10 Delicious Dishes to Bring to Your Christmas Potluck

When traffic is significantly worse and everyone seems to be rushing, you know that Christmas has already begun in Manila. No Yuletide season is complete without the office parties, friends’ get-togethers, college reunions, and family celebrations, and definitely, a few of these will require you to bring something to be shared with everybody else—in other words, potluck style. After all, the holidays are all about sharing and giving, so you better give out the best. In case you don’t have a clue as to what to impress your loved ones with, below are 10 items worth bringing into your Christmas party or Noche Buena:

1 | Homemade Meatloaf with Smoked Bacon in Tomato Sauce from Natalia’s Rustic Kitchen (PhP1,300)

There are dishes that are delicious but don’t linger in your mind—and then there are those that stick and gnaw at your being as if they would drive you mad if you don’t taste it again. Natalia’s Rustic Kitchen’s Meatloaf is of the latter kind, and believe me, once you put a forkful of the hefty meatloaf sheathed in bacon into your mouth—your taste buds and neurons will be forever changed. And don’t get me started on the delicious chickpea and tomato sauce that bursts with flavors of the Mediterranean—OMG! Just writing about this is sheer torture!

Tip: add PhP150 for their delicious preserved lemons!

Natalia’s Rustic Kitchen

2 | Tita Chubbies’ Sambal Adobo Baby Back Ribs (PhP790/full slab)

Ever since I encountered Tita Chubbie’s Sambal Adobo Baby Back Ribs in a foodie meet up, I’ve never met another plate of ribs that had even the slightest semblance to it. A fusion of Indonesian sambal and Filipino adobo flavors, the slow-cooked, juicy, fork-tender ribs is one of the best ribs I’ve tasted this year. In my book, this home cook’s ribs can beat those restaurant-made ribs anytime. It’s a perfect dish to bring to both a BBQ-style party and a sit-down dinner. You’ve got to put your faith on me on this one.

Tita Chubbie’s
Pickups (Valle Verde 2) and deliveries (within Mandaluyong)

3 | Sausages from The Butchery (starts at PhP1,100 for a 7-flavor sampler pack)

The flexibility of sausages makes them ideal for parties—simply put them over the grill, toss them with pasta, pair them with rice, or put them in sandwiches—but a special party deserves extraordinary sausages. Worry not because there is The Butchery, a home seller in QC specializing in organic, artisanal sausages. From Jalapeno to Caramelized Onions & Cheese to Red Wine & Rosemary, The Butchery offers 11 unique flavors that will surely fire up your guests’ appetites. My favorite was the Mint & Tarragon!

The Butchery Artisan Sausages

4 Pancit Tinola from Simple Lang (PhP680/good for 10)

When it comes to pancit, most of us automatically think of Amber’s or Buddy’s—two stores I love myself—but when you’re looking for something different to surprise your guests with, head over to Simple Lang and order a tray of their Pancit Tinola. This inventive creation combines two quintessential Filipino dishes into one delicious dish: noodles cooked in tinola broth, ginger, garlic, and fish sauce then laden with chicken and sili leaves. Now I’m salivating!

Simplé Lang
Ayala Triangle Walkways, Makati City
(02) 621.6162

5 Pasta Oliva from Oliva Bistro Café (PhP750 good for 5-6/1,250 good for 10-12)

If you and your friends have a passion for seafood pasta, the Pasta Oliva from Oliva Bistro Café is the perfect dish to share this Christmas. Chef Kannan’s signature oil-based pasta is loaded with garlic, olives, capers, and sundried tomatoes—resulting in a simple creation that screams with flavor! Inquire if this can be topped with their plump Baked Tiger Prawns stuffed with cheese and garlic cream for party trays.

Oliva Bistro Café
Marcos Highway Branch
#8010 Marcos Highway Santolan, Pasig City
Telefax: 02.631.6309

Visayas Avenue Branch
Unit 101 Ground Floor, #77 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City
Telefax: 02.990.5342

6 | Beef Brisket and/or Pork Ribs from Woody’s Texas Bar-B-Q (PhP625/pound - brisket, PhP565/pound - ribs)

If you’ve got no time to cure, cook, and smoke your own brisket, head over to Woody’s Texas Bar-B-Q in Makati and order their famous beef brisket. The tough cut of beef exhibits the opposite in Woody’s version, offering BBQ lovers juicy, flavorful, and tender slices of beef that becomes even more delicious with their signature hot sauce. If you prefer ribs, their pork ribs are incredibly good too!

Woody’s Texas Bar-B-Q
7838 Makati Ave., Makati City (across A-Venue Mall)

7 Caramel Chiffon Cake from Glazed by Mariella (PhP520, 9-inch)

If you like Estrel’s, you will also love Glazed by Mariella. Offering chiffon cakes made with organic eggs, Glazed has this exquisite caramel cake that tastes as wonderful as it looks. The cake is light and moist, while the saccharinity is balanced by a tinge of lemon, resulting in a rush of sweet and acidic tastes. Luscious yet balanced, this is the type of cake you wouldn’t get fed up eating.

Glazed by Mariella
Free delivery in Makati, Alabang, and Pasay with a minimum order of 2 cakes

8 The Butler Cake from Pan Pacific Manila (PhP1,100)

For my birthday last May, my friends from Pan Pacific Manila got me The Butler Cake—a wickedly delicious creation made with chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, a sliver of coconut cream, chocolate icing, cocoa dust, and dark chocolate squares. The cake itself is moist and super rich—in fact, a regular slice of this is so heavy, it would be perfect for sharing it with another person. One of my favorite cakes this year!

Pan Pacific Manila
M. Adriatico St., cor. Gen. Malvar St., Malate, Manila
+632.318.0788/Toll-free: 1800.8908.6362/1800.1441.0621

9 Ice Cream from Up in the Clouds Ice Cream (starts at PhP350/pint)

Ice cream is almost like a no-brainer choice when it comes to picking a dessert for potluck, but who says it has to be ordinary ice cream? Get some from Up in the Clouds, an artisanal ice cream brand owned by Jonathan and Jessica, finalists of the 2015 The Next Big Food Entrepreneur contest. Their ice cream is made from scratch, and the flavors are exciting and playful. Try the Me Lychee, Choco Rocky Mountain, and of course, their best-selling Butterbeer!

Up in the Clouds Ice Cream
Available in: Main Street (McKinley Hill); I Am Kim (Estancia); Miguel & Maria (Marikina)

10 Whoopie Pies from My Cookie Lab (PhP600/box of 12)

If you’re into crinkles, you have to try My Cookie Lab’s whoopie pies—cookie-like, crinkle-like desserts with the texture of a cake, and a cream filling with varying flavors. Home-based baker Stanley Tan is not only good with measurements, he is also inventive with flavors. Try the Honey Lemon, Carrot, Coffee Marble, Dark Vader, and—are you ready for this?—Tequila Rose!

My Cookie Lab

What are you bringing for the holidays?

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