DIAMOND Hotel Philippines is all set for the main event this holiday season. Corniche, Yurakuen, Lobby Lounge and Bar 27 are ready with their own brand of celebration.
The Christmas Eve and Christmas Day lunch and dinner buffets at Corniche feature dishes from around the world, which guests would be able to enjoy with a complimentary glass of wine. The wine is already included in the Php3,180 nett per person rate for the Christmas Eve Lunch and Christmas Day Dinner Buffets, as well as in the Php3,380 nett per person rate for Christmas Eve Dinner and Christmas Day Lunch Buffets. What’s more: On both days, a solo pianist would regale diners with lovely music as they dine leisurely with their loved ones.
A Yurakuen Christmas…
Over at the Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant, there is an authentic spread of Japanese specialties with the Christmas Set Menu available during lunch and dinner on December 24 and 25 for Php1,980 nett per person. The set menu also includes a glass of wine, plus live musical entertainment by a solo violinist.
On December 24 and 25, 2021, and January 1, 2022, the Lobby Lounge offers the Christmas Set Lunch and Dinner for Php1,980 nett per person, complemented with a glass of wine and a solo violinist serenading the diners as they enjoy the food and the ambiance.
After all the feasting on December 24 and 25, diners are invited to enjoy drinks or cocktails and continue the celebration at Bar 27, the sky-high bar in the bay area, for Php1,280 nett per person consumable.
New Year’s promises to be as festive as Christmas, maybe even more, at Diamond Hotel, with sparkling offers for December 31, so guests can say goodbye to 2021 and welcome 2022 with a bang.
Countdown to 2022 at Diamond Hotel Philippines
A superb buffet spread awaits guests at Corniche, where New Year’s Eve Dinner, priced at Php3,880 nett per person, includes a glass of Champagne, party favors and live DJ entertainment for the countdown.
Yurakuen features a Japanese set dinner feast, which includes a glass of Champagne and live musical entertainment courtesy of a solo violinist. Groups of four can enjoy a set menu for four at Php8,380 nett, while groups of six may go for the same thing at Php11,280 nett.
Guests may also opt to celebrate at the Lobby Lounge, since they are given access to the Corniche New Year’s Countdown and Dinner Buffet for Php3,880 nett per person. The price includes a glass of Champagne.
There is also a New Year’s Countdown at Bar 27 with a live DJ. Guests can have fun all night at Php1,380 nett per person consumable.
For inquiries or reservations, call (632) 8528-3000 extension 1121.
(Diamond Hotel Phlippines is located at Roxas Blvd. corner Dr. J. Quintos St., Manila.)
A box full of Felicia’s pastries, including ensaimadas, cheese rolls, almondettes, turron de pili and lemon crisps
THOSE who have been to Bacolod know that this Western Visayan city is a haven for delicious pastries, cakes, chorizos and seafood. Try them once and you will keep going back for more. This is why foreign and domestic travelers alike end up bringing home loads of Bacolod specialties as pasalubong for family, friends and loved ones when they leave. And long after you have finished your stash at home, you will keep craving for more and wishing there is a way you can ship Bacolod goodies to Manila without costing an arm and a leg.
Siblings Gino Asensio Lopez and Monique Lopez Ong are the entrepreneurial brains behind The Commissariat Manila
Well, someone has heard your wish and will do exactly what you wish for this Christmas—The Commissariat Manila. It is a purveyor of the finest goods and delicacies under the entrepreneurial skills of siblings Gino Asensio Lopez and Monique Lopez Ong. Since they hail from the Visayas, specifically Iloilo and Bacolod, and believe that “good food must never be kept secret and should be experienced by everyone,” the siblings started The Commissariat Manila in July 2020. That was the time when the pandemic was at its height, and people were locked down in their homes, so much so that there was a rising need for good food to be delivered to their homes. The Commissariat Manila was established to fulfill people’s need for first-class goods from the Visayas, particularly Bacolod.
