Ultimate Taste Test 2016

Ultimate Taste Test 2016 Experience and Top Ten Picks

Who would have thought that after some years of attending Our Awesome Planet and San Miguel Lifestyle Brews’ Ultimate Taste Test, we are now not just “food critics for a day.” We are also bloggers sharing to the online community what we had discovered. We owe it to God for letting us pursue our passion, and, of course, to you guys, our family, friends, and readers, for continuing to motivate us.

As this is a long blog post, below are the links that will directly take you to what interests you.

Ultimate Taste Test

The Experience

Top Ten Picks

Choice Awards Results 2016

Ultimate Taste Test

The Experience

We usually enjoy going to the Ultimate Taste Test as it is frequently well-organized. All we have to do is show up, taste the bite-size taste portions of the products, and rate accordingly the concessionaire who offered the food at the visually appealing passport/ ballot.

Ultimate Taste Test 2016
The food critic passport/ ballot.

We tried EVERY FOOD from all the concessionaires whether you believe it or not. This is because we feel that we get to justify our top ten picks if we do so. We also don’t want to miss providing our feedback for a food that could probably be the next big thing.

So, how did we maximize our Ultimate Taste Test experience? 

We did the following:

1. Allotted our entire day for the event itself.

Ultimate Taste Test 2016

As we went early and went home late, we didn’t feel rushed and overwhelmed by all the foods to be sampled.


2. Limited ourselves to getting a maximum of two samples each time.

We believe that if we hoard food on our plates, there is a high chance that those food eaten best when warm may turn cold.


3. Rated the food/ product immediately after trying it.

Despite the coaxing of some owners to give them a high rating, we made sure not to give into it unless they really deserve it. We also certainly wrote our rating right away upon tasting so we won’t forget what our impression of it was.

The rating for the food were as follows:
5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
4- I love it!
3- We had a good time.
2- It is OK.
1- Thanks, but it could be better.

Our only regret was that we forgot to bring a water bottle and some lemon slices to make lemon water for palate cleansing.


4. Spent some time with the owners.

We really talked to some of the owners. For instance, for Karabella ice cream, we learned that one of the owners, Adrianne, also studied at De La Salle University and her face was familiar to us since she also took her internship at Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. She studied in a culinary school after graduation and she’s in charge of crafting Karabella’s unique ice creams.

More than the affiliations and stories behind their business, we also learned how supportive some of the parents were of their child. An example of that is the mom of the owner of Cupkies by k! 


5. Chatted with our fellow foodie friends.

#UTT2016 Friends
With Me-An’s fellow AIESECer friend, Luis Peralta , and his girlfriend, Ginia Tecson.


#UTT2016 Friends
With Me-An’s friend, Kim Zafra, and Kim’s sibling, Neil Zafra of @spoonsaroundtheworld (Follow his IG. You won’t regret it unless you look at his feed when you’re hungry.)


6. Attended The Choice 2016: People’s Choice Restaurant Awards.

Choice Awards 2016


7. Greeted the founder of the Ultimate Taste Test series, Mr. Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet.

Our Awesome Planet


Top Ten Picks

Originally, we only wanted to only feature five concessionaires that were either home-based businesses or established businesses with a new food offering. However, we decided to make it ten since we love sharing food discoveries. The following are our top ten picks in alphabetical order from our Ultimate Taste Test experience:


Aging’s Food Delight

In Filipino gatherings, kakanin or native delicacies made of rice are usually eaten. One of the popular kakanins is the what we call the suman which is sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves.

Aging's Food Delight #UTT2016

Aging’s Food Delight offers special suman by putting different kinds of fillings in it. In the Ultimate Taste Test, they offered their widely popular SUMAN ESPEYAL, a suman filled with a combination of ube and leche flan.

Aging's Food Delight #UTT2016

Plus, they also offered the new addition to their offerings, SUMAN WITH LATIK FUN’DUE. It was indeed  a fondue of latik, syrup from reduced coconut milk and sugar, instead of chocolate. It came with fresh mangoes, toasted coconut flakes, chocnuts or cashew nuts as toppings.

COMMENT/S: We loved the suman itself because of its quality. It had a sticky but smooth texture which we think was drawn from the use of pure glutinous rice as part of its ingredients.



Bibimburrito #UTT2016

BIBIMBURRITTO is from the name itself, a fusion of the Korean Bibimbap and the Mexican Burrito. The owner, Cha, told us that she made it a point to sell unique food, so she came up with the bibimburrito. She initially sold it to her gym mates, and then eventually she accepted orders for a minimum of ten bibimburritos. If you’re interested, she only does pick ups in Manila or Cavite area only for now.

