Monday, September 1, 2014

Sofrito Puerto Rican Restaurant... Cooking with Heart

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and found yourself lost in another world, or even time in your life? Food can be nostalgic, like my dining experience at Sofrito, a homey Puerto Rican restaurant in Salcedo Village, Makati.


Dining at Sofrito one Sunday lunch felt like I was in 1997 at the home of Carla, my Puerto Rican friend from college. As soon as I walked into the restaurant, the bright colored walls, terra cotta-like floors, the Spanish music, and the smell of savory home cooking with cumin, garlic, plantains all added to the feeling like I was in their home in Miami.

Carla and I met when we were in culinary school. It was when a few friends and I visited her in the summer of 1997 that we all truly learned the art of her family's and most Puerto Rican cuisine – the sofrito. The "sofrito" is a blend of herbs and spices that is used in their cuisine. Historically, sofrito was brought over to Caribbean by the Spaniards who settled there in the 1400's. Sofritos can range in color, and flavor due to the ingredients used. Many consider this to be the base or the heart of all their recipes. A key ingredient to their sofrito are the aji - chili like pepper and culantro similar to cilantro, only it has a richer and more potent flavor. You'll know the aroma of a sofrito once you've smelled it; it awakens the senses and heightens the flavor you are about to experience.

It’s been a long time since I’ve visited Carla, let alone spoke to her. But I remembered her family throughout my entire lunch at Sofrito. The Chef and Co-Owner of Sofrito, Millie is 100% Puerto Rican and from Miami. Her husband and business partner is Jay. Both retired from the US to Manila to spend time with family. 

When I asked them what made them want to open this restaurant, they said that it was because their nieces enjoyed her baking and cooking. Seeing their happiness in every bite coupled with missing Puerto Rican food led to the opening of Sofrito. No wonder it is one of the best yet simplest dining experiences I've had in Manila. It was built from the heart!


Softito's menu is as colorful as the food they serve, as with its friendly and attentive staff. When placed in front of us, it took me quite some time to decide on what to order. Luckily, I had my best friend with me so we were able to try a bunch of things to truly sample some of what the menu has to offer.

Everything we ordered was a true winner. For starters, we had Beef Empanada, Rellenos de Papas and the Asopao de Pollo.


The Beef Empanada (Php100 for 3 pieces) had that perfect blend of flakiness, crispness at the initial bite, with softness just before you get to the filling of seasoned ground sirloin. Paired with spicy banana ketchup, each bite was one step closer to Miami.


The Rellonos de Papa (Php150 for 2 pieces) is a bit heartier. Picture a round ball made of savory mashed potatoes with a ground meat filling in the center and fried golden crisp. 


Their Asopao de Pollo (Php150 for small order or Php300 for big order) was for me most amazing culinary blend of genius! It is a chicken based soup, with real chicken chunks (not bites), rice, and includes a Mofungo ball. A Mofungo ball is ground up plantain and chicharon – when combined it created the texture, depth and a flavor that explodes in your mouth. From crisp to soft it's truly a mélange of flavors dancing in your mouth. When you couple this with the music in the background, it won't be far off to be dancing to the beat in your mouth.


My friend ordered the Arroz con Frijoles - Platanos Manduros y Pernil (Php400) as his entree, which he liked. It was a full meal of lechon asado (pernil) with rice (arroz) and beans (frijoles), as well as sweet bananas (platano manduros). The Pernil had all the flavors and textures of authenticity; garlic, spices, tenderness and crispness. Paired with the rice and beans that had the right amount of cumin, this is a dish that could withstand any culinary competition and come out a champion. Millie told me she lets the meat sit in the marinade for 2 days – and it shows.


