After indulging in Parvati’s sugar-free Carrot Cake, it was time to move on to the neighboring UCC Cafe Terrace and sample something just as splenda-rrific. This sugar allergy has definitely caused me to splurge more, but on the upside, allowed me to venture in Trinoma’s hard-to-get outdoorsy woodlands (except for the valet patrons) and find a spot in the spacious UCC Cafe Terrace.
Lunch was pure comfort food: Chili Garlic Spaghetti with Spinach and Shrimps at P349. No bread was served on the side (not that I care) but the sauce was light and appealingly bland—suggestive of an MSG-free concoction, just the way Japanese spaghetti should be made of. With only 3 shrimps that I wouldn’t exactly describe as giant or prawn-like, at least the sauce made up for the filling factor. Sugoi!
For dessert, I first set my eyes on the Blueberry Streusel Cheesecake which was very tempting with its colorful swirls of blueberry sweetness, but then again, if I were bring life to this sugar abstinence I must play the part.
“One slice of sugar free Blueberry Cheesecake, please!” Ah yes, more like it.
My brother went for the Matcha Parfait, apparently trying to derive his lunchtime tea from this creamy dessert. If my allergy is to sugar, then his is to cream.
“No cream on my parfait please” he said, as I nodded in sisterly pride.
All right, for the verdict:
UCC Sugar Free Blueberry Cheesecake (P245)
Served plain, just like the typical New York Cheesecake, the Blueberry topping (more of siding) is placed on the side as an orb of cream, blueberry and splenda. (Top row, middle in photo. Find that orb!)
Naturally fruity, sweet and light, the blueberry serving can be restrained and skipped if you wish (I did, after tasting a dollop). The highlight of the dish is the cheesecake itself. There is no hint of cheap creaminess that we find in commercial cheesecakes, that is used to extend the batter. Instead, we get pure, solid cream cheese that can make any cheese lover (yours truly) wolf down a slice and forget that the blueberry siding even existed. The graham crust is light and devoid of the annoying crunch we get from too much sugar (in this case, no sugar), as it molds well with the cheesecake. In overall this is authentically delectable dessert for the cheesecake lover—made more alluring with its sugar-free component.
UCC Matcha Parfait (P219)
Served on a tall sundae glass, this towering green monster was a sight to behold, with layers of ice cream, fruits, azuki and nata de coco. It seemed like the undisputed Japanese dessert, and I could spy the girl on the other table drooling as my brother attacked his monstrous opponent with his spoon. 2 scoops of green tea ice cream by FIC (Fruits in Ice Cream) topped the parfait. Azuki with green tea ice cream makes a sweet treat; with the nata, creates a jelly component that kids will love.
If UCC ended with that concoction then my brother would’ve gone home in a high. However, the pineapple/fruit cocktail juice that was generously drizzled removed the zen from this Japanese dessert and turned it into a sugar frenzy. I wonder how the girl from the other table fared, seeing her attack her newly served parfait (with cream) with gusto. Chances are, she lost the battle as well.
Otherwise, as a respite from the clutter of Starbucks or the mindless chatter at Conti’s, UCC Cafe Terrace is the nearby solace for the civilized and comfort seekers. The service is a bit nasty and slow, and it can irk you if you’re in a bit of a hurry. If you like the food though, lesson learned, bring your own tumbler. And a calculator, while you’re at it.