(SPOT.ph) If you don’t already know, here at SPOT.ph, we love food. You need it to live, but we find that there are some dishes that go well past the virtue of necessity. While others content themselves with a deep fryer and the usual salt and pepper, there are some who make-or at least try to make-an art out of it, with delicious displays and even yummier flavors. We believe those that go above and beyond their duty deserve necessary recognition. So here are our top picks among the dishes we ate throughout September.
This list is not ranked.
Smoked Wagyu tenderloin from the Chef’s Table at Strip
Chef de Cuisine Eric Turgeon serves his Wagyu in a jar clouded with smoke, Béarnaise sauce on the side along with buttery mashed potatoes and roasted bone marrow. While the sides are jaw-droppingly indulgent, the star of this dish will leave you dreaming of second helpings: earthy, subtly sweet undertones from hickory- and maple-wood smoke elevate the perfectly tender beef into something you might find yourself likening to a masterpiece.
Strip is at Solaire Resort and Casino, Aseana Avenue, Parañaque, Metro Manila.
Blizzard Explosion from Dairy Queen
DQ's bestselling creation had a makeover. The Fun Everydairy is a more exciting blend of that usual signature creamy vanilla ice cream. Think chocolate and strawberry flavors, with pop rocks that make each bite a blast-literally. Indulge on this sweet treat as you reminisce about those popping candies you had as a kid.
Available at all DQ branches
Cheesecake from Green Cheese
In case you ever wondered what it was like to bite into a cloud, this is probably the closest you can get. This Japanese cheesecake claims to be the happiest in the world, and without a doubt, that happiness is contagious. It’s light but rich, spongy yet airy, absolutely sinful but terrifically rewarding. It’s not too sweet that you’ll give up after half a slice. Actually, you’ll probably end up eating an entire cake on your own.
Green Cheese is at 4/F Hole in the Wall, Century Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City.
Veal Sweetbreads from The Black Pig
If isaw is so popular, then why can’t sweetbreads get in on the fame as well? The Black Pig cooks their sweetbreads (P520) to chewy perfection. Each piece is a buffet of flavor and texture. Make sure you have it with the greens, almonds, sweet almond crumble, and burnt onions. If this is your gateway to tasty thymus, then you’ll find yourself converted indeed.
Read about The Black Pig’s new menu here.
Pappardelle "Nose to Tail Bolo" at Linguini Fini
For a restaurant that names itself after linguini, it’s the pappardelle (P450) that will impress you. The thick noodles are soft, melt-in-your mouth, painted with tangy tomato and speckled with glistening bits of gooey, gooey fat. It takes seven days to make it: A pig’s head is brined for six days, while the oxtail is braised to threads in six hours. Then, the entire concoction simmers with veal loin, vegetables, and sauce for three more hours to coax out those flavors. Remember that God only took six days to make everything. Take a day off, Chef Vinny.
Linguini Fini is at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.
Wagyu Ribeye from Carmelo’s
The dish is basic, to say the least: just 300 grams of Grade 8 Wagyu ribeye with a modest cylinder of mash on a pristine white plate. No oils are dripping out like a natural sauce, there’s no smear of gravy or sauce on the top. The quality beef speaks for itself. It’s minimalist but with an impact. Slice through that beautiful slab-no knives necessary-and take a bite. It’s bold beefiness that’s only complemented by the right sprinkle of salt and pepper. What gravy?
Carmelo’s Wagyu Steaks is at Garden Level, Greenbelt 5, Makati City.
Pork buns from Ippudo
We might start a protest with our decision to choose these P100 sleeper contenders over the revered ramen bowls, but these sinful sandwiches need their own spotlight. A thick slice of pork belly lined with-wait for it-half an inch of fat fits snugly inside pillowy soft mantou buns. There’s just a light lather of barbecue for a touch of sweetness, a green leafy vegetable to take some of the slack off, and you’re in culinary heaven.
Ippudo is at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.
Garlic Longganisang Hubad from Marmalade Kitchen
Chef Aileen Anastacio is a master at making the humblest things stand out, with just the right seasoning and execution. There’s nothing groundbreaking about this beloved breakfast, priced at P295, except maybe that she took the skin off and served it a la ground meat. Garlic and salt work together to deliver utmost flavor that you’ll want to pair with steaming garlic rice.
Marmalade Kitchen is at 2/F Forum South Global, 7th Street corner Federacion Drive, Bonifacio Global City.
Chococro from St. Marc’s Cafe
This P55 flaky success is effortlessly addicting. Get it fresh so you can appreciate the warm croissant that crackles like paper around a melted bar of dark chocolate that we deem is a little preview of heaven. The proportion between bread and chocolate is so on point that you’ll have no trouble wolfing down a roll in a matter of minutes. This Ginza-founded treat is a validation that some things in life don’t have to be complicated to be rewarding. You know what, reward yourself with the strawberry, too. Instead of chocolate, it’s a creamy triad of a strawberry bar, mochi, and red bean.
St. Marc’s Cafe is at G/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.
Cobonpue Roll at Akira
Perfect proportions of eel, cucumber, and rice make up Akira’s popular maki. On the menu, it’s called Unagi Kyu Maki (P548), and it’s the favorite of world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue who also transformed the Alphaland branch into his imagination of autumn. The roll’s neutral browns and pop of orange represent this vision, and the crispy eel painted with sweet sauce over a refreshing bite of cucumber? That’s just downright good.
Akira has branches at Alphaland Place Makati, Malugay Street, Makati City; Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City; Robinsons Magnolia Quezon City; and Bonifacio Global City.