The 2015 Apples & Lemons Food Awardees

THIS section of the annual awards deserves a page of its own. Each entry has been “tried and tasted” and made the bitch’s taste buds leap with joy. Not only are these dishes worth going out of your way to try, but it’ll also make the perfect gift for this season of giving.

Make the Holidays delicious, yours and everyone you love.

(Apple rating guide: 1- Good; 2-Very Good; 3-Very, very good; 4-Excellent; 5-Welcome to Bitch Heaven!)

1. Cecil Co’s 8 Treasures Misua

Rating: 4 Apples.

It’s a birthday fare in the Co household to wish the celebrant good luck and long life, so I get to taste it only when a family member is celebrating his or her special day. The Chinese noodle dish is served as the first meal of the day and a serving of one bowl can last you through the day. It’s that heavy.

Cecile Co's 8 Tresure Misua is packed with flavors

Those who have tried the dish look forward to an invitation. After decades of pressing Cecil to accept orders, she finally nodded to sharing her 8 Treasure dish to everyone.

The preparation for the “8 Treasures”, the number of components that goes on top of the Misua noodles, is long and tedious, making it very, very special.

Each of the treasures is prepared separately: 1. Mushrooms; 2. Shredded chicken breast; 3. Cubed pork belly; 4. Shredded squid cooked to a crisp; 5. Sautéed shrimp; 6. Spring onions; 7. Fried peanuts; and 8. Whole hard-boiled eggs—and presented in separate serving bowls.

To enjoy, create your own dish and top your misua with the 8 treasures.
Priced at Php 1,500.00 per order, the Eight Treasures Misua can serve 6-8 people.

To order, visit Cecil Co’s Facebook Page or text 0932-892-2353.

2. Paleo Palate’s Double Chocolate Chip Cookies & Banana Bread

Rating: 4 Apples.

Paleo Diet aka caveman diet works on the concept of consuming more protein and meat, high fiber, and fewer carbohydrates like non-starchy vegetables.

Following this direction, Paleo Palate’s uses all natural ingredients in all its baked products. What you bit into will all be gluten free, grain free and free of refined sugar.

I don’t follow this diet program but doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy these delicious healthy sweet things.

The Chocolate Chip Cookies uses Almond Flour, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate Chips, Honey and Organic Eggs. Every cookie is chewy with the dark chocolate chips adding an extra layer of chocolate flavor. The taste is a perfect blend of not-so-sweet and bitter.

Paleo Palate's Double Chocolate Cookie is double the fun.

It won’t be a surprise if you can finish a bag of eight cookies (P290/bag) in one go.

The Banana Bread is not the usual loaf you encounter. This is a heavyweight! That’s in referral to weight and taste. The compact loaf is baked with Almond Flour, Bananas, Coconut Oil, Organic Eggs and Coconut Sugar giving it a consistency and weight like that of a Pound Cake.

Paleo Palate's Banana Bread is a heavyweight.

Lightly sweetened, the flavor of banana is hinted and the chunks of almonds provide the crunch. If it wasn’t so filling, I swear I could finish the entire, or maybe I was just rationing myself to make the loaf last longer (which was a futile effort).

The All Almond Flour costs P650/loaf. Also available using Coconut Flour at P400/loaf and Almond/Coconut Flour mix at P500/loaf.

To order, text 0917-700-4489 or call Basti’s Brew Victoria Plaza at 222-6168.

3. Leandro’s Sans Rival

Rating: 5 Apples.

This still remains unrivaled in the city, and that’s based on my preferred taste. Go ahead, try it if you haven’t and say, “That bitch is right.”

Leandro's Sans Rival is still unrivaled.

Leandro’s Sans Rival only uses premium butter and fresh eggs. To keep the sweetness level perfect and consistent, the right amount of sugar added to the recipe is strictly checked.

As it is made with pure butter as the main ingredient, it is highly recommended to store it in the freezer at all times.

Each serving is cut to bite sized bricks and individually wrapped. To enjoy, take one brick straight from the freezer and bite into the crispy, creamy goodness of this dessert made in heaven. With every bite, witness how the flavors melt in your mouth. Don’t let it stay too long on your fingers as the buttery stick is quick to melt (presuming you are trying to prolong the love affair with one brick).

One recipe is 24 individually wrapped bricks and costs P720/ order.
To order, call Leandro’s Catering at 222-5300.

4. Sunahama’s Chicken Ramen

Rating: 2 Apples

This is the other noodle dish to make the cut. I don’t eat pork or beef, which is what many of the Japanese restos serve, and I am elated that this one serves the chicken variety.

At last! A delicious chicken ramen. Sunahama Noodle Bar's Chicken Ramen

The owner shares that all the noodles are homemade and the chicken stock used is slow boiled for hours. The combination makes for a perfect, flavorful chicken noodle dish that’s prepared with chashu, miso, bean sprouts, scallions, aji tamago and caramelized scallion oil.

To enjoy the hot ramen dish, it is recommended to season it (customized, as written on the board) to taste. On the tabletop is a tray of Japanese seasoning, which includes Sesame seeds, Sesame oil and fresh garlic (a crusher is provided).

I like the spiciness of the freshly crushed garlic in my chicken noodle dish so I use a lot of it. Served in two sizes, Full at Php 260.00 and Snack Size at P130.

Gift certificates are available. It’ll give the recipient the chance to discover the rest of the delicious dishes on the menu.

Sunahama Noodle Bar is at Door 6A Mabini Commercial Complex, Mabini Street. 
Call (082) 324-3582

5. Tiny Kitchen’s ChocNut Cake

Rating 2 Apples.

Although Tiny Kitchen’s wide array of desserts has developed a fan base every sweet-toothed Pinoy will love, I am the odd man out as everyone’s sweetness level is still too sweet for me. Not until I got to taste this latest addition to the chiller line-up—the ChocNut Cake.

Tiny Kitchen's ChocNut Cake is nostalgia with every bite.

The ChocNut Cake is a layered, light and airy chocolate cake with light butter cream filling flavored with the chocolate flavor we all grew up to. The ChocNut flavor is very distinctive making the cake easy to love.

I just do not care for the chocolate icing on the side, which I leave untouched as it’s too sweet for me.

It’s hard to miss on the display case, the cake has bricks of ChocNut to top it.

A slice costs Php 115.00 while the whole cake with 8 slices is sold at Php 720.00.

Tiny Kitchen is at Torres Street. Call (082) 305 9232.

6. Marks & Spencer’s All Butter Pistachio & Almonds Cookies

Rating: 2 Apples.

I don’t recommend shelf products but this made the cut because I believe it is delicious.

Oh, my buttery goodness! Marks & Spencer's All Butter Pistachio & Almond Cookies

The moment you open the package the scent of butter immediately embraces you. Bite into a cookie and the rich taste of butter coats the inside of your mouth. It’s not too sweet and the Pistachio and Almond adds a nice texture to the already crunchy and chewy cookie.

A pack of 10 costs P300.

Available at the Marks & Spencer Food Hall at the Abreeza Mall and SM Lanang Premier.

Make someone’s Christmas truly merry. Send them one or all of these divine sustenance.