Tsokolate Ah and more at Tsoko.Nut Batirol, Tomas Morato

Dessert cafes abound in the metro, but how many of them do you see touting our very own tsokolate – the Pinoy version of hot chocolate?

Would you believe I first heard of this delicacy back in high school while studying Noli Me Tangere? Jose Rizal’s literary masterpiece features a scene wherein the characters assign social status to the thickness of the hot chocolate served.

During a social gathering, Padre Salvi (one of the more nefarious characters in the novel), serves tsokolate eh (from espresso, meaning thick, due to the richness of the hot chocolate served) for Spanish visitors and dignitaries, while tsokolate ah (from aguado, meaning watered down) was served to the locals, which is probably why this is sometimes referred to as the native hot chocolate.

(Aside: being a racist and a snob are the least of Padre Salvi’s character flaws.)

The latter variant is available at Tsoko.Nut Batirol, a small cafe located in Quezon City’s Tomas Morato Area. The batirol in the cafe’s name refers to the implement used in mixing the hot chocolate to make sure that the tablea (chocolate tablets) are dissolved and well-incorporated into the drink.

Tsoko.Nut Batirol, Tomas Morato

The cafe has an Old World feel to it, with furniture and interiors that harken back to ancestral homes in the provinces. It also makes use of its own signature mug for its hot beverages which adds to its quaint appeal.

Tsoko.Nut Batirol, Tomas Morato

Tsoko.Nut Batirol, Tomas Morato

Tsoko.Nut Batirol, Tomas Morato

Together with my office buddies, I went here for some dessert which included:

Tsokolate Ah Batirol (Php88 regular | Php98 large). The aforementioned native hot chocolate is no longer a comment on one’s station. Instead, this is an indulgent treat for any chocolate lover. Made in the traditional way: using chocolate tablea, milk and ground peanuts, this drink will take you back in time.

Tsoko.Nut Batirol, Tomas Morato

Mini Chocolate Cake (Php110). A rich and chocolatey confection of moist cake and thick chocolate icing.

Tsoko.Nut Batirol, Tomas Morato

Mango Torte (Php99). A frozen cheesecake topped with artfully arranged mango slices on on a crust of graham cracker crumbs. It’s so pretty, we almost didn’t want to eat it. Well, almost. 🤪

Tsoko.Nut Batirol, Tomas Morato

I’d love to spend a more leisurely afternoon here, just enjoying my sweets and my cup of native hot choco. I wonder when that would be…

This Tsoko.Nut Batirol branch is located near the corner of Scout Reyes Street and Mother Ignacia Avenue, Bgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 3979939.

Other branches are located at:

  • Food Court, Third Floor, Eastwood Cybermall, Libis, Quezon City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Worldwide Corporate Center, Shaw Boulevard, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City
  • Ground Floor, Telus Building, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
  • Third Floor, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati City
  • Northgate Cyberzone, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa

Tsoko.Nut Batirol Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other dessert shops in the metro:

 

Milk tea adventure at Make Your Own Cafe, Tomas Morato

Fresh from a recent visit to Make Your Own Cafe’s Maginhawa branch, I was absolutely delighted to discover that it will open a branch along Mother Ignacia Avenue, right across the street from my office!

I counted the days until it opened, and at last, in the last weeks of July, it finally did!

Even though I was exhausted from an entire day of meetings, I just knew I had to have a taste of MYO milk teas as soon as they become available in my turf.

Make Your Own Cafe, Tomas Morato

Make Your Own Cafe, Tomas Morato

Make Your Own Cafe, Tomas Morato

Make Your Own Cafe, Tomas Morato

MYO was the first milk tea store in the country to offer unli sinkers: for only an additional Php20, you can add as many original boba, nata de coco, oreo, brown sugar jelly, grass jelly, coffee jelly, honey boba, espresso boba, egg pudding and assorted jelly as you want to your drink.

Really, with the way you can customize your drink with you unli sinker choices, each cup is an adventure!

This stall offers all the drinks that the other branches do, and armed with some GCs I received, I lost no time in going on my milk tea adventure.

Make Your Own Cafe, Tomas Morato

Oreo Overload (Php140 for regular | Php150 for large). I absolutely love cheese foam on milk tea and together with oreo crumbs, it makes this drink akin to a cookies ‘n cream cheesecake in a cup.

