Welcome the cherry blossom season with Starbucks’ Sakura series

In Japan, the advent of spring season is welcomed by the blossoming of sakura – more commonly known to us as cherry blossoms – from the last week of March to mid-April.

Widely considered as Japan’s national flower, these beautiful and delicate, pale pink blooms figure prominently in Japanese culture.

Starbucks Sakura Series

When the blossoming peaks, usually in the first week of April, it is a wondrous sight, prompting locals and visitors alike to hold tea ceremonies called hanami and other festivities to coincide with cherry blossom viewings.

Starbucks Sakura Series

We may not be able to travel to Japan to see these lovely blooms for ourselves but we can recreate the experience at home by having these Starbucks limited-edition Strawberry Sakura drinks delivered via GrabFood.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

The Sakura Blossom Strawberry Frappuccino (Php205). Fresh strawberries are blended with whole milk and ice with sweet strawberry sauce at the bottom of the glass. Petal-shaped pink chocolate sprinkles garnish the whipped cream that top this drink.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

Iced Sakura Blossom Tea (Php200). Starbucks’ Teavana Hibiscus Tea is combined with strawberry sauce and topped with cold foam sprinkled with petal-shaped pink chocolate sprinkles.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

A perfect partner for these drinks is Starbucks’ Cherry Blossom Cake (Php215), a light yet moist and sweet cherry cake layered with creamy filling made with crushed cherries and finished with cherry cream.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

Who says we can’t celebrate sakura season in the comforts of home?

Starbucks Sakura Series

This Starbucks branch is located at Mercedes Residences, Mercedes Avenue, San Miguel, Pasig City. For inquiries, call +63 2 82450773.

Photo Credit: Sakura blossoms by kazuend on Unsplash

Starbucks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my other posts about Starbucks:

Chef Jessie unveils newest creation: the Summer Berries Light Cheesecake!

If the warm weather is any indication, summer is slowly but surely encroaching upon the metro.

The approach of summer, however, need not be a downer, even when most of us are stuck at home with no way to travel to destinations we dreamed about.

Instead, we can bring the essence of summer right where we are with the newest dessert creation from Chef Jessie – the Summer Berries Light Cheesecake!

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Sincioco began her illustrious career when she won the grand prize in The Great Maya Cookfest in 1983, followed by becoming the first Filipina pastry chef in 1990. She later on set up her own company, JCS Gastronomie Inc. to manage several upscale reataurants.

When His Holiness Pope Francis visited the country in 2015, Chef Jessie was handpicked to cook for him.

This summer, Chef Jessie once again flexed her baking muscles and crafted this beautiful cheesecake.

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

It’s an eight-inch dessert masterpiece made with alternating layers of strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry light cheesecake interspersed with slices of fresh berries nestled on a thin cornflake crust with crispy sponge discs and undercoated white chocolate.

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

It is a show-stopping dessert, fit for any season, but definitely a hit for the summer!

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Truth be told: my fam and I polished off the entire cake in less than a day. We just couldn’t resist it!

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Want to bite into your own summer sweetness?

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Place your order two days in advance for pick up or delivery. Text or call +63 917 8967880, +63 917 8330797 and +63 977 0976649 or email chefjessiesplace@chefjessie.com. Pick up is at Chef Jessie’s Place located at 1997 Pililia St. corner Obrero and Tanay Streets, Makati and is open everyday for pick up and delivery from 9am to 6pm.

For more details on Chef Jessie, visit her website. Follow Chef Jessie’s Restaurants on Facebook and Instagram to get a sneak peek of her latest culinary creations.

Disclosure: A product sample was provided to facilitate my honest feedback.

Chef Jessie's Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Red Velvet Cake from Lia’s Cakes in Season

Momshies, did you know that red velvet cake is actually made with cocoa, making it, in essence, chocolate cake?

Lia’s Cakes in Season, Kapitolyo

It’s a classic dessert favorite in the Southern US states, said to have originated in Maryland in the early 20th century. It gained the moniker “velvet” cake for having soft and velvety crumbs as opposed to its coarser crumb contemporaries.

During the food rationing of World War II, bakers started adding boiled beetroot to their cake ingredients to help them retain moisture and its juices to add color to their creations.

Traditionally, bakers used a light and fluffy French-style roux icing to decorate the red velvet cake. Variations using cream cheese of buttercream frosting came later.

I was recently gifted by a fellow momshie with a whole Red Velvet Cake from Lia’s Cakes in Season.

