Tag Archives: Cake

Cheap (and not so) Sightings

cheap food manila snacks treats

Some people aren’t really poor; they just go by other names like stingy, misers, self-serving, on a budget and my personal favorite, penny pinchers! We have to face the fact that not everybody has a lavish budget to soothe their gastronomic needs. There are other priorities in life, we get that.

Cleaning through my stuff, I realise I have my share of cheap sightings, worth taking photos (and keeping for a very long time). There are a few pricey grub, but they were all one-time meal,s so none were written about and just used up precious Android memory space.

 So here’s a collection of the cheap and not-too cheap foodstuff that managed a smile on my face and oh-so shallow pockets!

Here’s to penny pinching and more to come!

ice cream oreo dessert

Forget BLT and Reuben. Oreo + DQ = The Sandwich.

greenbelt frozen yogurt

Red Mango Green Tea Parfait has everything perfect in it, on it and is just it!

spaghetti factory food italian glorietta

When in a hurry, Spaghetti Factory can be a so-so lunchy.

tuna dill melt

Starbucks tuna dill melt is so lenten friendly, you can be a sinner for lusting over it.

J.Anne Gonzales Blondie Bar

Sonja’s Blondie Bar is far from dumb. It’s… black, white and to die for!
dessert chocolate cake

Cafe Mary Grace Chocolate Cake: Php100 with change and that awesome filling

bon chon chicken manila

Unbeatable BonChon Chicken Chops and Chap Chae Korean combo

sweet coffee starbucks

Starbucks Asian Dolce Latte: Sweet, sweet and just sweeeeeeet!

philippines taco bell

Ti Amo Taco Bell. Who doesn’t?

american food manila

Chili’s Appetizer Sampler: Best served with good lighting and endless chatting!

seafood pesto sandwich guy

The Sandwich Guy Seafood Pesto: You will regret being a slow eater.. like me!

jamba juice healthy snacks

Jamba Juice Steel Cut Oat:s: The reason why my fridge now has 3 kinds of oats

tea starbucks yummy

Hands down, the best reward in life is Starbucks Green Tea Frap, Grande without Whipped Cream for my forever misspelled name. Purrfect.

subway philippines tuna

Subway with Tuna and mustard is just the best anti-stress lunch, next to green tea frap.

S&R ice cream tillamook

Tillamook Mudslide makes me forget gelato and vegans exists. I love moo!!!

seafood ramen x centris

The only seafood ramen I can eat: Spicy Chikuwa Ramen. Red not because of #filter but because it’s a fiery pit of chili. Sit beside a firehouse. Be safe.

fruit shake manila

Last but not the least, Jamba Juice is love, lust and life in one. Acai Supercharger for sad days, Orange A-Peel for sick days and Banana Berry any day!

Now that I mention it, not everything is cheap or awesome discoveries. Heck, I just unloaded my memory on this post for random sightings.

Promise the next post will be more… educational and relevant. Yeah right.


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Piece of Cake

cake dessert manila

Of course we know that nothing in life is just a piece of cake. Either it’s a box, a giant slice, a mouthful – but never a wee bite!

Turns out I’ve been hoarding photos in my phone (you hoarder!), which have never seen the light of day. Oh those calories! They need to be let out, to tease and to torture others, not just me!

And so here’s the cake collection as of late, a bit of gelato, but mainly sweets and those treats that keep you up at night.

Starbucks Classic Chocolate Cake: Always a classic, decadent and available. The best pick-me-up for doomsday. Isn’t that everyday?

Manila philippines best desserts

Starbucks Toffee Nut Slice: Invented that holiday name since I forgot its ultra long name that even the barista cannot remember. Cheap and not too sweet, Starbucks’ budget friendly response to the hungry Scrooge–that was me!

lazy black cat manila blog

2nd’s Frozen Hazelnut Cheesecake: Topped with a Ferrero ball, it gets creamier and creamier after every bite. More foamy than hazelnutty, feed only to the underweight.