COMMENT/S: The soft tortilla didn’t only hold the filling together, but it also surprisingly complemented the mellow gochujang (or Korean’s hot pepper taste) flavored filling. Additionally, the meat and veggies added some bits of taste, so the bibimburrito by itself was good on its own.

When we added the Kimchi Sour Cream sauce, we weren’t able to detect the kimchi, but it certainly added a hint of tang. The Sriracha sauce, on the other hand, added a thin spicy taste. Both the sauces made the bibimburrito better. Honestly, we couldn’t get enough of it that we had to ask for more.

For orders…

Email address: bibimburritobycha@yahoo.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Bibimburrito/
IG: @bibimburritoycha


Chibi’s Karaage

Chibi's Kaarage #UTT2016

It’s not just the Philippines who is fond fried chicken. The Japanese are just fond of it as well. With Chibi’s Karaage, they are offering Japan’s battered chicken cutlets with various selection of delectable sauces that add exciting flavors.

COMMENT/S: What we like about Chibi’s KAARAGE is that its meat is incredibly juicy and tender. Its coating retains its crispiness even after quite some time.

I went for the Takoyaki sauce. Thus, the kaarage was drizzled with a bit sweet Takoyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise and was added with bonito flakes which put a salty touch. Meanwhile, Me-An chose the Sriracha mayonnaise sauce which definitely spiced things up for her kaarage.

Regardless of what sauce we choose, one sure thing is that their kaarage is great.

Chibi's Karaage Chicken Station Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Don Bao

Don Bao #UTT2016

Don Bao certainly piqued our interest as we love Japanese food. What made them different is their usage of the steamed buns of the Chinese with a filling made from the combination of Japanese ingredients. The sampler that they offered was their CRAZY BAO, steamed bun with kani in eel sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, tempura flakes, tobiko (or flying fish roe), and spring onions as the filling.

Don Bao #UTT2016


COMMENT/S: The filling tastes scrumptious and their usage of the fluffy steamed buns as the bread was really a stroke of ingenuity.

We heard they are opening a restaurant soon and we are excied for their opening.

Unit 1 Brixton Victoria Plaza #1 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donbao.ph
IG: @donbao.ph


Karabella Ice Cream

Karabella #UTT2016

Karabella, from the term “Caraballa” (or female carabao) is a social enterprise in partnership with the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm whose main products are milk and ice cream made with 100% fresh carabao milk sourced from social entrepreneurs and local farmers. They don’t add artificial ingredients so it’s really better. What sets them apart from others aside from 100% natural, pure milk ice cream, are their ice cream flavors. 

karabella dairy

During the Ultimate Taste Test, they offered their TURON WITH LANGKA ice cream and SALTED EGG CARAMEL ice cream. It was interesting to know that the salted egg used for their ice cream was a golden egg instead of the conventional fuschia/maroon dyed salted egg. The golden egg isn’t really made of real gold, but of turmeric which we mentioned before has a lot of health benefits.

COMMENT/S: The ice cream were really creamy and milky. The unique flavors also tasted just like their names which were awesome.

For orders…
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KarabellaDairy/
IG: @KarabellaDairy
Email: karabelladairy@gmail.com


Laksa Rapsa

Laksa Rapsa #UTT2016

With Laksa Rapsa, the owner, Ms. Bren Borga, tries to bring the classic SINGAPOREAN NOODLE SOUP to the Filipino masses with a little adjustment to the recipe to fit the Filipino taste buds. She achieved it by making the soup less spicy than usual, but still retaining the flavorful broth.

COMMENT/S: We found the soup to be thinner than it should be. Nonetheless, Laksa Rapsa got the taste right and was every bit as delicious as we remember when we first tried Singaporean Laksa.

For orders..
Facebook: www.facebook.com/laksarapsaph/


Native Gourmet

Native Gourmet #UTT2016

Native Gourmet offers a healthier approach when it comes to traditional Filipino sauces like CRAB PASTE. Typically, a crab paste consists of crab meat, a lot of crab fat, and other seasonings. The bad thing about it is that the crab fat is the main source of high cholesterol, which is really unhealthy for you and me. What they did was to use more of the meat instead of the fat, creating the same sauce we know and love, but healthier.

Native Gourmet


COMMENT/S: We actually even found it to be just as delicious if not more than the usual crab paste we had been used to tasting in other Filipino dishes.



nonnasFrom the family that brought Mama Lou’s Kitchen, they also own Nonna’s Pasta and Pizzeria. We haven’t eaten at that certain restaurant, but we’re guessing that they offer Italian fusion dishes because they offer MUSHROOM CHICHARON. We’ve tried oyster mushroom fries before and after trying Nonna’s Mushroom, we don’t think we’ll ever look at mushroom fries the same way ever again.

