Monday, April 27, 2009

Russian Tea Cakes by The Russian Cookie House


Russian Cookies and Pistachio Cookies

The stall of The Russian Cookie House is hard to miss at the SM Mall of Asia. Near the Director's Club theater, the stall is pretty fetching, with its shelves adorned with elegant looking boxes containing arrays dainty looking pastries- Russian Cookies (Russian Tea Cakes), Pistachio Cookies, and Jan Hagel. They offer free-tasting, another reason to get lured in. I tried all of their pastry offering and my favorites were the chocolate-covered Russian cookies and the chocolate-smeared Pistachio Cookies. The buttery crumbly cookie and bittersweet dark chocolate was distinctly new to me and I imagined they are perfect with my afternoon coffee or tea break.

The store offers boxes with assorted varieties of the cookies- Russian Cookies and Pistachio Cookies, chocolate-covered Russian Cookies and Russian Cookies, etc.- but, lucky me, absolutely no chocolate-covered Russian Cookie and Pistachio Cookie combo. I settled for the Russian Cookie and Pistachio Cookie combo instead.

A bit of history on the Russian Tea Cakes from Wikipedia:

Russian tea cakes appeared in Russia in the 18th century, literally as a confection used in a tea-sharing ceremony. By the 20th century, they were a part of wedding and Christmas traditions in the US, by their popular "Russian tea" nomenclature.

The Russian Cookie House also offers mini bite-sized and sugar-free versions of their cookies. What is not to love?

Aside from SM Mall of Asia, you can find The Russian Cookie House at the Concourse Level of Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center, and in Bel-Air, Makaty City. You may also call to order. Their numbers are: 896-5707, 897-1115, and (0917) 895-2863. Or visit them online at www.russiancookiehouse.multiply.com.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jumbo Pastillas by Iya


Jumbo Pastillas de Leche

Say goodbye to those Pastillas de Leche that despite being teeny weeny in size still cost an arm and a leg. Say hello to Iya's Jumbo Pastillas. This is how Pastillas de Leche should be. Rich, sugary, creamy, and... huge!

Pastillas de Leche is the first cousin of my other favorite milk and sugar-crusted confection, the Yema. Unfortunately, I think I am not the only one who simply lost interest in buying them after a string of purchases that yielded either substandard quality sweets or expensive good ones that were so distressingly small. Until I came across Iya's Jumbo Pastillas. It renewed by love affair with this iconic Pinoy confection.

Addicted to Pastillas like I am? Get your fix at one of the fruit stalls in Market! Market! Just look out for stacks of maroon and apple green boxes with cute cow prints. A box of 24 jumbo Pastillas will set you back Php250. A steal for what you get. They make perfect gifts, too, especially to your sweet-tooth friends.

I must confess I am a repeat repeat offender- I get myself a box of these sugary morsels almost every time I find myself in Serendra. Sometimes I even go there only to get a box of these babies. They are that good.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Double Beef Pepper Rice by Pepper Lunch

I've got quite a bunch of blog material stewing in the backburner for quite a while now and I will start posting them before they boil over. One of these delicious little snippets is about my Pepper Lunch experience. We were in Rockwell for a late lunch one day and I can vividly remember being stark raving mad hungry. That is why making a beeline to Pepper Lunch as soon as we got into the mall was a no-brainer. The unmistakably enticing-pungent aroma paired with the promise of a hefty serving of rice and beef is enough to make even the already-stuffed hungry again.

Double Beef Pepper Rice

So there I was placing an order for Beef Pepper Rice when I was asked if I wanted a double serving of beef. I said yes, of course. It wasn't my first time to have pepper steak rice. I've tried at least a couple other restaurants serving them, but I've never had the option for a double serving of meat. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I wished I had more beef with my pepper rice. So it was like a dream come true for me. A double dose of spicy savory beef with a huge serving of pepper rice? You're asking for trouble, diet or no.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Yema Balls by Sugarhouse

Positively indulgent perfect little balls of eggyolks and sugar (check out a recipe here), I sincerely believe that the Yema Ball is one of the Philippines' best contributions do the confectionery world. They just don't know it yet. Blame it on the fact that Philippine cuisine has not made its mark in the international food scene as effectively as our Asian neighbors (I, for one, have never set foot out of our little island but I have, at varying occasions, had Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai food). But once it does get there, man, there will be a lot to talk about. The lowly yema ball is just one example of how Philippine food can be so unassuming and yet bursting in unique and amazing flavors and texture at the same time.

I love the ones by Hizon's (No longer on regular offering, but you can order. Hassle, yes, but it's worth it.). However, if you want your yema fix right away, the yema balls by Sugarhouse are also worthy of praise. Sugarhouse yema balls are a tad smaller than the ones by Hizon's, but they're certainly not lacking in taste. They carry a distinct flavor, a little less sweet and heavier in texture, like that of very light mashed potatoes.

For Php200, you get a box of 16 yummy Sugarhouse yema balls. You can get them at any of the Sugarhouse outlets listed here.
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