Who could forget my mom and dad’s favorite TV show? Doña Delilah was just too loud, rude, mahangin at matapobre, and kulit-ly sneered at Marsha’s John Puruntong. She made me think that mothers-in-law are from hell, I was kinda traumatized for a while. Poor son-in-law John, played by Comedy King Dolphy, was unperturbable, however — it stuck in me that he is the quintessentially nice and cool Filipino male — even in real life.
“Mabait po siya,” says a waiter at Hizon’s, referring to the late Dolphy, when we visited the place in Ermita for lunch. Dolphy was a habitué of Za’s Cafe, (more popularly known as Hizon’s). “Pumupunta siya araw-araw hanggang naging once a week na naging isang beses isang buwan, nuong nagkasakit na. Nalungkot kami, yon amo ko [Milagros Hizon-Roasa] ang umiyak.”
His meal was either baked turkey with glazed camote, lengua (ox tongue) or hamburger steak. He also ofttimes ordered camaron rebosado and ensaimada with tsokolate.
Channeling in Dolphy, I asked for a baked turkey meal, but it is served only on Thursdays. Nonetheless, the glazed Hawaiian ham turned out to be a great recommendation from the waiter. It was tender, the fat was generous, the sweetness and saltiness was a good balance, and the slice of pineapple in fruity sauce was the cherry on top.
I savored the subtle flavors of crisp celery, red onions and shrimps enhanced with a buttery cream sauce, not cloying at all — fabulous with the fluffiest dinner rolls ever.
Omg, the piece de resistance, a masterwork, the flocculent ensaimada with an unsparing layer of fresh butter and strings of quezo de bola under a dusting of sugar! Some say it’s pricey and overrated, I say, I’ve never tasted anything like it. I’m particular about textures and the texture of Hizon’s ensaimada is fantastic. I’ve got to go back for the cheddar ensaimada when I go back to Manila. I’ve got it all planned out with my sis-in-law already as a matter of fact:)
And what else was frickin’ so good? The toasted yema (milk with egg yolks) on chiffon cake slices were absolutely divine! I brought home a piece which I shared with the hubby and he commented about it being “naimas” — something he rarely does, especially with food I buy for him. I have yet to sample the mazapan de pili sitting in the fridge. Saving it for cheat day:)
Indeed, Dolphy was not just a fine guy, he was a fine guy with a fine sense of taste.
Hizon’s Cakes and Pasries 1197 Jorge Bocobo Corner Arquiza Streets, Ermita, Manila, Philippines Tel No.: +63(2)5363993
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