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Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Top Picks at Rockwell's 2nd Ultimate Taste Test

Every year, there's a much-anticipated event especially made for food lovers and food critics-wannabe, it's the Ultimate Taste Test by Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet. This annual food trip event gathers foodies in one venue to give them a chance to sample mouth-watering food items and concoctions from over forty home-based businesses.

Rockwell's 2nd Ultimate Taste Test

This year is the 10th installment of the Ultimate Taste Test, and the 2nd to be held at the Rockwell Tent. So aside from getting a chance to try out items from up and coming food businesses, some of the Power Plant Mall’s very own establishments were also included in the list of concessionaires. And while I missed out on the first 9 UTTs, I'm glad I was able to attend this year's together with my friends from The Foodies Circle.

Rockwell's 2nd Ultimate Taste Test had over 40 stalls including a San Miguel Lifestyle Brews station. And while we decided to ditch the beer, I'm proud to say that we've conquered every food and drink stall in the food tasting event. I guess this shows how excited we were to finally attend Ultimate Taste Test, or maybe we're just gluttons?

It was quite hard to rate everything we got to taste, especially during the last few minutes when we're already too full. However, I somehow managed to come up with my top picks from Rockwell's 2nd Ultimate Taste Test. This is in no particular order, by the way.

The Fruit Garden's Berry Dream Jam and Tropical Paradise Jam

The Fruit Garden's Berry Dream Jam and Tropical Paradise Jam

I've always loved pairing breads and crackers with fruit jams. And while I've always been disappointed of most jams I've tried in the past, The Fruit Garden's is an exception. We got to sample the Berry Dream and the Tropical Paradise which are both excellent in their own right and both very fruity without being overly sweet unlike most fruit jams in the market. Their packaging is really nice too, perfect to give as gifts this Christmas.


Swizzle Mobile Bar's Caramel Beer and Rainbow Shots

Swizzle Mobile Bar's Caramel Beer and Rainbow Shots

I'm generally not into alcoholic drinks, but I was so enticed to try out the offerings at Swizzle Mobile Bar since the drinks looked so bright and happy. And I'm glad I gave in 'cause both the Caramel Beer and Rainbow Shots tasted amazing! They were both sweet and just light on the palate, perfect for non-regular alcohol drinkers like myself.


Bayani Brew's Lemongrass Pandan Iced Tea and Purple Leaf Iced Tea

Bayani Brew's Lemongrass Pandan Iced Tea and Purple Leaf Iced Tea

Being a tea lover, I was so intrigued about Bayani Brew. I got to try both the refreshing Lemongrass Pandan Iced Tea and the Purple Leaf Iced Tea which was made from talbos ng kamote. I seriously can't believe that I got to try a drink made with sweet potato leaves. But more importantly, I can't believe of how good it tasted! When their products become available in the market, I'll make sure to stock up on Bayani Brew's iced teas.

I also got to chat a little with its social enterprise head, Mr. Ron Dizon, and found out that Bayani Brew's products are made of local ingredients from Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm located in Bulacan. And with a promise of not just nutritious and tasty all Filipino iced teas, but also an indirect way to help our local industry and fellowmen, I'm sold!


Mac's Deli Vigan Empanada

Mac's Deli Vigan Empanada

While I oh-so-love my dad's special empanada, I also found pleasure in trying out one from Mac's Deli. I haven't been to Ilocos yet so I don't have anything to compare their Vigan Empanada with, nor do I know how authentic Vigan empanadas should taste like. However, from a simple and unbiased foodie's perspective, this Vigan Empanada is really good! I loved how savory it tasted with its Vigan longganisa and egg filling, especially when eaten with onions and a sweet vinegar dipping sauce.


Skew U's USDA Angus Beef Tapa

SkewU's USDA Angus Tapa

I've already heard a lot of good things about Skew U, but this was the first time I got to try anything from them. They were letting foodies sample their USDA Angus Beef Tapa, and I was surprised how theirs is super tender, super succulent and super savory. I enjoyed every bite from the sampler they handed me, so as my friends. Their Angus beef tapa was so good that I wish I could have come back for more!


