Easy on the Pocket Reviews: Good eats for Home Quarantine

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While cooped up at home, the Managing Editor has a had a run of food delivered from small, homegrown enterprises. Here are some of her favorites.

Ube Cheese desal by OhMaih’s Cakes and Pastries

The iconic pan de sal has undergone – and still undergoing – different incarnations: from bugrong, to cheese de sal, to chocolate pan de sal, to the fancier matcha, and red velvet varieties. So of course, expect the enterprising Pinoy to incorporate more familiar, island flavors into the roll.

OhMaih’s Cakes and Pastries offers one of the best ube cheese de sal. | Photo from OhMaih’s Facebook Page

Enter ube cheese de sal by OhMai Cakes and Pastries. I don’t know how Maita Gasataya, the baker and owner, does it but this cheese de sal remains soft and chewy, not dry, even after exposed to a bit of humid air. It has a creamy cheese, and halaya (ube jam) filling. Most commercial cheese desals have all pretensions of ube – which is just that, pretensions (hello purple food coloring!). OhMaih’s is also purple (but of course!), but it also has more than a hint of the ube flavor that stands out after a bite.

The dough itself is soft, not sticky, and remains so even after an overnight stay in the fridge. A box of those delightful rolls will set you back only P150 at P15 per roll. Plus points for placing the rolls in a ecoplastic container.

FatGirls 6100

The thing with deliveries is sometimes quality deteriorates during travel time. Imagine the time that passes as the food is packed in a plastic tub, waiting for the rider to pick it up, up to the time the rider does pick the food up and transport it to the customer.

Soyshalan Soy Garlic Chicken which comes with kimchi rice is surprisingly scrumptious and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. | Photo from FatGirls 6100 Facebook page

The time from kitchen to table is magnified with the travel time during delivery, compromising food quality. Especially fried food. FatGirls 6100’s food has none of those issues. For instance, the Soyshalan Soy Garlic Chicken which comes with kimchi rice is surprisingly scrumptious and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

It’s beautifully fried, and the flavors themselves are a perfect blend of sour, sweet, and umami, and the mix of the soy with the garlic brings out a different, pleasing flavor profile that is neither cloying nor overly sweet. The menu says a tub is good for one or two. Don’t believe it; it is actually good for three. A serving costs P250.

The Crookie

This writer is an addict for mochi ice creams and has in fact tried all sorts (including commercial ones from branded names). But none comes close to the quirky flavors of The Crookie. The entrepreneur and owner, who also makes the sweet sticky concoctions, is Kathe Dellomes, whose youthful energy and creativity is infused in the ice creams. There are classics, like mudpie, choco mint, and strawberry. And there’s also mango grahams, breakfast in bed, Crookie Monster, and Baba Gum Fusion. Even kiamoi. Not scared of pushing the envelope, this one.

Life is like a box of mochi ice creams. | Photo from The Crookie Facebook Page

Please note that this is artisanal ice cream, for those who are more accustomed to commercially-made brands, yes it is pricey (all artisanal products are). But is it worth the price? Yes!

They do not come cheap; but you are paying for quality, and The Crookie’s mochis have TUBS of it. | Photo from The Crookie Facebook page

My personal favorite, for instance, is mango grahams which is exactly that: it is your classic mango graham but in ice cream form and wrapped in a coat of lovely sticky rice. There are actual ripe mangoes in the ice cream, and the graham crackers joining the chilly mix. Heaven! A second favorite – and most everyone’s – is the Crookie Monster, inspired by the character with almost the same name in a beloved children’s show. The Sesame Street-inspired mochi ice cream is a lovely blue masterpiece with cookie CHUNKS, not crumbs within the ice cream itself.

Breakfast in Bed has a crunchy surprise with every bite; it has bacon bits buried deep within the vanilla ice cream base.

A mochi can set you back P59 (round it up to P60), but I tell you every single peso is money well-spent. See, that’s the thing with The Crookie – it uses top-quality ingredients, and it shows in the creaminess of the ice cream base. It is also rather generous with its servings – every bite has a surprise: a fruit slice, a cookie chunk, or some ingredient you did not expect.

Yes. I can bravely say it is the BEST mochi ice cream I have tasted.

Go directly to their Facebook page. The page is prompt in accepting orders and entertaining questions.

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