 COMMENT/S: It reminded us of the taste of the chicharon. What we love about it was it was crispy and guilt-free as it’s a healthy alternative to the pork chicharon. Plus, the pepper vinaigrette kicked it up a notch quite nicely.


Commissary Kitchen

The Commissary Kitchen #UTT2016

They are a group of veterans in the kitchen trying to offer more than a really good meal. Commissary Kitchen provides food related services like frozen meals for those people who crave for home-cooked food but neither have the time nor space to prepare them. The food they typically offer is often slow-cooked so the flavors are brought out and retained. Indeed, customers ordering from them will just have to reheat the delicious frozen meal in a few minutes. It’s perfect for condo dwellers.

The samplers they offered were their “THE BEST” ANGUS BEEF MECHADO IN TOWN and RODRIGO’S ROAST. No, Rodrigo’s Roast isn’t named after our president. It was actually named after the husband of the Enriqueta David-Perez, the author of the longest lasting cookbook “Recipes of the Philippines.” However, Ms. Nancy, the owner of Rodrigo’s Roast, doesn’t mind if it is associated with President Rodrigo Duterte since her version of Adobo is also geared towards change.

COMMENT/S: While the Angus beef tastes good as usual, we think the real star of the show in the mechado was the sauce. This was because it was rich in taste and the savory taste lingers in our palate. It was perfect with rice. Meanwhile, Rodrigo’s Roast was really tender. We later found out that it was slow-cooked for twelve (12) hours. Best of all was that it was well-seasoned. 

27 Doña Soledad Ave. Parañaque City.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/commissarykitchenmanila
Instagram: @commisary_kitchen


Sigs Smokehouse

Sigs Smokehouse #UTT2016

Sigs won our hearts and tummies when they showed us one of their offerings – WAGYU BEEF BRISKET. The chef told us that they smoked the beef for (twelve) 12 hours before serving it to their customers. You know what? They weren’t lying.

COMMENT/S:The beef was so juicy and tender, our mouths were just loving it. Meanwhile, the sundried tomato sauce for the meat provided a sweet taste to the savory meat. We like the meat just the same whether there is sauce or not though.

#143 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City.
Operating Hours: 11:00AM to 10:00PM (Tues. to Sun.)
Facebook: www. facebook.com/sigssmokehouse
Twitter: @sigssmokehouse
IG: @sigssmokehouse


 So… What do you think of our Ultimate Taste Test experience?
Or our top ten picks?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

26 Responses to “Ultimate Taste Test 2016 Experience and Top Ten Picks”

  1. I think the ultimate taste test is a great way especially for those who are starting their own food business to be known. At the same time, feedbacks you provide are valuable for them moving forward. While some may think it is sinful eating because you had to taste all the food there, the key is as you day, having the discipline to set limits on the onset as you already know and have previous experience already.

    Of all the ones you featured, the one I am really intriqued with is ……. WAGYU. 🙂 Smoked for twelve hours… that dish has to cost.

  2. Why hadn’t I heard of this? SM Aura is so close to home! Anyway, from your picks I’m mostly interested in BibimBurrito, Laksa Rapsa, Commissary Kitchen and Sigs Smokehouse. I’ll probably pay a visit to Sigs Smokehouse because it’s near the office. Smoked for 12 hours, those cuts look mouth watering.

  3. That’s an ultimate food adventure! When we had a food tour here in Pampanga, we visited 3-4 restaurants and I swear, I didn’t thought that would happen to me. I thought food will be the death of me! Haha. I had too much but I wanted to repeat the same experience again. I bet you had so much to try that it’s difficult to judge. I would love to try everything that you had.

  4. What a delight to attend such event! I love food tasting events and food bazaars, although my tummy cannot hold too much food and too varied tastes. Love the photos you took! They did justice to the food prep, and they make one go hungry. I really miss authentic Asian foods, especially the fried ones. Scandinavians are not really very fond of fried dishes, and it’s to expensive to eat out. I try making Pinoy dishes from time to time, but finding the right ingredients has always been a challenge. Hopefully, you picked the foods establishments which should rightfully be on the TOP Ten.

  5. Looking at the photos made my subconscious mouth water and at the same time envious that you had the chance to attend such event. Filipino food entrepreneurs are so good and innovative, some of the food/products featured here are unique. I am curious about the Crab paste because I love seafoods and the Laksa. 😊

  6. That’s just the food adventure of a lifetime! I wonder how those stalls fit in SMX at Aura. I thought it was in SMX in MOA. I’m most curious with BibimBurrito and The chicharon. I hope they will have a next time! 😃

    • There will be a next time 🙂 But there will be a different set of home-based businesses or established businesses with new food offerings.