2nd's Bonifacio global City

Village Tavern Carrot Cake: Oozing with cream cheese, the cake is carrot comfort saviour. Moist and chunky, rabbits will go wild and die of OD – on sugar. Good thing I’m more of a cat, you know.

dessert bonifacio highstreet

New Orleans Bourbon Street Mudpie: Zero ice cream, 100% cake.The sweetness level goes overboard so either have the beer or the cake; make no mistake of having both, especially on date night!

fort bonifacio bar dessert

Starbucks Guilt Free Cheesecake: Looks bland but the amusing layers offer vanilla, chocolate and oreo. For a sugar free creation, that’s quite a spectrum and a let’s-pretend-I’m-on-a-diet treat!

Sugar free cake

Caffe Ti Amo Waffle and Gelato: For an often-overlooked joint Caffe Ti Amo has become a haven for the hiding, criminals and anti-socials who linger in Greenbelt 5. The gelato is spectacular, simply because they offer Green Tea. That’s it. Oh, and they have a rocking chair. Beat that.

Greenbelt 5 dessert

makati food

That’s it for my recent phone uploads. It’s been a blast and I look forward to more leviathan servings of cakes this year–starting tomorrow!

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Take a Lucca

UP Town Center Bread Pastry Dessert

My name is Lucca, and I live on the first floor of the U.P. Town Center – the busiest part of Quezon City.

Lucca is this newly sprouted bread-pastry place; call it a bakery or local pastry shop. Name it your sweet hang-out or whatnot, just don’t sing about Luka because she lives on the 2nd floor!

Since this name-calling business can be stressing, I will just let Lucca be Lucca. You can liken it to Bread Talk-meets-Slice-meets-French Baker. Go figure.

pizza food sweets lucca

Even if it serves all sorts of pastries, cookies, and cakes, Lucca is not just that dessert place. I believe there are other unsweet items in the menu, but those fail to register in my interest radar at the moment. I hear the pizza is so-so, so you can skip that.

cheesecake quezon city katipunan sweets

The cookies and brownies though (they have Oreo brownies–cool), for their price range, are reasonably worth it. Hefty enough for a meal and pretty enough as gifts, Lucca can be my new Mercato, if you know what I mean.

Up Town Center food restaurant

They have cakes too, and I bravely had a slice of the 5 Layer Chocolate Cake to-go. Being new, they packed up my slice in that plastic microwaveable container that makes me look like those moms who bring home left overs from friends’ parties.

And it sucks to look like the hoarding kind, so I ate my to-go slice outside of Lucca, as curious passers by stared at my ugly plastic box, probably wondering which home I stole that from. Cake thief!

Lucca 5 layer chocolate cake lazy black cat

The 5 layers of chocolate are all the SAME ganache-like creamy chocolate that was on the safe yet delectable side. It was crusted with what I first thought was Oreo bits, but turned out to be more like crisp cake crumbs. Still, the cake was moist and veered from the too-sweet-teeth-chattering episode, so buying a whole cake is something I may do when I get stressed, depressed or just plain bored.

Lucca does serve cheesecake, cupcakes and other cakes worth trying.

Cheap and lovely to look at, even if you drop them, you can very well afford them anyway! 


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The Spiral Never Ends


I may be lazy and always hungry but I would never lie, especially when reporting about a Sunday brunch at Spiral, Sofitel. Sure, we had to go through aunti-pathy and heinous methods to earn our way to that golden meal but it was worth all the torture. The taste of fresh parmegiano brought me to nirvana.spiral-sofitel-jenina-gonzales

The 21 Ateliers is what earned Spiral its bragging rights in the buffet business. It would be silly and unrealistic of me to rummage through and collect a wee bit of something from each of the 21 though, because contrary to popular belief, I am not a hoarder. If it were my last meal on Earth then I would most probably focus on the items that matter most to my life. And so if you were expecting an atelier-by-atelier detailed analysis, go find Our Awesome Planet or an indiscriminate blogger.



Because I will not post any photo of my foie gras (actually the top photo shows the raw form, find it!) though I did manage to sample a Nerds-size morsel. I may have said last day on Earth but I still remain to be a boring vegetarian.


Who ate my cheese?


The cheese and cold cuts cold station with push buttons built for the art thief is so resplendent, I had to go for seconds. The Mona Lisa could live and thrive here and yes, she will get really fat but happy. The hard cheeses especially were so spectacularly cut and served, it was imperative to incorporate them in my subsequent meals.