The signature Ensaimada of Felicia’s Pastries from Bacolod
Cheese Rolls are another signature product of Felicia’s Pastries
Being Negrenses, Gino and Monique know exactly what to source. First on their list are the many sought-after delicacies of Negros Occidental’s Felicia’s Pastry Shop, which come from the kitchen of the three Lacson sisters—Sony Lacson Cometa, Fely Lacson Montelibano, and Margie Lacson Macasa—who set up their pastry kitchen in the 1970s. Since then, the kitchen has been churning out delicious pastries, including the famous Felicia’s Ensaimadas and Cheese Rolls. Even as the legacy is passed down from one generation to another, the quality of Felicia’s goodies never changes. The Ensaimadas and Cheese Rolls remain as the best-sellers. The Ensaimadas come in a box of 6 (Php1,215) and a box of 12 (Php2,430), and the Cheese Rolls are available in a box of 16 (Php1,420).
Lemon Thins by Bacolod’s famous Felicia’s Pastries
Felicia’s Almondettes are premium morsels of sweet and chewy delights
From Bacolod comes Felicia’s Turron de Pili
Through the years, Felicia’s has also become known for its cookies in cans, such as Almond Crisps (Php490), Lemon Thins (Php425), and Almondettes (Php475), as well as its pili products, including Pili Crumble (Php675) and Turron de Pili (Php585).
Felicia’s cakes in cans
And then the cakes in cans came—Potato Cake (Php975), Sans Rival (Php995), Swiss Chocolate Cake (Php980), Classic Chocolate Cake (Php995), and Butter Cake (Php850).
All these Felicia’s specialties, for which the brand has become famous, are now available in Manila for a limited time only. These freshly baked goodies are now being air-flown by The Commissariat Manila from Bacolod to Manila every week beginning last November 13, 2021, until December 18, 2021.
Casa Carmela offers Bacolod’s culinary gems in its Bacolod in a Bottle line
The Commissariat Manila has also made available other Bacolod specialties, such as Casa Carmela’s “Bacolod in a bottle” line, such as the best-selling Crazy Rich Crabs (Php500), Sexy Squid (Php375), Chorizo Pudpud (Php375) and the signature Papa Daniel’s Bangus (Php365).
Ereñeta-Manaloto Chorizo Recado and Hamonado Bilog
Also on hand are another crowd favorite—the Ereñeta-Manaloto Chorizo Recado or Hamonado Bilog—and the newest addition to their Chorizo line, the Chorizo Mozzarella or Muchorellas, which has turned out to be a big hit with the kids since it was introduced in the market. Both are sold at Php395 per pack of one dozen.
The Commissariat Manila’s very own Flat Quillos
Side by side with these popular brands, The Commissariat Manila offers some of their own products, such as Flat Quillos (Php185), and, seasonally, The Commissariat Bantayan Bay half-shell scallops (Php675), which are harvested from the deepest parts of the Bantayan Island waters and flown straight to The Commissariat freezers.
Due to the influx of orders during the Christmas season, it is advisable to make pre-orders early so you make it to The Commissariat’s delivery list. For advance placement of orders, please refer to the social media links below for the Felicia’s In Manila delivery schedule.
For Felicia’s fresh air-flown pastries and limited edition Christmas sets, the pre-order cut-off for each week is on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. All late pre-orders will carry over to the next available shipment date. Deliveries for Metro Manila begin every Saturday of each week from November 13 to December 18, the latter being the last shipment date for 2021.
All on-hand products, such as Felicia’s cakes in cans, Casa Carmela’s bottled goods, Ereñeta-Manaloto chorizos, and The Commissariat’s Flat Quillos, will be available for delivery until December 23 (Thursday) before Christmas Eve, and will continue to be available from December 27 to 31 before the New Year’s countdown. Delivery of fresh air-flown Felicia’s Ensaimadas and Cheese Rolls will resume on January 8, 2022 (Saturday), which is the first shipment date for 2022.
