Dessert Comes First

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

Magnum White King
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Two New Food Shops for Food Lovers

posted by in Food Purveyors

My friend, Rich, is a whiskey enthusiast. I am not – I think it tastes like transmission fluid – but he’s making a valiant effort to change my mind. We have a standing date to drink whiskey in proper rock glasses with the requisite ice balls but until then he says, “Go to Vom Fass and see what you think of their single malts.”

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I like to keep an open mind so off I go. Vom Fass is a fascinating store, certainly one that speaks to discerning gourmets. A German import, the name Vom Fass, literally means “from the cask”, the vessels from which the samples are taken.

It’s a small space wisely utilized highlighting liqueurs and spirits, oils, vinegars, and yes, those single malt whiskeys that Rich mentions. All the products are of artisanal quality, company-curated, and used by notable chefs in their own restaurants. The store’s attendants are knowledgeable and friendly, and very generous about offering samples. The idea is to taste and try before you buy: samples are given on tiny plastic spoons while shot glasses are used for the whiskeys.

Vom-Fass-vinegars

Vom-Fass-liqueur

Liqueurs include creamy crowd-pleasers and fanciful ones such as Gingerbread Cream, Blue Curaçao, and Cherry with Grappa. The oils, everything from olive to hazelnut; and for the vinegars, I’m especially intrigued with the balsamics and a Calamansi Vinegar that you’ve got to try to believe. Once you’ve sipped and selected, choose from among the various glass bottles to hold your choice of fluid; I’m attracted to the decanters and stiletto-shaped containers.

Vom-Fass-whiskey

Now, about those whiskeys that you see above in those eye-catching casks. I try a single malt, as Rich advises. It smells exotic and goes down smoothly. I can’t say more as I’m still learning, but Rich may be right. If I’m to learn to like whisky, then single malt is the way to go.

Vom-Fass-entrance

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Vom Fass
Lower Ground Level, Shangri-La Plaza East Wing.
02. 470 5541
On Facebook + Instagram: vomfassph

Epicurious (4)

The Cravings Group opens their latest gourmet concept called Epicurious, a hyphenate concept of sorts involving a deli-café-culinary studio-bakery. It’s very impressive from the outside, a siren beckoning to food lovers.

Epicurious (2)

If not for the tables and chairs in front, I’d think that this was just a high-end deli. Chillers with meats and packaged greens abound along with display cases of cheese and processed greens, prepared food, and multiple racks of bottled specialties: truffle oil, pasta sauces, vinegars, et al. Chrome shelves towards the back hold exclusive European houseware brands. It’s a small and tidy selection but the food choices leave me wanting more.

Epicurious (3)

At Epicurious, the concept put forth is to shop for what you want and they can cook it for you to eat on the premises. Here’s where the execution falters. You must purchase the ingredient you want but only in the quantity it comes in. In other words: my friend and I wanted to share a cheese board with a side of sausages and a bottle of wine. The cheese we want comes in a 300-gram pack; the sausages in a pack of six. Now you understand what I mean. I suggest eating here only if you’re in a group of four or more, lest you be laden with take-home packages. In addition, the staff is welcoming as I walk in the door but are never around to “assist” me. Is this the reason for all the “feel free to ask for assistance” signs all around the store?

One last thing. Don’t go blithely shooting pictures when you’re inside Epicurious, they’re not keen on it. I only have these pictures because I ask for permission and the manager says, “Yes, you can shoot two pictures.”

Epicurious (1)

Epicurious
Lower Ground Level, Shangri-La Plaza East Wing.
02. 570 7741
www.epicuriousmanila.com
epicuriousmanila@gmail.com

One Response to “Two New Food Shops for Food Lovers”

  • Lori, do you get away with food photography for the most part? I remember being approached by a manager once and politely forbade me to take photos of their menu or their restaurant as a whole. I explained that I just wanted to share it with my friends because I think they have rather reasonable prices and to some extent, I enjoyed my meal there. Maybe there is a food-blogging-101/restaurant-photography-101 that I should know about?

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