized the importance of understanding the process of things in order to grasp refinement in food. As a chef-for-hire he satisfies his clients, always. He is the creative and passionate soul behind FoodCreations by CCL.