Best Bites: The Top 10 Things I Ate This December

While others are already contemplating how to lose all those excess pounds gained during the Christmas season, we foodies still reminisce about the tastiest dishes we ate the past 4 weeks. With parties and reunions left and right, I'm sure all of you have had one too many slabs of lechon, bottles of beer, and slices of cakes. Below, I have compiled my own top eats for last December. Tell me all about yours!

1. Nachorrific (PhP238) from Red Baron Ribs & Steaks

One of my instant favorites for the year, Red Baron’s Nachorrific differs from its counterparts with its thin, light, and flaky chips. Topped simply with cheese sauce, minced beef, and a sweetish tomato sauce, this is the only noteworthy nacho version I’ve tried for the year.

2. Herb-Crusted Heavy Porterhouse Steak (PhP1,959) from Red Baron Ribs & Steaks

Tender slices of slightly smoky, succulent beef that’s been aged for 22 days make up the Herb-Crusted Porterhouse Steak. The beef strips are smothered with a honey garlic sauce so delicious that each bite ultimately leads to another. Make sure you come with friends as this steak set comes with rice, complimentary peanuts, and 3 sides of your choice!

3. Good Shepherd Ube Shake (PhP125) from Red Baron Ribs & Steaks

Imagine your favorite pasalubong from Baguio in beverage form. Red Baron’s Good Shepherd’s Ube Shake comes topped with some vanilla ice cream, making the entire concoction creamier, almost as if everything was actually ice cream.

Red Baron Ribs & Steaks
143 D. Tuazon cor. Calamba Street, Brgy. Lourdes, Quezon City 
Operating Hours: 9:00AM - 9:30PM daily
Facebook: /RedBaronRibs
Instagram: @redbaronribs
Menu: click here

4. Black Sesame Matchallows (PhP70/piece) from The Bald Baker

The Bald Baker’s Black Sesame Matchallows are the perfect demonstration of not judging books by their covers. Guaranteed to make any matcha fan blissful, the cookie's "grassy-ness", sweetness, and chewiness (marshmallows) make up an insane combination. The baker, Cy Ynares, throws in some toasted black sesame for added crunch.

The Bald Baker
Facebook: theBaldBakerPH
Instagram: @thebaldbakerPH
Price range: PhP60-70/cookie depending on flavor
Minimum order quantity: 8 cookies (equivalent to 1 boxmax. of 2 flavors per box)

5. Zuppa (PhP299) from Va Bene Pasta Deli

One can never get too much of mushrooms, and Va Bene’s Zuppa proves this. Here the funghi appears in multiple forms: freshly-pureed, chopped-up, dust, and oil. The result? An earthy, creamy concoction that just demands to be devoured and slurped up to the last particle.

6. Black Ink Tagliolini (PhP440) from Va Bene Pasta Deli

If you shy away from squid ink pastas because of teeth stains, worry not because Va Bene has cooked up a solution for you. The Black Ink Tagliolini is made of pasta noodles that incorporates squid ink before it's cooked so it doesn’t stain the teeth. Toss in a few shrimps, fish fillets, and squid rings and serve with a marinara and tomato cream sauce. Perfection.

7. Organic Eggs Tagliatelle (PhP440) from Va Bene Pasta Deli

The exquisite quality of Va Bene’s fresh pasta is demonstrated even more with their handmade tagliatelle. The pasta is firm to the bite, the sauce made of white wine and mushroom cream rich and earthy. Portobello mushrooms are tossed in, along with some truffle oil. I know, I know, I love truffle. So sue me!

8. Truffle-Crusted Jumbo Scallops (PhP888) from Va Bene Pasta Deli

As if scallops aren’t enough of a treat, Va Bene takes it several notches higher by serving it truffle-crusted. The semi-sweet flavor of the scallops combined with the earthiness of truffle was just AMAZING. Not to mention that this whole creation is nestled on top of a delicious pumpkin risotto with white wine sauce. My eyes just went wide when I had my first bite.

Va Bene Pasta Deli
Third Floor, Central Cinemas, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

9. Creamy Pesto and Prosciutto (PhP328 regular/ PhP635 grande) from Amici

Photo credit: Amici

I must have tried every pasta dish from Amici's menu (because of the restaurant's proximity to the office) and their newest creation, the Creamy Pesto and Prosciutto, is one of their best. A simple cream-based pasta dish with pesto sauce and topped slightly crispy prosciutto, this is one thing that's sure to instantly put you in a better mood.

G/F, The Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, Taguig
Facebook: Amici

10. Umami Fries from Tipple & Slaw

When picking bar chow, you can't go wrong with fries—especially if they come with not one but two delicious truffle sauces, like the Umami Fries from Tipple & Slaw. Creamy Japanese mayo and white truffle oil make up the white drizzle, while black truffle paste intersperses not just the plating but the flavors. This dish is perfect with any of Tipple & Slaw's excellent cocktail creations. Serious biting and drinking indeed!

Tipple & Slaw
2/F The Forum, 7th Ave. Cor. Federacion Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

BONUS: Puto Bumbong Holiday Ale by The Great Islands Craft Brews (available at The Perfect Pint and at Global Beer Exchange)

Purple must be the color of the month, as shown by the Good Shepherd Ube Shake above and now by this: the Puto Bumbong Holiday Ale. The Perfect Pint sold it last December as part of its Christmas offerings. The beer hints of a coconut flavor, is slightly toasty, and has a strong finish. A type of brew I can drink everyday, not girly-and-fruity like the Sierra Madre or too strong like the Katipunan Signal No. 1 Stout. OK, I was kind of expecting it to be purplish like puto bumbong when I pour it, so I imagine my surprise when I found it was brown, LOL!

What were your best bites last month?

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