Classic kakanin from Ka Mely’s Bibingka

So much of my childhood merienda memories involve kakanin – native delicacies usually made with glutinous rice, sugar and coconut milk.

You would think that we would have run out of ideas on what to make with kakanin at some point, but, no. We Pinoys have a extensive plethora of snacks or desserts that fall under this category.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

After doing a bit of grocery shopping with Hubby, I happened upon a stand selling products from Ka Mely’s Bibingka, Atbp.

This Cainta-based food business got its start when the Alcantara family matriarch Amelia – also known as Ka Mely – decided to expand her Bibingka-selling business to include the production of native delicacies. Today, it is a well-established food manufacturer with three physical stores as well as regular resellers.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

I had the idea of introducing kakanin the kiddos for our afternoon snack, so I brought home:

Bibingka (Php180 for small). The rice cake made with sticky glutinous rice topped with caramelized sugar and coconut cream.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Suman sa Ibos (Php10/pc). The most prevalent suman variant which is usually unsweetened and wrapped in palm leaves. I have two ways to enjoy this suman: one is at room temperature and dipped in sugar, another is lightly fried in vegetable oil until the outside is slightly crispy but the inside is still chewy, then slathered with butter and sprinkled with sugar.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Suman sa Lihiya (Php25/pc). A suman variant which is made with lye-treated glutinous rice which is usually served doused with latik, or caramelized coconut milk.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Sure these snacks are practically all carbs but they made for a good intro for my kids for the wonders of Filipino delicacies!

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

While I got my kakanin from a kiosk, you can have your kakanin delivered to your home by ordering from Ka Mely’s Bibingka, Atbp on Facebook or Instagram or calling +63 2 85155467, +63 917 8533766 or +63 908 8876992. Payments via BDO bank transfer, GCash or COD (via pabili service) are accepted. Ka Mely’s Bibingka Atbp products are delivered from Cainta, Rizal to anywhere in the metro.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Flashback to my childhood with Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

We Pinoys do love our kakanin, don’t we?

These are the sticky rice cakes that many of us used to wolf down for merienda after a bout of running around the neighborhood with our pals.

The term kakanin is the portmanteau of the Filipino words kain (“to eat”) and kanin (“rice”). Made with glutinous rice and coconut milk, and sweetened with sugar or accompanied by sweet fruits, these rice treats can go a long way in re-energizing youngsters after playing all afternoon and tide them over until dinnertime.

One of my favorites is the suman, a kakanin in which the glutinous rice is cooked in coconut milk and streamed and is usually served wrapped in banana leaves. There are many ways to enjoy this rice dessert: the ones my lola in Bataan used to make is composed of short cylinders of that I would dip in sugar before eating, while my mom likes to lightly fry some in oil until they get a little crispy.

I was already an adult by the time I came across a new variant called suman sa latik. In this suman iteration, the rice cake is doused with latik, or caramelized coconut milk. This makes for a decadent dessert or filling merienda.

Thanks to a fellow foodie sharing his snack stash, I was able to get a taste of Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik one afternoon.

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

These suman are handmade with love, just like how our lolas used to make.

These are best enjoyed right away, but as I had a couple of telecons that Saturday afternoon, I delayed eating them for a while. No worries, though; I just reheated a piece in the microwave for half a minute before pouring some of the caramelized coconut cream sauce over it, and placed the rest in the fridge.

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

And since I couldn’t keep such a yummy treat to myself, I sent a few pieces over to my mom, who also loved it!

You can get your own box of Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik for just Php200. It contains six pieces of banana leaf-wrapped suman and a generous helping of latik, more than enough to satisfy your suman craving.

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

To order, send your name, contact number, delivery address and number of orders to Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik on Facebook or Instagram for delivery anywhere in Metro Manila or Cavite on Saturday. Cashless payments via BDO, BPI and GCash are accepted.

If you are not consuming your suman sa latik right away, they may be kept in the refrigerator for up to seven days. Aside from microwaving, they may be reheated using a steamer for thirty minutes.

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik

Go ahead and order a box of Mama Lola’s Suman sa Latik to share with the fam and reminisce about the good ole’ days.

Thanks to Harvard of AlwaysHungry.PH for sharing his snack stash!

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Hearty heirloom dishes at Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Soldier, diplomat, statesman and journalist Carlos P. Romulo loomed large in Philippine history and more so in the lives of his descendants.  Today, they operate a restaurant chain named after him that recalls the highlights of his prestigious career through photographs.  Romulo Cafe also serves heirloom dishes which include those served by his wife, Virginia, during their Philippine embassy dinners in the United States where he marshaled for full Philippine independence.

