Belle’s Top 5 from 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test

We forced Belle to choose her top five picks from the event and to write about it. We threatened her to the point where she was so helpless. She had no choice but to follow us.

Just kidding! Here are her awesome top 5 picks!

Wait! Before continuing, to see more photos and to know more about the 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test, read our “First Ultimate Taste Test Experience” post. Also, check out “Natz’ Top 5 from 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test“. Thanks!

And… continue. Enjoy!

5. Green Tea Cheesecake from Moshi Moshi

Their green tea cheesecake was heavenly! The green tea was subtle which is why I enjoyed it. I wish I wasn’t super full when I tasted their cheesecake because I would’ve definitely asked for more samples. There’s really nothing else I can say about it because it was really good and I would definitely buy this next time.

4. Hokey Pokey Ice Cream from New Zealand Natural

I am not familiar with this product but I’m glad my stomach still had enough space for this! My friend, Natz, already tried this in New Zealand and said the Hokey Pokey flavor was really good. I wanted to try other flavors since, she was getting that flavor already, but after I tasted the Hokey Pokey flavor, I didn’t get any other flavor anymore. I really love the honeycomb balls and caramel in it!

3. Cheese Steak from The Cheese Steak Shop

I’ve already tasted their cheese steak sandwich when they went to DLSU during the University Week, so, I was very excited to eat their food again. Their sandwiches taste really good. In my opinion, it is worth buying. I love the cheese steak shop so it was obvious I gave them a high rating.

2. Chow Fun Chicken Fry and Dark Chocolate Buchi from Chow Fun Modern Chinese Bistro

Chow Fun served chicken fry and dark chocolate buchi. I thought that the chicken would just taste like any ordinary chicken bites. Surprisingly, it tasted great! There was so much flavor and I am no expert when it comes to food but I can tell that the spices they used worked so well together.

As for the buchi, I enjoyed it as well because it tasted like Nutella which is my all-time favorite spread. I will DEFINITELY go to San Juan (even if I’m from the South) just to try out other food that Chow Fun offers.

1. Lemongrass Pandan Iced Tea and Purple Leaf (Talbos ng Kamote) Iced Tea from Bayani Brew

From the name, at first, I thought their product was going to be coffee but it was actually iced tea. The girl from the booth made us taste the drink first and asked us to guess what the flavor was. I tasted calamansi and it did have that but the main ingredient totally surprised me, camote tops or talbos ng kamote in Filipino. I didn’t think it was possible to use this vegetable to flavor drinks but it tasted good. The other flavor was lemongrass which tasted good as well.

Aside from the fact that the variations are unique and healthy, their products are also for a good cause – the organization helps out the farmers who plant and harvest the ingredients being used.


Do you want to see more photos from this UTT event? Then, check out our “First Ultimate Taste Test Experience” post. 🙂 You can also check out “Natz’ Top 5 from 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test“.

What can you say about Belle’s top 5? Have you also read Natz’ top 5? Do you think jokes are really half meant? Tell us what you think!

-foodmarks | marking culinary journeys


Natz’ Top 5 from 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test

If you want to know more about my whole experience, read my “First Ultimate Taste Test Experience” first. As I have promised, I would give you my top five picks. My friend, Belle, also made her top 5 post, “Belle’s Top 5 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test“.

These are my top 5 unforgettable food items on UTT.


5. Crunchy Belly from Carlo’s Kitchen

It was deadly delicious. Belle and I agreed that the food sample they gave was “bitin!” (not enough) and made us crave for more.

As of what I know, thinly sliced pork, when deep-fried, is easy to burn. I commend Carlo’s Kitchen for frying it very well, almost perfectly.

Crunchy Belly is great for “pulutan” (finger food paired with alcoholic drinks). It is a new version of chicharon. I will surely recommend this to my friends, who are young and daring enough to experience sinfully delicious treats.

4. Wild Mushroom Pie w/ Gruyere & Truffle Oil and Surprise Tart from Baked by Anita

It sounds so eloquent, doesn’t it? Well, I thought it was. This was one of the reasons why I was so intrigued by this new creation. The name was straight forward. I was really anticipating to try this from the moment I read it in the “Foodie Cheat Sheet“.

Actually, I was not sure if the Wild Mushroom Pie with Gruyere and Truffle Oil and Surprise Tart were two different types of food items or if this food item just has a lengthy name.  The lady giving samples in the booth offered us only one for each person. I wanted to ask her about it but I think she was not in the mood to entertain. Thus, I assumed and considered it as just one.