Carlo's Kitchen's Crunchy Belly

Carlo's Kitchen's Crunchy Belly

While I'm not really the type who goes gaga for pork items, unlike the beau, I actually enjoyed sampling Carlo's Kitchen's Crunchy Belly which was very crispy, savory, salty and sinful. And although I don't drink beer, I think this can be a really good pulutan!


Chef Anton's Roast Turkey

Chef Anton's Roast Turkey

I was really excited to try out Chef Anton's offering especially after seeing a nice and festive display of his Roast Turkey. And when I already asked for a sampler, I loved how they served the turkey on top of a slice of bread with lettuce. The samplers didn't only look very appealing, but also tasted great, highlighting the juiciness and the sweet and savory flavors of the Roast Turkey. Plus, they were also very generous in giving out extra helpings of their dish to returning foodies.

Chef Anton 994-0972; 0917-842-8042

The Plaza's Premium Roast Angus Corned Beef

The Plaza's Premium Roast Angus Corned Beef

I only know The Plaza for their catering services and premium baked ham. However, I so love their meaty, tender, succulent and almost melt-in-your-mouth Premium Roast Angus Corned Beef which they served sandwiched in a soft and fluffy pandesal.


Hillside Ranch Corned Beef Brisket and Slow-Roasted Beef Belly

Hillside Ranch Corned Beef Brisket

Even if I already had quite a few meaty treats at the food event, I'm so glad I didn't miss trying out the goodies by Hillside Ranch. They had two items showcased that day, and I first got to try the Corned Beef Brisket which isn't only very tender but oh-so-succulent as well. Although this one has leaner meat, it was still so savory and so enjoyable.

Hillside Ranch Slow Roasted Beef Belly

Next of course is their Slow-Roasted Beef Belly which looked super enticing especially when it was getting cut. Since this is a belly portion, it had lovely strips of fat between the meat layers which makes it so juicy yet still as meaty. Both beef products were very memorable so if you ask me to choose a favorite from Hillside Ranch, I'd pick both!


Chow Fun Chicken Fry and Dark Chocolate Buchi

Chow Fun Chicken Fry

Moving on, I also loved Chow Fun's Chicken Fry which is a Taiwanese chicken chop deep-fried and coated with herbs and spices. I've recently been digging this more flavorful variant of fried chicken, so this item definitely became memorable.

Chow Fun Dark Chocolate Buchi

I also liked their Dark Chocolate Buchi even though I generally don't dig the regular buchi. This pastry made from glutinous rice and covered with sesame seeds may look simple and not so appealing at first sight. However, when you bite into it, your chocoholic craving will be left satisfied as the chocolatey goodness just explodes in the mouth.


Villa Del Conte Chocolates

Villa Del Conte Dark Chocolate with Coffee Cream Filling and Milk Chocolate with Hazelnut Chips

And speaking of chocolates, Villa Del Conte which I usually see in Trinoma is also one of the concessionaires. They showcased two of their chocolate items which are the Dark Chocolate with Coffee Cream Filling and Milk Chocolate with Hazelnut Chips. While I generally love my chocolates more bitter than sweet, I love how smooth and chocolatey these creations are in the palate. Both are great in their own right, and I'm sure these will satisfy even the non-chocoholics.


Frisch Liquor Ice Cream

Frisch Liquor Ice Cream in Russian Winter, Choco Rumboozle and Carami de Cerveza

I've mentioned that I don't really drink a lot of alcohol, but I love eating food items infused with it. And luckily, Frisch Liquor Ice Cream offers just that! I got to sample three flavors which are the Russian Winter (vodka & Kahlua), Choco Rumboozle (rum & Cadbury) and Carami de Cerveza (beer & caramel), and each one of these liquor ice cream flavors was good with a slight intoxicating kick. So to those who'd love to get the best of both worlds, dessert and some alcohol, I highly recommend Frisch Liquor Ice Cream!


Masatami Shave Ice's Flavored Shaved Ice

Masatami Shave Ice's Flavored Shaved Ice in Langka, Peanut and Black Sesame Duo, and Swiss Cheese

I already got a taste of Masatami Shave Ice last summer and loved it. However, what I had before were their Hawaiian shave ice items. This time, I got to try three of their flavored shaved ice in Langka, Peanut and Black Sesame Duo and Swiss Cheese. All three of these flavors were good, but I personally love the Langka and Black Sesame more as they stayed so true to their flavor and were simply a delight to eat.


