#FoodTrip: Sweet tooth treats
MANILA, Philippines - Though many people outgrow the 24/7 candy craving of childhood days, we still need a sugar fix every now and then.
It can come in the form of modest desserts enjoyed after a full meal. Or, it can be an all-out sugar feast on an afternoon spent hopping from one candy or cake shop to another.
Whatever form your craving takes, 3 shops in Glorietta offer delicious delights no sweet tooth can refuse.
1. Vanilla Cupcake Bakery
Just from this shop's decorated doorknob, you can tell you're about to enter a floral, pastel-hued corner of heaven.
Waiters in baby-blue and white uniforms usher you into this brightly lit place, with plush sofas in every variation of the floral, shabby chic theme. Dainty-looking chandeliers and bright white flowers in small painted buckets complete the feel of a living room straight from a ginger house fairy tale.
The most attractive feature in this store is the rainbow-like array of cupcakes for serving.
The Red Velvet cupcake – a cherry-red cushion of a cake topped by a thick spiral of cheesy cream – is a bestseller and it's easy to guess why. The cream melts in your mouth and the bread is perfectly moist, seamlessly combining chocolatey and buttery tastes.
With such a delectable name, there's no way the Fudge Brownie cupcake can't be among the topselling items on the menu. A chunk of brownie sits atop a crusty chocolate base crisscrossed with syrup.
Be sure to try at least one of the bottled pastries, beginning with the Banoffee bottled cupcake. With its neat, clever presentation, this item comes closest to actually offering a cupcake in a cup, with layers of cream, banana bits, melted toffee and crushed graham crackers. True to its theme, the bottle comes wrapped with a gingham ribbon.
Location: Ground floor, Glorietta 3 (shop) and second level, Glorietta 4 (stall)
2. Happy Lemon
Happy Lemon is popular for the interesting combinations of flavors and ingredients in its teas. This spirit of adventure and experimentation is what makes the tea shop perfect for a food trip.
If you need to take a break from chewing your dessert, why not try sipping dessert? With its array of flavors, Happy Lemon can compete with any pastry or candy shop. A good way to enjoy this variety is with a group of friends, as you buy each drink and share it with the others.
To start on a daring note, you can try Green Tea with Rock Salt and Cheese, the bestseller of the Rock Salt and Cheese series. Slurp your way through a smooth as silk, bitingly salty layer of cream cheese until you get a refreshing rush of cold green tea. It's an unconventional but oh-so-right blend of flavors.
If you're craving for the sour inflection of citrus, the lemon series offers a variety of recipes including Lemon Peppermint with Nata da Coco and Lemon Yogurt with Aloe.
Happy Lemon, in a stroke of genius, thought of creating new ways to tickle taste buds using classic favorites. This has led to the concoction of teas mixed with a well-loved drink, Yakult.
Yakult fanatics can experience a reinvention of their favorite drink through items like the mousse-topped Lemon Yakult and Yakult Green Tea.
Location: Ground floor, Glorietta 4
3. Cupcakes by Sonja
Sonja Ocampo, the cupcake store's namesake, constantly innovates new flavors and dreams big for her cupcakes, each one a gem in their own right.
She travels the world in search of the next cupcake trend and brings home kooky recipes to enhance the menu.
Cupcakes by Sonja's interiors veer away from the tradition of feminine colors and frilly design elements for pastry shops, instead adopting an industrial theme with delightfully quirky details thrown in (a colander for a lampshade and faucets as hangers, to name a few).
A highlight of the contantly evolving menu is the bestselling Red Velvet Vixen and Cookie Overload. The latter is a giant cookie topped with marshmallows and pretzels.
The Elvis is inspired by the King of Rock's favorite blend of flavors. Its Oreo crust hides a filling of chocolate, peanut butter and bananas. On top is a swirl of cream with a generous sprinkling of bits of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Who can say no to that?
Location: Second floor, Glorietta 2
Online: Cupcakes by Sonja Facebook page