BFF happened this weekend. We were there both Saturday and Sunday and we are still dreaming about the all the food we ate up to, well, this moment. I was able to to score 5 FREE TICKETS from Nuffnang so our Saturday entrance was covered. Entrance was 100Php and you can get tickets from the gate. I was so lucky to go there with a company which made it easier, and affordable, to try more! Two crazy BFFs x a hungry hubby x adventurous daughter. We had so much fun!
|Best Food Forward 2015 at the Rockwell Tent|
As soon as we got to the venue, I remembered my FIRST and my second time in BFF back in 2011 and 2012. Both happened in BGC, NBC Tent. There were lots of purveyors both inside and outside of the tent and since the tent was so spacious, it was very easy to walk the make shift aisles. BFF was housed in Rockwell Tent this year and since the venue was smaller, it was a little difficult to navigate given a lot of people were there. But that's okay I guess since the tent had a really cool temp.
|Best Food Forward 2015 at the Rockwell Tent|
Anyhow, as soon as we got in, we were greeted by charmers offering food samples. Great start! We munched our way through the crowd, taking one free sample left and right. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, assortment of bread, doughnuts and a whole lot of other sweet things were being sold. Then there was also a good selection of ice cream and gelato. You'll also see those selling rice meals, paella, sandwiches, burgers, pork belly in all forms, specialty coffee, etc, etc!
I made a list below of the 10 BEST things that we ate during the two day run of BFF. In no particular order, here goes.
1) Banh Mi by Bon Banh Mi: Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich which I have never seen or tried in my entire existence. Sure I have been seeing a lot of pictures in IG and Erwan made a video on how to make one but I have never seen one in real life. So when I saw this in BFF with this Vietnamese looking guy manning the booth, I thought it was authentic.
|Traditional Banh Mi for 119php|
I got the traditional Banh Mi and I liked it! It was delicious. Now, don't judge me coz I really do not have anything to compare it with but then again I know delicious when I taste delicious. The baguette, which was crisp and light, was smothered with homemade mayo and then filled with an assortment of cold cuts, veggies (with my favorite cilantro), liver pate and sauces. One of the sauce was a little spicy which made this sandwich even more delicious. Highly recommended!
|Empanaditas : 65Php for half dozen assorted or 130Php for 1 dozen assorted|
2) Empanaditas by Empanada Mas: These tiny pockets of heaven are worth coming back for. They've got an assortment of flavors - from sweet to savory. We loved the ones with Cream Cheese & Chives filling, Bacon, Cream Cheese & Jalapeno and of course, Nutella.
|Chocolate Chip Banana Loaf for 300Php and Cookies for 65-70Php|
3) Choco Chip Banana Loaf + Cookies by The Bald Baker: I've been stalking The Bald Baker's IG for a long time now, wanting to order. But I can't. First, they don't deliver and second you can't order a dozen cookies with assorted flavors which is understandable since he bakes only when there is an order so everything is freshly made. Thus the demand for a minimum number of cookies per flavor, per order.
I got a piece of the following flavors - Matchallow, Compost Cookie, Choco Chocollow, Salted Caramel and White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie. I also got one Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf. When we were in BFF, I immediately opened the Banana Loaf so we can all try it. It did not disappoint! It was so good and not over the top sweet. It was packed, bursting with banana goodness and it was loaded with chocolate chips! He also topped it with banana slices and sugar that were then torched. The cookies were reserved for better picture taking at home and I gotta make a separate review but so far my favorites are the Choco Chocollow and Matchallow.
|Beignets for 160Php per order - 4 pcs.|
4) Beignets by Kapeng Mainit: I have seen reviews about the Beignets of Kapeng Mainit in looloo and they're in my list of must try in BF. When I learned that they will be in BFF, I was so excited! Beignets sound so sosyal and complicated but these are actually just doughnuts. They were offering free samples so I took advantage of these and popped one Beignet after the other while throwing questions after questions to the seller.
These little babies were so good! Warm and soft, covered with snow sugar, they were so simple yet hits the spot. I also got the chance to try their Matcha Beignets which they injected with Matcha cream and covered with Matcha x powdered sugar. They have other flavors such as chocolate and strawberry. Didn't really buy from them since I found it really expensive! 160 for 4 not so big pieces and you can't combine even just two flavors. Let's say that I'll just see them again in BF Homes.
|Crunchy Belly by Carlo's Kitchen|
|Crunchy Belly for 120Php per Order|
5) Crunchy Belly by Carlo's Kitchen: If you went to BFF, I'm sure you didn't miss this. As soon as you make your first turn to the right, you'll see Carlo's Kitchen and it's VERY INVITING table filled with Crunchy Belly! Cherienne had an order that she ate almost all by herself on the first day and when we went back the next day, her first order of business was this again! So sinful, so crunchy, so salty and oh so tasty! (*evil laugh*)
|Crackling Bagnet Wrap for 185Php|
6) Crackling Bagnet Wrap by Gourmet Garage: Imagine Shawarma but instead of the usual juicy beef, you'll get a load of crunchy, tasty and juicy bagnet! It's sinful and not so healthy alright but who cares? It's straight forwardly awesome!
