As the year draws to a close, allow me to share with you my favorite bites from the entire year. Some of these I’ve already shared previously, but others would have a more detailed review in the upcoming posts.
1. Tonkotsu ramen from Ippudo
Their shiromaru variant has some of the richest-tasting pork broth I’ve had, and I always look forward to having a sip of that unadulterated soup, especially during the rainy months.
2. Karaage from Botejyu
These unassuming bite-size pieces were a delight in my mouth, and I enjoyed ordering them over and over. Though pale, they were fried just right and the chicken remained very juicy.
3. Hakaw from Tuantuan
Hakaw has always been my favorite dumpling, but I couldn’t recall encountering a wrapper as great as that from Tuantuan’s version. It certainly was the chewiest I’ve had. I truly enjoyed it.
4. Taiwanese fried rice from Fat Fook
I was quite unfamiliar with wok hei until I had this rice. The smoky fragrance emanated on our table as soon as our waitress put down the pot containing the rice. The meats looked simple enough, but the rice grains were packed with flavor.
5. Salted egg bomb from King Chef
I honestly didn’t know that this was a sweet dim sum dish, but I enjoyed it far better than the regular buchi.
6. Uni from Kimono Ken
This fresh seafood provided a briney, buttery goodness that I never thought I would enjoy.
7. Croquetas from Deogracias
These hot tapas were like bechamel sauce that was deep fried. They were very creamy inside, but perfectly crisp on the outside.
8. Baby squid from Deogracias
The generous serving allowed us to indulge in some perfectly cooked battered squid, one bite after another.
9. Pate from Melo’s
This appetizer was an instant hit for me as its flavors reminded me of haggis, a dish of innards from Scotland.
10. Truffle fries from The Frazzled Cook
The fries were crisp outside yet boasted a just-right amount of truffle oil.
11. Fries from Mama Lou’s
These reminded me a bit of Shakey’s mojos, but cooked as fries instead.
10. Six-cheese pizza from Parmigiano
Their version is an upgrade from the classic white pizza from New York. I loved the addition of blue cheese that provided a bit of funkiness and lots of interest.
11. Prosciutto rucola pizza from Prologue
A simple, thin-crust (but not cracker style) pizza topped with ham and greens was also a hit for me.
12. Grilled lamb chops from Meat Depot
Salt, pepper and some proper cooking made these chops fantastic.
13. Beef salpicao from Alba
Cooked medium rare, these are some of the most tender, flavorful beefy bites we’ve ever had. Our favorite from Alba.
14. Tacos from La Chinesca
I only sampled two, but both of which were fantastic. The proteins were delicious, the sauces and the condiments were superb, and the corn tortillas were also soft and pliable. The combination of all these made for some truly memorable mouthfuls.
15. Sangria from Alba
I loved how refreshing it was even though it was still boozy.
16. Yogurt shake from Behrouz
It was an affordable drink that had a great balance of sweetness and tartness.
17. Spanish Latte from Cafe Kitsune
It was my favorite coffee with milk for the entire year. The serving was generous, and there was such a good balance of bitterness from the coffee, milkiness and sweetness. If only we had a branch nearby…
18. Iced coffee from UCC
This year I’ve realized that UCC’s siphon coffee was only a touch more bitter than how I preferred my cup. One sip of their iced coffee was enough to make me hooked. It has now become my favorite afternoon coffee drink.
19. Viennoiseries from Dean & Deluca
A great morning constitutes some good breakfast pastries from Dean & Deluca. My favorite used to be their danishes, although a recent visit changed that to that Cuban cheese roll. It was divine!
20. Strawberry short cake, red velvet cake and tarta quemada from Heny’s
Of course, I couldn’t choose just one! Heny’s has some of the best cakes in town. The strawberry shortcake would be my favorite, although the other two were great as well.
21. Strawberry short cake from Vizco’s
Admittedly, the strawberries were less stellar than those from Heny’s, but I loved the whipped cream frosting folded with some morsels of strawberries, as well as the lightness of their cake.
22. Limone santi from Mary Grace
I feel like this was a cross between a cheesecake and a lemon bar, because it has the best profiles of both. Tart yet creamy, a slice of this was a perfect ending to a heavy meal.
Phew! It had been an amazing year of dining out. I’m grateful that the spread of CoViD had somehow been mitigated, which allowed us to enjoy these incredible food. Big thanks to Mr. B for sponsoring many of these finds.
Here’s to wishing for a better next year for everyone! Until then, happy eating! 🙂