It’s a real treat to come across a social media account that’s more than just sunsets, selfies and OOTDs.
Masarap ba? is a personal blog on Instagram started four years ago by someone with a very distinct sense of what tastes good and what doesn’t.
The person behind the account goes around the city incognito, buying groceries, sampling the food in different eateries, bakeshops, restaurants, and categorizing them as either “Masarap” or “Hindi masarap.”
For Masarap ba?, there is no waffling, no hemming or hawing, no middle ground.
Because of Masarap ba?’s candor and honesty, its IG account now has 234,000 followers who refer to themselves as “Kakulto” or cult followers.
Earlier this year, Masarap ba? asked Kakulto through IG Stories if they would be interested to attend a “meet and eat.”
Given the enthusiastic reactions, Masarap ba? sent out feelers to Novotel Araneta Center about staging a food promotion featuring SMEs (small and medium enterprisers) and their certified Masarap ba? dishes.
The result is the “Masarap Nga! Meet and Eat” lunch and dinner promo at the hotel from March 29 to April 7.
“It started with a simple e-mail to Novotel asking if they would be interested in making this event happen,” the anonymous IG star said in an e-mail interview with Inquirer Lifestyle.
“I’m a fan of Novotel—I have a lot of favorite dishes from their food outlets—so they were the first and only name that came to mind.”
Hotel executives cozied up to the idea and immediately requested for a meeting, but since Masarap ba? works incognito, volunteer friends were sent instead to represent them in the meetings.
“I made a list of my top SME picks. I asked myself, ‘If I were to gather all Kakulto in one room to feast together, what dishes or food items would I want them to devour?’ These are the ones I order often at home and the ones with inspiring stories to share. I know how hardworking they are so I believe they deserve much recognition,” Masarap ba? said.
“This event is really for the SMEs and the Kakulto.”
Since some of the Masarap ba?-tagged products like Papa Bear’s Chili Oil and Mishees’ chicken and pork adobo flakes are treated more as condiments, the hotel’s kitchen staff incorporated them in some of the buffet dishes.
“Some of the food items will be incorporated in the dishes so guests can sample how they would taste when used as ingredient in their favorite recipes,” Masarap ba? said.
Dishes for lunch and dinner include Oxtail Kare-Kare made with Gng. Bukid’s zero-sugar peanut butter; Pizza Bianco made with Mad Meats’ smoked crispy pancetta; Prawn Tempura with a batter made crispier using Tamagochips; Seafood pizza with Che Che’s Gourmet Tuyo; Sisig Paella with Eddy’s Old Style Chicharrones; and Singaporean Chili Crab with Papa Bear’s chili oil.
One item that Masarap ba? singled out as worth the buffet price (P1,588 for lunch or P1,688 for dinner) is the roast beef from Benedicto Kitchen. “’Yun pa lang, sulit na.”
Guests can also sample other items in the hotel’s regular menu like their Homemade Corned Beef, Indian dishes in the Indian station, and cheese breads by Chef Manny.
The dessert selection will include Mango Grill Manila’s Cheesy Cassava cake, the 64% Dark Chocolate Tart by Halfsaints made with Auro chocolate from Davao, and Masarapba’s favorite ice cream flavors at Novotel’s Indulge among other sweet treats.