I had two goals during my trip to Mercato Centrale that weekend, the first was to watch Chef Dino's demo,and the second was to try a dessert stall that I had seen only on Facebook that immediately caught the attention of my taste buds. A dessert stall that broke through the traditional trends of cakes and pastries, and decided to create its own..
You MUST try My Pink Wasabi.
Ok did that sound weird? You do realize that "My Pink Wasabi" is the name of the dessert stall i'm talking about, right? And it's not some double entrende that I.. never mind.
So aaaaaaaaanyways, we knew what we were going to have for dessert, but we still weren't sure what we wanted for our entrees. Fortunately, as soon as we stepped out of the tent, the smell of the wonderfully roasted meat helped make our decision very easy for us.
CHEF RESTY'S ROAST BEEF
Rina was so starving, she didn't want to have to go through a trial and error of dishes from different stalls, so I got her an old faithful, Chef Resty's Roast Beef. We usually stay away from ordering the same thing again at Mercato Centrale, but we ended up making their roast beef only the Fourth "Repeat Offender", apart from Bagwang, Manang's Chicken, and Chuck's Grubberie Fish & Chips.
Chef Resty's Roast Beef was actually one of the first things I've ever tried at Mercato Centrale, and we absolutely loved it. The quality of meat was still the same, as it was soft and tender, with wonderful linings of fat around it (The lady was nice to give me the fatty trimmings that had fallen unto the side of her chopping board.. I'm telling you guys, ask for that part!). I ordered mine with a side of Basil and Garlic Pasta and marble potatoes (P140). The marble potatoes, (which I usually stay away from because I find them a bit too hard when not cooked properly) were done just right, leaving them soft to the bite. The pasta was oil based, just how I like it, however I felt the garlic lacked a little bit of a punch, almost making it taste a bit bland in my book. It tasted so much better when I poured the gravy over the meat, (which has a wonderful sweet taste that makes me suspect there's coffee in it), and mixed it up with the Basil Garlic pasta.
After the meal, I walked around to see if there was anything else that I'd like to try before going on to desserts. I walked passed "Vietnam Corner" and saw that they were selling "Bahn Mi" Sandwiches, just like "The Nomnom Truck" would sell in the TV series, "The Great Food Truck Race". If you've ever watched that series (because you're a food show geek like me,
who has a crush on Nomnom co-founder,"Misa"), then you were probably intrigued too, because *Spoiler Alert* the Nomnom truck was consistently the top sellers in the show. I walked over to the stall, and the owner, a very nice Vietnamese lady (who speaks tagalog even better than I do), chatted me up. I was telling her that that I had seen this sandwich being sold by a food truck in a TV show, and before I could even explain what I was talking about, she answered, "The Nomnom Truck!"
I smiled, whipped out my wallet and said, "One Bahn Mi Pork Sandwich, please.".
Anyone who knows the Nomnom truck is a friend of mine. An adorable little boy(With the way he would defy her, I'm assuming it was the Vietnamese lady's son) who already has obvious entrepreneurial and culinary skills at a young age, was ecstatic to work on my sandwich. He grabbed a french baguette, and slapped it on the grill for me, while his mother explained to me what exactly is inside a "Bahn Mi Pork Sandwich" (P150).
Just in case you were wondering, "Bahn Mi" actually refers not to the meat, but the bread, which is basically a baguette. The filling for my sandwich how thin strips of Roasted Pork.
Given the size of the sandwich, I decided to save the rest for a snack when I got home. A couple of hours later, I found myself looking for the taste of the meat on the bread, but I removed the top part of the bun and ate it "Open Faced". Also, I discovered that toasting it is so much better than grilling it, it allows the bread to become crunchy instead of chewy.
I noticed the Nomnom truck's version was made with pork that seemed a bit more caramelized than this, but i'm still glad I tried this. I would order this again but I'd probably ask them to lay off the cucumbers and chicken liver.
Oh in case you're wondering why I'm a fan of "The Nomnom Truck", it's because their food looked amazing, and they had really sharp marketing skills and concepts.
I swear, it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that one of the team members looked like this:
*Sigh*... So where was i? Oh yeah! Dessert!
Imagine the light bitterness of dark chocolate, fused together with everyone's favorite hazelnut spread (can you think of someone that DOESN'T like Nutella? Yeah, that's what I thought.) and turned into a soft cake. Rina enjoyed it so much, she didn't realize she only gave me three bites.
Apart fromt their Kashi Maki's I get an eerie feeling that one of My Pink Wasabi's best sellers has got to be their Peanut Butter Cheesecake. I saw they still had stock just before the cooking demo started, and when I came back for it a couple of hours later, it was gone. Luckily for me, Chef Ana of My Pink Wasabi saved me one the next day. And it's a good thing I went back for it too, because it was apparently the last one!
We had just come from our second trip to Brazil Brazil! earlier that day, but I still couldn't resist digging into it. I found a delicious cheese cake topped with a chocolate ganache and blended with home made peanut butter. My sister in law Chaikka enjoys peanut butter like I do, so when she visited Baby Rain later that day, I asked if she wanted to try some. After a spoonful, she couldn't resist asking if she could have the rest.
I bought a set of five (P130), then Rina and I excitedly found a table and got to work.
Oh, I think I forgot to mention that the Oolong Berry is also filled with a wonderful White Chocolate Truffle cream. To me, this is easily the most visually stunning among all the Kashi Maki's and is one of the most delicious.
Biting through it, you'll find a wonderful Green Tea infused Belgian white chocolate cream that is so good, it will make you wish you weren't sharing the piece with your wife. (Not based on a true story by the way)
My least favorite was the "Midnight Mint", simply because I'm not too fond of mint with Chocolate, and this had a Dark mint truffle filling. If you like Andes Chocolate mint, then you're going to love this. Rina is the same way, however she couldn't help but say that the dark chocolate cake itself was amazing.
PINK WASABI KASHI MAKI FLAVORS