Green Streak


Lettuce, caviar and all sorts of raw materials could create any salad you desire in Spiral. I settled for the Caesar dressing which was all right but with a smorgasbord of  shrimp, caviar, cheese (again), seafood, and broccoli (stolen from the Indian station), it became the salad a la lazy black cat once again. Meow!


Delhi-cious Delights


The North Indian station was barely visited which made it double attractive to me. Abound with lentils, curry, paneer, papadom and chappati—it was a New Bombay fest of all sorts. Best of all, it was a vegetarian haven, or so I was told though there were chicken dishes.

Truffling Situation


While I couldn’t dabble in the pasta lair for fear of OD’ing on the carbs, at best I tried a platter of the spinach gnocchi, that parmesan thing with truffle cream sauce. Add in a bit of cheese from my abundant cheese platter and voila, pasta perfection.


Italian Job


The pizza ovens were fantastic and the aroma memorable but I settled for the lapu-lapu (baked) and cheese-topped lobster (baked again). A bit on the dry side, still the fish was worth returning for.

Asian Invasion



You will probably hate me for NOT having visited the popular spots in our very own region. I admit, the Chap Chae was tempting, and so were the tempura, ramen, noodles, dumplings (I had the vegetable ewwwness), peking duck, more dumplings, kimchi and teppanyaki (which I heard was divine) but I got stuck in Europe and decided to park there till dessert. Told you I was a picky eater.

Like Tea for Chocolate


The dessert station was the inevitable pitstop, and calorie counting was forbidden. The Paris Brest deserved the highest award and was the only cake I had for seconds. Hazelnut and chocolate mousse combined—more of Paris BEST!


The carrot cake was not so bad given its bland-moist composition, while the dark chocolate truffle and Spiral chocolate chip cookies made superb toppings for my strawberry-chocolate ice cream combination. Glad I did not indulge in the Asian carbs since it was the sweets that made my Spiral brunch the best heist ever.

So, do you still think I’m boring?


I considered forcing this as my pre-birthday brunch but fate reproves those that plan and so I was reduced to a mere mortal. Ah well, I have 8 more lives anyway.



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Death by Parvati Chocolate

Deprived of chocolate for what seemed like eternity, it was time to wave the white flag of fake fitness and resume the choco-haulic hoarders association.

As always Parvati (Trinoma) was the prime choice, on account of its location and hypnotic freezers—which aren’t entirely chilled—especially the cookie section. I tried to hide there once, so yes, I make a valid witness.

In no mood for cheesecake or the timidity of carrot cake, the orders were down to The Dome and The Decadent Cocosugar Chocolate Cake (Sugar Free). Competing in terms of cocoa intensity and swirly frosting, this mash-up should bash any depth of depression.

Guess the name: That Orbit, Mega Eclair or Choco Chow

The Dome, upon closer look, manages to bear strange similarities with a giant éclair and for the more imaginative, a bowl of dog food. The shimmering frosting and the chocolate chips that adorn the fringe can certainly torment the hungry, though in real life, I’d rather it be classified as a Baby Dome. Or how about The Orb?

Chocolate all over and with that nutella cream at the center, The Dome is what you eat when you are depressed, anorexic or dying of low blood sugar. The first few bites can certainly bring that chocolate bliss that can kill any sweet urge for decades. After the return of the common sense though, there are points to ponder as well: the chocolate cake relies on the cream for that moist effect and without it, remains as a boring block of chiffon.

The chocolate frosting is all right but could do with a bit more cocoa surge, while the chocolate chips are not as value-adding in terms of the taste factor. Thanks to that creamy center, The Dome justifies its compelling name, and with a less appealing core, would just be reduced to That Orb.

The Chocolate Cake that brings a new meaning to the word Decadent.

With a name so long, you’d probably expect an equally lengthy ode to The Decadent Cocosugar Chocolate Cake (Sugar Free), but I’ll spare you the burden of reading and summarize my usually wordy thoughts.

The chocolate cake is stiff, devoid of any form of “moist” or softness, and lacks any form of acceptable flavor despite christening itself as a decadent cake. The swirly icing is a tad too sweet but nothing gratifying. Whether the cake was old or kept in a bin of rice grains, its dehydrated form was certainly thes death of my taste buds.

