Flaky chicken pot pie, really good biryani and other food finds

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Chicken Pot Pie and Chocolate Banana Cream Pie by Flake Pastries

I love flaky pastries and so Flake Pastries’ name alone got me excited. And the pies lived up to the brand’s name. They were flaky and not only that, they were delicious.

The Chicken Pot Pie is a hefty pie with a creamy chicken filling. I ate one slice. And another. And another, until I had eaten ¼ of the 9-inch pie in one go. It was so good that after the first slice, I stopped using a fork and knife and just started eating the pie slices as if they were pizza slices. You know food is really good when your manners fly out the window.

Meanwhile, my mother loved the pie so much that she lost her ability to form a coherent sentence. After one bite, she said, “Napakasarap naman ng flaky nito.” But I totally got what she meant and I agreed.

The Chocolate Banana Cream Pie was also an absolute delight. Meant to be eaten cold, this combination of chocolate filling, bananas, cream and chocolate shavings and the flaky chocolate crust was just beautiful. Just thinking about it now is making my mouth water.

Lemon Meringue Pie by Flake Pastries

Even my foodie lolo loves it. The day after he first had a slice, he asked, “Meron pa ba n’ung Chocolate Banana Cream Pie?”

And the craziest part is that the nine-inch Chicken Pot Pie is just P850 while the Chocolate Banana Cream Pie is P750. Such value for money.

Flake Pastries is a one-man show. Marco Alberto started baking as a way to relieve stress from his busy life as a creative director in an events company. Friends encouraged him to start taking it seriously so he took a break from advertising and studied at the Heny Sison Culinary School. He made the break permanent and he started accepting orders from friends.

Flake started during the pandemic. “A friend said he missed Portuguese egg tarts so I made a big one for his birthday. He liked it and said it was a cross between the Portuguese egg tart and the Pinoy egg pie.”

Another friend asked him to make a lemon meringue pie. Then, other friends requested for him to bake other pies for them. “Realizing I was baking pies more than all the other stuff combined, I though this could be something I can focus on.” He enjoys the process. “Rolling out pie dough somehow calms my mind and there’s something about seeing the pie crust bake the way I want it that’s so satisfying.”

And he’s super proud of his flaky pie crust. “It shatters and adds texture with each bite.”

Chicken Pot Pie by Flake Pastries

He has two pie categories: sweet and savory. Apart from the two I tried, there’s Beef and Mushroom Pie, Beef Shepherd’s Pie, Japanese Pork Curry with Cheese Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, Anette’s Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Dutch Apple Pie and Portuguese Egg Pie.

These are all nine-inch pies but he also offers mini versions of most of the sweet pie flavors. “It’s the perfect size for one. Sort of like a personal pie.”

While the bestsellers are the Chicken Pot Pie and the Chocolate Banana Cream Pie, Alberto’s favorites are “the Chocolate Peanut Butter because of my love for Reese’s peanut butter cups, and the Beef and Mushroom Pie because I really love beef with gravy.”

But, he said, “It’s hard to play favorites because it’s like choosing a favorite child.”

Lead time for orders is three days, but these pies are worth the wait. I promised my mom we’d try all the flavors. (@flakepastries on Facebook and Instagram)

Chicken Biryani and Samboosa by Biryani’s Restaurant

A friend lured me out of the house with the promise of really good biryani. Biryani’s Restaurant is along Recto, just across University of the East. Before the pandemic, I was told that the place would usually be packed with students. When we went on a Saturday, we were the only diners there. But riders kept arriving to pick up online orders, with some headed to as far as Cavite and Tagaytay.

Chicken biryani and “samboosa” by Biryani’s Restaurant

Hany Fathi, an Egyptian, runs the restaurant with his wife. He served us the chicken biryani and chicken and beef samboosas. The biryani came with a veggie salad, garlic sauce and tomato sauce. The garlic sauce is so, so good, we want to swim in it. It goes perfectly with the delicious biryani.

Fathi and his wife cook everything themselves—he even makes the samboosa wrapper from scratch. The samboosas, filled with chicken or beef and veggies, are crisp and flavorful.

I loved the meal so much that the next day, I woke up still thinking about it. The day after, I decided to place an online order. The biryani was just as good when eaten at home and the samboosa was such a hit with my mom that the five pieces I ordered weren’t enough. I placed another order of 12 pieces that same day.

Biryani’s Restaurant serves a lot of other authentic Middle Eastern dishes and they also do platters for celebrations at home. They accept orders through Messenger. (tel. 0955-3717333; facebook.com/Biryanis-resturant-105178274530120)

King Mud Crabs in cream sauce

King Mud Crab by White Flower Tea House

Celebrating Valentine’s at home? Here’s a unique meal idea. White Flower Tea House’s King Mud Crab in White Flower Cream Sauce. The rich, creamy sauce is infused with ginger and leeks and topped with coconut crumbs. Forget rice. Make sure you order the Prosperity Fried Noodles because the crabs go perfectly with them; preorder your crabs. (thegridfoodmarket.com)

Honey Sesame Chicken by Panda Express

It’s always exciting when Panda Express adds a new dish to their menu. Honey Sesame Chicken—thin, crispy strips of white chicken meat tossed with fresh-cut string beans and crisp red bell peppers and coated in a honey sauce and topped with sesame seeds—is available in the country for a limited time.

“It’s inspired by a Cantonese dish that is traditionally made from a whole chicken with honey marinade and brushed with honey sauce when it’s fresh out of the fryer. It offers a richer flavor profile with toasty sesame seeds in each bite,” chef Jimmy Wang, head of culinary innovation at Panda Express.

Honey Sesame Chicken

Honey Sesame Chicken is the delicious mix of sweet and savory and is a great match for the fried rice and chow mien we love so much. (SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, DD Meridian Park Pasay, SM Grand Central in Caloocan; pandaexpress.com.ph; GrabFood, Foodpanda)

Scout’s Honor’s Signature Chips

Fans of dining in at Scout’s Honor’s branches are used to snacking on the resto’s complimentary signature chips while waiting for their orders. Here’s good news for those who’ve missed the crunchy snack: Scout’s Honor has made the chips available for ordering online. It comes in two flavors—original and teriyaki—and three sizes: Cub (90 grams), Camp (350 g) or Platoon (1,000 g).

These chips are addicting and are great for munching on while watching your favorite shows. (Have you watched “Tinder Swindler”? It’s crazy.)

My family has already gone through two Platoons and because my nephews love snacking on these chips, I just ordered two more Camps while waiting for them to make the Platoon size available again. (tasteless.ph) INQ





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