Thursday, June 8, 2017

Carte D'Or Gelato

When I was in London for three weeks last summer, my neighbour (aka the supermarket - more specifically the frozen goods section) was my best friend. I would buy Carte d'Or gelato on my way out and oftentimes on my way home, too - it was strategically located between the underground station and the apartment I was staying at. My favorite flavours were triple chocolate parfait and crema di mascarpone. 

So imagine my delight when I found out that UK's #1 gelato brand is finally coming to Manila, and just in time for the summer months, too!

To get to know Carte d'Or more, I attended a fun and interactive gelato-making class where I learned the step-by-step on gelato-making process and the ingredients that go into every scoop of the frozen treat.

My take-home lessons:

1. Carte d'Or uses only premium ingredients sourced from the places where they make them best, so we can enjoy natural flavours free from additives.

“We take pride in sourcing from only the best, no matter where it takes us - from Australian butter to pistachios harvested from South Australia and California, from Belgian chocolate to hazelnuts grown in Turkey,” boasts Earl Keh, Carte D’Or brand manager.

Real cream and butter from Australia

Pistachios from South Australia and California 

Chocolates from Belgium

2. Gelato-making is an easy and uncomplicated process. As long as you have the best ingredients, you are already halfway there!

Chef Miko Aspiras showing us how it's done. Basically, you just throw in all the 
premium ingredients and mix thoroughly.

3. It is simple, but you will need a very expensive gelato machine like this.

Cattabriga is said to be the Maserati of gelato machines

It churns gelato slowly but surely, and the result is a smooth, rich and creamy frozen dessert.

Fold pistachios into the churned gelato

Now it's time to enjoy the smooth, creamy, nutty fruit of my labour. 

4. To save yourself time and trouble (and all that Maserati money) making your own gelato, just buy a tub or four from a supermarket near you.

Carte d'Or launches four irresistible flavours in Manila:


Salted Caramel

Chocolate Hazelnut

And my favorite of the four - rich, dark and sultry Double Dark Chocolate 

We are the very first country in Asia to enjoy Carte d'Or gelato and I cannot wait to try all the local flavours that Chef Miko is cooking up for us. On my wish list: ube, buko pandan, pili nut, tsokolate, turon...

Carte d'Or Gelato is available in select supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Eat, Pray, Eat in Ubud

Eat, Pray, Eat in Ubud

Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle

I chose to spend the last few days of 2016 in a place I had always wanted to go back to, a place that promises peace and quiet, a lot of nature, smiling people, healers, raw food, vegan restaurants, a place where I could slow down, reflect, and most importantly, detox my mind, body and spirit, a place which means “medicine” in its native language - Ubud.

I should have known better.

Despite being in the mecca for health, the one and only clean meal I had was at Paradiso, a really cool cinema that shows old films and serves strictly plant-based food. So you see, there was no choice but to eat falafels (which were delicious, by the way) and a plate of vegan nasi goreng while I watched Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe try to make their way out of a Japanese suicidal forest alive. It was a movie that called for steak.

The rest of my meals were heavy on meat. Too bad for my body, but lucky for you, you now have a good eat list for your next Bali trip.


My search for the best beef rendang in town led me to this quirky restaurant where everything on display is for sale. The rendang served here is made using Bernadette’s family recipe and involves cooking the meat in coconut milk and secret spices for twelve hours – eight on the first day, and another four on the second. No wonder the beef was ridiculously tasty. Warning: You are likely to consume more than one bowl of rice.

Waroeng Bernadette: Jalan Gautama Utara, Ubud


The biggest dilemma here is whether one should order the Balinese crispy duck or the fried smoked chicken. I suggest both because aside from the fact that they are equally delicious, I must admit, portions are tiny. Do not forget to mix and match the different sambals, and wash everything down with avocado iced coffee. After overeating, walk off the meal around the beautiful property surrounded by lotus ponds and rice paddies.

Bebek Tepi Sawah: Jl. Goa Gajah, Ubud


The coconut curry noodles here is one dish I often fantasize about ever since my first taste of it in 2013. You can opt to have your bowl plain or with tofu or meat. Of course, I had mine with beef. Rich and hearty with a broth boasting so many layers of flavors and a depth that can only be achieved after hours and hours of simmering, it was the simplest meal of the trip but one that brought me the highest satisfaction, even topping the chichi, award-winning Mosaic. The place is always packed so call ahead to reserve.

Melting Wok: 13 Jl. Gootama, Ubud


It is difficult not to compare babi guling to our Filipino lechon (which is still, hands down, the best pig for me), but when in Bali, do as the Balinese do – eat Balinese pork. The suckling pig at this overly popular warung is stuffed with a paste made with shallots, ginger, galangal, garlic, turmeric, chili, peppercorn, and shrimp paste, and then roasted over open fire for six hours. The result is mildly fragrant pork with not so crunchy skin. Admittedly, it is not something I am ecstatic to eat again, but definitely a dish you must try once when in Bali.

Ibu Oka: 2 Jalan Tegal Sari, Ubud


From the makers of Mamasan and Sarong comes the newest addition to Ubud, serving Indonesian flavors with finesse and always with a surprise factor. My kambing curry (the spicier the better!) came with roti canai that was chewy and crispy at the same time, the tuna tartare was served with a medley of watermelon, Thai basil, sesame seeds and chili shallot lime dressing. It is the place to go for local flavors when you need a break from the warungs.

Hujan Locale: 5 Jl. Sri Wedari, Ubud


I discovered this place through an Instagram follower who tipped me about Chef Joshira’s crazy dishes. I went without any expectations, and honestly, the funky interiors left me doubtful. But WOW, my cinnamon and cumin-rubbed lamb appetizer was out of this world! The grilled meat sat on a bed of toasted cashew and feta salad tossed in lamb tamarind jus, its flavors complex, bold, exciting. The prawn tacos were fresh and delightful, the chocolate mousse rich and decadent and made even more fabulous with candied orange peel. Secret to finding this hidden gem: look for the blue octopus on the wall.

La RaMona: 9 Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud.

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