Because of my love of food and having just watched the movie Chef, I had the Cuban sandwich (Php250). Man! It was just what the movie Chef portrayed so well… crisp golden grilled bread, roast pork asado, ham, Swiss cheese, pickle and mustard. Cuban sandwiches became popular in places like Miami; areas where Cubans migrated to during the Communist Revolution in Cuba. They were considered the lunch food for many Cuban workers. Eating this sandwich was by far the bite that triggered my memory and reminded me most of my Miami trip, for it was on that trip that I learned about the Cuban sandwich as part of many late night/early morning eating after a few nights out on the town. I could almost feel myself dancing the Salsa – reminiscing the first time I had this sandwich where I was literally dancing to no music on the sidewalk with my friends.


The dining experience was so filling; I didn't have time for my own dessert. My friend and I shared the Tres Leches Cake (Php200) - and true to its name it is – soaked in milk and moist and creamy.

Since then, I've been back twice and each time with friends who've now been converted into Sofrito lovers! And each time I come back not only do I enjoy the food, but more so the time I spend talking with Jay and Millie. The similarities of both living in the United States for most of our lives and coming back to Manila have definitely helped build rapport, but it's the love of food that keeps us connected. We do things because we enjoy it, we share our passion and our hearts. Or in Millie's case it's Sofrito - the heart behind her cuisine.

Sofrito Authentic Puerto Rican Restaurant is located at the Ground Floor, LPL Mansion, 122 San Agustin St., Makati. It is open Mondays to Saturdays from 11:00AM to 10:00PM, and on Sundays from 12:00PM to 8:00PM. They accept reservations via mobile at +639178009570 or email at sofritocafe@gmail.com. For more info, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sofritocafe.


Editor's Note: This article was written by Migz David, a special writer and contributor of Glich's Life. Migz is a food enthusiast who grew up in his mom's kitchen. He is a great cook and an awesome food critic on top of his high-ranking position in the corporate world. Revisions to this article were done by yours truly prior to posting. - Glenn / Glich

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My Awesome Sale Finds at Robinsons Galleria

Ask around on what people think of Chinese folks and you'd probably hear a lot of them saying the words "kuripot" or "matipid". I'd say the second adjective applies to me. This goes especially when I shop for clothes and shoes - I usually buy things when on sale (unless I know the brand doesn't go on sale at all).

Lucky that I am, Robinsons Malls actually started their annual Red Hot Sale last August 1, running until the end of the month. What that means is great finds of up to 70% off on selected items! Yay! I did my rounds of the shops at Robinsons Galleria and was able to get awesome items for myself. Check out my sale finds below.

My first stop was Collezione C2 offering sale items from 20% to 50% off. I first knew about this brand during the national elections, and since then started supporting their products for its quality and designs.

Looking through the racks of sale items, I discovered that the original prices range from Php700 to Php1,120, and when discounted could go as low as Php500 or less. I was actually able to buy myself a new navy blue polo shirt with red and white patches on the side for that price.

The second shop I visited was Sanuk, which had half a wall of sale items. What got me into the store is their banner that had big words "smile", "destress", "sale", and "invest".

The first two rows were being sold at 30% off - from Php2,790 down to Php1953 and from Php3,490 down to Php2,443. On the other hand, the last two rows were at 50% discount - from Php2,490 down to Php1,200 and from Php3,490 down to Php1,745. 

Onto my third stop to look at bags at Bratpack, I was thrilled to see that they also have some items on sale, ranging from 10% to 30% off the original price.

Pictured above is one of my favorite bag brands, High Sierra. At 30% off, I was able to get it for only Php1,883 instead of its original price tag of Php2,690! Apart from High Sierra, other on sale items are Timbuktu, Jansport, North Face, and Hegren bags, as well as DC caps.

My ultimate love, G2000 has never failed to make me happy whether in Hong Kong or here in Manila. Practically almost everything in their store is on sale for 50% to 70% off!!! Most of the items also has an additional 10% off after the initial price slash. It's indeed a red hot sale! 

These short sleeved polos were originally priced at Php1,680, but was being sold at only Php449.10. Moving on to the colored chinos, the original price tags were Php2,380, but because of the sale, it's now down to Php899.10! Wow!

