Thursday, December 10, 2020

Dining in the Next Normal: Legit Picks. Experience Authentic Flavors at Home with Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Regional Filipino Cuisine Delivered to Your Doorstep

Embark on a culinary journey with authentic flavors without leaving home with these legit picks in this new normal...

Authenticity wasn't easy to find even before the pandemic, but these legit picks allowed you to experience real flavors during the quarantine. In this new normal, we've seen quite a number of culinary trends emerging along with changing consumer habits. The rise of the food delivery culture, ease of preparation and convenience make these authentic picks rank high in terms of overall value. Here's eight legitimate culinary picks to add to your list of food delivery options for this year and the next...

The Spicy Stir-Fry Ma La by The Villamaria Kitchen is guaranteed to brighten up any cloudy day in the new normal with its fresh, bold and vibrant flavors. Drawing inspiration from the classic palate-numbing Szechuan staple with fiery peppercorns, chili, spices and vegetables simmered in hot oil, the Spicy Stir-Fry Ma La by The Villamaria Kitchen warms both the palate and body with its soothing heat. But this dish isn't one-dimensional, and it really isn't just about the spicy kick. The Stir-Fry Ma La weaves a colorful tapestry of flavorful notes coming together in a seamless blend with its wide variety of fresh ingredients. The richness and depth of flavor lingers on the palate as nuanced layers of nutty notes from the fresh chili and spice blend bring a vibrant burst of authentic goodness. 

The use of fresh ingredients also brings real and lavish flavors with each bowl. The Villamaria Kitchen offers three flavorful variants, the Chicken Stir-Fry Ma La, the Pork Stir-Fry Ma La and the Beef Stir-Fry Ma La with your choice of spiciness from Mild, Medium, Spicy to Extra Spicy. You can also customize your order with an extensive selection of savory add-ons like tender Chicken, Beef, Pork, Shrimp, Squid, Lobster Balls, Chicken Balls, Mushroom Balls, fresh Shiitake and Enoki Mushrooms. And The Villamaria Kitchen delivers with convenient payment options, simply send a text or message on your mobile device. Ready for some heat? The Spicy Stir-Fry Ma La by The Villamaria Kitchen should do the trick (for more on The Villamaria Kitchen, see my post, Dining in the Next Normal: Cloudy Quarantine Days and the Spicy Stir-Fry Ma La by The Villamaria Kitchen).

Basque Chef Mikel Martija of Cocinalo PH brings a taste of Spain to your table with his specialty croquetas, delivered frozen and ready-to-heat at home. Packed and sealed, each order of his signature croquetas recreates the flavors of Spain with each bite. The croquetas are masterfully prepared and executed by Chef Mikel, from its textural contrast to flavorful richness. That's comida made con mucho cariƱo from Cocinalo PH.

Cocinalo PH offers three savory variants of their specialty croquetas, the Croquetas de Setas filled with wild mushrooms, the Croquetas de Pollo with juicy chicken and the traditional Croquetas de Jamon with the sharp notes of Spanish jamon. Cocinalo PH also offers a sweet and indulgent variant with the Croquetas de Choco filled with premium artisan chocolate. It just takes mere minutes to heat and sear the delicate croquetas on a pan. One bite and the lightly crisp outer layer and soft bechamel combine for delectable contrasting textures followed by a burst of richness from the filling. Without a doubt, these are some of the finest croquetas available in the metro. 

In addition to their croquetas, Cocinalo PH brings another authentic Basque staple with its savory and hearty Bellaria Saltsan to your table. The unctuously rich chorizo and pork stew is said to be the first in the metro, and you can only find it at Cocinalo PH. Gently simmered for hours, the fork-tender and melt-in-your-mouth pork orejas or collagen-rich pork ears gives this dish an indulgent and buttery smooth texture infusing the thick sauce with its flavors. The chorizo and Pimenton de la Vera add layers of sharpness and smoky sweetness to the stew for an experience like no other. Almost similar to callos, the Bellaria Saltsan is in a class of its own (for more on Cocinalo, see my earlier post, Dining in the Next Normal: A Taste of Spain Delivered to Your Doorstep by Cocinalo.PH). 