Lia’s Cakes in Season, Kapitolyo

This dessert store is practically a landmark in the foodie haven of Kapitolyo in Pasig City. Set up by young entrepreneur Carlo Carlos in 2004 to feature “fruits-to-cakes in season,” cakes and pastries that creatively incorporate the freshest fruits in season.

Its Red Velvet Cake (Php990 whole | Php140 per slice), however, is the store’s take on the classic fave. It consists of a moist chocolate cake (colored a deep red, of course), wrapped in a smooth buttercream icing and topped with crystal bits for added texture.

Lia’s Cakes in Season, Kapitolyo

To get your hands on this decadent delight, order through Lia’s Cakes’ online store or call +63 917 6605427 (minimum order of Php850) for delivery to anywhere in Metro Manila. Delivery is free for website orders over Php2,000.

Lia’s Cakes in Season, Kapitolyo

So order now, momshies!

Lia’s Cakes in Season, Kapitolyo

Lia’s Cakes in Season is located at 23 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.

Lia's Cakes in Season Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Comfort food and whimsy at Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

If you venture into one of the more out-of-the-way streets near the foodie-friendly haven Tomas Morato, you might chance upon this colorful little cafe.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Called Pookaberry Cafe, its facade and interiors are marked by whimsical depictions of a baby alien named – you guessed it – Pookaberry, who just happens to be the imaginary friend of Ollie the Octopus.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Photo Credit: Jocen of BoodleBearPH

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

These drawings and characters are works by renowned New York-based pop artist Peter Marco, co-owner of the cafe along with his wife Jeanette.

While the cafe’s wall-to-wall artworks will stimulate you to flights of fancy, its menu, developed by Jeanette from the family’s own recipes and mirroring their cosmopolitan tastes and Pinoy roots, will comfort your tummy and spirit. Check them out:

Jams: Chili Mango and Chili Orange. Great to spread on buttered bread for that bit of extra sweetness that will put a smile on your face.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Paninis: Adobo (Php220), Bacon (Php240), Pork Loin (Php240) and Avocado (Php230). Grilled breads stuffed with flavorful filling, my fave was the savory avocado panini which veers away from my usual avocado fare which tend to be sweet.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Breakfast: Breakfast ni Juan (with beef tapa and scrambled egg – Php290), Uncle Sam’s Big Breakfast (with bacon, sausage and scrambled egg – Php310) and Vegetarian Option (with mushrooms – Php320). A hearty way to start the day is to have a bit of fried rice, a bit of vegetable salad and your preferred proteins to fuel you up. I was surprised to find that I actually love the Vegetarian Option: the sauteed mushrooms were flavorful, savory and went well with the rice.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Cakes: Very Pookaberry (Php130 slice | Php1,300 whole), Walnut Carrot (Php140 slice |Php1,400 whole), New York Cheesecake (Php140 slice | Php1,680 whole) and Matcha Green Tea (Php140 slice | Php1,400 whole). Delectable desserts to indulge the sweet tooth! My fave was the rich and creamy New York Cheesecake.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Cookie Shots (Php125). Cookie cups to hold your preferred shot among espresso, fresh milk or chocolate milk options.  Cheers!

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Photo Credit: Diane of Fried and Prejudice

Cosmic Cookie (Php80). Cookies baked in fun cosmic-shaped muffin cups.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Choco Walnut (Php120). A humongous piece of chocolate chip and walnut cookie to give you your sugar fix for the day.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Ice Blended Drinks: Very Pookaberry Ube, Jurassic Milo, Strawberry Cream Cheese Oreo and Matcha Oreo.  Refreshing icy drinks, perfect for a hot summer’s day!

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Aside from its fun and whimsical ambiance and the yummy treats on its menu, Pookaberry Cafe also has its own advocacy project. Proceeds of the cafe go to the Basilia Women’s Foundation which helps women and children who are victims of domestic abuse.

Check out its gift shop for fun merchandise and bags of its locally sourced coffee beans.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

So the next time you’re in the Tomas Morato area, drop by Pookaberry Cafe, for fun times and yummy treats.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Thanks to Aileen of AileenLFoodAdventures for extending the invite!

Pookaberry Cafe is located at 36-B Scout Ybardolaza corner Scout Rallos Streets, Bgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 9pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 9685414.

Pookaberry Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies from #AileenLFoodieEventBuddies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro:

 

 

Breakfast Takeout at 85C Bakery Cafe, Lynnwood

Yesterday, the second day of our family in the Evergreen State, my brother took us to his favorite pastry shop, 85C Bakery Cafe.

85C got its name from its belief that coffee holds its flavor best at a steady temperature of 85 degrees Celsius. Its name is a statement of the cafe’s commitment to serving handcrafted coffee of the highest quality.

