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.”
According to the waiter, the two tables near the window are Dolphy’s preferred spot.
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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