ASK any serious halo-halo connoisseur which Halo-halo is the best in the metro, and surely the Halo-Halo of Milky Way will make it to the top. Ask me, and I’ll tell you it’s the best Halo-Halo in town. It’s something that you’d crave for time and again, and a craving has to be satisfied, or else it sticks and consumes you until you’ve given in.
Last week, my husband Raff and I had a most pleasant lunch date with publicist Nana Nadal and Malu Gamboa (one-half of the famous brother-and-sister tandem behind the success of the Milky Way group of restaurants, which includes Cirkulo, a Spanish themed restaurant; Tsukiji, a premier Japanese restaurant; and AzuThai, a Thai specialty restaurant) at Milky Way Café on the second floor of the Milkyway Bldg. along Arnaiz Ave. (formerly known as Pasay Road) in Makati. We had earlier bumped into each other during the 9th anniversary celebration of the Salcedo Community Market, where AzuThai has a booth, and set a lunch date for last week. We later arranged to have a food shoot at Milky Way along with our lunch date, so we had our shoot, then a really satisfying lunch cum conversation, and ended our lunch date with a serving of Milky Way’s famous Halo-Halo. Chef J joined us for lunch, which made the conversation and the company even more enjoyable.
I had been looking forward to Milky Way’s Halo-Halo for weeks, so I consciously left plenty of room in my tummy for my Halo-Halo. Every mouthful was pure magic and sheer joy. Each serving of Halo-Halo, priced at Php125, contains about 20 premium ingredients in it, such as red and green gulaman, sweet garbanzos, leche flan, macapuno, ube halaya,, sweet white beans, nata de coco and langka, clothed in powdery shaved ice cranked by hand on a traditional ice crusher, bathed in milk and topped with a scoop of ube ice cream sprinkled with pinipig. There’s only one size, and there’s no Regular and Special. Every serving is special.
Why is Milky Way’s Halo-Halo so good? I asked Chef J.
And he answered, “All the ingredients that go into the Halo-Halo are premium ingredients that are all made in-house, and our ice is hand-cranked to make sure it’s super fine.”
Raff was nodding all the time, because our previous conversations on what makes a Halo-Halo really good and better than everyone else’s had touched on exactly those points – 1) Its ingredients have to be cooked at home and not just rely on commercially available bottled versions; and 2) Its ice has to be fine and smooth, not rough, on the palate.
Needless to say, I finished my Halo-Halo and I was one happy girl.
And, oh, Milky Way now also sells bottled Pinoy goodies, such as Atchara (picked green papaya), which is among the best of its kind, Bagoong (fermented shrimp paste), Mango Chutney, Atcharang Gulay (pickled assorted vegetables), Crispy Garlic Chips, Burong Mangga (mangoes in brine) and Dikiam na Mangga (preserved mangoes), as well as packed peanuts in three variants – Adobong Mani in garlic peanuts and in spicy garlic peanuts flavors and Adobong Mani with Balat.
(Milky Way Café is located at 2/F, Milkyway Bldg., 900 Arnaiz Ave., Makati City, with telephone numbers 843-4124 and 843-7124. It has Milky Way Deli branches at the Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City, and at V-Mall, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan.)