Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern believes that Filipino food will be “the next big thing” a few years from now. Speaking of bizarre, Filipinos are famous for food mixed with ingredients that might not look pleasing to the eyes but are incredibly satisfying to our taste buds and stomach. An all-time favorite dessert is halo-halo in the Philippines, a unique Filipino dessert that can’t be taken away from Filipino lives!
In an episode of Parts Unknown on CNN, Anthony Bourdain featured halo-halo (roughly translated to mix together) from a Filipino fast food chain and called it “oddly beautiful.” This colorful and flavorful dessert in the Philippines has earned its reputation mainly because you can put anything with it, and it would still taste great. Check out these five restaurants that offer halo-halo in the Philippines with a twist!
Celebrity endorser Jericho Rosales grabs a bite of Kuya J’s halo-halo espesyal.
Images: Kuya J Restaurant
Kuya J Restaurant, made famous by its endorser Jericho Rosales, is well-known for serving Filipino cuisine. They are notable for offering a unique halo-halo in the Philippines, the halo-halo espesyal (special halo-halo). True to its name, their halo-halo brings an extraordinary dining experience to their guests. Aside from the usual ingredients of halo-halo in the Philippines, the crunchy cornflakes, luscious leche flan, and ube cream make it stand out among others. Its physical presentation might look normal, but the verdict comes after you taste it and savor the slow melting of the finely shaved ice.
Eating out usually means eating in a fast food restaurant which often has no options to fit their diet. It’s hard to be a vegan in Metro Manila. However, few vegetarian restaurants promote healthy living by serving vegan versions of Filipino dishes and desserts in the Philippines! Vegans craving halo-halo in the Philippines and other sweets can turn to Pipino Vegetarian Restaurant.
Their version of this Filipino dessert contains sweetened beans and langka (jackfruit), homemade natural ube (purple yam), and egg-free leche flan (caramel pudding) with nut milk and topped with coconut ice cream. They also offer other desserts such as cookies, ice cream, chocolate cakes, and champorado (sweet chocolate rice porridge), all non-dairy and egg-free.
Pipino Vegetarian Restaurant is open daily from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
Crispy caramelized halo-halo turon with vanilla ice cream on top
Images: Greg and Sally Tree Garden Café Facebook page (L); Roselyn Barretto (R)
Greg and Sally Tree Garden Café stands out among the many restaurants popping up in the metro because of its quaint ambiance that brings diners back to the old times. Guests can enjoy a relaxing indoor or al fresco dining experience with trees and herbs surrounding them.
Their version is different from the classic halo-halo in the Philippines. They serve halo-halo turon (halo-halo with deep-fried banana rolls), a dessert rolled up in a turon wrapper and topped with vanilla ice cream, and ube halaya (purple yam jam). This Filipino dessert is served right after frying the turon so diners can savor its crispness while feeling the sensation of ice cream melting in their mouths.
Greg and Sally Tree Garden Café operates daily from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
January 2023 Update:Crispy Halo-halo Turon is currently unavailable on their menu. For more inquiries, you may follow them on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GregandSally.
Halo-halo pop is made from traditional halo-halo ingredients.
Images: Sebastian’s Ice Cream
The premiere artisanal ice cream brand in the country, Sebastian’s Ice Cream (PhP260), made 30-layer fruitsicles in the summer of 2015 when they came up with the halo-halo pop. After mastering their technique, they knew this beloved Filipino dessert fit their product. They use all the ingredients of the regular halo-halo in the Philippines, including macapuno, ube, nata de coco, pinipig (rice crisps), and white beans. They liquefied these elements, then layered and molded them into colorful popsicles everybody can enjoy on or off the summer season.
January 2023 Update:Halo-halo Strati Pop is currently unavailable on their menu. For more inquiries, you may follow them on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Sebastiansicecream.
5. coffee.com’s Coffee Halo-halo
Coffee lovers would want to try coffee.com’s coffee halo-halo.
Image: Hotel Jen Manila
Too hot to grab a cup of hot brewed coffee in the middle of the day? Try this dessert in the Philippines now if you want a coffee with a twist! Aside from iced coffee, coffee lovers can have more options as coffee.com offers coffee halo-halo. This version of halo-halo in the Philippines comprises macapuno (coconut sport), red beans, nata de coco (coconut jelly), and blended espresso-based coffee and cream. This generous glass of coffee halo-halo combines the delight of having a refreshing drink and getting a caffeine fix in one.
January 2023 Update:coffee.com is permanently closed. But don’t worry! You may checkBebang HaloHaloto order their bestselling Halo-halo Presidential at PhP168 per order.
Have you tried any of these unique versions of halo-halo in the Philippines? Tell us about your experience!
This article was initially published in Yoorekka on March 07, 2017.
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About Karen Grace Libao
Karen writes for a living and for fun. She started her writing career in 2014 when she worked as Content Manager for a women’s website and never looked back since. On her free time, she tries to catch up on her current reads, seeing independently-produced films, watching theatre plays, and attending live music and open mic gigs. She dreams of becoming a published writer and film producer in the future.
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