My black book of foodie finds | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

kouign1Christmas being just around the corner, that annual challenge of throwing a dinner or finding the perfect Christmas food gift is upon us again.

So here’s my Christmas gift to our Sunday Inquirer Magazine readers: sharing with all of you some contact details from my Little Black Book of foodie finds from the past few years. So you can throw a party in an instant or have a number on speed dial for that last minute gift! These are my favorites.

Cakes (Personalized)

elarsLittle Miss OC’s Kitchen

0917 812 6833 or 44

For pick-up in Magallanes

Order two weeks ahead

Notes: Anna Ocampo Sarmiento makes the most amazing personalized cakes. To illustrate, I was once gifted with a Little Miss OC cake where all my loves were incorporated: Scrabble, Audrey Hepburn, Louboutins, jeans. The most incredible thing about this: she had never met me—she searched the Internet for all this info (scary, too!) I’ve since ordered from her a wedding cake for a friend obsessed with Andy Warhol for which she made a Campbell’s Soup cake, and a boudoir-inspired cake for a very sexy friend. I’ve also seen her make designer bag cupcakes for your bag-obsessed girlfriend or maybe a Maleficent cake for Angelina fans. She is coming up with hampers for Christmas.

cicou4Caviar Pie

Andy Huang

0917 525 2072

For pick-up in Bel-Air

Notes: There is an awesome caviar pie by Chingbee Fernandez (those in media and politics might know her) but unfortunately she does not sell this—and I am writing this to pressure her, haha! Thankfully, Andy Huang does!

Chinese Food

Hai Shin Lou

Tel. 892 5148

810 Arnaiz Ave., (Formerly Pasay Rd.)

San Lorenzo Village, Makati

Open daily 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.,

6 p.m. to 10 p.m.


tsoko1Delivery available within Makati, with 5 percent additional charge for containers.

Notes: You can send over your fancy china and they can set it up for you so it looks like you did all the cooking! I also love their duck.

Chocolate Cake


Magallanes Shell Station

Notes: The classic chocolate cake that we never tire of.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

Aleth’s Kitchen

0917 529 1055


Note: I’m so addicted to this cookie. My sister and I get depressed when our stock runs out.

Sweet Sally’s Beer and Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

cicou3Tel. 964 4040

Order 2 days ahead.

Notes: It’s a chocolate chip cookie with bacon bits and baked with beer. Love!

Chili con Carne


Nico’s Chili

0917 867 9831

cicou1Order two days in advance.

Pick-up only at Magallanes.

Notes: This is perfect to bring to a potluck. Sometimes I just order a pot and eat it the whole week.


Peking Garden

Tel. 729-0567, 729-0719

4/L Greenbelt 5, Makati City

cicou2Price: P2,600 for one way; and additional P380 for each added “way”

For pick-up only at Greenbelt 5.

Notes: For me, still the best duck out there.



Tel. 631 0798

Order one day before.

For pick-up only at Valle Verde.

Notes: Price: P750 for one dozen pieces.

Fruit Cake

Ju.D Lao

Tel. 633 1188 or 633 0260

Price: P950 per piece.

Order anytime while stocks last.

Notes: Ju.D Lao has been making this fruitcake for 39 years (older than Manny Pacquiao!). She now also offers four other flavors.


Rene’s Fruit Stand

Salcedo Market

Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village

Saturdays 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cash only


Michelle Dee

Call 892 0688

For pick-up only at Forbes Park.


Notes: P950/kilo. Every year, one of the most sought-after Christmas hams. Order early, because by first week of December, she’s swamped with orders.

Kouign Amann

Brasserie Cicou

Tel. 661 9200, 0917 885 8841

No. 57 Annapolis St., Greenhills, San Juan

Prices: P130 for glazed flavors; P140 for premium; P150 for savory.

Notes: The Kouign Amann is a caramelized, buttery, sugary pastry roll… a slice of heaven. But here’s the 2014 twist: Smores Kouign Amann, with Smores on top; ensaymada Kouign Amann, complete with queso de bola; Chocnut Kouign Amann, that surprisingly brings you back to your Chocnut-flavored childhood; as well as savory versions like a goat cheese and leek Kouign Amann. You can now order a box. So good! For a food gift that is not your usual ensaymada.




Tel 731 7551

Santa Teresita, Quezon City

Prices for sizes: P5,600 for 15 kilos, P6,200 for 20 kilos, P8,800 for 50 kilos.

Notes: Lechon orders are subject to availability. Okay to order as late as one day before but during the Christmas season, best to order at least one week before because it runs out fast. Sometimes even VIPs are turned down for last-minute orders because there are no more available. But of all the lechons out there, I still like Elar’s because the skin remains crispy throughout the day. Just make sure to take it out of the paper cover and let it breathe.

Pepita’s Stuffed Lechon

0917 866 0662

Requires 3 days advance order.

Price for size: “French” (stuffed with truffle rice) or “Spanish” (stuffed with paella), P8,500 for 8 kilos.

Notes: Dedet dela Fuente has made quite a name for herself with her stuffed lechon. This lechon was internationally acclaimed this year at Chowzter Awards held in London. It is actually much smaller than a lechon at just 8 kilos; and it is cooked in an oven, not spit roasted. Her unique selling point though is that she stuffs her lechon with unique flavors like machang, truffled risotto, etc. Always a hit!

Lechon Baka

Aling Flor’s, Bulacan

0916 235 6210

Notes: Lechon Baka can be quite pricey at an average of 40 to 50 grand but it’s the whole cow and it’s sooo good. Perfect for a big party.




Tel. Makati branch:

896 6950 to 51 or 890 4372.

Tomas Morato branch: 928 7129.

38 Polaris St. Bel-Air Makati City.

Notes: Order one day before. You may bring your own paellera, otherwise orders are placed in aluminum containers. One order is good for 2-3 pax.

Prices: Paella Valenciana P490. Paella Negra P550. Seafood Paella P530.


Tita Lulu’s

  1. Domingo, San Juan

(in front of Pure Gold)

Notes: I confess: my favorite is Nana Meng’s pancit in Sta. Maria, Bulacan. However, the thing about pancit is that if you order from out of town, by the time it gets to the dinner table, it might not be good anymore. Tita Lulu’s is in San Juan and much more accessible.


Aimee Fuentes

0918 942 2284

Price: P650/kilo, P350/half kilo

This tapa has the seal of appro val of Gourmet Goddess Beth Romualdez!


Nana Meng Tsokolate

Tel. 0917 796 2731
Needs three days advance notice for bulk orders. Christmas baskets available.

Check out Nana Meng Tsokolate on Facebook. Available at Salcedo Market, Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati

Notes: Traditional Filipino hot chocolate in balls; Bulacan style in paste form with peanuts or cashew nuts. Christmas packages include tsokolate with the batidor; or with suman or ensaymada.


Pria’s Kitchen

0936 921 9758

Price: P6,800 for a 6-pound turkey, good for 10 to 15 pax


Notes: Received this as a Christmas gift last year and loved it! But Pria’s Kitchen goes beyond turkeys. The concept is that her kitchen is your extended kitchen. So you can ask her to cook pretty much anything and she can prepare your entire menu for you. Just pick up the food and you’re ready for your dinner party.

Hope this helps! Put these numbers on speed dial and don’t let the traffic get to you. ’Tis the season to be stress-free and jolly! Have a blessed Christmas season, everyone! •