Easy-on-the-Pocket Reviews: Food Treats for the Hungry You

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FatGirls 6100 Japchae with a ❤

It’s a perfect balance of sweet, and umami, and salt. People whose palates are more accustomed to the rich, robust taste of Chinese-style pancit might find the Korean’s version of the sotanghon a bit sweet.

Japchae from FatGirls 6100. | Photo taken from FatGirls 6100 Facebook page
Japchae from FatGirls 6100. | Photo taken from FatGirls 6100 Facebook page

But therein lies its beauty.

The sweetness of classic japchae lends another layer of complexity to what could be a one-dimensional dish in some versions.

I don’t claim to know about Korean food, and how they are supposed to taste like. But I can say that FatGirls 6100 is as close to the ones being served in Korean restaurants, and outlets here. There’s just the right amount of sweetness, and umami, and salt (and a little spice) to its japchae.

A big plus is the generous slivers of vegetables – carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers – that went into each tub of japchae. It lends a little crunch to the soft texture of the noodles. Lovely.

If you want to order, just look for FatGirls 6100 on Facebook and directly message its owner Tey Sevilleno.

Croute PH’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s big. It’s chewy. It’s chockful of chocklit.

I fancy myself a cookie expert (somewhat) as I bake cookies myself, so I can tell if a cookie has too much fat, too little fat, too much flour, used all purpose instead of bread flour, used shortening, used margarine instead of butter, has too many eggs, used all brown sugar, or has been sitting too long in the oven.

I have experimented on proportions of cookies versus sugar, white versus brown, and how to make cookies with just the right amount of tenderness, of chewiness, why the Mallard effect is important. And so on.

Croute’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are made from just the right amount of everything. It’s not the commercial variety that has too much flour and too little fat. This one is chewy, not cloyingly sweet, and has just the right proportion of oats and chips to help keep the balance between dough and chocolate. Rarely can you see cookies in coffee shops with this kind of texture (most cookies in expensive coffee shops often scrimp on quality).

Croute PH’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Croute PH’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Croute PH is owned by the Topacio family, with products baked by the mother-and-daughter tandem of Sarah and Gil Mariese.

To order, message them on their Instagram or Facebook page.

Christopher Mallo’s Dinuguan

The dinuguan is tricky. It could go anywhere from greasy, to incredibly dry, to sour, to salty, to bitter, to runny or – if the cook doesn’t care about food hygiene – suspiciously rank and stinky.

That is why it is always good advice to at least KNOW who is cooking your dinuguan before helping yourself to a bowlful.

Enter Christopher Mallo’s dinuguan, which is slowly gaining traction through socmed push and positive word-of-mouth.

Christopher Mallo’s Dinuguan.
Christopher Mallo’s Dinuguan.

Some versions of the dinuguan get dry and mealy after a few minutes’ stay in the refrigerator (or get clumpy at the very least in an air-conditioned room). Christopher’s dinuguan had the same consistency throughout the day.

And the taste? The cook had infused it with lemongrass and ginger, so there’s a hint of both herbs in the taste. It also has a clean taste – no bitter aftertaste – and the balance of the acidic tones of the vinegar, and the spice of the herbs used make the sauce itself a good pair for hot steaming rice (I finished two cups – and I’m not a big rice eater).

Definitely recommend it.

For orders, send a private message to Christopher Mallo. He responds promptly.

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