There were tons of long-sleeved polos also being sold at 50% off + 10% more discount after initial computation. And oh, the formal coats were also on sale! It blew my mind when I saw that the price has gone down from Php10,180 to only Php4,581. Wow! And you know what, I wasn't able to help myself so I actually bought a blazer for only Php2,339.10 (from Php7,880)! I'm sooooo happy! 

By the end of almost two hours of roaming around the mall and trying out clothes and shoes, my feet gave up and decided to just go back another time. Though the sale is until the end of the month, I think it's best to go early on so as to still get good stocks.

What are you waiting for? Go to the nearest Robinsons mall and experience their Red Hot Sale while supplies last. Before I forget, the sale is not just limited to Robinsons branches in Manila, but in provinces (e.g. Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, Batangas, Palawan, Laguna, Gensan, Cabanatuan, etc).

I highly encourage you also to participate in their Instagram contest via @robinsonsmallsofficial where you can win Php1,000 Robinsons GCs just by reposting the sale poster and tagging five friends with the hashtag #RobinsonsRedHotSale.

For more information, like Robinsons Malls on Facebook and follow @RobinsonsMalls on Twitter.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cadbury Sweet Endings

July was a roller coaster of emotions for me, but I'm glad it had a sweet ending. For a time, I felt very pressured and stressed to complete the things needed to be done, but then because of two surprising moments that happened to me, the month ended feeling exceedingly joyful and grateful.

I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that we always look forward to sweet endings. It can be a promotion at work after working so hard, desserts for post-lunch or post-dinner meal, or maybe a great chitchat night-cap session with friends after a long day. Whatever that may be, sweet endings are moments or things we look forward to, so we can enjoy and savor the greatness of the things around us.

For me, one of my sweet endings for July is to be able to watch Guardians of the Galaxy on its first day with Eldridge and Jerome while enjoying the creamy goodness of Cadbury Dairy Milk. This chocolate bar's taste alone is a sweet ending on its own. Eating it can actually be more enjoyable by following some few steps:
  1. RIP the elegant Cadbury packaging and see the perfectly shaped mounds of chocolate.
  2. BITE into the chocolate bar slowly and hear that satisfying snap.
  3. MMM-Melt the creamy chocolate in your mouth without even chewing or swallowing it immediately.
  4. ENJOY by repeating the ritual: Bite and MMM-Melt, Bite and MMM-Melt. Until the world MMM-Melts around you and you remember that all good things in life must really be savored.

So remember: when life throws you lemons, make lemonade and enjoy it with a Cadbury Dairy Milk to keep you optimistic amidst adversity or misfortune.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Manam Express and Q-Daddy Food On-the-Go

When I look for barbecue, steak or good Filipino food, I usually end up in restaurants with above average prices. Being the matipid me, I thought of doing something different this time around - that is, satisfy my cravings in the food court as a cheaper alternative. I tagged along my friend MD and went to Glorietta's Food Choices to sample what Manam Express and Q-Daddy have to offer.

I found out that these two food on-the-go concepts actually came from the same owners of 'Cue Modern Barbecue, 8Cuts Burger Blends, and more, which aims to also serve the appetites of those on a budget and those looking for quick-to-order food items during short office breaks.

Manam Express offers Filipino comfort food that are truly malinamnam for just Php149/meal. You can mix and match your orders by choosing from four different groups to form one set of your yummy meal.

As a first step, you will have to choose what flavor of rice you want. There's white/plain rice, garlic rice, tinapa rice or bagoong rice. Second step is to select your viand from the choices of beef, chicken, pork and fish. Next comes the selection of veggies from six options, then finally choose from four sawsawan of either garlic suka, spicy suka, toyo barako (soy sauce with coffee) or sweet chili patis.

After much deciding, I came up with my own meal of Inasal-style grilled chicken, bagoong rice, kare-kareng gulay, and toyo barako. They also threw in a complementary lemongrass sinigang soup.

