Saturday, September 26, 2015

Rose and Violet Dark Chocolate: A Feast for the Senses

Chanced upon this treat while window shopping during last weekend's sale. This dark chocolate bar from Marks and Spencer is just a feast for the senses.

This pretty box caught my eye. Pink and violet is a favorite color combination (color scheme of this blog haha). It's chocolate, it's different, and curiosity made me buy it.

Upon opening the box, I immediately smelled the floral notes mixed with a hint of deep chocolate.

Taste test! Bitter chocolate, that classic profile is the first thing you taste. Then here comes the other flavor. You know that sensation when you eat wasabi and the spice goes up your nose? Change that spice with floral flavors and that's how I'd describe the unique taste of this bar. You really get to taste the rose and violet. I haven't eaten a rose nor a violet before, but I know what a flowers smells like. Now, I think I have an idea on what it tastes like. One might need a little getting used to the floral taste though.

If you are feeling a bit curious this item will stimulate your sense of sight, smell, and taste.

Item bought at Marks and Spencer, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Flour Girl: A Dozen Mini Cupcakes

For the dessert lovers! I have been seeing The Flour Girl's stall in the mall a few times already and finally I get to taste some of their sweets.

A pink ribbon and a transparent box housed a dozen mini cupcakes. I think this is a sampler set since the cupcakes are smaller than what they usually sell. You can actually eat a whole mini cupcake in one chomp.

This dozen has 6 favors, 2 mini cupcakes per flavor. Each one has a different cupcake base and a frosting to match it. Most of the cupcakes (the cake itself) are not too sweet. The sugar is mostly from the frosting.

Salted Caramel
Their best seller! The taste of toasted sugar balanced with salt is evident in this little treat.

Choco Nutella
Compared to the others in the bunch, a thicker layer of the cupcake stuck to its paper cup when I removed it. I think the Nutella made it fudgier - and tastier.

Vanilla Rose
Hints of strawberry in its frosting complements the cake. I liked the frosting on this one the most.

Red Velvet
With a matching heart on top, for all the red velvet lovers out there.

Carrot Pumpkin
Got a fruitcake kind of feel from this one. You can taste the carrot bits in the cake itself. It might have had a little rum too.

Oreo Cheesecake
The cupcake itself was kind of similar to the vanilla rose but of course, this one had Oreo bits in it.

Branch visited located at: Main Mall, Mall of Asia, Pasay City

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Four Seasons: Hot Pot Buffet

Celebrating my birthday, we availed the birthday promo of a Four Seasons, a hot pot buffet. The celebrant gets to eat for free when dining on the exact date of birth provided that at least one full paying adult comes along.


There are a number of stations where you can get ingredients for your hot pot. From the common fish balls, sausages, dumplings, to innards, seafood and meat. They even have a premium station if you are looking for more sophisticated ingredients (although you have to pay additional per ingredient from the premium station).

What you can find at some of the stations:
Fish, squid, shrimp, shell fish and more seafood...

Liver, gizzard, innards, and other parts...

Dimsum and dumplings..

More dumplings...

Sausages, crab cakes, dimsum...


They also offer salad and appetizer.
Salad station...

Sushi and maki...

A vegetable wall, beverage area, and dessert station are also available.

Hot pot time!

Step 1: choose two soups for the base. We chose seafood and pork. In the photo below, we already put some of the dimsum and dumplings in.

Step: 2: Put in your ingredients. Aside from the dimsum and dumplings, we put in a number of seafood too.

Tried out eel. It turned out okay but the skin part is slippery for me.

Also tried the sea mantis. It's kind of a cross between a shrimp and a lobster and a crab. It's quite a task to shell it though.

Hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, ginger and garlic in the four black bowls.
Some dried squid in the round white bowl, scallops in the small square bowl
Parrot fish meat and squid in the two square bowls below.

Here we have a variety of meat slices.

Ah, the empty containers of seafood.


Shrimp, scallops, squid, crab, eel, sea mantis

Dumplings and mini sausages


Assorted desserts and tea
The four desserts on the left half: banoffee pie, coffee jelly, revel bar, and guava panna cotta.
The apple cinnamon and raisin tea was good too.

Sprinkles and mallows are staple toppings on my yogurt. Since there are no cornflakes, I settled with Koko crunch for a cereal-y touch.

Usually, we stay for around 2 hours in a buffet place since we get quite full after an hour and a half. This time, we stayed for almost 4 hours. Perhaps an hour or so was spent on cooking and shelling the food. We did not get to eat as much in an hour compared to when we just get ready to eat food from trays.

My opinion on cook your own food is still the same - it's an additional task to cook your food when you can just get ready to eat food elsewhere, but cooking it yourself is part of the whole dining experience.

And here are some of my favorite dining experiences of the night:
I got to try the sea mantis for the first time. It is kind of hard to remove the shell, but I ended up eating a few of those.
We got curious about the "home made cuttlefish noodles" which turned out to have the same taste the same as squid balls, but in noodle form.
The apple cinnamon & raisin tea is a perfect companion for dessert.
I also got to make my own yogurt concoction again.

At Four Seasons, you are able to decide what goes in your hot pot may it be dimsum, seafood, vegetables, or meat. By using the condiments, you can adjust the taste according to your liking. So if you are into hot pot and customization, this place is a buffet of ingredients and your table is your own kitchen.

Branch visited located at: SM by the Bay, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cakes R' Us: Design Your Own!

Trying out Cakes R' Us design your own cake for the first time since we bought an online discount voucher for a 5-inch, heart-shaped, chocolate cake. Here's the main description of my design: white background, purple lining, three purple-pink stars - yes, I had the Gastronomer's Diary logo (the stars part) designed on my cake. I gave them a copy of the logo as reference.

Time to pick-up the cake...ta-da!

Plus points for the effort to copy the purple to pink gradient of the stars.

This cake can be finished by two very hungry people with a sweet tooth. As the cake is heart shaped, the icing was a bit uneven with some sides having thicker icing. They probably used the icing to define the heart shape.

The novelty about this cake is that you can design it any way you want. You can have a unique cake perfect for the occasion. The overall taste is just okay. But I like their effort to follow the design was given to them even if it is not a perfect copy.

Branch visited located at: Mall of Asia, Pasay City