Chef Chele Gonzalez and Gallery by Chele responds to the new normal with their AT HOME Spanish Signatures specifically created for pick-up, take-out and delivery. From starters to mains and dessert, Gallery by Chele brings their dining experience to your table with AT HOME Spanish Signatures...

The uncompromising nd meticulous culinary style of one of the metro's best chefs is experienced right from the start with his savory Mini Chori Burgers with garden-fresh and crisp lettuce topped with cheese, caramelized onions and Spanish jamon weaving distinct notes with each bite. Served with crisp potato chips, these Mini Chori Burgers pack a solid savory punch, and hands down one of the best in the metro. There's nothing "mini" with these Mini Chori Burgers. 

Gallery by Chele's elegant culinary style is highlighted with the Pulpo a la Gallega "Chele Style" with fork-tender octopus laid on silky smooth paprika-infused mashed potatoes topped with dabs of black squid ink aioli. Each bite of the tender octopus brings a fresh, clean and briny sweetness followed by hints of smokiness from the grill and finished by the rich notes of the squid ink aioli and paprika-infused mashed potatoes.  

The Clam Fiduea of Gallery by Chele brings a festive vibe to a memorable dining experience at home with noodles infused with flavors from the various ingredients and fresh, briny notes from the succulent clams. Chef Chele brings his flavorful stories with the dishes he grew up with back in Spain to your table, each one masterfully recreated and executed. All you have to do is call or message Gallery by Chele for a culinary trip to Spain without leaving home (for more on Gallery by Chele's AT HOME Spanish Signatures, see my post, Dining in the Next Normal: AT HOME Spanish Signatures Delivered to Your Doorstep from Gallery by Chele).

One family's kitchen shares its cherished family recipes with their take on the Korean Galbi Jjim, a hearty beef stew with vegetables. Lucas Kitchenette offers authentic homemade Korean dishes bannered by their Galbi Jjim. All the elements of the classic Korean beef stew are recreated perfectly, from the massive chunks of fork-tender beef and large slices of fresh vegetables to the thick and rich sauce with its mildly sweet notes and whisper of gentle heat.

One look and you'll notice both size and scale with the Galbi Jjim of Lucas Kitchenette unlike the usual Korean beef stew offerings. The slabs of chunky beef ribs just fall off the bone while the fresh carrots and radishes are cooked perfectly remaining firm and crisp with an audible snap with every bite. Fresh from the kitchen of one family to your your table, this Galbi Jjim is another must-try addition to your long list of food delivery options (for more on Lucas Kitchenette, see my previous post, Dining in the Next Normal: The Savory Galbi Jjim by Lucas Kitchenette, From One Family's Kitchen to Your Table).

Isolated for most of the quarantine, access to regional local delicacies seemed almost impossible with countless restrictions on travel. But regional delicacies have never been more accessible with so many options available for delivery. And during the quarantine, there's just nothing as comforting as nostalgic flavors. Nicole's Kitchen offers a wide range of local and traditional Capampangan delicacies...

...including the classic tagilo, with Ima's Burong Hipon or fermented shrimp. The pungent and sour condiment made with rice, shrimps and salt pairs well with fried or grilled fish, pititchan or crunchy cracklings and vegetables for a comforting meal at home. In time, the rice transforms and the bright orange fat from the shrimps adds a bright sheen to the condiment as well as rich flavors. A local delicacy like this is hard to find, and a good one even harder. But Nicole's Kitchen has all your Capampangan favorites in stock...