Make Your Own, Tomas Morato

Make Your Own, Tomas Morato

Original Milk Tea (Php90 for regular| Php100 for large). This drink variant was on Buy 1 Take 1 during the weekend of the store’s opening. I took advantage of this promo to bring home drinks to enjoy with my daughter #ExhibitA at home.

Make Your Own, Tomas Morato

Make Your Own Cafe, Tomas Morato

Today, I got another chance to visit the stall and give in to my milk tea craving.

Okinawa Cheese (Php130 for regular | Php140 for large). This milk tea variant incorporates roasted brown sugar instead of regular syrup, giving the drink a more complex flavor which is further enhanced by the salty-sweet cheese foam.

Make Your Own Cafe, Tomas Morato

Make Your Own Cafe, Tomas Morato

Well, now I know where to go whenever I have a hankering for a milk tea adventure!

Make Your Own, Tomas Morato

This Make Your Own Cafe branch is located at The Grandia Place, 143 Mother Ignacia Ave, South Triangle, Quezon City.

Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, 140 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
  • 114 Mayon Street, Banawe, Quezon City

Make Your Own Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other milk tea joints:

 

Dessert drink at Jack’s Lemonade, Shangri-la Plaza

Last Monday was a surprisingly sunny day so I decided to window-shop at Shangri-la Plaza. All that walking sure worked up a thirst, though.

Thankfully, there’s a Jack’s Lemonade stall at the mall’s food court, offering more than thirty flavors of lemonade.

Jack’s Lemonade, Shangri-la Plaza

You wouldn’t think its possible to stretch the flavor possibilities of lemonade that far, but Jack’s Lemonade more than proves the versatility of the drink and its wide appeal.

Jack’s Lemonade offerings are grouped according to a family of flavor profiles:

  • For Jack: the basic lemonades and the Jack’s Specials
  • For Dad John: the tea lemonades
  • For Mom Jenny: the herb lemonades
  • For Sister Julia: the fruit lemonades
  • For Baby James: the candy lemonades

To these drinks may be added plum salt, honey, yogurt, basil seeds, coconut jelly, poppers and pudding.

For my drink that afternoon, I chose one of Jack’s Specials: the Lemon Squares (Php95 for regular | Php115 for large). It combines freshly made lemon water with powdered milk, condensed milk, grated cheddar cheese and a topping of crushed graham crackers which makes this a yummy dessert-like beverage.

Jack’s Lemonade, Shangri-la Plaza

Jack’s Lemonade, Shangri-la Plaza

It also has the health benefits of lemon-based drinks which include supporting heart health, helping in weight control, preventing kidney stones, protecting against anemia, and improving digestive health.

Jack’s Lemonade, Shangri-la Plaza

Jack’s Lemonade, Shangri-la Plaza

So if you should feel the thirst while shopping, look for a Jack’s Lemonade stall. Here, you can find a lemony drink that suits your craving while enjoying lemon’s health benefits.

Jack’s Lemonade, Shangri-la Plaza

This Jack’s Lemonade stall is located at Food Forum, Lower Ground Level, Shangri-la Plaza, Ortigas Mandaluyong City.

Other stalls may be found at:

  • Ground Floor, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City
  • Cinema Area, Third Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
  • Food Choices, Fourth Floor, Ayala Malls Feliz, Dela Paz, Pasig City
  • Fifth Floor, Bridgeway, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Third Floor, Glorietta 2, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
  • Fourth Floor, Market! Market!, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
    Second Floor, Market! Market!, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Disclosure: This drink is sponsored by Jack’s Lemonade through gift certificates I received prior to the visit.

Jack's Lemonade Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my previous lemon-y experiences at Jack’s Lemonade:

Sweet temptation at Miguelito’s Hyped Mangoes, Tomas Morato

The metro seems to be in the midst of a mango mania with mango desserts and drinks (at last!) taking center stage.

And why shouldn’t they?

The unofficial national fruit is known for its succulent and juicy sweetness, and our homegrown mangoes are among the best globally.

It’s therefore no surprise, that after lunch at Il Terrazzo with my friends, I veered away from my original quest to get myself a cup of healthy lemon juice from a nearby stall and instead ran down to the Miguelito’s Hyped Mangoes stall.

For one thing, Papa Piolo (or at least, a tarpaulin-mounted likeness of him) was there beckoning me with his limpid eyes and his sweet smile, promising me the health benefits of mangoes, which are a source of:

  • Vitamin C to boost the immune system
  • Vitamin A to improve vision
  • Healthy probiotic fiber
  • Potassium and Magnesium

Also, these mango offerings are also quite affordable. My chosen dessert, a Mango Supreme, is 16 ounces of soft-serve mango ice cream, topped with chopped mango and mango syrup, all for only Php65!

