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UTT 6.0 1st Rockwell UTT 2011

#Philippines, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

Farm N’ Deli’s Barang’s Tinapa and Longganiza

Rockwell UTT Winner #9: 
FARM N’ DELI
UTTrating3.84 

  91 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
119 foodies rated 4- I love it!
  77 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
  26 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
    4 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

Cynthia of Farm N’ Deli, one of the pioneers of Mercato Centrale, is our reliable source of Filipino delicacies all around the Philippines. She would travel around the country to source the best longganiza and other deli products from the best suppliers in that region.

Barang’s Tinapa is already our favorite snack whenever we have a meeting with our Mercato Centrale partners. She guarantees the quality of her products with a no-questions-asked refund.

This is the first time she joined the UTT series, and we had no doubt that foodies would rate her products well. Her Filipino deli products are a great food gift for this Christmas season. 🙂

Congratulations to Farm N’ Deli for winning in Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test!

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#Philippines, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

The Fruit Garden’s Lychee Berry Rose and Winter Season

Rockwell UTT Winner #10:
THE FRUIT GARDEN

UTTrating3.83 

57 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
60 foodies rated 4- I love it!
45 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
17 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
  2 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

The Fruit Garden is a consistent winner with improving ratings in the Ultimate Taste Test series:

UTT 3.0 | The Fruit Garden – Best Fruit Jams in Manila (Rating – 3.60) 
UTT 4.0 | Strawberry Ginger & Orange Whisky — The Fruit Garden Jam Love! (Rating – 3.70) 
UTT 6.0 (Rockwell) | The Fruit Garden’s Lychee Berry Rose and Winter Season (Rating – 3.83)

This Christmas season, they are introducing the Wave Collection, using a specially designed sexy jar with two flavors — Fruit Cocktail and the Four (Winter) Season. I personally like the latter because of its guyabano taste combined with mango, pineapple and orange (a very Pinoy combination) with a vodka kick.

I think their best Jam flavor so far is the Lychee Berry Rose, which is made of Lychee, Blackberry and Rose. I like the exotic combination and the rose flower flavor ending.

No doubt, The Fruit Garden is the best Fruit Jam in Manila. 🙂  Congratulations, Pierre!

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#Philippines, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

Mochiko’s Cookie Dough Mochi

Rockwell UTT Winner #11:
MOCHIKO MOCHI

UTTrating3.81 

162 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
165 foodies rated 4- I love it!
129 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
  41 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
  15 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

Mochiko is a consistent favorite in Mercato Centrale. It is credited with starting the mochi ice cream ball craze in Manila. Always innovative with new flavors, Mochiko introduced the cookie dough flavor in the Ultimate Taste Test.

The cookie dough is not too sweet and adds a good texture to this frozen treat. Most foodies loved it too and gave it a good rating. (Tip: To thoroughly enjoy it, you have to wait for the mochi to thaw before eating.)

Congratulations to Mochiko for winning in Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test!

Can you guess what the new flavors will be? 🙂

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#Philippines, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

HKR’s Yummy Asado and Baked Chicken :)

Rockwell UTT Winner #12:
HKR FOOD EXPRESS

UTTrating3.79 

151 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
163 foodies rated 4- I love it!
124 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
  50 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
    9 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

We’ve loved HKR ever since we discovered it in San Antonio Village, Makati (see: OAP | Hong Kong Roast: A Bagtikan Hole-in-the-Wall Favorite). They were known before as Fortune Empire and they won in Ultimate Taste Test 5.0 with a 3.55 rating.

I simply love their asado and their salted baked chicken. Most foodies agree that these two are awesome.

Congratulations to HKR for winning in Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test, and good luck with your new branch along Jupiter St.!

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#Philippines, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

Tina Pie’s Savoury Tarts and Callos!

Rockwell UTT Winner #13:
TINA PIE’S OUTLET

UTTrating3.78 

153 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
172 foodies rated 4- I love it!
134 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
  43 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
  14 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

Tina Raines is a consistent winner in the Ultimate Taste Test series:

Ultimate Taste Test 2.0 WinnerCallos Aussie Pies by Tina Raines
Ultimate Taste Test 3.0 WinnerHomemade Savoury Pies by Tina Raines
Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 WinnerTina Raines’ Frozen Lemon and Herb Pie!