For more information on The Commissariat Manila offers within NCR Plus (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal), visit their website, www.thecommissariatmanila.com.
Super dense and moist Carrot Cake with Burnt Butter Cream Cheese Frosting by Flour Pot Rum Cakes Manila
THIS is unlike any carrot cake you have ever tasted. For one, it is super heavy. Lift the box and you feel the weight of the moist and dense carrot cake within.
Flour Pot Rum Cakes Manila’s Carrot Cake with Burnt Butter Cream Cheese Frosting is, after all, four layers of luscious and super moist carrot cake brimming with Benguet carrots, Formosa pineapple from Tagaytay, and pili nuts from Albay in place of the usual pecans or walnuts. Sandwiched between cake layers are generous spreads of delightful frosting made from burnt butter, cream cheese and single barrel Bourbon to give it that gentle kick. The naked heavyweight cake, measuring 9×4 inches or 7×3.5 inches (yes, it is available in two sizes!), is slathered with frosting and crowned with fresh flowers. The density of the cake, the naked doneness, and the crown of fresh flowers are signature marks of a Flour Pot specialty cake, as baked by super talented baker Chef Rhea Castro SyCip.
This Carrot Cake with Burnt Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, which sells at Php2,500 for the 9×4-inch cake and Php1,750 for the 7×3.5-inch version, was rolled out last October 8, 2021, and would be available for the entire Christmas season.
To order, message Flour Pot Manila on FB/IG, call 0916-4937488, or visit its stores at The Inn at Cliffhouse Tagaytay and Bel-Air, Makati City.
Moniquecakesph has a trending product in Helen’s Guava Cake
LOVE everything guava like my friend, travel buddy and colleague over at Daily Tribune, Roel Hoang Manipon? My husband Raff also loved guava stuff before his second stroke confined him to the bed even now, his favorites being guava juice and guava jam. I myself am always intrigued by unique local flavors, such as guava, rendered unconventionally in delightful food products.
So, how about a guava cake?
Oh, yes, definitely! I recently got to taste Helen’s Guava Cake, baked by shipbuilding executive and F&B hotelier turned home baker Monique Tangcongco for her own Moniquecakesph, and instantly fell in love with it. It is quite new, having been launched only in August this year, and is probably the only guava cake in the market. It is two layers of pillowy soft, moist chiffon cake, with homemade organic red guava jam filling, iced on top and on the sides with whipped cream frosting, and garnished with generous slices of red guava fruit on top. The cake simulates the look of a real guava fruit, with the chiffon cakes in the exact pink shade of the guava fruit and the icing in light pale green.
Aside from the look, however, Helen’s Guava Cake has a very pronounced guava flavor. It is real. It is not a pretender. That is what I like about it. And if you are wondering who Helen is, she is Monique’s mom, and guavas have always played an important role in the lives of the Tancongcos.
“Inspiration for Helen’s Guava Cake stemmed from the desire to bake delectable cakes and pastries for my family, my mom particularly, using the finest and most wholesome ingredients as much as possible. Guavas bring about the fondest childhood memories. Growing up, we had guava trees at my grandma’s house and relatives’ houses. My aunties, uncles and elder cousins built swings and playhouses on and around them. My late grandma, late dad and my mom taught us the nutritional value of eating natural and unprocessed food as much as possible. Guava fruits are amazingly rich in antioxidants, potassium, fiber and Vitamin C. My late dad, Crispino Tancongco, used to work for Del Monte Philippine Packing in Davao City. The Del Monte Guava Juice was his brainchild. The jam recipe I used for this particular cake was my grandma’s pamana to my mom, Helen. It was my mom who inspired me to create a cake out of it. Hence, the cake’s name,” Monique relates.
