Finally, an Estrel’s Caramel Cake!

Estrel's Caramel Cakes

Friday was a break from the FoodPrints shoot. The whole day was spent with very good friends. It was not a break in the true sense of the word. I overate from morning til evening, capping the night with Hatch 22’s pan de month (some kind of stylized Filipino bread you’ll see in a future post, heheh).

First stop was Estrel’s Caramel Cakes. I’ve been running after the much talked about caramel cake for exactly one year. Through friend Alma’s powers, I was able to land my hands on an elusive cake.

Estrel's Caramel Cake

Chiffon cakes are covered in silky caramel frosting and decorated with buttercream flowers.

The caramel cake is an original recipe of Estrella Ylagan, hence the name. Today, her nieces, the Navarro siblings, continue the 68 year-old tradition.

My cake was from the extra cakes they make daily I think. The flowers were dainty sampaguitas.

At last!My Cake

I was imagining a toffee kind of caramel, but it was better. Light with subdued sweetness. The buttercream just melts in the mouth, also not too sweet. I  can probably eat the whole cake, but I didn’t ‘coz I shared it with my sis-in-law who was just as thrilled as any fan of Estrel’s caramel cake.

As for me, as of now, the final word on made-to-order all-occasion cakes. I can’t compare it to anything ‘coz the others I’ve tried are, on average, the same.


I was also tempted to buy a box of food for the gods. Like the name suggests, they are buttery, rich and divine.

Estrel’s Caramel Cakes 54 Sct. Tobias, Quezon City Tel No.: (02) 372 2965

Photographed by Alma and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

The Yummy Convolution: Ying Ying, Wai Ying and Lan Zhou La Mien

What's new, Chinatown?

Even a part-time Binondo resident can get lost in the centuries-old labyrinth of a plethora of establishments in Chinatown. The food adventure story starts when I ask the hubby to take me to Wai Ying. I was happy I didn’t have to traipse solo through narrow esteros later in the day when he says he’s been there with foodie Johnny. From the end of Yuchengco (formerly Nueva) Street, we walked to the corner of Dasmariñas Street. My eyes roll in amusement — the signage reads Ying Ying.

Because he says food is good, I decided to forego my Wai Ying ambition. Didn’t you notice? We passed by metered parking in Chinatown. Instead of coins, you put in prepaid cards available at the moment from Manila traffic aides.

Ying Ying  Tea House

I can’t complain, food is great at Ying Ying! The throng of eaters at 7 AM says it all. Biting the greaseless taro puff’s dainty flaky pastry and into the creamy taro layer and ultimately the centermost blob of flavorful minced meat, amplified with bold Hoisin flavors in the dipping sauce is a breath of fresh air.

Reny gets his dumpling soup. I get carried away and order Valenciana roll. Intrigued is the better word. I was expecting something like a round machang. Nevertheless, the sticky rice-centered pao is fine as well.

Dumpling Noodle SoupTaro PuffsTaro PuffValenciana Rolls (Sticky Rice Rolls)Benavidez St., Chinatown, Manila

Later in the day, in Benavidez St., (try to look into the photo right above) he seems to walk in the direction of Wai Ying.

Wai Ying Roasting

Meanwhile, I take photos of the little Wai Ying Roasting store. He tells me he’s bought roast goose a couple of times from the store. He was standing in front of a restaurant right next to the meat store. I don’t know how it happened in a jiff — we got ourselves seated in that eatery, ordered cha hohon, took photos inside, scribbled down notes. He hears me say Wai Ying and then he says matter-of-factly, “We are not in Wai Ying.” You’re right! I enjoy the beef hohon!

Lan Zhou La MienLamien Noodle Stretching

We were at Lan Zhou La Mien. Lamien is a kind of hand-pulled noodles, their specialty.

Beef Cha Hohon

It’s my first encounter with stir-fried noodles in lots of tomatoes. The flat rice noodles were nice to the bite. I’m saving another day for the spaghetti-like tomato noodle.

Wai Ying

The Wai Ying I’ve been searching for happens to be at the other side of the Wai Ying Roasting, about 2 stores away. It was glutted, so maybe next time.

A happy weekend, everyone!

Wai YingChinese delicacies

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013