Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King
11
comments

Holiday Food I’ve Enjoyed (Last of 2 Parts)

posted by in Asian, Cafés, Restaurants

Roast Duck by Ha Yuan

Last holiday hurrah: roast duck, Maple, and mmmilk.

Holiday Food I’ve Enjoyed (Part 1) here

Lucky Duck
One of my yoga teachers is a vegetarian “…except when there’s duck,” she tells me during one of our many pre-yoga discussions where we talk about food, and she’s constantly having me try some vegan sweet or other. I laugh at the recollection but I understand, duck is one of the most pleasurable of poultry and it’s always special to partake of one.

Lunch last New Year’s Eve is made more memorable because of a roast duck given to me by my friend Suzy Lee. I’ve talked about Suzy before, a skilled mooncake maker whose family owns Chinese-Filipino favorite, Ha Yuan.

Roast Duck~frozen

The Cantonese Roast Duck is made to order and is a study of browns fanned by flame: bronze limbs melding into terracotta for the meatier parts. And beside it, a set of sauces, each contributing nuance and accompaniments – plum, ginger oil, and hoisin. Suzy explains that they use smaller ducks which are cleaned well to avoid any rank flavors or excessive gaminess.

My family enjoys the duck as is: fingers alternating with utensils; mixing, matching sauces; parts preferred over others for a variety of tastes and textures. Duck isn’t as tender as chicken but its flavor is remarkable, and roasted in the way it is here, it’s a resultant harmony of distinctively layered Chinese flavors of Shaoxing wine, star anise, five-spice powder, and soy sauce.

~

Cantonese Roast Duck by Spring
Available made to order or packaged as seen in photo above. Comes with sauces and steamed buns.
Orders and inquiries:
(02) 585 2512
springbyhy@gmail.com

No Maple at Maple — Yet

Maple~ (1)

I like wandering through the refurbished San Antonio Arcade. It’s so new that I’m alternately assaulted by smells of new paint and light sprays of wood dust. I’m ecstatic that Purple Oven has opened here but I’m not too keen on the commitment required to purchase something: whole cakes or cookies by the dozen only, please.

And then there’s Maple, the “high-end version of Pancake House,” as it’s described to me by head chef Patrick [last name forgotten]. Stunning place it is with a vermilion-hue, the most gorgeous paper place mats I’ve seen in Manila, and a wood motif flanked by bottles and bottles of what I assume to be maple syrup. Alas, maple syrup isn’t served here, it’s just pancake syrup, but to give credence to its name, I hope that perhaps they’ll offer it in the future, even for an extra fee. Maple syrup is expensive after all.

Chef Patrick tells me that Maple’s pancakes are different from those in Pancake House; here, flapjacks are the rather involved affair made with all dairy and separating eggs and whites for utter lightness. They tantalize from their photo on the menu. I’m willing to have breakfast for lunch and/or dinner but today I’m trying to keep it light and am craving warmth.

Maple~hot chocolate

Hot chocolate it is then and while I’m expecting a mediocre mix, nothing can prepare me for this concoction in a cup. If you’ve ever had the taza de tsokolate at Terry Selection, this is similar. A potion conjured from milk and the thickest chocolate, whether it be bars melted down or from a powder, I know not, but I know it’s so good. So thick it licks back, and possessing a hint of a body thickened slightly by cornstarch, the marshmallows and cream on the side are a thoughtful gesture. I highly recommend stirring the cream – yes, all of it – into the hot chocolate. It’ll lighten its consistency and imbue a more lush texture.

Maple~Champorado

It seems redundant to order a bowl of champorado to go with hot chocolate, it’s practically the same thing, yes? Um, no. And really now, can a girl ever have too much chocolate? Maple’s Champorado is what I’d expect a bowl of chocolate rice porridge to be: sweet and stoking stomachs. It comes with two mini jugs of evaporated milk and my choice, the condensed milk. There’s a lone and frankly pitiful little tuyo, its saltiness is a welcome salve to the porridge, but why just one? Easy enough to remedy: I order another little plate of tuyo; I receive three more fillets of the tiny fish.

Maple~Prime Rib Angus Tapa

The photo above of the Prime Rib Angus Tapa (yes, that’s what it’s called) is so in-your-face that it startles even me with its brazen meatiness. But brazen it is in appearance and flavor. This is what Boo, my pre-teen daughter orders, and so enamored is she with it that she and my Bin almost have a fork fight over the remainder of it. Properly meaty, sufficiently fatty, and with two eggs and a cup of rice to boot, this is a man’s meal or a meat lover’s idea of damn good tapa. It’s smoky-salty and thoroughly beefy. I’m not fond of tapa but this one I see myself enjoying immensely and coming back for. Along with the pancakes of course.