For its price, I can say that it's a filling meal, not to mention that it tastes great! The chicken was grilled to perfection with the meat tender, juicy, and flavorful. The bagoong rice that came with it had the right mix of bagoong, without being overly salty. Unlike the usual kare-kare that's color orange-ish, this one was brown-ish since they already mixed the bagoong in it. And oh, who would ever think that coffee and soy sauce would actually mix well? It did!

For my dessert and drink, Manam Express' Kape't Sago Gulaman (Php40) has piqued my curiosity. It was surprisingly good, since the coffee actually balanced the taste of the drink and made it not too sweet. Refreshing!


Q-Daddy, on the other hand, offers delicious barbecue plates with choices of pork and beef belly, chopped chicken, steak slab, and ribs. The meat is topped off with one of five signature home-made sauces – maple pepper BBQ, Q-Daddy House BBQ, rootbeer & whiskey BBQ, chili BBQ, and mushroom gravy. To make the meal complete, you can select from choices of special rice, potato or pasta.

MD got the Grilled Steak Slab with mushroom gravy (Php245) and corn, carrots on the side. Instead of its default partner, Chori-Q rice, we chose to replace it with the Bacon-Q rice.

When I sampled the dish, the steak tasted with full of robust flavor. Its unique spices came alive in my mouth, none overpowering the other, which is good. Coupled with the grilled taste, the steak was fantastic on its own even without the gravy. We were also delighted by the serving size of the meat given its price.

As for the Bacon-Q rice that had lots of bacon bits and flavor, I thought it may have been better if I have just stuck with the Chori-Q rice for better combination.

MD also added a side dish of Mac and Cheese (Php45) to complete the meal. Overall it was tasty. It was a bit dry on top, but great underneath since the sauce already fell to the bottom of the bowl. I could taste the cheese flavor, unlike other macaroni and cheeses where there's a lot of sauce but no taste.

Having tasted Manam Express and Q-Daddy, my praises for the owners went over and beyond expectations once again. The two food brands are true testaments that taste and quality of food need not suffer even at a budget price.

Manam Express and Q-Daddy have been standing strong since November 2013. Apart from Glorietta's Food Choices, the two budget-friendly brands can also be found in the TriNoma Food Court. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Need a strong case? Go Ballistic!

For the first time, I attended a media event in a venue that took its product's unique selling proposition into action - no fancy decorations or venue props, just simply straight to the point. That night was the launch of Ballistic Cases in the Philippines courtesy of Digits Trading, the distributor of popular gadget brands in the country.

Ballistic Case - Urbanite for Samsung Galaxy S4

Ballistic Case Co. is the pioneer of the HexTec technology which provides protective solution for smartphones and tablets. They have a whole range of protective cases from the very simple back cases called Ballistic Jewel Series to the more sophisticated water-resistant cases called the Ballistic Hydra Series. 


During the event, we were wow-ed by the strength and quality of Ballistic Cases as we saw a smartphone get tossed up and down - even from above ground of 12 feet in distance. The result? Perfectly protected smartphone! This is thanks to the HexTec Six-Sided Drop Protection technology that safeguards a smartphone from all sides and corners.


What I really like about this case is its feature of "Ballistic Corners" that can be seen from its raised lips and corners. This feature is tried and tested to protect the corners of the smartphones that in turn protect the screen from cracking.


Apart from that, Ballistic cases have perforated holes inside called "beads" that allow the battery to breathe, preventing the phone from heating up quickly. What's more, it has an anti-scratch coating that helps the case stay nice-looking all the time. 


Ballistic cases come in seven product series - Jewel, Urbanite, Tough Jacket, Tough Jacket Maxx, Every1, Hard Core, and Hydra - and in different colors to match your style and needs. These cases are made with polycarbonate hard shell, which is the same material as bike helmets. Prices range from as cheap as Php990 to Php3,650. Cases are available for most of the latest Samsung and Apple smartphones, as well as Apple tablets.

