Touch me not...keep your hands off my desserts.
Traditional and modern desserts, with many inspired by the iconic characters from Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere, are just some of the many reasons to visit Pia Y Damaso. Here's a tempting list of must-try desserts at Pia Y Damaso even Padre Damaso would find impossible to resist...
After a sumptuous feast at Pia Y Damaso (more on Pia Y Damaso's signature dishes on my previous post here), complete your dining experience with a wide selection of indulgent desserts. The colorful Ube Sansrival (P 120), with layers of chewy and nutty nougat draped in creamy butter and purple yam, familiar yet different for a refreshing new take on the classic layered dessert. Each tall slice brings the comforting sweetness of purple yam followed by the creamy richness of butter for an indulgent finish. Strips of sweet jackfruit complete the flavors. Pure indulgence.
The Toasted Yema Parfait (P 125), one of Pia Y Damaso's specials, available only for a limited time. The familiar yema with an inventive spin, topped on frozen creamy parfait layered with cookie crumbs. The updated version once again highlights the playful inventiveness of Pia Y Damaso's kitchen, transforming the familiar making it new and different.
One of my personal favorites at Pia Y Damaso is the elegant Brazo ni Dona Vicki (P 100), a soft and chewy meringue roulade with fresh butter curd, more indulgent with a firmer and chewier texture than the usual brazo de mercedes. And it's no surprise that Pia Y Damaso named their take on the traditional brazo de mercedes after Dona Victorina de los Reyes de Espadana, the mean and imposing wife of Don Tiburcio in Noli me Tangere. Everything about Pia Y Damaso's Brazo ni Dona Vicki is just double the richness and flavor of the usual and light brazo de mercedes, exactly the way I imagine Dona Victorina would have it.
The equally indulgent De Espadana Quezo de Bola Cheesecake (P 220), a soft baked cheesecake infused with santol and prunes and topped with fig compote, combines local flavors for yet another unique dessert. Bearing the name of one of Noli Me Tangere's infamous characters, the dessert presents a radical twist with its blend of santol, a local tropical fruit. That's "subversive" Filipino cuisine, and the unique Pia Y Damaso touch.
The festive parade of local flavors continue with Pia Y Damaso's Ube Macapuno Cake (P 100), a light and soft purple yam sponge cake with tender macapuno strips topped with mousseline cream. The distinct almond-like flavor of the purple yam, with its mild sweetness, comes through with every bite. The soft strips of macapuno add both texture and flavor for another winning dessert.
Another classic Spanish dessert is Salvi's Canonigo (P 100), a feathery soft and light baked caramel lined meringue with vanilla creme and fresh mangoes, named after the scheming Augustinian friar in Noli Me Tangere. It may look deceptively similar to the classic dessert, but like Noli Me Tangere's notorious Padre Salvi, this is definitely not your typical canonigo. The light caramel meringue is "heavier" in texture, with a more pronounced depth in flavor. And the sweet yet tart mangoes add a contrasting layer of flavor that tempers the sweetness of the caramel. One bite, and you'll just have to give in to temptation and go for another. Another personal favorite.
The festive and colorful layered glutinous coconut and rice cake is given a fresh new update by Pia Y Damaso with their Sapin-Sapin (P 100), an elegant take on the local delicacy with steamed and colorful layers of soft and chewy ground glutinous rice flavored with purple yam, pumpkin, and coconut. The vibrant colors of this local dessert are a familiar sight in celebrations and gatherings, and you can find it at Pia Y Damaso as well.
The rich Butter Tart (P 175) is then served next, a moist and chewy dessert bursting with deep chocolate and buttery notes. Definitely not shy with flavors, its the kind of indulgent dessert that may get you on the good side of Dona Victorina, or even gain favor from Padre Damaso. Rounding out our subversive and indulgent sweet feast are Pia Y Damaso's other signature desserts featured previously on my earlier post (more on Pia Y Damaso's other desserts on my previous post here), but simply too good to pass up...
...like Sisa's Dementia (P 175), a rich and moist truffle cake with white chocolate almond pastille, dark chocolate mousse and ganache, named after the tragic character in Noli Me Tangere...
...and the Bibingka Waffle (P 150), a soft and mildly chewy waffle made with bibingka batter blended with Malagos' Goat's Cheese, quezo de bola, and salted egg drizzled with coco jam, transforming the traditional bibingka in a totally new dessert dish. Soft and chewy, the distinct notes of the salted egg and sharp quezo de bola weave in, capped by the sweet coco jam.
Forget about even trying to skip dessert at Pia Y Damaso, just give in. And you'll be glad you did.
Restaurante Pia Y Damaso is located at the Second Floor of Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati, or call 729-5511 for inquiries and reservations.
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