Miguelito’s Hyped Mangoes, Tomas Morato

Miguelito’s Hyped Mangoes, Tomas Morato

Miguelito’s Hyped Mangoes, Tomas Morato

Needless to say, I gave in to this sweet temptation. And giving in to temptation has never been so rewarding!

Miguelito’s Hyped Mangoes, Tomas Morato

Miguelito’s Hyped Mangoes, Tomas Morato

This Miguelito’s Hyped Mangoes stall is located at Il Terrazzo – 305 Tomas Morato Ave. cor. Scout Madriñan St., South Triangle, Quezon City.

Other branches are located in:

  • Mandaluyong: Starmall EDSA-Shaw Boulevard, SM Hupermarket Bagong Silang,
  • Taguig: Market! Market!, SM Hypermarket FTI
  • Marikina: Ayala Malls Marikina
  • Makati: Alphaland Southgate Mall, SM Hypermarket Makati
  • Manila: University Mall, Harrison Plaza, SM City San Lazaro, Manila Ocean Park
  • Quezon City: Fisher Mall, SM Hypermarket Quirino Highway, Robinsons Novaliches
  • Paranaque: SM City Bicutan, SM City Sucat

Miguelito's Hyped Mangoes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other dessert shops in the metro:

Morning sweets at Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

A friend and I suddenly found ourselves with some time on our hands while in Serendra yesterday morning, so we decided to break our fast at Cupcakes by Sonja.

This store was Manila’s first ever cupcake store, opened by Sonja Ocampo to bring the cupcake experiences she had in New York to our shores.

The store has the charm of a corner bakery: from its colorful storefront, the quaint bric-a-bracs inside to the lovely display of goodies available.

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja features whimsical pastries baked fresh daily, using premium ingredients and no preservatives. Expanding its repertoire beyond the classic cupcakes flavors, its menu now includes hybrid cupcakes, full-sized cakes and pies.

Today, the shop offers these goodies paired with house-made hot beverages such as in Hey Hot Stuff Combo 1 which gives the diners a slice of cake and a choice among latte, cappuccino and hot chocolate for only Php179.

I got myself a Reverse Salted Caramel + Latte. The Valrhona chocolate cake base is richly flavored and moist, wrapped in layers of salted caramel buttercream. The latte I had with it is not too sweet, a good complement to such a decadent dessert.

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

My friend got the Rainbow Fiesta + Hot Chocolate. The cake is made of six layers of fluffy vanilla chiffon cake in different rainbow colors finished with marahmallow frosting and garnished candy sprinkles.

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

I also got myself a Red Velvet Vixen Cupcake (Php95). Did you know that Cupcakes by Sonja was the first store to offer this classic Southern American cupcake flavor in the Philippines? I remember having my first taste of this confection in this very store more thab a decade ago, and this cupcake still holds its appeal to me. With a decadent Belgian chocolate cupcake base, colored with that deep red hue, and topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting, it has become quite a local favorite.

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

I had a lovely return to this wonderful store for my morning sweets.

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

Cupcakes by Sonja, BGC

This Cupcakes by Sonja branch is located at Ground Floor, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 8am to 11am and Fridays to Saturdays from 8am to 12 midnight.

Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Mega Mall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Second Floor, Glorietta 2, Ayala Center, Makati

Cupcakes By Sonja Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other dessert shops in the metro:

Buy One Dish, Get One at 50% Off at Tres

From ‪August 13-16‬, buy 1 dish and get another at 50 per cent off at Tres located on the 2nd Level, The Annex, SM North EDSA and along Rufino Street corner Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati.

The offer includes all the menu items and is available all day everyday from ‪August 13-16‬ only. The discounted dish must be equal or of a lesser value than the 1st dish. Only 1 redemption is allowed per single transaction. No minimum purchase is required. The offer is good only for dine in and cannot be used with other existing promos, discount and gift check.

Tres Promo

Tres is home to good old home Filipino cooking serving the original dishes and those inspired by the late culinary figure Chef Ed Quimzon.

Some of the bestsellers include Kare-Kare-Kare served 4 ways – Classic Beef with flank steak and tripe; Seafood with prawns, squid, fish, shellfish, and clams; Crispy Beef Tadyang, Crispy Pata and Crispy which is a combination of chuck, flank steak, and tripe. The Kare-Kare-Kare Platter is a big order of beef ribs, pork knuckles, prawns and vegetables.

