Located on the 2nd floor of UP Town Center, Dulcelin Gourmet is a restaurant owned by brothers Ricky and Mico Morelos. From what I know, the Morelos family has long been in the business of made-to-order gourmet food. And if you're in the loop, you've probably heard of, or even tasted, their best-selling Mango Torte. But more than the desserts, their savory dishes has been a hit too -- a favorite at the first Ultimate Taste Test, which even won them the title of Overall Winner. But the problem back then is that Dulcelin Gourmet doesn't have a restaurant, nor offer catering. You can only place an order in advance and pick them up from their home-cum-headquarters in Quezon City.
But now, Dulcelin Gourmet has become more accessible to people who just want to enjoy their offerings hora mismo. No need to order a whole tray of Lengua, or a whole box of Mango Torte for that sudden urge to binge on good comfort food. Anyone can now enjoy a plate and a slice of Dulcelin Gourmet anytime. Still, I recommend calling them up to make sure they don't run out of stock of your favorite Dulcelin Gourmet dish.
I was lucky to be treated to a whole lot of Dulcelin Gourmet goodies when I visited with my food blogger friends a few months back. So let the food comma commence!
First on our table was this really enticing-looking appetizer that we all thought was chicken wings and drumlets. However, upon closer inspection, it's actually cauliflower! Sure, there's notes of the cauliflower, but it's heavily masked by the the crispy batter glazed with really savory miso. Even the veggie-haters on our table gave this dish their stamps of approval. So for picky eater kids and adults out there, this might just be the dish-to-order to sneak in some vegetables in your system. There's also a version using brussel sprouts, which I actually prefer, although availability can't always be guaranteed.
|✓ Beer Battered Miso Glazed Cauliflower (P190)|
Brussel sprouts also available, but very limited.
Our next appetizer was another head-turner. On the plate are four pieces of Japanese rice with Korean spices, pickled radish and aji tamago quail eggs on shiso leaves -- two with seared tuna and shrimp, and the other two with wagyu skirt steak. These are really good that I can eat a whole order and even ask for more! Savory with the mint-freshness from the shiso. The combination of flavors just work so well. Definitely a must-order!
|✓ Red Rice Shiso Duo (P240)|
I may have seafood intolerance, but nothing can stop me from enjoying uni and shrimp. And I'm sure glad both my favorite seafoods are in this spaghettini pasta dish. Creamy, savory, luscious, and just oozing with seafood goodness. The uni-infused sauce isn't lacking in the uni flavor department, and it isn't overpowering nor fishy as well. And I'm sure glad there's a bonus of bonito flakes thrown in to add more saltiness and texture.
|✓ Uni and Shrimp Pasta (P350)|
To officially start the main course, we were served this breaded and fried marinated egg with Italian garlic sausage, served with miso corn rice and seaweed salad. While I normally don't go crazy for Scotch eggs, I have to admit that I dig this version. Not only did the eggs look and taste good, but the addition of the flavored rice and seaweed salad made everything go well together both visually and taste-wise.
|Scotch Egg (P200 Single Serve; P395 To Share)|
We also had Dulcelin Gourmet's take on cordon bleu -- tender and moist poached chicken breast stuffed with garlic-cream cheese filling and US Smithfield ham, served with chorizo rice, pickled corn relish, and bacon-sautéed French beans. This might be a seemingly simple (though very technical) yet still very satisfying dish perfect for those who prefer the healthier and leaner chicken breast but doesn't want to sacrifice flavor.
|Stuffed Chicken Breast (P299)|
Next, we had this serving of homemade corned beef with cabbage and either boiled potato or plain rice. And while the choices of sidings seem too simple, the corned beef itself more than makes up for the lack of flair with its fork-tender and succulent beef goodness. You sure can't expect less from corned beef cured and cooked for 10 days!
|Angus Corned Beef (P295)|
Extremely tender and flavorful -- that's how I'd describe this lemongrass-marinated grilled pork steak, served with crispy thin lechon skins, pickled corn and lime-fish sauce. Everyone on our table can't seem to stop grabbing a bite of both the pork steak itself and the very enjoyable lechon skin. I think what's missing from this crowd-pleaser though is a serving of rice, and we're all set for a sinful yet gastronomic meal.
|✓ Pork Inasal with Lechon Skin (P275)|
While I usually don't go crazy over pork chops, I have to admit that I did enjoy digging into this thick, bone-in pork chop marinated in miso and mirin, and served with either miso corn rice or truffle mash. This kind of cut usually suffers from uneven cooking. However, what was brought to our table was tender, succulent, evenly-cooked and very enjoyable cut of pork that oozes with just the right sweetness and savor.
|Thick Cut Porkchop (P320)|
The perfect breakfast plate I could eat any time of the day. This is how I feel about this smoked and slow-cooked homemade, thick cut slab of bacon that's been glazed with honey bourbon, and served with lechon skin-garlic fried rice and one the-way-you-want egg. The bacon slab in itself is already a very satisfying treat. But add in the supporting actors on the plate, and what you get is a surefire blockbuster of a dish!
|✓ Apple and Hickory Smoked Homemade Slab Bacon (P285)|
I might've had a hard time trying to find a nice angle to take a photo of this dish with, but I certainly found it very easy to nom on this tender and juicy Korean-style wagyu short ribs. If you know me, Korean short ribs has been one of my most favorite items whenever I'm at a Korean BBQ place. But throw in a serving of kimchi rice and a beautiful 65°C poached egg, and I'll be all head-over-heels for it!
|✓ Kitayama Wagyu Short Ribs with Kimchi Rice (P320)|
This dish has always been a favorite in gatherings and special occasions. Just who can resist a serving of fork-tender ox tongue smothered in sauce and topped with chorizo and mushrooms? I know, I can't! And while this single-serve plate may not look as fancy as the other dishes at Dulcelin Gourmet, your tastebuds sure won't be disappointed.
|Lengua (P330 Single Serve; P600 To Share)|
This braised veal shank dish is a nice savory entrée that makes a really good first impression. Braised to a juicy and tender succulence and served with a creamy but earthy porcini sauce on a bed of either polenta or truffled potato mash, this is a dish perfect to share with the family and friends especially on important occasions. Just the look of it already spells festivity, and it sure packs a festive flavor with every mouthful.
|Braised Veal Shank (P550)|
I'm not sure when this dish will be up on Dulcelin's menu, but maybe you can call in advance and inquire if they can serve it to you. 'Cause really, this applewood-smoked dashi-brined kurobuta pork belly with raspberry-chipotle glaze is the bomb! I'm sure you're tired of reading this now, but it's as good as it looks, or if not, better. It may be the last main dish we were served with, but even if it came first, it would still have made a very lasting impression.
|✓ Smoked Kurobuta Pork Belly (Not on the menu yet)|
I don't know about you, but back when I wasn't too familiar with Dulcelin Gourmet yet, I thought they were all about desserts. So with that in mind, of course a trip to their restaurant for me would automatically mean that I shouldn't miss their sweet treats!
I've never been a fan of sponge cakes, so it was really something that I loved this one. Their buttery spongecake with Bailey's Irish Cream, chocolate chips and walnuts was just soft, moist and everything other sponge cakes should aspire to be. It was also a great treat that it's topped with flan which was equally soft, and very enjoyably smooth and creamy. Yum!
|✓ Irish Cream Flan Cake (P130 Slice; P1200 8-inch)|
For chocolate lovers, there's this chocolate cake that you shouldn't miss. Soft and moist chocolate sponge with premium Belgian chocolate icing, chocolate mousse center and sliced almonds on top. Every forkful was sweet but not too cloying. And if you love coffee, here's the no-brainer cake you can pair your cup with!
|✓ Callebaut Chocolate Ganache Cake (P165 Slice; P650 6-inch; P1430 9-inch)|
For something sharp and refreshing, there's the extra zesty key lime pie that has a really nice and soft lime custard resting on top of a graham crust. It may not have a lot of meringue, but it's already creamy in itself. This, I would probably like to go with some tea for a session of the perfect afternoon tea time.
|Key Lime Pie (P95 Slice; P500 Whole)|
The classic house specialty. This dessert is probably the most well-known item at Dulcelin Gourmet. And why wouldn't it be? Crispy and chewy nougatine with golden mangoes and cream -- who wouldn't fall for this sweet and refreshing combination? It may be pricey for a slice, so if you can, I highly suggest that you order a whole box and enjoy it, with loved ones or alone, for as much as you want. Hmm... Now that I've mentioned it, I think I'll have to order another box for the weekend. Teehee!
|✓ Mango Torte (P140 Slice; P750 9-inch; P1100 12-inch)|
This visit may be my first time to try Dulcelin Gourmet's savory dishes, but this will definitely not be my last. They really give so much tender loving care with every dish they prepare, from the appetizers, to the main entrées, down to the desserts -- everything we had was just great. And it really shows through with the presentation and most especially, with the flavor. And while pricing may be on the more expensive side, especially if you're a hefty eater, the quality of food and service makes the price tag worth it. So if you're on the lookout for a restaurant to celebrate the festivity this holiday season, of even food you can bring to potlucks, keep Dulcelin Gourmet in mind 'cause they do serve great gourmet food sure to impress and please everyone.
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Dulcelin Gourmet, UP Town Center
2/F UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave., Diliman,
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 955 2306
Posted in: american, desserts, filipino, international, made-to-order food, quezon city, up town center