Ballistic Case - Hydra for iPhone 5s

In the Philippines, Ballistic cases are available at the following stores: Digital Hub, Beyond the Box, Quick Sound, Celplus, Datalink Technologies, District 32, Ecentral Cellphone Electronics, iGig, iStore, iCenter, iStudio, Switch, iBook, JMB Albay, Lenin Computer System, Mobile 1, Seatec, Wellworth, Sync, Technopop, Urbanize, and Vertex.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Awesome Food, Drinks at Tokyo Bubble Tea

When I pass by a Tokyo Bubble Tea branch anywhere in the metro, I've always perceived it as a place that's just for afternoon drinks and desserts. Is it just me or is it how you think of it as well? That perception totally changed one afternoon when I finally got to try not just their new special drinks, but also their excellent food items.


I visited the largest branch yet in Katipunan and instantly felt the Sakura season in the air. Japanese cherries or sakura make up a tree with cherry blossoms, which is one of the most photographed scenery in Japan. Teaming up with the season, Tokyo Bubble Tea offers the newest variant of milk tea and milk shake to its fans - the Sakura Milk Tea and Sakura Milk Shake.


The Sakura Milk Shake (Php175) is light, tasty, and very refreshing. Its base is made of green tea combined with milk, vanilla essence and cherry flavor. It comes with bubbles (pearls in brown sugar syrup) by default, but can be customized by changing the sugar level (0%-100% in increments of 25%) and adding or selecting a different topping of taro cubes, mango bits, vanilla ice cream, coffee jelly, red beans or egg pudding for an additional Php25 per topping.

Tokyo Bubble Tea isn't all about milk teas and milk shakes. Whether you like appetizers, dessert or full meal, they have a wide variety of food items to choose from. It's a "restaurant" after all. Let me share them with you as you read on.


First up - Bulgogi Nachos (Php245) that can be shared by 2-3 people. A good order as snack or appetizer, this is a mixed of spicy mayo, onion, tomato, and carrot strips together with bulgogi (ground meat with Korean sauce) thrown on top of crunchy nachos. Really good!


Fan of maki? Try the Nippon Ebi Maki (Php285) composed of breaded prawns rolled in sushi rice, topped with mango, all laying on mentored mozzarella cheese base. 


Samurai Burger (Php248) is also a great snack or meal for the hungry. This is a far cry from the usual burgers available elsewhere. In between the sesame seed bun are lettuce and potato frits on top of a juicy pork patty, flavored by a mix of apple sauce and honey mustard. It is also served with crunchy fries, which Tokyo Bubble Tea makes locally in their commissary kitchen.


On to the entrees, I was able to try the Omurice with Steak Mushroom Sauce and Hamburg Steak (Php238), one of the crowd favorites. It's flavorful fried rice is covered with omelet and special mushroom steak sauce, served with a tenderly cooked beef hamburg on the side.


This next dish, the Korean Bibimbop (Php285) was specially requested by the resto's frequent visitors to be restored to the new menu when they tried to remove it. Well, it came with a reason. It's really, really delicious! What do I get with it? Rice mixed with ground beef, white onion, garlic, Korean sauce, zucchini, carrots, bean sprouts, spinach, mushroom, egg, and chili paste.


For the last entree, here comes my favorite - Grilled Porkchop on Roasted Tomato Sauce (Php248). I was like a kid thrilled to find a treasure of grilled pork cutlet marinated in special tomato sauce underneath a rice-covered melted mozzarella cheese mixed with caramelized onions. Yum!


All of those delectable food orders were capped off by Honey Bee Patisserie's Sakura Mango Roll (Php120/slice), a strawberry chiffon roll with mango in cream at the center. It's not overly sweet - just enough to balance the palette from the meal earlier.

My experience trying out Tokyo Bubble Tea's food and drinks was excellent! I will surely come back the next time I crave for a full meal, drink and dessert combo. I highly recommend their food!

