Monday, August 26, 2013

Jipan's Mochi Donut: My Favorite Sweet of Late

Jipan's Mochi Donut
from top: chocolate
(Php16), green tea (Php17), white chocolate (Php17)
Long before I've heard about Mochi Cream's mochi + doughnut hybrid called Mochido, I've been enamored with Jipan Cafe & Bakeshop's mochi donuts. Mine is not borne of yet another dessert trend, just good old fashioned curiosity that paid off. I have always loved Jipan's baked offerings. Like a tourist buying souvenirs to take home, every time I go to Glorietta, I stop by Jipan to buy my favorite breads and some new ones to try out.

The mochi donuts are quite irresistible on the display tray. They are a rainbow of colors, especially when I am fortunate enough to get there when all the flavors are still available. That and the fact that I am such a sucker for doughnuts, led me to try my first mochi donut. I was hooked ever since.

Strawberry Mochi Donut
Mochi Cream's Mochido is generally a mochi that takes the shape of a doughnut. Like the mochi, the Mochido is sticky-chewy with a sweet center. Jipan's mochi donut on the other hand is more doughnut than mochi, more bread-y than ricecake-y. I think they are basically your pon de ring doughnuts, only without the classic lion's mane shape. The ring-shaped dough is made with rice flour (hence, mochi) which gives a good balance of chewiness and softness to the doughnut. Also unlike the Mochido, Jipan's mochi donuts does not have a filling but is dipped in either chocolate, white chocolate, or flavored white chocolate like green tea and strawberry. Yes, real chocolate, not confectioner's sugar based frosting.

Jipan Cafe & Bakeshop-Glorietta is located at Glorietta IV, Ayala Center, Makati City. Tel. No. (632)728-9442.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Found: Cronut™ Cousins in Manila

"After its launch on May 10, 2013, Cronut™ fans spanned the world from Berlin to Singapore, making it the most viral dessert item to date."

Krispy Kreme Chocolate Baked Krispy Kroissant
You had me at "viral dessert." And the fact that I have a soft spot (I am maybe meaning this both figuratively and literally) for doughnuts and croissants sealed the deal for me to go on a quest to find out first-hand what food junkies have been raving about. Unfortunately, there is no branch of Dominique Ansel Bakery in the Philippines so I had to content myself with adaptations of this lovechild of the doughnut and croissant.

A little web searching yielded this list of shops that churn out their own interpretation of Chef Ansel's Cronut:
  • Wildflour Cafe + Bakery (Croissant-Donut)
  • Cafe Macaron of The Raffles Makati (Doussant)
  • le Coeur de France (Croughnuts)
  • Dolcelatte (Croughnut)
  • Yamato Bakery Cafe (Croissant Donut)
  • Mandarin Deli (MO Crodos)
  • Cafe Jeepney of InterContinental Hotel (Cro-Nuts)
  • L'entrecote
  • Dunkin' Donuts (Donut Croissant)
  • Chatime (Kronuts)
  • Country Style Donuts
  • Anybody Coffee (Cronutz)
  • Brasserie Girolle
  • Krispy Kreme (Baked Krispy Kroissant)

No, I do not intend to go on a mad dash to hit every single one of the croissant-doughnut purveyor on this list. I am pretty much content with trying out what is within reach, and being based South of the Metro, within reach means Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme, both in SM Mall of Asia (MOA).

Dunkin' Donuts Choco Bavarian Donut Croissant
There are no lines outside Dunkin' Donuts or Krispy Kreme and neither was out of stock so I can say that I had no problems getting the pastries I wanted. I did not even have to call in advance to reserve them. The relative ease with which I was able to achieve my goal is a far-cry from reports that other local purveyors of this pastry rapidly run out them, so if you are up for trying out other versions, perhaps Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts in SM MOA are good bets.

Krispy Kreme Strawberry Baked Krispy Kroissant
Krispy Kreme's version is baked while Dunkin' Donut's version sticks to the original formula by being fried. I have never tasted the original so I really cannot make a learned comparison. In terms of taste and texture though, both versions, while being yummy in their own right, do not have the flakiness or delicate crunchiness that I expect from a good croissant. All in all, viral or no, I like the idea of a doughnut and a croissant "folded" into one. It's like having the best of both worlds, with your freshly brewed coffee. 

Now this makes me curious what the original Cronut must taste like. Hmm. Might not be such a bad idea to go on that mad quest afterall, albeit if only to find the best Cronut™ Cousin in Manila.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Eating through Mactan: Zubuchon

Kamias Shake
After the extravagant breakfast buffet at The Sails, it was time to pack for the flight home. That breakfast sustained us through late check-out with a little dip in the beach in between. In fact, I thought we would not be pining for out next meal until after we have touched down in Manila. But I guess the siren song of Zubuchon was simply too compelling to resist. 