And now, she also won in Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test with her flavorful tarts: Shiitake with Swiss Gruyere, Prawns in Aligue, Chicken with Chorizo, and Callos as a stand-alone dish for the first time. All of them were winners and captured the foodies’ hearts and palates. (I personally loved the Callos.)

You just can’t go wrong ordering her food for potluck parties. It seems that anything that Tina bakes is a winner — from the savoury pies, to the dessert pies, and now her tarts. 🙂 Her food also gets sold out every time she puts up a stall in Mercato Centrale.

With this winning streak in the UTT series, it is now time to have a Tina Pie’s Store!

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#Philippines, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

Cupcake Boutique by Klar

Rockwell UTT Winner #14: 
CUPCAKE BOUTIQUE BY KLAR
UTTrating3.78

  98 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
122 foodies rated 4- I love it!
  94 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
  30 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
     5 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

It is very hard to win with cupcakes in the Ultimate Taste Test because most foodies have tasted a lot of cupcakes ever since Sonja’s started the cupcake craze in Manila. It is also very difficult to get noticed, especially if you introduce simple flavors like Red Velvet, Valrhona Chocolate, and Green Tea. 

But Klar, with a face that can launch a thousand cupcakes, proved that classic flavors done well with moist cake, full flavor, and great presentation can capture the hearts of foodies. (I personally like the moist Valrhona cupcake in its mini-cupcake form.)

If you are looking for cupcakes this Christmas, check out Cupcake Boutique by Klar. Congratulations on doing a great job in the UTT! 

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#Philippines, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

Big Daddy Jay’s All American BBQ

Rockwell UTT Winner #15: 
BIG DADDY JAY’S ALL AMERICAN BBQ
UTTrating3.76 

175 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
206 foodies rated 4- I love it!
173 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
68 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
3 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

“’Aint no bones about it, we’ve got the best ‘cue in town!”

That’s a bold promise, but they indeed served one of the most tender and smoky BBQ ribs in town. I like their home-style cooking feel versus commercialized BBQ Ribs in the market. The downside was that it was served at room temperature during the UTT, so foodies did not really get to fully appreciate its flavor. If you are looking for BBQ Ribs for your Noche Buena, check out Big Daddy Jay’s. 🙂

Congratulations to Big Daddy Jay’s All American BBQ for winning in Rockwell’s UTT!

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#Philippines, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

Daims Deli Farm’s Wasabi Sausage!

Rockwell UTT Winner #16:
DAIMS FOOD SAUSAGES

UTTrating3.75 

  97 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
161 foodies rated 4- I love it!
128 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
  27 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
    6 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

We’ve tried a lot of different sausages from various delis, but when we tasted Daim’s premium sausages, we immediately noticed the yummy difference.

A lot of the foodies like the BBQ Griller Sausage. But since I enjoy spicy food, it’s no surprise that my personal favorite is their Wasabi Sausage (you have the option to try the hotter version).

Congratulations to Daims for getting the foodie seal of approval in the Rockwell UTT!

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#Philippines, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

The Flying Chef’s Chocolate and Bacon Empanada!

Rockwell UTT Winner #17: 
THE FLYING CHEF CASA EMPANADA
UTTrating3.73 

118 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
136 foodies rated 4- I love it!
94 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
50 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
10 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.


At first, I dismissed this as just another empanada. But during the Rockwell UTT, when I asked people about their top bets, they kept voting for the chocolate bacon empanada.

I finally tried it and liked the contrasting sweet and salty flavors. It was the first time I tasted this combination used in an empanada. This would be good to bring to potluck parties or give as a foodie gift this Christmas. 🙂

Congratulations to The Flying Chef’s Casa Empanada for winning in Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test!

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#Philippines, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

Empire French Macarons!

Rockwell UTT Winner #18: 
EMPIRE FRENCH MACAROONS

UTTrating3.72 

115 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
145 foodies rated 4- I love it!
106 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
  46 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
  10 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

 

I like macarons that are executed well– with a smooth glossy shell, crispy feel on the first bite, chewy as you eat along, and with the flavors exploding in your mouth.  

My top  French Macarons in Manila are Lusso’s Macarons,  Empire Macarons, and Christa’s Kitchen Macarons.

I personally like Empire’s Pistacchio. Some foodies recommend the Chili Choco and Salted Caramel flavors.

Congratulations to Empire for winning in Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test! 

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