|Takoyaki Special for 135Php|
7) Special Takoyaki by Fuji Mama: I don't really fancy Takoyaki because I've tried a couple and they tasted really bad. Recent one was from Mercato and I struggled finishing one ball. The Husband always buys one when he sees one. Fuji Mama's Special Takoyaki was different. It was the first ever takoyaki that I liked and I was really glad that my BFF Kreza bought this for us to share! It was made of mixed seafood with veggies, smothered with this sweet sauce and some mayo then finished off with bonito flakes. If you don't like takoyaki, this might change your mind!
|6-Hour Slow Roasted Pork Belly for 200Php|
8) 6-hour Slow Roasted Belly by Natalia's Rustic Kitchen: Hubby went around the tent on his own and went back with some rice meals. One of which was this. Two pieces of slow roasted pork belly with organic veggies and a rustic gravy on the side. The pork was very tender and flavorful and had the right saltiness. The gravy was a little sweet but complimented the belly well.
|Cold Brew - Salted Caramel for 170Php|
9) Cold Brew Coffee by Boom and Slurp: Then hubby and I went around to try cold brew coffee. I tried this trending coffee creation once in Local Edition and liked it. But I was looking forward to try Slurp since it's been a favorite brand in weekend markets. I tried their original and Salted Caramel and liked the flavored one best. It was strong x full bodied x sweet x salty. Good stuff.
|Cold Brew Coffee - Mexican Flavor for 120Php|
Hubby went back to our table carrying a bottle of Boom's Cold Brew. He got the Mexican flavored one. I liked this too. Less coffee strength compared to Slurp but had notes of cinnamon and a spicy kick towards the end of each sip.
10) Then we got a little crazy with gelato. We tried a total of 5 flavors from Manila Creamery and 3 from Gelato Lab.
|My favorite among all the flavors - Black Sesame and Vanilla : 150Php for a Regular Cup with 2 Flavors|
Vanila, Strawberry, Mangga't Suman, Pistachio and Black Sesame were the flavors we tried from Manila Creamery. Each one was good, combining flavors and textures. Personal favorite was the Black Sesame Gelato which had some dark chocolate chunks and pop rock shards. Thanks to my friend Aimee who spotted it from another person and decided to hunt for it. It was big in flavor! Even just a small scoop would give you a nutty burst and that unique black sesame goodness. It was also amazing how the Mangga't Suman Gelato stayed true to the taste of Suman, as we all know it, with bonus bits of rice.
|Matcha Chocolate Chips for 115Php|
Matcha Choco Chip, Sea Salt Caramel and Bailey's Irish Cream were the ones we got from Gelato Lab. Matcha was my obvious pick. It was creamy and Matcha rich, just the way I like it! The chocolate chip added texture and flavor but really, this gelato can do without them.
Other purveyors that we tried are the following ---
|BONO's Milo Dinosaur|
BONO of course! Did not include this in my list anymore coz it has this hall of fame status for me already. Seriously, it's the best gelato in the Metro! This is Cherienne's fave - Milo Dinosaur (check out my other BONO blogs HERE, HERE and HERE!).
|Assorted Sticky Buns from Pastry Armoire|
|Dark Chocolate Sticky Bun for 91Php|
Sticky Buns by Pastry Armoire: Tried the Dark Chocolate Sticky Bun and it was delicious! It was like your Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll sans the cinnamon. It had dark chocolate in between rolls and all over plus dark chocolate chunks on top.
Cheese Cupcakes by Chizu: Cherienne's pick for baon. These small cupcakes were soft and full of cheesy goodness. Sure win with kiddos!
|Taisan for 85Php|
Taisan by Essel Bakeshop: Another baon pick of Cherienne. They were so kind to get Cherienne a big slice of taisan for her to try. Cherienne liked it so we got one. Soft and fluffy with lots of cheese too!
|Mini Doughnuts for 50Php + Tres Leches Dip for 10Php|
Mini Doughnuts with Dip by The Flour Jar: We were meaning to get their regular doughnuts but they were already sold out when we went on Sunday. We got a hold of their mini doughnuts and I added a dip - Tres Leches. Nothing special with the mini rounds but the dip was something. The dip had a custard like consistency to Bavarian like flavor. A dollop of Tres Leches was added that had a yema like taste and texture. Dunk your mini doughnuts here and I promise, you'll keep on munching.
|Green Tea Opera Gateaux by Chocolate Room|
|Jacob's Matcha Peanut Praline Butter|
More Matcha goodness that i didn't really buy but took advantage of the samples. I'm gonna buy these when I see them elsewhere next time.
|Paella Valenciana for 200Php|
Paella Valenciana by ArroZeria: Quite disappointed with this. I had high hopes and we didn't get the soft and wet version. Instead, what they had that day was the al dente and thin version which was dry for me. It also had a lot of burnt pieces. I had about two spoons and that was it.
|Voila Cake Jars|
Voila Jars was right smack the entrance so you won't miss it. They offer jars filled with cake premix that you can just microwave. For a 150php each, I say skip this. I mean if you really want something as easy and delicious as this, you can go ahead and get them but then again if you were to ask me, you can easily whip up something like this (check my mug cake recipe HERE) at home.
|My winning layout for the Manila Eat Up x Boqueria Life Style Market Instagram Booth|
We definitely had so much fun eating, walking around, smelling food and trying new food concepts. Since the yule season is fast approaching, I'm sure a lot of food fairs will be curated and I am so excited to go to the next bazaar!
See you again next year, Best Food Forward!