The Mactan branch of Zubuchon is very near the Mactan Airport so it was not too much of a detour. Arriving there outside peak hours, we had no trouble getting a table and service was attentive and quick. Our meal consisted of Eggplant Salad, Seaweed Platter, Monggo with Zubuchon, Sotanghon Soup, and Zubuchon, of course.

Php280 for 1/2 kilo, Php530 for 1 kilo
The star of the meal though, was the Kamias Shake. Perhaps we were still too satiated from our last meal or the hot weather demanded a good dose of something cold, but that Kamias Shake sure did hit the spot. 

Well, that's the last of the Eating through Mactan series. Quoting Tita G: "'Til our next getaway!"

Zubuchon Mactan is located at the Lobby, Island Stays Hotel, M.L. Quezon National Highway, Lapu-Lapu City 6015. Contact Zubuchon Mactan at (032) 505 0130.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Eating through Mactan: Chocolate Hour and Breakfast at Mövenpick

After our trip to the Mactan Shrine, which was a short walk from Giuseppe, we were in a feverish hurry to get back to Mövenpick to catch Chocolate Hour. It starts at 3PM and runs for a full hour, but we had it on good information that the free chocolate can get spread pretty thin especially when there are a lot of guests in the lobby. True enough, when we got there all I was able to snatch up was a kiss of dense, moist dark chocolate cake gilded in silky ganache.

To dampen my hunger pangs for more chocolate, I got myself a glass of lemongrass iced tea. It was nice though, lounging at the breezy hotel lobby with a cold drink in hand.

The next day, our breakfast plans were pretty much laid out for us. Our accommodations in Mövenpick included buffet breakfasts at one of the hotel's outstanding restaurants, The Sails. "The Sails is the hotel's highly esteemed all-day-dining restaurant. It offers the famous Mövenpick breakfast buffet as well as its internationally themed dinner buffets." Well, The Sails certainly lived up to the claim. 

The buffet was an impressive array of premium breakfast items from eggs benedict to waffles fresh from the iron.

The Sails is located in Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, Punta Engano, Cebu, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Eating through Mactan: Ibiza Beach Club Churrasco

Grilled Rib Eye from the Ibiza Beach Club Churrasco
All-You-Can-Eat Churrasco for Php2,000;
Php2,500 with free flowing house wine
Go big or go home. That was our motto for this trip. It was going to be a very short one, true, but we will spend it like kings. And this means having a grand dinner fit for one.

As if the hotel knows our plans, upon check-in, a strategically placed poster in the lobby greeted us with: "Enjoy an authentic Brazilian Churrasco experience. Indulge in a variety of succulent meats, marinated in exotic herbs and spices and grilled to perfection. Available from  6:00 pm at Php2000 nett per person." 

So. Indulge we did. Php2,000 sounds steep but with the quality of food that you get, I say it's worth it. A good serving of lamb chop in Manila could already set you back Php700. Here, you could theoretically eat as much as you want. I say theoretically because with the sheer amount of equally irresistible grilled meats that is served to you, your stomach simply will not have enough room for more than one.

The meats in this all you can eat churrasco include ribeye, lamb chops, baby back ribs, pork belly, filet mignon, beef ribs, chicken thighs, rock lobster, leg of lamb, parrot fish, ostrich, jumbo prawns, and fresh squid.

Even dessert is grilled. A whole fresh pineapple is marinated in nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves before grilling and is served in a plate with yogurt, honey, and chopped pistachios.

That is not all. Before you actually sit down for the meat feast, you can hit the gourmet salad and sides bar first. On offer are fresh cut vegetables, cured meats and traditional Brazilian side dishes. Special mention to the Pao de Quiejo, delectable little warm cheese buns. I had a hard time not eating too much of them to save room for the churrasco onslaught.

When you tell your server that you are ready for the churrasco, he will bring you a plate with more food, as accompaniment for the meats-- grilled corn, baked beans, roasted vegetables, and rice. There is an empty spot in that plate that is reserved for the meats. 

Also in preparation for the meats are several tiny plates containing different sauces, red wine butter, tarragon butter (I think), clarified butter, and chimichurri. As with traditional Brazilian churrasco, every diner is given a disc with one side green and the other red. Turn the disc green side up, and you are telling your chef to bring the churrasco service tableside. Red side up is the sign of surrender.

Oh but it is hard to leave that beautiful, vibrant place even when you have eaten to your heart's content. Good friends and good food cast against a backdrop of pristine sand and sea and hip music... I think had it not rained that night, we would have stayed even longer.

Ibiza Beach Club is located in Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, Punta Engano, Cebu, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu. For reservations, contact (032) 492-7777. Visit the Ibiza Beach Club Facebook page at:
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