She adds: “Modesty aside, the guava cake was the one cake I seem to have executed rather seamlessly. It all happened one late night in the kitchen during this pandemic. I stayed up all night with an insane amount of guilt for not being able to see my family, friends and colleagues who are battling all sorts of anxiety, depression and longing for togetherness. Fueled by the desire to cheer them up, I thought I’d bake them something unique and special. Not trying to sound goody-goody, I have to admit the cake was a product of an answered prayer. So I give all the credit and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ for giving me the courage and wisdom to make it happen.”
That cake is now available in the market at P1,500 per 9-inch round cake, and it is making waves, as it is like no other. To order, send direct messages to FB/IG page Moniquecakesph and Viber 0917-8417415.
Cocoa Nelusko Cake by Chelley Belly Bakes of Binan, Laguna. This one is the Classic Plain Nelusko variant.
IF you love chocolate cakes and are constantly on the lookout for really good ones, especially one that will give you that familiar taste that you love but at the same time offer you something new and exciting, then you might want to try Chelley Belly Bakes’ Cocoa Nelusko Cake.
Baked by Rachel Anne Almeda Puno, also known as simply Chelle, it is made up of two layers of moist and rich premium chocolate cake, separated by a thick, luscious and creamy Natilla filling, then iced on top and on the sides with silky and buttery Nelusko icing.
The Nelusko Cake is actually a classic chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing and cashew praline topping. It’s a cake that has become a part of the tradition of the Puno household for the past 40 years. The icing, in particular, is a family recipe that has been handed down to Chelle by her grandmother and her mother. The pure butter based icing is light, silky and creamy, and just perfect for Chelle’s Cocoa Nelusko Cake.
Chelle’s love and knack for baking was sparked by her grandmother. Growing up in a house that always smelled good, with the kitchen always busy and the oven always warm early at dawn, she learned to bake from her lola, who patiently taught any of her grandchildren who showed interest in cooking and baking, and from her mom, whom she assisted in the kitchen when she was about 6 to 8 years old. She enhanced her skills by pursuing a B.S. Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management course at De La Salle University-College of St. Benilde (DLSU-CSB) and by working for the Pastry Department of Tagaytay Highlands afterwards.
Chelle had actually baked and sold many Cocoa Nelusko Cakes 15 to 18 years ago, but she went on a hiatus on her baking when she got busy. But then the pandemic happened, and, basically stuck in the house like everyone else, she started making Cocoa Nelusko Cake again in April this year from the Puno home in Biñan, Laguna, where she is based. And her cake started to create a ripple not only in Laguna but also in Metro Manila because it is so good.
Besides the Classic Plain Nelusko, Chelley Belly Bakes’ Cocoa Nelusko Cake comes in two other variants: Cocoa Mocha Blast (topped with almond slices) and Cocoa Nelusko Pralines (topped with pecan pralines)
Chelle’s Cocoa Nelusko Cake actually comes in three variants. There is Classic Plain Nelusko, which has plain icing she designed in a classic way—with the tines of a fork creating alternating artisanal tiles on the whole cake. The cake is very good in its simplicity. But Chelle decided to create two other variants: Cocoa Nelusko Pralines, which has the same silky and buttery Nelusko icing but topped with pecan praline; and Cocoa Mocha Blast, which has butter mocha icing and is topped with toasted almond flakes. So, however her clients liked their Nelusko cake, Chelle’s got them covered.
And the good news is that both variants are good, too. The Cocoa Nelusko Pralines gives you a combination of sweet and nutty, with the pecan praline giving you something to nibble on. The Cocoa Mocha Blast also extends that nutty goodness without the hint of sweetness from the pralines, with the toasted almond flakes already giving you enough texture to chew on.
All three variants come in XS, S, M and L sizes, whose prices range from Php800 to Php1,800 for the Classic Plain Nelusko, and from Php1,000 to Php1,900 for both the Cocoa Nelusko Pralines and the Cocoa Mocha Blast.
To order, send a direct message to @nelusko_cakes_chelleybellybakes on IG, call/text 0965-1331454, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Best to place your order two days in advance.