At the invitation of the restaurant’s general manager, Gilbert Caras, my friends and I recently made our way to Romulo Cafe’s original branch in the foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area.

The place has an elegant and relaxed vibe to it.  It has cozy and private spaces as well as wide open areas both indoors and outdoors.  Its decor combines old-world nostalgia from the black-and-white photographs and a fresh aesthetic with the modern furniture and green accents.

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

We were treated to an array of Filipino comfort food that took us back in time:

Boneless Crispy Pata Binagoongan (Php698).  A pork leg boiled until fork-tender then deboned and deep-fried to a golden crisp served with the restaurant’s own eggplant and tomato bagoong sauce.

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Tito Greg’s Kare-Kare (Php510).  Oxtail and tripe stew in peanut sauce served in house-made shrimp paste.

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Lola Virginia’s Chicken Relleno (Php698).  Roasted half-chicken stuffed with ground pork, raisins, peas and chorizo.

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Suman sa Latik (Php70).  So simple yet so decadently delicious, sticky suman made from glutinous rice and coconut milk is fried to attain that light golden crisp then served in a shot glass in a bed of coconut caramel sauce.

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Cool as Cucumber Mocktail (Php160).  A refreshing concoction of fresh lime and cucumber wit mint leaves.

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

Romulo Cafe, Tomas Morato

It was feast of Filipino comfort food – with familiar flavors yet a fresh take in presentation or combination – enjoyed in a stylish and well-appointed restaurant: an experience we won’t soon forget.

This Romulo Cafe branch is located at 32 Scout Tuazon Corner Scout Lazcano Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open daily from 11pm to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 3327273, + 63 2 3327275 or +63

Planning your office Christmas party or family reunion?  Romulo Cafe can prepare a sumptuous buffet for you and your guests in its lovely function rooms. Its buffet options include:

Set Menu A at Php695/head:

  • Appetizer: Chicharon and Tinapa Roll
  • Soup: choose between Monggo or Molo Soup
  • Noodles: choose between Pancit Puti or Sotanghon Guisado
  • Beef: choose between Tito Greg’s Kare Kare or Beef Caldereta
  • Chicken: choose among Lola Virginia’s Chicken Relleno, General’s Chicken or Bacolod Chicken
  • Fish: choose among Bangus Al Ajillo, Guinataang Hipon sa Kamias or Crispy Catfish
  • Vegetables: choose among Bagnet Pinakbet, Guinataang Sigarillas, Laing with Adobo Flakes or Gising-gising
  • Pork: choose among Lechon Kawali, Honey Garlic Spareribs or Crispy Pork Binagoongan
  • Dessert: Suman sa Latik

Set Menu B at Php795/head:

  • Appetizer: choose three among Pinoy Nachos,  Cheese and Vigan Longganisa Dumplings, Crispy Crablets, Tinapa Roll, Chicharon, Smoked Bangus Plate
  • Soup: choose among Molo Soup, Sinigang na Salmon sa Miso, Sinigang na Liempo, or Beef Bulalo
  • Noodles: choose among Pancit Puti, Sotanghon Guisado, Penne Carbonara with Vigan Longganisa, Linguini Puttanesca with Tuyo or Pasta Filipino
  • Beef: choose among Tito Greg’s Kare Kare Beef Caldereta or Lengua
  • Chicken: choose among Lola Virginia’s Chicken Relleno, General’s Chicken or Bacolod Chicken
  • Fish: choose among Flying Tilapia, Bangus Al Ajillo, Guinataang Hipon sa Kamias or Crispy Catfish
  • Vegetables: choose among Bagnet Pinakbet, Guinataang Sigarillas, Laing with Adobo Flakes or Gising-gising
  • Pork: choose among Lechon Kawali, Honey Garlic Spareribs or Crispy Pork Binagoongan
  • Dessert: choose between Suman sa Latik or Assorted Mini Cakes

Want to serve the star of all Filipino celebrations – the Lechon – during your buffet feast?  A 3-kg lechon roll is available for Php2,800++ (6-kg for Php5,600++).  You can add Cebu lechon to your food items for Php8,000 (small), Php9,000 (medium) and Php10,000 (large).

Other Romulo Cafe branches are located at:

  • 148 Jupiter Corner Comet Street, Bel-Air, Makati City, open daily from 11pm to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm (Tel. No: +63 2 8220286)
  • Azumi Boutique Hotel, 2205 Market Street, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, open daily from 11pm to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm (Tel. No: +63 2 5561443)

Disclosure: Our lunch was hosted by Romulo Cafe. The food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and were not paid for by our group.

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

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