--
Tokyo Bubble Tea Milk Tea Place and Restaurant
Honey Bee Patisserie
209 Katipunan Avenue, Brgy. Milagrosa, Project 4, Quezon City
(02)961-8904

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S5 Now Available in 125 Countries including the Philippines

From one powerful smartphone to another, Samsung has officially launched their newest flagship phone - the Samsung Galaxy S5 - here in the Philippines together with other 125 countries around the world. This proves that our country is considered to be a priority by the said smartphone manufacturer. In addition, they have also launched smart watches called Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit.

Samsung Galaxy S5


The Samsung Galaxy S5 has very similar dimensions as with its predecessor Galaxy S4, but is packed with more mention-worthy capabilities and features running on Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS:
  • Selective focus taken from a 16-megapixel rear camera - one picture, multiple after-pic editing focused on different areas of the photo
  • Faster shutter speed - taking pics of children and moving objects is now easier with a quicker shutter speed
  • 2-megapixel front camera - taking selfie's is no problem!
  • Dust and water resistant - accidental water splashes and dirt won't matter at all
  • Finger scanner - check your heart rate with this feature
  • Download Booster - combine the power of LTE and WiFi to accelerate your downloads
  • Ultra power saving mode - just what we need to save up the juice
  • Safety assistance - call for emergency when something bad happens

Display

The new Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, slightly larger compared to its predecessor that had a 5-inch display. The screen’s resolution is at 1920 x 1080 with a 432 ppi, which means more vivid colors on screen. It also has an intelligent Adaptive Display that allows the screen disply to auto adjust depending on your surrounding lighting conditions (e.g. indoors or outdoors) and an extra low dimming mode which can come in handy if you’re in a dark room.


Cameras

Galaxy S5 has a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with a larger image sensor, allowing the camera to capture more light. Meanwhile, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera is an improvement from before. Auto-focus speed has been increased to instantly capture moving moments which is three times (3x) faster than the auto-focus found on the Galaxy S4. In addition, DSLR camera-like features were also added: “selective focus” feature, allowing shooting of photos with different depth of field; HDR (Rich Tone) mode creating HDR-enhanced photos or videos.

Battery

In addition to the 2800 mAh removable battery, Samsung also added a new “ultra power saving” mode to help conserve the phone’s battery life by shutting down all unnecessary features to dramatically minimize battery consumption.


Design

A far difference from the Galaxy S4 is the leather-like cover of the Galaxy S5. It comes in four different color options: shimmery WHITE, charcoal BLACK, copper GOLD, and electric BLUE. The phone is also IP67-certified dust and water resistant, covering all ports for added protection.

The S Health app is also now integrated with a heart-rate monitor right under the camera sensor at the back of the phone.

The Galaxy S5’s download booster technology enables the pairing of WiFi with the LTE cellular connection simultaneously to maximize overall download speeds if necessary.

Security

There’s an integrated fingerprint reader above the home button. This allows a user to unlock the phone for more security and also pay for services through PayPal with the swipe of a finger.

Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo


This is the new Gear 2, an upgrade from the first Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch launched last year. It is now slimmer without the protruding camera. Its 2-megapixel camera is now built-in on to the watch as compared to before where it's on the strap.


The Gear 2 Neo, on the other hand, is the cheaper version compared to Gear 2. It has a plastic frame as compared to the Gear 2 with steel. It doesn't have a camera, but other than that works very similar as Gear 2.

Both the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo come with 1GHz dual-core processor, which is tad faster than last year's release. It features a 4GB internal storage and comes with a built-in heart rate sensor, pedometer, gyroscope and accelerometer for tracking of stats while walking, cycling, running, hiking, etc.

What's cool about the two watches is that their bands can be interchanged with any 22-mm strap in the market. By the default, the Gear 2 comes in either charcoal black, gold brown or wild orange. Meanwhile, the Gear 2 Neo ships in charcoal black, mocha grey, and wild orange.

Gear Fit


Sports-enthusiasts will have a new friend in Gear Fit. It's very useful in tracking sports-related activities like steps, heart-rate, etc. Unlike the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, though, storage of music files into the Gear Fit is not possible.

