The Food I Miss

The Food I Miss

The F Word: Food By Chef Chris Lachenal

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.

Recommendations, Food I MissBanh Mi Kitchen is my go-to. It’s a little pricy than your value meals but it’s worth it.

Recommendations, Food I MissKipp’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!

Recommendations, Food I MissHave 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!

Recommendations, Food I MissWhen in Baguio, every morning I have to have my Strawberry Taho

Recommendations, Food I MissBack to mall food. Elar’s is known for their Lechon. They have a spot at the Fishermall food court.

Recommendations, Food I MissMa’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.

Recommendations, Food I MissAs 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.

Recommendations, Food I MissA peanut butter fan? For me, Great Harvest is the BEST peanut butter! Only found in Baler, Aurora.  Their store is located beside the museum.

Recommendations, Food I MissFor cakes, if you’re an Ube fan, Conti’s Ube Custard Cake is superb! A favorite! 

Recommendations, Food I MissBetty’s Sans Rival is the best for me! They’re located behind Sto.Domingo church.

Recommendations, Food I MissNow 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!

Recommendations, Food I MissI 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!

Don’t forget to start the year right with a healthy outlook. 

The following recipe, Flavored Chilled Taho, is created by Chef Chris Lachenal. Download a print-ready copy.

Flavored Chilled Taho

Prep time: 10-15 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves 2


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 signed

Featured image: Cheers! Photo by Min An

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.

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