I have always loved eating any kind of edible mushroom. The truffle oil was a nice touch to the whole thing. It created more depth. The truffle was infused very well that’s why the mushroom flavor was stronger. For me, this kind of food is something not everybody would appreciate. The earthiness is somewhat challenging for some people.

I would love to eat more of this. I just hope that it would not be too pricey considering the use of such ingredients.

3. Cheese Steak from The Cheese Steak Shop

I love beef. I love thinly sliced beef. I love cheese. I love cheese steak.

Though The Cheese Steak Shop offers what I love, I was not eager to try their food item at first. I’ve been seeing their store every time I exit Makati coming from skyway. Honestly, I thought it would be a lame copy cat of the two famous cheese steak stores in Philadelphia, Geno’s and Pat’s or Pat’s and Geno’s (The rivarly is still on-going. I don’t want to be biased because I equally enjoyed the two.)

Since it was part of the UTT experience, I gave it a try. When I tasted the cheese steak, I actually underestimated it. It was really good. It was a quality cheese steak. The seasoning was great and the beef was cooked just right. I liked it that they cooked and prepared it on the spot. I also liked the use of a different kind of cheese (I was not able to ask what kind of cheese.) compared to the one being used in Philly, good ol’ Chiz Wiz.

Though they did not provide whole pickled peppers, which is a fun experience biting it, it was fine because sweet and hot peppers were on top of it. Nonetheless, I still prefer the whole peppers.

After UTT, I now know that it is worth dropping by their store.

2. Hokey Pokey Ice Cream from New Zealand Natural

FINALLY! This was the first word that popped up in my head when I first saw Hokey Pokey flavor in New Zealand Natural’s booth. The reason for this is that few years back, my family and I went to New Zealand. One of the most unforgettable memory in that trip, besides the abundance of green land we saw all over, was the Hokey Pokey ice cream. We loved eating it even if it was freezing cold. It was just so addictive.

When we went back to Manila, I tried finding one but I believe that it was not yet available in the Philippines.

Then, UTT happened. I was really ecstatic tasting this ice cream flavor again. I was informed by the owner that their products are all imported from New Zealand. She also said that they just started selling the ice cream last May.

Why do I love it?

My favorite ice cream flavor is Vanilla. I’m not fond of sweets but butterscotch and honeycomb are favorites of mine.

Vanilla ice cream + Butterscotch + Honeycomb = Hokey Pokey ice cream. GENIUS!

1. Chow Fun Chicken Fry with Vinaigrette from Chow Fun Modern Chinese Bistro

Description on their flyer: Fried chicken + toasted plum and spice + vinaigrette

The chicken fry was pretty damn good!

When Belle and I were nearing Chow Fun’s booth, I could smell the chicken being fried. I know that the cuisine is Chinese but the smell reminded me of Taiwanese chicken. When I tasted it, it was like bringing me back to the streets of Taiwan. There was a distinct taste, which I believe the use of plum contributed to it. The seasoning of the chicken was spot on and it was fried to perfection. The vinaigrette also complemented the chicken very well.

Living in the south, it is an effort to go to food places in the north of the metro but I am really looking forward to going at Chow Fun in San Juan just to taste this thing again and other dishes that are surely worth it.

So there, those are my top 5 picks! And to serve as our drink, we were offered a bottle of beer. The beer that Belle and I had, Premium All Malt, became a favorite of mine because it really complemented the food samples very well. I like it better than San Mig Light because there was less bitter after taste.

What do you think of my top 5? Have you read Belle’s top 5? Do you agree with us?

Do you want to see more of UTT? Then, check out my “First Ultimate Taste Test Experience” and “Belle’s Top 5 from 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test posts.

-foodmarks | marking culinary journeys

First Ultimate Taste Test Experience


This is Natz!

Last September 15, I went to a foodie must-go event, the 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test X (UTT), organized by Our Awesome Planet creator, Mr. Anton Diaz, in partnership with San Miguel.

*If this is the first time you will read about UTT, here is a quick description. It is a bazaar that caters to food lovers. It showcases different kinds of food in bite size portions similar to hors d’oeuvre. The food vendors are very diverse. There are professional chefs, students, established food entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, distributors, moms who love to bake, foreigners, and Pinoys. They all aspire for their products to be introduced or to be more known in the market.

This is also the right time and place to know more about the vendor, the product, and anything related to the products.

