From its humble beginnings as a ‘taste test’ among friends and neighbors, the Ultimate Taste Test has become a sold-out event drawing in thousands of foodies eager to try the latest food discoveries. And last Sunday at The Soderno at Molito Lifestyle Center, hundreds of wanna-be food critics flock to the venue to have a sample of what's gonna be hit in a few weeks!
Believe it or not, this is my first Ultimate Taste Test and my first here in Soderno too. And even though, I'm not really prepared to eat a lot of food, I readied myself to an awesome experience that will mark as the start of my love to Ultimate Taste Test.
Each foodie-participants were given a passport where the names of the participating vendors where indicated. There was also a map in the passport for easy identification of the food stalls. The passport also served as our score sheet where we will put our score on every stall/food that we try. You don't necessarily have to finish all the stalls, but if you can make, well, good for you! At least you get the whole value of your money.
Ultimate Taste Test Masters Anton Diaz and RJ Ledesma welcomed the guests, and after some minutes of assembling, they gave the go signal for the eating/judging to start.
Anton Diaz and RJ Ledesma
I started by checking out the whole place first. I guess for a first-timer like me that was good idea. I had a good grasp as to where to go and what to have first since I already saw what's in store for us.
I don't wanna give a full review on every food that I tasted here since most of them just gave a small portion of their dish, and not all of them are really worth mentioning. So, I'm just sharing to all of you those who I think you should watch out for.
Let's start with these decent looking and really tasteful dishes. They are the chorizos of Calidad Espanola, pork chicharon of VIP Chicharon, and two of my most favorites that night, the kikiam and chicken enchalada of Polland.
It wasn't my first time to try Polland's dish, so I already knew that I'll be enjoying their offerings. The chorizos of Calidad Espanola was really great too, it tasted imported and every bite was really flavorful. I really like the smoky, spicy, sweet taste of those chorizo bites! They are actually selling some of their products there, Php225.00 per 250 grams - not bad. And as for the chicharon, believe it or not, they say that it has no MSG in those lovely crunchies. I actually liked it too, because every bite was simply perfect!
Next on my top favorites come from the stall of Panzarotti, which offers this very Italian tasting panzarotti that I think my pizza-loving friends would surely love too! Then, there's the Happy Panda that shared three almost same-looking chicken dishes but surprisingly three different delicious flavors. There's the Original Happy Panda's Chicken, Panda's Satay-Gravy Chicken and the Panda's Asian Buffalo. Among the three, I don't have a specific favorite, simply because every single dish tasted sumptuously different. I would love to have more of this in the future, really. *wink* And those another crunchies below are not some chicharon again, but instead, they are called "Bagwang" of ManilaQ store. "Bagwang" is basically a coined term from Ilocos' pride Bagnet and Bawang. They don't just look good, they taste really, really good!
From those desirable dishes to street food, Ultimate Taste Test 9.0 shared the best of the bests as they situated Nina's Grill and Showbiz Isaw here in Soderno. The grilled pork and chicken isaw was okay to me. It wasn't that thin and the flavor was pleasant. As for the fried pork and chicken isaw of Nina's Grill, well, it was simply the best. They offer an original flavor and one that's super spicy, so, yeah, you'll have an option on what to have. Just make sure that when you have their spicy flavor, you have water or soda beside you, because it will bite your tongue really hard. Hehe.
Grilled and Fried Isaw of Nina's Grill and Showbiz Isaw
I was a little bit flabbergasted when I read Royalbrands Corporation Patis (Fish Sauce) on the list. I love putting patis on my rice but I'm not really planning to drink "patis" ever. Thankfully, when I went to check out their store before the eating starts, I saw these cups of porridge, where the "patis" should be.
It was the least that I'm expecting from this event, to be honest, but that "patis" tasted really nice that it made me bought a bottle. According to the stall representative, this fish sauce is the healthiest that you could find in the market now because it has low sodium, no MSG, no preservatives, no artificial flavors and colors. Well, of course, I'm not really sure about that, but one thing that I can assure you of, it has wonderful taste and it doesn't smell fishy.
The last items that I got to try from this Ultimate Taste Test 9.0 are the desserts, of course! save the best for last, right? And I'm glad I wasn't wrong about it, because almost all of the desserts that I tried that night were all enjoyable and unique!
There's the Neneng's Tablea cupcake, which are so rich of all-natural tablea flavor. The awesome Leon Philippe Industries Inc.'s goat's milk pastillas, even though a little small, tasted really sweet and smooth. Then, there's the rocking Nutella Rocks, which is full of amazing Nutella goodness, and my most favorite, Little Bites cupcakes, which are pure heaven to me!
How I wish I was able to taste this "Kakaloka" coffee from Leon Philippe Industries Inc. because they look and sound soooo intriguing. Hehe. Kakaloka talaga!
For other drinks, I got to enjoy these healthy offerings from Oraganikka. They offered three flavors of healthy vegetable drinks that night and I truly enjoyed tasting each of them and feeding my curiosity. To be honest, it wasn't bad, actually it tasted really nice and healthy.
Oraganikka vegatable Juice
As for the Mockatils Republic's offering, it wasn't that really grand but it was enjoyable too. I'm not sure if this is gonna be okay for kids, but I think it's going to be good for kids' party too since the taste was very subtle and sweet.
The last but not the least, desserts here at the Ultimate Taste Test 9.0 wouldn't be complete without the ever creamy and ever flavorful ice creams! And here, they don't just gave the flavorful and creamy ice creams, they gave us something that added more smiles to our faces.
Merry Moo Artisan Cream was one of the crowd's favorite albeit the cold weather due to rain. Their all flavorful and unique ice cream formula was really enticing that I myself enjoyed it down to its last drop. My favorite was the Strawberry Shortcake, but I believe their Chili Bacon Table was the one that made them really famous among foodies.
Merry Moo Artisan Cream
On the other hand, an ice cream for adults only was also presented to us by Frisch Liquor Ice Cream. Their amazing creamy concoction was made more exciting with the mix of our favorite liquor. Everything was very new to me here, so if there's something that was very remarkable about Ultimate Taste Test 9.0 for me, that'll be this one. I love it!
Frisch Liquor Ice Cream
I went home pregnant after this food trip. In just Php300.00, participants get to enjoy 30 food stalls on this year of Ultimate Taste Test. And I'd say it's not bad after all. If given a chance I would do this again. It's really fun judging food and at the same time getting some insights about them...
To Anton, RJ and the rest of the team, congratulations for this awesome food tripping!
Absolutely, til next time!
Happy eating, everyone!