...from the Classic Embutido, a traditional roulade with ground chicken and pork blended with finely minced carrots, vegetables, pickle relish and sweet raisins... the elegant Chicken Galantine, a savory roulade with chicken, turkey ham, Parmesan cheese, pistachios and cranberries. Nicole's Kitchen's version with turkey ham, pistachios, Parmesan and cranberries give it an indulgent depth of contrasting notes for a festive addition to any feast at home. The local Capampangan delicacies are packed and ready for pick-up, take-out and delivery for your convenience.

Nicole's Kitchen offers a wide range of local delicacies, from savory dishes to indulgent sweet treats for your pantry. Nicole's Kitchen calls it curated comfort food, and you'll find popular favorites like Maja Blanca, fresh-baked Soft Pandesal, Truffle Honey Butter, Coconut Jam, Taba ng Talangka, Pickled Green Mango, Pickled Papaya or atsara and many more (for more on Nicole's Kitchen, see my posts, Dining in the Next Normal: Nostalgic Capampangan Flavors Come Your Way with Ima's Burong Hipon from Nicole's Kitchen on the classic tagiloDining in the Next Normal: Curated Comfort Meals Delivered to Your Doorstep by Nicole's Kitchen on their wide selection of local regional Capampangan specialties and Dining in the Next Normal: Indulge in Simple Pleasures with Maja Blanca, Soft Pandesal and Truffle Honey Butter by Nicole's Kitchen on their comforting sweet treats). You're never too far away from nostalgic local Capampangan delicacies, just call Nicole's Kitchen.

You've had inasal before, but you've never had inasal like Tito Paolo's Inasal. Bigger, juicier and tastier, the days of dry, tough, small and overwhelming smoky notes are over with Tito Paolo's Inasal's lavish take on the iconic southern delicacy. These guys are serious with their inasal, one look or better yet one bite, will make it crystal clear. This isn't your usual inasal.

The cuts are huge, and noticeably larger than the usual inasal offerings. Yet Tito Paolo's Inasal is much juicier delivering richer flavors. Masterfully grilled with a delicately charred outer layer, one can enjoy the subtle notes of the chicken enhanced by the annatto oil with hints of smokiness from the grill in a perfect balance. The flavors are kicked up with a dip in the tuba sinamak with soy sauce, calamansi and chili. And it becomes a real meal when paired with Tito Paolo's Inasal's moist and fluffy Inasal Rice topped with crisp garlic bits.

Tito Paolo's Inasal puts an end to disappointing days of dry, tough and small inasal. You deserve much better. And your search for bigger, juicier and tastier inasal begins with Tito Paolo's Inasal (for more on Tito Paolo's Inasal, see my post, Dining in the Next Normal: Bigger. Juicier. Tastier. That's How They Do It at Tito Paolo's Inasal...).

Preparing callos at home is tedious and never easy. It requires fresh ingredients and a whole lot of time over low heat. But Chef Gino's Kitchen does all the work for you, all you have to do is heat up the pan. Packed and delivered frozen in a sealed bag, the Callos by Chef Gino's Kitchen brings a comforting vibe to the home dining table with its savory richness. Made with fork-tender stewed beef tripe, Chorizo de Bilbao, garbanzos, green peas, olives and smoky peppers draped in a thick and rich tomato sauce infused with paprika, there's a nostalgic vibe with this dish triggering countless fond memories. And you can recreate it at home in minutes...

It only takes minutes to warm up the callos as Chef Gino Gonzalez of Chef Gino's Kitchen already did all the work for you, tediously prepping the dish in his kitchen before delivery. The comfortingly rich flavors that can only come from long hours of a gentle simmer on low heat is packed frozen and ready-to-heat and eat in minutes. No need for long hours in the kitchen, just call or message Chef Gino's Kitchen (for more on Chef Gino's Kitchen and their other savory offerings, see my post, Dining in the Next Normal: Dine at Home with Frozen and Ready-to-Eat meals by Chef Gino's Kitchen). 