      • Any idea when that next time will be Me An and Lloyd? 😀 From your picks, I would love to try out Bibimburrito, although I wish they can give out a side dish of actual kimchi aside from the sauces! Also, Sig’s smokehouse and Native gourmet looks to be awesome picks as well. Any idea how much is a bottle of said putok batok (but healthier) crab paste? 😀

        • The next one is going to be next year. It’s an annual event. If you go, let’s see each other 😊 For the crab paste, Lazada also sells it for a discounted price of PhP 380. I’m not sure if the price is cheaper when directly bought from Native Gourmet.

  7. This event sounds like so much fun! I really love that you described the way you handled the day and tasted/ rated the food. That helps in understanding why and how you picked your top. Had to laugh when I read Sigs smokehouse. My boyfriends name is Sig hahaha.

  8. I’m not a food blogger. I do enjoy good food though (who doesn’t? hehe) It’s the first time I’ve heard about this kind of event and it looks fun! I enjoyed reading about your experience. 🙂

  9. I haven’t experienced any Ultimate Taste Test Event but I would love to. I want to try new food that is out in the market. I will take note of the lemon water if ever I will go to this event. I love kakanin so I’m sure I will also enjoy that suman.

  10. One of the things that I would have never turned down would be Food — what more if its free? Hehe! Lucky you to have attended food events like this. Here in Cebu there are available events however the participats were not as much as the one that you’ve attended. This is something that food bloggers would totally attend to if ever such event will happened.

    Most of the food stalls mentioned were not yet available here in Cebu, i hope they will be soon! 😁

    • Hi, Michi, Ultimate Taste Test is actually not free. They charge PhP 550 per head which is super worth it since we get to be a food critic for a day and we get to discover new food.

  11. I would say that that was an ultimate eating experience. My best pal Smash and I had a food trip tour in Baguio years ago. And we swear we were so full and yet we need to eat everything as we were paid to do so that time. It was a fun experience though. Looking at your recent event, i couldnt imagine how youve managed to out everything inside your stomach. But then it must have been a truly enjoyable experience.

  12. Wow!! It must be very nice to be invited and come to an event like that! I love food. Never saying no even if I’m trying to lose weight now. Haha! Out of all you’ve shared, I’m mostly interested in trying the Karabella Ice Cream, and BimBimburrito. I am an ice cream girl, plus korean foods are always my to-go comfort foods! Def vChecking them out!!!

  13. That’s one enormous food tasting activity! This is something that Cebu haven’t tried yet (correct me if I’m wrong). You are one lucky human to be invited on this such event. Haha! Who would resist food?

  14. Wowwww how amazing is this!!! I bet i wouldve had so much fun if i was here. Hopeful next year I’ll be able to go ☺☺☺ I’m a big fan of ice cream and i also quite like carabao milk so the two of them together sound amazingly good hehe

  15. What a fun concept! I would love to try some Laksa and those mushroom chicharron as well. I wouldn’t mind taking home some of that Rodrigo Roast for heating up at home any day. I’d love to go to this fun Taste Test event.

  16. Hi Me-an! I’m glad you enjoyed the Ultimate Taste Test. I’m sure you came home full and happy. It’s also great that it became an avenue to meet more food bloggers! I think the PHP550 price tag is worth it. It’s literally like a buffet of various food brands! I really hope we can taste test The Yard soon hehe.

  17. I’d love to try Aging’s Food Delights first! And then try everything else after, lol! Kaso sira gana sya. I was just amazed at the latik fondue! I looooove latik, like super love! lol! Masarap sya sa biko.

  18. Wow! I will also allot my whole day for this experience. The price that I heard from a friend who also attended this even is really worth it. The Bibim Burrito caught my attention. Two of my favorite cuisines in one: Korean and Mexican!

  19. I’m jealous. I was looking forward to attend this event but I’ve been very busy with a lot of things. Looks like you had a great time.

  20. Now, I am drooling. Your picks, sure, are something to give a try indeed! The Rodrigo’s roast and Sig Smokehouse both look delish. Oh, the ice cream that is made of pure milk, I wonder if it’s creamy without cream added on it?

  21. Grabe! Kainggit! I also wanna try this out. Eating not only for the pleasure of the taste but also to help aspiring food kitchens on the rise. My favorite from your list would be Aging’s Food Delight, Chibi’s Karaage and Karabella Ice Cream. Because that’s most likely I would eat and love. 🙂


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