Viewing on the Gear Fit can be portrait or otherwise. It also has asks the user whether the watch is worn on the left or right wrist, so it can adjust automatically to fit the need. Brightness can also be adjusted as necessary.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Finding Love in Villa del Conte Chocolates

From as far back as I can remember, I've always loved chocolates and colors – M&M's and Smarties were definitely my favorites. I think it ran in the family, because today, all of my siblings love chocolates. Of course my palette for chocolate developed as I grew older. Color however, still strikes me the same as it did as a child. I'm still wowed by the appearance of colors, most especially the bright, vibrant ones.

Now that Valentine's Day is upon us, you can imagine how my mind must be working with all the chocolates and bright color displays set up all around town. It seems everywhere you look, it's all about chocolates, color and love.

A few days ago I was surprised with a box of Villa del Conte chocolates. I was immediately captured by the red box, with gold heart that says amore.


I opened it up and found myself in love. All these beautifully colored, wrapped chocolates in various sizes were more than just a delight to my eyes. I didn't know where to start. Being the OC type of person I am, I separated each by color and size, and thought this is something I cannot do alone.


Luckily the chocolates came with a catalog, and I was able to narrow the chocolates down to the flavor of the Praline Balls and Praline Sticks I was given.

Now onto the chocolates, or shall I say cioccolato. As always in an assortment of chocolates, there are a few that may not be the most pleasing. Let's face it we've all had a box of chocolate where we've taken a bite and in our dislike either threw it out, put it back on the box for someone else to try. With Villa del Conte, there was no such thing. Coming from a family of chocolate lovers, I would know.


It certainly was not hard to entice my family to help me enjoy the chocolates. It also helped to have my family from the U.S. visiting. We sat around my dining table, like scientists in a lab station… minus the lab coats of course. A mix of male and female with ages in the twenties, thirties and sixties; we were ready to dig in. And did we ever. Unwrap. Touch. Smell. Taste. Repeat. In the end, the contents of the box all became favorites.

And let me tell you about these favorites. The praline balls were the true champion! They had the right texture, sweetness and whether milk or dark, the cocoa taste was just PERFECT. The combination of caramel, coffee and hazelnut creams each coupled well with the praline ball mirroring a perfect marriage of consistency and quality. But it was the crunch of the cereal that sealed the deal. It added a certain je ne sais quoi that our group agreed on wholeheartedly. It's almost as if the smoothness of the chocolate was complimented more by the crisp cereal giving it that extra AMORE.

This does not, however, mean that the ones without cereal were not equally as good, in fact it was a hard decision to come up with any favorite. Hence, why they all became favorites.

In addition, there is uniqueness in the fruit-flavored praline chocolates that make each stick a standout in the box of colorfully wrapped treats. Each one contained a different fruit which included strawberry, banana, watermelon and orange. Each fruit elevated the sensation of the chocolate by adding a refreshing element to each bite. It's like that first kiss on an awesome date. More than satisfied, but wouldn't mind having more kind-of-feeling. And since it's fruit, it definitely has a healthier ring to it.

Villa del Conte captures my love for both chocolate and color. Heightening each sense from sight, scent, touch and taste; this chocolate proves to be the perfect diamond in a world full of rhinestones. A perfect gift for any occasion with unique packaging all on its own, these chocolates certainly air a feeling of love. One can truly taste the love in every bite.


Since it's that time of the year, there is no better time than now to grab a box of Villa del Conte and fall in love even without getting it from Padova, Italy where it all began.

Visit Villa del Conte stores at Greenbelt 5, Shangri-la Mall, Resorts World, Alabang Town Center, and Robinsons Magnolia. For bulk orders of Villa del Conte chocolates, please contact 893-2575 or 621-6101.


Editor's Note: This article was written by Migz David, a special writer and contributor of Glich's Life. Migz is a food enthusiast who grew up in his mom's kitchen. He is a great cook and an awesome food critic on top of his high-ranking position in the corporate world. Revisions to this article were done by yours truly prior to posting. - Glenn / Glich