TRES coined the term Kare-Kare-Kare because they give you extra sauce to pour, peanuts to top, and the original TRES bagoong as an accompaniment.

The TRES Crispy Pata is another bestseller. It is soaked in a secret marinade and fried twice for that double delicious crispy crackling goodness. The meat is tender and steeped with flavor. It is served with thinly sliced sweet potato crisps and a sweet and spicy soy sauce and vinegar dip.

Binagoongang Lechon Kawali combines the crispiness of lechon and the spiciness of the Bicol Express sauce. Sizzling Crispy Beef Tadyang is simmered in soy sauce with garlic, onion, laurel leaf and pepper.

For dishes with Spanish and English influence, there is Lengua con Setas, Hickory Baby Back Ribs and Lamb Adobo. Roast Iberian Chicken is the Spanish version of the more familiar roast chicken but this time, the whole chicken is slow roasted in olive oil and spices. There is also Gambas Al Ajillo with fresh prawns sautéed in garlic, green peppers and olive oil. Classic Beef Salpicao is beef tenderloin sautéed in olive oil, chili, roasted minced garlic and then grilled to coax the natural sweet flavor of the meat to come out.

If you are looking for hot delicious soup, there is Beef Bulalo, slow cooked beef marrow until its almost fall-off the bone tender and made more flavorful with corn, green beans, cabbage and potatoes.

The Sinigang comes in 4 variants. Sinigang na Salmon sa Miso, Sinigang na Spareribs, Sinigang na Bangus and Sinigang na Hipon.

There is more. Sugpo at Aligue is fresh prawns sautéed in crab roe, garlic and chili. TRES Bagnet Sampler comes with 3 slices each of Classic, Kare-Kare-Kare and Mantecado with matching sauces. Sizzling Adobo Belly, Lumpiang Shanghai, Bangus ala Pobre, Calamares, Crispy Tilapia, Crispy Ginataang Hito are some of the other choices.

For vegetable dishes, the Gising-Gising is a crowd favorite with ground pork sautéed with Baguio beans, chili and coconut milk. You decide if you want it real spicy. Pinakbet is more decadent with Bagnet, Ampalaya Ensalada has no bitter taste with crispy dried shrimp and a light dressing. Ensaladang Talong, Laing and Monggo round up the choices.

Of course a Filipino table will not be complete without rice. There is the standard Pandan Rice with an aromatic smell, Kalkag Rice with crispy dried shrimp and Lechon Rice with crispy lechon skin and sauce.

There is Halo-Halo that is super thick and creamy and overflowing with macapuno, beans, milk, leche flan, ube and grated ice. For more desserts, try the Ube Macapuno Royale Cake Chocolate Lava Cake, Leche Flan, Biko and Banana-Ube Turon.

For reservations, catering and other inquiries, visit TRES on the 2nd floor, The Annex, SM City North EDSA or call ‪352-7032‬ or ‪0917-529-0837‬; and TRES on the ground floor of Keyland Ayala SLC Building, Rufino near the corner of Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati or call ‪0927-791-5489‬. You may also visit facebook.com/trescuisineph.

Steak time at Big Daddy’s Steak House, Tomas Morato

One particularly busy day at the office, a coworker and I decided to have lunch at the steak house nearby.

Big Daddy’s Steak House is a low-key eatery located along Mother Ignacia Avenue. Dimly lit, even at noon, it’s where busy office workers can have some peace and quiet during the lunch hour.

Big Daddy’s Steak House, Tomas Morato

Big Daddy’s Steakhouse, Tomas Morato

Big Daddy’s Steakhouse, Tomas Morato

It is also where said office workers can enjoy hefty pieces of Porterhouse Steak at Php450. Grilled to medium doneness per our request, and accompanied by gravy that sizzled satisfyingly upon being poured on the cast-iron plate.

Big Daddy’s Steak House, Tomas Morato

Big Daddy’s Steak House, Tomas Morato

Big Daddy’s Steak House, Tomas Morato

Yep, it was a satusfying lunch for two carnivores.

This Big Daddy’s Steak House branch is located at Timog corner Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 6am. For inquiries and reservation, call +63 3748495.

Other branches are located at:

  • Ortigas Park Lane, Sapphire Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig
  • 121 Kalayaan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
  • JB Tan Street, BF Resort, Talon, Las Pinas

Big Daddy's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts of other places in the metro where you can get some steaks: