Hello everyone! The past 2 months have been such a whirlwind experience. I have been to and fro the Philippines and Hong Kong and now I’m back in Perth and things do not seem to be slowing down. In an ideal world I would’ve been updating this blog with lots of food experiences in the said countries soon after I’ve experienced them but let’s face it when I’m on holidays I start my day early and I don’t come back home to rest until I’m squeezed out of my last drop of energy.
But fear not! My iPhone is full of photos of, what else, food waiting to be posted. So bear with me please for the next few posts…I’m still figuring out what the best ways are to show you what it was like dining in Manila and Hong Kong.
I’ll kick it off with a few sweet things.
Cupcakes by Sonja
I think Cupcakes by Sonja started the whole cupcake craze in Manila when it first opened. “Legend” has it that Sonja, the owner of the cupcake shop, used to work at the Magnolia Bakery in NYC. Yes, that right; that’s the bakery featured in Sex and the City. I’ve been meaning to get my hands on some Sonja’s cupcakes a few years back when I visited Manila but I’ve been forwarned by a few people that the cupcakes are not really worth trying. I think I’m experiencing a deja vu. The same thing happened to me when I was in NYC and lining up to get some Magnolia Bakery cupcakes.
But alas I made it to Serendra at The Fort and found what I was looking for. The shop looked pretty from the outside but the inside was disappointing. It was dark and it did not feel clean. There is some sort of sticky feeling when I walked in (and no it wasn’t the humidity). Lily came along to the Philippines as well and her first reaction was “my god this place stinks”. I chuckled but I agree 100%! Think of it as like a sugary musty smell. While Lily waited outside because she could no longer stand the smell I waited semi-patiently in line holding my breath from time to time.
It was finally my turn and I got myself a Mocha cupcake.
The cupcake base is delicious. Moist chocolate cupcake that is not too sweet. What makes it mocha though is the coffee flavoured icing and that was not good. The icing was too grainy and it was too much blob on a perfectly good cupcake based.
My cupcake experience here was exactly like how it was at Magnolia Bakery; although if I were to choose between the lesser of 2 evils it would have to be Sonja’s.
Sitting next to Cupcakes by Sonja is Chez Karine, a fairly new establishment in the dessert scene at The Fort. Chez Karine serves up French sweets and the whole place screams cute. The shop is cute. The packaging is cute. The pudding containers are cute. The menu is cute. And for what it’s worth the shop has a sweet smelling waft that is inviting.
I wanted to buy one of each of everything they had to offer. Out of everything that was there only the macaron were subpar in appearance. I ended up getting 1 each of the macarons that were available and a jar of royal vanilla pudding. The macarons were so-so; nothing special about them and the texture is not all that great. It was too soft. The intriguing flavour I had though was maple bacon. It was not as strange as I thought it was going to be – a hint of maple taste with the tiniest amount of bacon bits – but something I probably will not have again.
What did save the day was the royal pudding (pictured above). I couldn’t resist buying one of those because the tiny jars looked too cute. I’m pretty happy too that the stuff inside the jars were delicious! Royal pudding is like a firmer type of custard and there is a caramel syrup sitting at the bottom. The syrup had the faintest hint of bitterness which completely makes the pudding an enjoyable experience.