My Top 12 Dishes at the Ultimate Taste Test 2022

November 28, 2022 Phantasm Darkstar 0 Comment(s)

This year, we celebrated the 14th Ultimate Taste Test. I am glad to be invited again as a food critic to this event. The entries were all very impressive. I appreciate everyone's creativity with the new dishes they came up with, their passion for coming up with their products, and their exemplary skills in making artisanal food.
For this post, I'll share my top dishes at #UTT2022. Since most exhibitors offered more than one dish for us to rate, the scores are usually given per booth. If you want to see the official winners, view this link. Please remember that taste is subjective, and I chose these dishes with my personal biases. So, here are my Top 12:

12. Satay from Satay Sarap 

Satay Sarap's (@sataysarap) Satay Sticks are bursting with flavor. Although it is marketed as Pinoy satay, it tastes authentic and similar to Malaysian satay. It comes with the Sarap Sows, which I just find very addicting.

11. Milkfish Steak Strips from Freshious Inc 

Freshious Inc's (@freshiousinc) Milkfish Steak Strips caught me by surprise. Fresh from Pangasinan, these deboned milkfish are glazed with honey, slow-smoked, and have no added preservatives. I like how a bite starts with a pleasant smokey taste but finishes on a sweet note.

10. Japanese-Fusion Rice Bowls from Chirashi PH

Chirashi PH's (@chirashiph) Spam Chirashi and Sisig Aburi further elevates our Filipino favorites into delectable Japanese meals. I love how the savory sisig or spam was added with sweet teriyaki sauce or velvety Kewpie. The contrast of flavors complements each other well.

9. Aligue Fried Rice from Tobby's Cusina

Tobby's Cusina (@tobbys_cusina) offered several dishes at their booth, but the Aligue Fried Rice was what struck me. The crab fat was an irresistible guilty pleasure. 

8. Heirloom Smoked Ham from Cocina Murriel

Cocina Murriel's (@cocina.murriel) Heirloom Smoked Ham was excellent. After being smoked for about eighteen hours, this ham perfection was made by hand with no shortcuts. 

7. Prune Cake from Cakes by Louise

Cakes by Louise's (@cakes.bylouise) Prune Cake was another entry that took me by surprise. I'm not a fan of prunes, so I was astounded by how delicious this cake was. This was a classic favorite in the 70s, and I now understand why.

6. Poke Tacos by Chef Ina

The Blue Apron's (@theblueapronph) Poke Tacos were an indulging savory treat. I tried their Krazy Kani TNT, Tempting Tuna, and Sinful Salmon. Each had a uniquely delectable taste, making it hard to choose among the three. I only have a photo of the Sinful Salmon because I didn't realize I only took videos of the others.

5. Sweet Kamote

Sweet Kamote's (@sweetkamoteph) chips are made with all-natural ingredients. It's crispy and tasty without guilt, which makes it addicting. 

4. Shrimp Kare Kare from Ticx's Gastronomic Adventure

Ticx's Gastronomic Adventure's (@ticxs) Shrimp Kare Kare was the talk of the town at the #UTT2022. Early morning, I decided to take pictures first before trying anything, and I had several foodie friends who told me, "Natikman mo na ung kare kare? Ang sarap!" The shrimp was succulent, the vegetables were nicely blanched, the bagoong was good, and the sauce was mind-blowing. Chef's kiss.

3. Wood-Fired Ribs from Amare La Cucina

I find Amare La Cucina's (@amarelacucinapizzaph) Wood-Fired Ribs underrated. They are well-known for their delicious pizza and pasta, but these ribs deserve credit. It's so good!

2. Fish and Chips from Cargofish

Cargofish (@cargofishph) offers several types of fish and sides for their fish and chips, but the one that I tried at #UTT2022 was the Cod Beer-Battered with Slaw Salad and Proper Chips. This traditionally-made authentic fish and chips were cooked to perfection.

1. Mazapan de Pili Cheesecake by Chef Rhea Sycip

Flourpot Manila's (@flourpotmanila) Mazapan de Pili Cheesecake brought me to heaven! This cheesecake surpassed the best on my list, so now, this is the best cheesecake I have had in my life.

Special Award: Phantasm's Choice

I decided to isolate Karabella Dairy's (@karabelladairy) Liqueur Gelato collaboration with Destileria Limtuaco (@destilerialimtuaco) simply because they were always on my top list through the years they joined UTT, and I just love them. This, by far, is my favorite collaboration done by Karabella. 

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