Chef Sau del Rosario leads an all-star cast of noted Capampangan chefs at Culinarya Pampanga offering a wide range of traditional as well as inventive contemporary spins on Capampangan cuisine. Think of it as a culinary dream team. It's also an innovative concept focusing on pick-up and food delivery. Chef Sau del Rosario is joined by chefs Howard Dizon of Howard Dizon's Catering, Vince Garcia of Rainforest Kitchene, Judy Uson of Cafe Noelle, Cherry Pasion-Tan of Apag Marangle, Den Lim of DenLim's Kitchen, Froi Cruz of CioccoloNico Bailon of Downtown Cafe and Bale Dutung and Mila Gomez of Aling Mila's and many others featuring all their specialty dishes, packed and sealed, ready for pick-up and delivery from a central location.

Each chef creates a Capampangan classic in his or her personal style while maintaining both tradition and authenticity. Rediscover childhood favorites like Tidtad (the Capampangan dinuguan) by Chef Froi Cruz and the Kilayin by Chef Den Lim...

...the Lechon Paksiw by Chef Judy Uson...

...and a savory modern take on bulanglang by Chef Sau del Rosario with his Lamb Shank Sinigang sa Bayabas, just some of the tempting offerings from Culinarya Pampanga. The famed culinary heritage of the province is preserved and celebrated with its wide array of authentic offerings. From Begukan to Tocino BBQ and Tamales, all your Capampangan favorites created by some of the country's finest chefs are within easy reach. 

Culinarya Pampanga is one of many novel concepts emerging from the quarantine, and a perfect response to changing consumer habits in the new normal (for more on Culinarya Pampanga, see my posts, Dining in the Next Normal: Nostalgic and Authentic Capampangan Flavors Comes to Your Home Dining Table with Culinarya Pampanga and Dining in the Next Normal: Tidtad, Kilayin, Sampelut and Other Nostalgic Flavors Delivered by Culinarya Pampanga).

Despite the quarantine's devastating effect on the food service sector and changing consumer habits such as dining at home and the increased usage of food delivery services, we've seen culinary innovations that provided a silver lining in this new normal. Authenticity became more accessible, opening up new possibilities and more options for dining at home. These eight legit picks made the quarantine just a bit more bearable making dining at home memorable. And we'd like to see more from them next year...

For more on The Villamaria Kitchen, call 0939 374 9790 for orders or visit their FB Page at for more details and updates. Customers may also opt to pick-up their orders at 9 Sapphire Street, Villamaria 2 Subdivision, Baranggay Cupang, Antipolo, Metro Manila.

For more on Cocinalo.PH, call or message at 0927 5975498 for orders and inquiries. You can also visit their FB and IG at

For more on AT HOME Spanish Signatures from Gallery by Chele, call +639175461673 for orders and inquiries. You can also visit their FB Page at for more updates and website at for menu details.

For more on Lucas Kitchenette, call 0926 0974881 or visit their IG account at @lucaskitchenette and follow the hashtag #LucasKitchenette.You can also visit their FB Page at

For more on Nicole's Kitchen and their wide array of regional and local delicacies, call 0917 867 2307. You can also find them on Instagram at @nicoleskitchenmnl and Facebook at

For more on Tito Paolo's Inasal, simply call 0956 452 0710 for orders and inquiries. You can also check out their FB Page at and IG Feed at @titopaolosinasal for more information and updates. You can also send an email at for orders. 

To order and for more information on Chef Gino's Kitchen and their various offerings and pricing details, follow their IG account at @chefginoskitchen.

For more on Culinarya Pampanga and their specialty menu offerings, simply call 0917 324 2768 for orders, inquiries and more information. You can also order via PM on their Facebook Page at and DM on Instagram at for more updates. You can also opt to pick-up your orders at Culinarya Pampanga's commissary/delivery hub located at 62 Victoria Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City right across St. Luke's Hospital. 

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