I am so grateful for another year and I was gifted with scrumptious food on my birthday. Here are my favorites:
A good kind of fishy cake
My chirashi birthday cake was a treat! Imagine molded sushi rice flavored with spicy kani and wakame, enhanced further by strips of salmon, maguro and kajiki. Over it, sashimi of fresh salmon, hamachi, ika, hotate, saba, ikura, tamago, maguro, kajiki and uni.
There was nothing chirashi about this creation. In Japanese, chirashi translates to “scattered.” Polaris Fine Foods’ chirashi cake is so artistically put together, making it a visual feast.
Everything was fresh. What I noticed, and what makes this particularly different, was how fresh the wakame was. It added not just flavor, but a delightful texture to the dish.
(Tel. 0908-8123462; @polarisfinefoods on Instagram)
One of the prettiest and well-made cakes I received this year was the Lemon Cream Cake, a gift from my dear friend Irma Rivera.
Made by Tata Lantin of Macarose Bakeshop, it was a Vanilla Chiffon Cake filled with homemade lemon curd with a good amount of cream cheese incorporated into it.
The chiffon and the tart filling married beautifully. The cake was robed delicately and generously in whipped cream and decorated in minimalist fashion. According to Lantin, the decorating technique was made popular by Korean cakes. For that finishing touch, the greeting was written in Korean, as well.
Lantin was right when she said minimalist was actually powerful . . . for this cake will last in my memory and palate for a long while. A delectable palate cleanser and a perfect ending to a birthday feast.
From the Lemon Cake Maker, a macaron greeting card. Lantin gifted me with a box of 12 customized macarons with a hand-piped birthday greeting. She claimed to have created it especially for me, and I’m thrilled.
The Chef Reggie’s macaron box consisted of Red Velvet Cake, Ceylon Vanilla, Lemon Matcha, Pistachio, Thai Milk Tea, Earl Grey, Blueberry Purple, Belgian Milk Crunch, Salted Caramel, Nutella, Coffee and Reese’s.
The flavors were an exciting blend of foreign and familiar, and like many of Lantin’s creations, a pretty sight. Just looking at it made me happy!
The Macarose Greeting Card Box is a unique way to express your good wishes to those dear to you.
(Tel. 0917-8005349; @iammacarose on Instagram)
Roast goose is my birthday roast of choice this year. A newly launched item on the menu created by the chefs of Tao Yuan Restaurant, the goose is flown in from Hong Kong. It was succulent, plump, juicy and tasty, served with their homemade plum sauce.
While part of the fun of having roast goose is to enjoy it in Hong Kong, having it locally available (with 24 hours prior notice) for now is the next best thing. It’s on promo for the month of March.
(Tel. 0917-6383911; @taoyuanrestaurantmanila on Instagram)
Nanka birthday treat
My dear friend, chef Mike Santos sent me my favorite—ultra-juicy double-patty jalapeño burger made with in-house ground Angus rib eye, Angus brisket with Angus ribeye fat infused to the mix.
The patties are sandwiched between their homemade soft burger bun, slathered with sriracha mayo, house pickled jalapeños and lots of cheese.
Along with it for long life, he packed his Garlic Butter Prawn Linguine that I found delicious. It was good when I had it warm, and even when it was cold.
The huge tiger prawns were sauteed in garlic butter and served on a bed of garlic butter pasta, Thanh Long style. Had it with freshly squeezed lemon—so good!
(Tel. 0995-057-4056; @nanka_ph on Instagram)
Hawaiian Baked Penne
When I tried Kath and Knet’s Hawaiian Baked Penne, I sure thought it was different. It smelled like Hawaiian pizza, tasted like Hawaiian pizza but in baked pasta form.
Penne is tossed with bacon with slivers of bell peppers and mushrooms. It is capped with béchamel, large slices of ham, loads of cheese and pineapple bits.
The homemade, “children’s birthday party” character of this dish is what makes it so comforting. Surprisingly, the pineapples do not taint the dish.
(Tel. 0998-9767050; @kathandknets on Instagram)
Turtle pie lovers should try chef Roselyn Tiangco’s rendition. It is made with an Oreo cookie base, chunks of walnuts, drizzled with caramel and capped with delicate chocolate mousse; it is finished with a generous topping of dark chocolate glaze. Served cold and in thin slices, this turtle pie satisfied my chocolate cravings! Like it less sweet? Request for a lighter drizzling of caramel from Kitchen’s Best.
Strawberry cream cake
For those who love strawberries and Chantilly cream, this cake is for you. I am a fan of Butternut’s chiffon. It is always so soft. This time, it is layered with homemade berry compote, good quality strawberries and loads of cream. This is a simple, straightforward strawberries-and-cream cake adorned with flowers, decked with more plump whole strawberries and gold flakes!
Tel. 0927-4615655; @butternutmnl on social media
Follow @iamreggieaspiras on Facebook and Instagram; reggieaspiras.com