This was the first time I went to a UTT event. I was very excited. Unfortunately, Ella, 1/2 of team foodmarks can’t come, because of CPA pre-board exam. When I knew that she can’t come, I almost cried. (You read it right.) It was really sad. My partner in crime was MIA.

As a true foodie, I really wanted to experience it. In addition, this UTT was the last for this year! It was a relief when I found someone who can go with me and loves food as much as foodmarks. Her name is Belle, a friend from college. 🙂 Gladly, she was available that time.

I had an awesome experience as a first timer. The event was really organized, though improvements can still be made. One thing was the poor exhaust. I was teary eyed by the time we went out of the venue because of the smoke from the different booths. Another suggestion would be making the vendors’ names in the score sheet listed in alphabetical order. It was a bit hard skimming numerous times just to find the names.

Still, our senses were overjoyed with oh so delicious food and drinks, and awesome music!

Here is a photo essay of the UTT experience. Enjoy! 🙂

By the way, don’t forget to read my post, “Natz’ Top 5 from 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test“, and “Belle’s Top 5 from 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test” post, written by Belle.

Special Empanada with Cheese from Maria’s Ilocos Empanada

The color orange came from atsuete / achiote / achuete / annatto. We asked what the dough was made of, they said it was a secret.

Regular and spicy “sawsawan” or dipping sauce made of soy sauce and vinegar.

Another empanada taste test: This is Vigan Empanada from Mac’s Deli Vigan Empanada & Okoy before being deep fried.

The main ingredient of the shell is powdered rice grain.

The ticket to the event also entitled each participant to a free bottle of San Miguel beer, a choice of Premium All Malt, Super Dry, or Cerveza Negra. We had no idea which among these was the best for the food in the event – but big thanks to Mr. Anton’s post on a “Foodie’s Cheat Sheet” few days before the event. The post offered suggestions for beer pairing. Majority of the food items were suggested to be paired with Premium All Malt; thus, Belle and I chose it.

Belle and I made a game plan on how to conquer the UTT using this guide and the cheat sheet. Haha!

Tim Tayag was the host of UTT. I was excited to see him. I am a fan of his very funny travel show “On-Foot” in Living Asia Channel.

Crunchy Belly from Carlo’s Kitchen: Thinly sliced and deep fried pork belly

The ladies manning the booth of Carlo’s Kitchen said that they have a picture contest on Facebook. We really did not understand what was it about, so I just took a photo of Belle enjoying her Crunchy Belly.

Chief Wings from Chief Wings

Chicken strips/tenders covered in six various sauces. According to the owners, thigh part was used for Chief Wings.

The food vendor’s name, Showbiz Isaw, was misleading. Belle and I thought they give Isaw as food sample.

Instead, they gave Fish Fillet with tartar sauce and Chili Garlic Shrimp.

Clockwise from bottom right: Crunchy Belly, Fish Fillet with Tartar Sauce, 3 Flavors of Chief Wings, Chili Garlic Shrimp and, another 3 Flavors of Chief Wings

Chow Fun Chicken Fry with Vinaigrette from Chow Fun Modern Chinese Bistro

Dark Chocolate Buchi from Chow Fun Modern Chinese Bistro

Cheese Steak with Sweet and Hot Peppers from The Cheese Steak Shop

Chicken Kebab (above) and Chicken Isaw (below) from Giga Bite Kebab

Tent extension: This was the place where foodies can comfortably enjoy the food and rest. It also served as a place for updating our UTT conquest and Belle’s Twitter break place!

Mama Lou’s Panzarotti (reminds me of Pizza Pockets) with a choice of Pesto, Pomodoro, or Blue Cheese as dipping sauce

Corned Beef Brisket (above) and Slow Roasted Beef Belly (below) from Hillside Ranch

The Plaza Premium Roast Angus Corned Beef from The Plaza

USDA Beef Tapa from SkewU

Panchados (Tinapay and Mechado- Bread and Philippine Beef Stew) from Panchados

Arizona Beverages- Strawberry Colada Flavor from Bugle Boy Distributors Corp.

Aligue (Crab Fat) Rice from Kusina Reyes

Roast Turkey from Chef Anton

They were awesome! I like the songs they played and… I forgot the name of their band. Sorry.

Berry Dream Jam and Tropical Paradise Jam from The Fruit Garden

They made jams on the spot!