While The Dome wasn’t exactly Willy Wonka variety, it at least had a shred of palatability to revive my pending death from the Sugar Free Chocolate Cake.

Still, I apologize to the cheesecake; I will never abandon you ever again



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Off with her red!

Time to face the real velvet in the world of cakes and cupcakes, and apologies for those guessing from the ROYGBIV roster. Did you say red? Oh bloody hell, you need help. It’s Black Velvet. Do remember that.

The thing about Red Velvet is that, it’s become the cliché cake that everyone just loves. This bloody color has gotten girls to swoon over reddish-tinged pastries and to hoard cupcakes for anyone’s birthday, anniversary or just plain PMS. It’s maddening what red velvet has done to society, and I shudder at the thought at what might happen if it runs out—on V-Day, of all days. Ah yes, oh no indeed.

Red velvet. If I tell you that it is just food coloring, I’d suppose you’d call me a pesky little liar. Seriously though, if you’re old enough to read this, it should come to your knowledge that it’s just red food coloring. That red velvet is really just chocolate cake that’s been tinted with red dye.

So let’s try to be more realistic. Brown Velvet? Not if you want the cowboys filing in the hordes, or folks who have a taste for leather. Either way, we don’t want horses to be the new motorcycles.

Black Beauty, guaranteed not to leave fake lipstick stains

Black Velvet. Now that’s more like it. Who’d have thought that prim and proper Mary Grace Café would come up with this decadent little bugger of a cake? No reds or pinks, just plain black and white. Classic, simple yet sinfully alluring. With the delightful cream cheese frosting and little swirls of chocolate, Black Velvet brings that artificially red alien into its real gracious form. Chocolate, dark yet fluffy, mildly sweet yet creamy. This contrasting collaboration radiates in its simplicity, and anyone who gets a sample of the Black Velvet by Mary Grace Café would certainly yell, “Off with her red!”

Meet Joe Black. Black Heart Inertia. Black Hawk Down. Now, Black Velvet.

This is why I love black.



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Cheesecake Challenge 2: Sweet Inspirations

Sweet Inspirations makes cheesecake so cheap, my previous P100 Cheesecake Challenge @ Parvati has been put to shame. At P71 per slice for the New York Cheesecake and P81 for the Blueberry Cheesecake, why there’s enough change to even get myself a drink (or give out as alms to the Bieber-haired beggars outside)!

Amazing what economical treats this Katipunan joint harbors amidst serving the Blue Eagle market.

Sweet Inspirations also serves cakes (memorable are Cookies and Cream, Strawberry Shortcake, Tiramisu, Chocolate Cake), silvanas and sans rival that fall below the cheesecake price range. The Cookies and Cream, in particular, fetches P53 per slice—what a steal!

I’ve been raving like a diner girl, proud of this frugal find, but that’s not enough to bring home a box. Time to start sampling the goods.

New York Cheesecake

The New York Cheesecake was served crumbly and dry, as if hard cheese was used to create that cheesy center, to our disappointment. The top layer glistened with what seemed to be a thin slab of caramel, while its crust composition had this araro-like texture that’s best described as, well, araro. Since the crust was white, thin and powdery, best to leave it as is. A cup of joe might complement and bring more life to this parched slice, as well as water down the dehydrated quality.

Blueberry Cheesecake

Adding P10 more provided the luxury of the purple topping, better known as the Blueberry Cheesecake. Topped with blueberry and whipped cream, and sitting on top of the traditional graham crust, this cheesecake was beginning to taste more like home. The cheesecake itself wasn’t as crumbly as its New York counterpart, and was gifted with moist and comfort food goodness. While it wasn’t the kind that would make one scream “Hands down, best cheesecake ever!” it was still a good value (and taste) for its price. The cheesecake wasn’t watered down or overly creamy, making it a bargain cheesecake for those with a diner girl’s budget.

Just beware of the golden edge—it’s not toasted cheesecake. It’s cake! Brace yourself for what I found weird.