85C Bakery Cafe, Seattle

85C Bakery Cafe, Seattle

Each 85C store has its own in-shop bakery with a wide variety of pastries baked fresh every hour.

85C Bakery Cafe, Seattle

These pastries were the reason for our visit yesterday afternoon: the plan was to buy some of the store’s freshly baked goods for our breakfast the next day. Our loot included:

Milk Toast (USD3.00). A loaf with a fresh and natural milk taste.

Taro Puff Pastry (USD2.50). This puff pastry is light, flaky, and layered with delicious taro filling inside.

Milk Pudding (USD2.00). A traditional Japanese style soft bread with vanilla custard inside.

Garlic Cheese (USD2.00). A soft textured bread topped with our signature garlic spread, mozzarella cheese, and sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Cheese Dog (USD2.20). Soft bread wrapped around a hot dog, with cheddar & mozzarella cheese. Baked with ketchup, light mayo, black pepper and dry parsley.

Marble Taro (USD3.00). A sweet bread made with mixed grains and filled with signature taro filling.

This morning, I had the Milk Pudding and Taro Puff Pastry for my meal while I was enjoying the crisp morning air.

85C Bakery Cafe, Seattle

85C Bakery Cafe, Seattle

While it would be optimal to consume the pastries as soon as bought but they still tasted great with my morning coffee this morning.

This 85C Bakery Cafe outlet is located at 18700A 33rd Avenue W Lynnwood, WA 98037. For inquiries, call (425) 6722885.

Another outlet may be found at 501 S Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98104.

For more details, visit www.85cbakerycafe.com.

85C Bakery Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Decadent Chocolate Dream Cake from Sweet Kiss, Tomas Morato

Chocolate Dream Cakes have grown in popularity these last few months.

And no wonder: these cakes are what true-blue chocolate lovers’ dreams are made of. It’s basically layer upon layer of chocolate goodness – from its moist chocolate cake base, to its decadently rich and smooth chocolate fudge topped by a thin shard of chocolate sprinkled with cocoa powder. Plus, it comes in a nifty tin canister which adds to the novelty of experience.

Last week, I chanced upon a Metrodeal offer that offers a 6.5-inch round Chocolate Dream Cake for only Php399 (50% off from its regular price of Php800) from Sweet Kiss. I lost no time in buying a voucher, already envisioning myself sharing this sweet treat with my kiddies who are also chocolate fanatics. (I guess we know where they got that trait from.

Sweet Kiss is a gourmet bakery which is blessedly a short distance from my office. It specializes cakes, pastries and anything sweet, with the goal of making these top-notch baked goods and sweets more accessible and more affordable, despite using the best and freshest ingredients possible. Its offerings are mainly available for pick up from its store but can also be delivered via courier.

I picked up my Chocolate Dream Cake on my way home from work. Fortunately, I called the store two days to reserve my cake and it was ready, chilled and waiting for me when I got to the store.

I was glad to discover that the cake held up well during the hour-long drive home.

My kids were excited to see it and we indulged ourselves with this decadent dessert after our dinner.

The Metrodeal offer is still available. I get the feeling I will be buying another voucher soon.

Sweet Kiss is located at 60-A Scout Limbaga Street, Bgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City.

For inquiries and to reserve your Chocolate Dream Cake, call +63 2 5136600, +63 916 3479958 or +63 928 1431999.

Get-together at Homey Cafe Mary Grace

Cafe Mary Grace is best known for its baked goods, particularly the Ensaymada and Cheese Rolls. Stemming from its owner (guess the name!) Mary Grace’s passion for baking, Cafe Mary Grace aims to provide the homey delights of fun Sunday family lunches to its diners.

When a friend came home from Singapore, we decided on a whim to meet up at Cafe Mary Grace in Greenbelt, Makati for dinner.

True its homey roots, the place has a warm and inviting atmosphere, with trinkets and framed sayings and food shots dotting the walls. There were lots of diners there who -similar to us – are friends getting together to catch up or families out for a good meal.

We ordered a Smoked Salmon and Cream Pasta (Php330), a Pasta Amatriciana with Italian Meatballs (Php320) and capped our meal with cups of rich Mary Grace’s Hot Chocolate (Php157) and decadent slices of Chocolate Cake (Php120) and Mango Bene (Php198).

It was an enjoyable meal among friends enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of home.

This branch of Cafe Mary Grace is located at Ground Floor, Greenbelt 2, Esperanza, Ayala Center, Makati City.

Cafe Mary Grace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato