Magnum Classic and Almond

Streets’/Selecta’s Magnum ice cream is one of those food items that spark heated debates–one camp says it’s the best damn ice cream available right now while another camp says there’s really nothing special about it. There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to the Magnum. Ice cream these days, huh?

Anyway, the Magnum has been around for some time now but it has only recently reached our shores and, based on my observations, it’s causing quite a stir. Upon tasting it, I have to say that I’m really not that surprised with the attention it’s getting.

The Magnum, in my opinion, actually tastes good. While it’s not the be-all and end-all of desserts, one can see that there’s something to the hype. Compared to some ice cream bars, the Magnum is indeed superior; it tastes richer and creamier. For me, the chocolate coating alone is worth the price. But how superior it is really depends on one’s personal experience. And if you don’t like it, no one’s really forcing you to buy it. Overall, I think the Magnum simply tastes like really proper ice cream.

Manang’s Chicken

Some weeks ago, I went on a cheese-free diet for a whopping five days. I realized just how much cheese I eat and wanted to see if I can deal well with not having any to perk up my food. The verdict: Yes, it is completely doable. In the middle of my experiment, TJ and I were at the mall and thinking of places that will not tempt me to give in to cheese. Manang’s Chicken was only a few feet away and I suggested we eat there. We had no idea what to expect, but hey, the place looked nice and clean and the food was reasonably priced.

The food chain bills itself as “Ang bagong fried chicken ng bayan”, which might sound scandalous to those who have long considered Max’s the purveyor of chicken for Filipinos. Given that the quality of Max’s chicken has been slipping the past several years*, it was time for a nice new brand of fried chicken to step up to the plate.

Manang's Two-Piece Chicken Cuts

And speaking of a plate, TJ and I each ordered a plate of two-piece chicken cuts with the original sauce. The size astounded us, because the chicken pieces were hefty. Digging into the meat showed us that they were well cooked, too, with nice white meat as opposed to other places offering chicken with strangely pink, somewhat slimy meat. The meat of Manang’s Chicken was tasty, and what’s even tastier? The nice crunchy skin. Just take a close look at it.

Manang's Two-Piece Chicken Cuts, up close

The chicken is described as double-fried with soy garlic sauce. Now where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, here and here. There’s something different about the sauce used by Manang’s, though. Seems a bit sweeter, with more hints of the soy sauce. We definitely like it, though.

Manang's Chips

We ordered potato chips to go along with our meal, too. While I don’t think it’s quite as spectacular as, say, Ribbon Fries, Manang’s Chips and Dip is nevertheless a nice, crunchy buy, and the chips tasted freshly made.

The verdict: Loved it, and as a matter of fact, I’ve already gone back a second time and ordered chicken with the mild-spicy sauce and a cup of macaroni salad, which was, eh, all right, but not life-changing. My mother had the fish fillet which is available for a limited time–she liked it, but found the accompanying sauce unusual, and thought that something like tartar sauce is more appropriate. I’m certainly hoping Manang’s Chicken stays yummy and crunchy, and that the quality won’t deteriorate over time.

* Let this be a wake-up call for you, Max’s, to get cracking on improving your chicken! You used to be sarap-to-the-bones, but no longer, and I am personally rooting for you to get your act together.

New Zealand Natural

New Zealand Natural, SM Fairview
Tj and I saw this branch of New Zealand Natural open upĀ  in SM Fairview a few weeks ago. From afar, we thought it was a booth promoting New Zealand tourism. Then we realized it was an ice cream place. Little tidbit I picked up during a quiz night I attended last week: New Zealand consumes the most ice cream per capita than any other country in the world. Cool.

We had a big meal this afternoon, but fortunately, I still had room for dessert, and New Zealand Natural was there, waiting for me.

New Zealand Natural, English Toffee

I ordered a kiddie cup of English Toffee (P75), and I was marvelously pleased with it. A little too sweet, but what can you expect with toffee? The ice cream really was very creamy, and I’m looking forward to sampling all the other flavors, like chocolate and Spotty Dog. New Zealand Natural could very well be one of my new favorite ice cream places.

Chick’n Bacon at Felicity

I recently turned Felicity into my office for a day when my Internet connection at home conked out. It was a pretty good decision, too, since they had a couple of new items on the menu: Chicken Pesto and Chick’n Bacon, which you can see below.

Chick'n Bacon at Felicity

I was on a break from cheese the day I visited, so I had to ask if it’s possible to have the Chick’n Bacon without the cheese tucked within the chicken, and fortunately, they agreed. There isn’t much I can say about the dish, except that it combines a bunch of my favorite things: grilled chicken wrapped in bacon (I also asked them if I could have it a little crispier), onions, and roasted potatoes. It’s a delicious, unbeatable combination, and I look forward to trying it again with cheese.