Hooray for another breakfast place!

~

Maple
San Antonio Plaza Arcade
50 McKinley Road, Forbes Park, Makati
Open daily, 6.30am-11pm

Mmmilk
I’m absolutely delirious for dairy as you might have gleaned from the related posts below. Though I buy milk in cartons for its long shelf life and the convenience it affords me, I despise that it’s been homogenized and UHT’ed to death. Delicious drinking it isn’t. So when Sunday morning rolls around again, I’m in Yamato peering through the glass display case. I have to hold back a squeal when I see it: Cow’s Milk (Non-Homogenized).

non-homogenized milk

Upon inquiring, I’m told that the milk is produced on a farm in Bulacan owned by a Japanese man. It’s P90 for the 500-ml bottle so I buy one and rush home. Before the advent of those fancy milk processing machines, all milk was non-homogenized. This is the milk that used to come in glass bottles with the sheen of cream on top, a plug of sorts for the more watery milk beneath it. Even shaken, the liquid is speckled with mini halos of yellow: cream.

The milk I buy from Yamato shyly shows its flecks only when heated. Drank cold, it’s smooth, its appearance no different from its homogenized counterpart. But its flavor is something else – creamy and somewhat grassy. No, it’s not unpleasant, but it takes some getting used to. Think: grain-fed versus grass-fed meat.

If you like milk, I urge you to try this one and taste just how good milk can be. I make marvelous lattes with it, use it to steep a vanilla bean for a custard sauce, and of course, reveled in it as a cold beverage. It has a short shelf life. But then all good things do.

~

Yamato Bakery Cafe
22 Jupiter St., Brgy. Bel Air, Makati
(02) 823 0960
Open 7am-9pm, Mon-Sun

Other dairy posts:
Moo For Milk
Finally, Yogurt That Can’t Be Poured
Homemade Yogurt

11 Responses to “Holiday Food I’ve Enjoyed (Last of 2 Parts)”

  • How long is the shelf life on that milk? :)

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Denny-
    Just about 4-5 days from date of purchase. There’s an expiry date at the back of the bottle.

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • Pardon the ignorance, but what does homogenized mean? Is it the same as pasteurized? Does this mean the Yamato’s milk isn’t pasteurized?

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Hi Ami,
    Homogenization and pasteurization are two different things. Without getting too technical, homogenization involves “shaking up” the milk’s globules of fat (aka cream) to such a small size that they remain suspended in the milk rather than dispersing and floating to the top. Pasteurization refers to the heating of a liquid to a certain temperature for a specific time to kill bacteria.

    To sum up, this non-homogenized milk that I rave about is not homogenized but it is pasteurized.

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • I was debating whether to order the prime rib tapa but since Irene does not eat beef and we were sharing food, I decided on the jambalaya.

    [Reply]

  • Wow, yummy holiday food! Try visiting this also: http://www.wheniescape.net/2012/12/the-best-of-both-worlds-in-nuvali.html

    A lot of restos there! :)

    Btw, what are the other good food choices at Yamato’s? Will try to go there ’cause it’s near. Thanks :)

    [Reply]

  • The best milk for me is was the unpasteurized and non-homogenized carabao’s milk they used to sell in choco-vim bottles that were capped with a banana leaf plug. It was dangerous drinking that stuff but it was so good. The native carabao’s in the ’70s did produce the creamiest and most flavorful milk. Carabao’s nowadays are mixed with imported strains that produce more milk, but taste a bit watered down.

    [Reply]

  • Hi there, i ordered the hot chocolate at Maple and to be honest mine didnt look anything like what you had. Mine seemed like a watered down Swiss Miss Hot Choco. It wasnt thick..dark…definitely not like what you had. Was also very disappointed with Maple, there were flies everywhere and this has been the 3rd time that they were out of Vanilla Ice Cream or Bananas (uhmm theres a supermarket on the ground floor). But the flies were something else, felt like i was at Dampa.

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Nidfa,
    There’s a hot chocolate and there’s a hot cocoa on the menu. I should’ve mentioned that. It’s too bad that you’ve had such a bad experience with Maple. Let’s hope they improve.

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • It’s Chef Patrick Corpuz

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply





Heads up! You are attempting to upload an invalid image. If saved, this image will not display with your comment.

Top 10 Books of 2013

Follow Us

Followgram