Other than that, everything else was just frugal, frazzled, with cherry on top. If that didn’t make sense, you might as well pay a visit to Sweet Inspirations. Not on a school day, unless you prefer the Katipunan traffic challenge.







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Another Parvati Cheesecake

I never thought Cebu Pacific’s delayed antics would ever get to me, but maybe it’s the awful November heat so today, I wasn’t very forgiving. Spiteful perhaps, having seen a shoeprint on my checked-in backpack. Come on, my backpack is probably the lightest item that ever rode the conveyor belt, what could possibly be the reason for kicking or stepping on it? It’s pure black, so don’t tell me it resembles a soccer ball, a weighing scale or even someone’s face. Cebu Pacific, you owe me laundry!

Oh, and add the chirpy cabbie who just had to pretend to be a human taxi meter with an inaccurate sense of distance, and I wonder, “Since when did Wednesday the 9th become the new Friday the 13th?”

I needed cheesecake.

I ran to Parvati and bought whatever I saw first. It was a wee slice priced at P140, but the Triple Decker Chocolate Cheesecake by Kusina Torre seemed to calm the raging storm and I suppose that ought to do the trick.

The decks include: fudge brownie – cheesecake – butterscotch brownie.

The fudge brownie and cheesecake were all right – what you’d typically expect from their “traditional” flavor. The layers weren’t extraordinarily spectacular but are great enough to be comfort food variety. The brownie though is compact but not dry, which makes a perfect partner for tea.

The bottom brownie seems like a repetition of the fudge brownie, but this one was topped with something nutty-butterscotch. At first glance, I thought it was oats (like revel bars) so I instantly shoved a giant mouthful, but had to cry out when I detected nuts. Not really a “nut” fan, the cheesecake could do without this nutty layer, but I suppose for those looking for a sweet crunchy center, this ought to do it. (I scraped out mine, sorry!)

This lengthy critiquing has got to end, since I did finish the cheesecake in one sitting. It’s really filling, so good thing someone decided to invent caffeine-free green tea or I’ll be up all night blogging about Cebu Pacific.

And I’m not even a travel blogger. Yet.  LazyBlackBackpackCat.wordpress no way! Too lazy for that.


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Starry-Eyed at Starbucks

When gluttony kicks in, it doesn’t matter where you are or whose birthday it is. It’s all about what we want to eat. And make it now.

Caught in Starbucks, the only natural reaction is to hoard the most breathtaking cakes. Forget the fruits or the oatmeal cookies, it’s all about creamy chocolate bliss. Unfortunately for my brother’s wallet, there were 3. What the hell, it’s our dad’s birthday!


Heaven on Earth (P130) 5 layers of chocolate, mousse and cream—made more divine by its glossy chocolate top that sheens with the floral overlay. The celestial aura makes it the perfect gift, but a bite will make you decide otherwise. The chocolate cake base is light and fluffy, which complements the overly creamy middle layers and the fudgy peak. A gift from the gods indeed!

Concorde (P120) Embodying its aviation namesake, the Concorde inspires action, marvel and French style. Each bite embraces an assortment of textures and chocolate intensity, you’ll be in awe until the very last bite. Chewy and toasty on the outside, the meringue provides the protective and addictive crust. Finding our way inside, the chocolate mousse is just as luscious and satisfying. This is one delirious flight I’d ride all over again.


Sugar-Free Trio (P160) You’ll never settle for the regular chocolate mousse again, after indulging in this sugar-free delicacy. You wouldn’t even know it was sugar-free, unless you read the label (or I blabbed about it). The cream and mousse are mildly sweet yet decadent enough to satisfy those sweet urges. The chocolate base is a remarkable surprise, as it strays from the conventionally boring cake and delves into something more sinister—a firm, semi sweet cookie crust. It’s a surprising sugar-free triple threat that I’d keep all for myself!                                                              

Best part of all, no need to travel far for this chocolate fix. Trinoma alone hosts 3 Starbucks, not to mention the Landmark branch. Plus there are a couple more spotted on the way home. Ah yes, the stars have aligned indeed. 


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Hungry at UCC

http://www.myfoodtrip.com/reviews/218264/ucc_caf_terrace.htmAfter 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!

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4084/5066638897_cd728485a3.jpgFor 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.


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