Sugarhouse's Kiwi Swirl Christmas Loaf

Sugarhouse Kiwi Swirl Christmas Loaf
Photo on the right grabbed from Sugarhouse's Facebook page

As a bread and pastry lover, I fell in love with Sugarhouse's Kiwi Swirl Christmas Loaf which will be out this November. Although we only got to sample a small piece from the whole loaf, I super dig how soft and fluffy the sweet bread was. Plus, it has a kiwi filling inside which gives the whole ensemble a harmonious blend of sweet and slightly tangy.


So there you have it folks, these are my personal picks and favorites at Rockwell's 2nd Ultimate Taste Test held last September 15, 2012 at the Rockwell Tent. And while I only listed 14 food businesses, most of the concessionaires showcased items which had me going giddy in excitement. But of course, I can't include everyone on this list. Rest assured though that I was completely satisfied at the foodie event. And as a first time UTT goer, I'm impressed that the event was very organized. The food samples were of generous portions, and the venue was very conducive and far from being cramped.

How about you, have you been to Rockwell's 2nd Ultimate Taste Test?
If you did, which are your top food picks?

18 comments:

  1. It is such a shame I missed out on this year's UTT..Maybe next year..The roast beef, angus corned beef and turkey all look good. I think all the restaurants that joined the UTT were able to benefit from their participation.

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  2. wow!I hope i'll have the chance to attend events like this..super yummy and appetizing mga pictures.. :)

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  3. I was able to attend the 6th UTT! It was fun, but didn't get to enjoy the food because my teeth were still hurting because of the braces :D

    You have nice shots of food! The liquor ice cream are intersting! I should try!!!

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  4. I agree with you on the crunchy belly, there was also this empanada I liked... I think it was Maria something. Ah, I will post my picks soon. I'm so backlogged. XD

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  5. I also loved the rainbow shot and the beef belly! :) I have to post mine soon, hehe! :)

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  6. Didn't go eh. Will go next time. :) Nagutom ako sa beef!!! :P


    http://www.dekaphobe.com/

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  7. I'd love to have a gulp of that colorful beer. Oh and the liquor ice cream... and the beef tapa... oh, everything there!

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  8. Hi Sumi!

    I was also there. What time did you come? Anyway, I am always anticipating this foodie event every year in preparation of Christmas giveaway...I think this is my fifth time of attending the UTT eversince even I was not a foodie then...

    Jinkee Umali of www.foodsonthespot.com and www.livelifefullest.com

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    Replies
    1. Wow, you're always in UTT pala! :) We came to Rockwell Tent around 4PM na ata.

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  9. Wow! A photo of you ... that was surprising :)

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    1. Haha.. I wanted to make every photo for this entry in landscape format kasi, kaya I just added my photo holding the Kiwi Swirl :D

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  10. I haven't attended UTT, hopefully next year.

    The shots, the ice creams and all those meat seems delicious :3

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  11. Wow this is just great, how I wish I will also have a chance to attend an event such as this =)

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    1. You can! UTT is annual and tickets are sold months in advance :)

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  12. Hi Sis!
    Is this event by invite only or everyone is free to join and try? I would love to attend something like this next year! Besides makeup I also love food!

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    1. Oh no sis, this event is open to everyone who wants to experience being a food critic for a day :) They sell tickets months before the event. This year tickets were sold at P585.

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  13. Too bad I wasn't able to go this year :( Skew U's USDA Angus Beef Tapa looks tempting :)

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  14. Hi guys! Frisch Liquor Ice Cream are now accepting pre-orders of Pint and Tub sizes for your events, parties, or even your upcoming celebrations. Just send us an email @ frischicecream@gmail.com or message us at our Facebook page: Frisch Liquor Ice Cream for more details. You can visit us in our kiosk located at SM Southmall Las Pinas City--2nd Level across Blue Magic. Thanks and See You! :) xx

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