Swizzle’s Caramel Beer and Swizzle’s Rainbow Shots from Swizzle Mobile Bar

We saw Mr. Anton! I can’t resist having a picture with him. Happy kid! 🙂

Red Velvet Cookies and Coffee Caramel Walnut Crunch from Bake Buddy

Green Tea Cheesecake from Moshi Moshi

Nutella Rocks from Baked Bites by ABC

Milk Praline Chocolate and Dark Praline Chocolate from Villa Del Conte

Carrot Cake (above) and Banana Bread (below) from Everyday MomA healthier version of these classics

Flavored Shaved Ice- Swiss Cheese from Masatami Shave Ice

Wild Mushroom Pie w/ Gruyere & Truffle Oil and Surprise Tart from Baked by Anita

Green Tea Mochi from Mochi Sweets Philippines, Inc.

Belgian Chocolate Cookies (above) and Nutella Mousse Cake (below) from Blue Toque: The cake won in the first Rockwell’s UTT Dessert category.

Blueberry Double Chocolate from Saint’s Alps Teahouse

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream from New Zealand Natural

Kiwi Swirl Christmas Loaf from Sugarhouse

Lemongrass Pandan Iced Tea and Purple Leaf Iced Tea from Bayani Brew

Almost ending: Unfortunately, we were not able to try all of the food items. We missed around 9 to 10 items because we were too full and tired. Next time, I think I would bring more friends for more manpower and more fun!

Look at my huge grin! 😀 Cheers to an awesome event! Thanks Belle for coming!

I hope you enjoyed as much as I did! See you next year?

Who: Foodies, food lovers, hungry people, food bloggers, and food photographers

What: 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test X

When: September 15, 2012, Saturday

Where: Rockwell Tent, Makati, Metro Manila

Did you go to this UTT? Were you able to try everything? Did your eyes also hurt from the smoke? If you didn’t go, did our post make you crave for food? Share us your thoughts!

Don’t forget to read my top 5 post, “Natz’ Top 5 from 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test“, and “Belle’s Top 5 from 2nd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test” post, written by Belle.

-foodmarks | marking culinary journeys

Celebrating the End of August with the New Soderno

Yesterday was the last day of August 2012. What is a good way to end it with a bang? Hang out with friends and eat good food!

We chose to celebrate the last day of the month by going to the re-opening of Soderno @ Molito,the Mercato Centrale of the south.

Here is a photo essay of our culinary experience last night. Enjoy!

Fewer vendors than before

Music started at around 8pm

The only vendor that sells dessert

What we ordered:

Binagoongan Rice topped with Lechon Macau from Rice Pots (P129): Too expensive for its quality.

White Chicago Pizza from Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and Pasta (P150): Taste was okay. It might be better if it was served hot.

Bagnet Rice Patong from The Original Bagnet Rice (P65): Delicious for its price but too much fat.

Isaw from Giga Bite Kebab (P35): Taste was okay. We liked the “sawsawan”.

Isaw and Isaw ng Baboy from another isawan beside Giga Bite (Sorry, we forgot the name of the store!) (P30 each): We like the taste of these better than the first one. The marinade is more flavorful.

Dalandan drink from edgys foodtrip (3 for P100): Refreshing! Try the Wintermelon flavor.

Red Velvet cake from Piper’s Pan Homebaked cakes (2 for P140): Cake is moist and really delicious, although they used buttercream as frosting instead of cream cheese.

Caramel cake from Piper’s Pan Homebaked cakes (2 for P140): We were surprised that banana cake covered with luscious caramel would taste really good! The caramel was sweet, it almost tasted like yema.

Now that Soderno has reopened, they offer alcoholic drinks. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to take a picture of the booth selling these alcoholic drinks. But anyway, for those who want to try, the name of the booth is ”Bottella Cocktails“. They offer cocktails like Mojito, a drink named Tiramisu, and Amaretto Sour.

What’s also good about Soderno is that they also have bazaars which offer fashion finds, home accents, and many more. So you can do a little shopping as well!

We just wish there would be more food stalls next time (particularly more stalls offering desserts and more alcoholic drinks)!

Dining in Soderno really gives the opportunity for friends, lovers, and families to bond and have a good time. Plus, coming from the south, we know that south people really love to hang out, chill, and relax while eating good food with loved ones.

Details on Soderno @ Molito

Address: Molito Commercial Complex, Commerce Ave. corner Madrigal Ave., Ayala Alabang Muntinlupa City

Store Hours: 6pm-12mn, Friday-Sunday

Websites:, Facebook: Soderno, Twitter: @Soderno

Have you been to the re-opening? What do you think of the new Soderno? Tell us your experiences!

-foodmarks | marking culinary journeys