24 Jan2006

The Blue Kitchen

by Marketman

The Blue Kitchen is a real gem. blue1Started over 11 years ago by two close friends that were inspired by the Silver Palate Cookbook (that was the result of a small but superb ready to eat/food shop in NYC’s Upper West Side), it is an outlet for their obvious passion for fine food. This small specialty food shop has just two branches at the Rockwell Mall in Makati and at the Shangrila Mall in Mandaluyong, but don’t let their diminutive size fool you…they have a lot of good stuff on offer. There are so many things about this business that I like… its owners have a real love for what they are doing, they are constantly experimenting, they pay close attention to how their store looks and their merchandising is world class. They are an outlet for artisanal cooks across the metropolis and they “import” authentic provincial specialties from well-guarded sources…

I have been going to The Blue Kitchen since blue2they opened… my favorites have always been their garlic tuyo (bottled heaven for those wanting to take a taste of home with them when they go abroad) that has some secret manner of preparation to ensure that it tastes noticeably better than most of the competition. I asked what the secret was, but the owners graciously declined to give away the secret…I mean, how many permutations can there be to tuyo, oil, chilli, garlic and spices, right? They also have tons of other bottles specialties such as dilis and other pinoy favorites, done right. I also spied bottles of dalandan juice concentrate, great for pasalubongs for foreign based pinoys.

Their frozen section has a superb selection of blue3sausages and different kinds of tapa and tocino. They also have these terrific snack-sized siopao that you can just pop into a steamer for a delicious snack. The lamayo (marinated danggit) in the post the other day came from the Blue Kitchen as well. Some of the longganisa are brought in from the source, such as Vigan or Lucban. And to go with all these breakfast meats are some of best fresh organic eggs around. Throw in their bottled vinegar and you can easily see pulling together a wonderful meal in one shopping bag. Everything is carefully selected, refined in fact, and while some can be pricey, it’s well worth the premium pricing.

Baked goods are also a large part of their product offering and lately their Splenda blue4based sugar free desserts have been flying off of the shelves. I tasted their holiday cake that is something like a fruitcake but without the candied citrus peels…more figs and dates and all the spices, it was very good. They always seem to be testing new things and its nice to see they haven’t gotten staid after 11 years in the business. Some of the other things that set this store apart are their insistence on top-quality ingredients such as butters, creams, etc. and a staff that are more knowledgeable than most folks at a typical food store. They have a relatively new website and it’s worth a visit. This is one food store that I find myself going back to again and again. Kudos to the two lovely ladies behind this small but high-quality purveyor of many of my favorite Filipino delicacies!The Blue kitchen link here.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Ellen says:

    That’s it! The day after I land in Manila, I’m going to the Blue Kitchen! I’m already salivating..hehe. Thanks for the information MM! Will definitely make ‘hakot’of filipino goodies!

    Jan 24, 2006 | 5:04 am

     
  2. Judy says:

    Hi Marketman, I love your website. I can’t wait to go back to Manila and for sure I’ll go to the Blue Kitchen. Btw, what’s their website address?

    Jan 24, 2006 | 6:29 am

     
  3. millet says:

    hi MM, i hope blue kitchen also carries bangus pate’…have you tried it? it’s made in dipolog city, and i can only describe it as a pate version of bangus sardines. sarap on melba toast or crackers. their chipirrones (squid) is spicy and yummy, too..great with pasta, or kahit mainit na rice lang. i don’t know the people who make this, but they’re on to something good.

    Jan 24, 2006 | 7:46 am

     
  4. Mila says:

    I also like their pre-cooked foods, just pop it in the oven or microwave.
    Can’t find them online, please post their website.

    Jan 24, 2006 | 11:34 am

     
  5. Marketman says:

    I have added the link to their website at the end of the post above…

    Jan 24, 2006 | 8:05 pm

     
  6. ponch says:

    Hi MM. My personal favorites from Blue Kitchen include their lemon garlic tinapa, chicken confit with rosemary and a type of longganiza from Nueva Ecija (I think) which really stinks up the place when you fry them but tastes oh so good.

    BTW, if you’re looking for lamayo, another place that sells them is a stall in Salcedo Market which also sells Australian steaks. It’s a couple of stalls away from Tommy Villanueva’s coffee place. Cheers!

    Jan 25, 2006 | 9:17 am

     
  7. Marketman says:

    Thanks for the tip, Ponch!

    Jan 25, 2006 | 7:00 pm

     
  8. gastronoma says:

    Blue Kitchen used to have a mushroom pate, or was it duxelle, that i really really loved. That was a long time ago. I miss that.

    Jan 26, 2006 | 9:52 am

     
  9. rose aka sofia says:

    I absolutely love their Dulong in Olive Oil. Goes great with fettucini noodles and green mango (fine strips).

    I also adore their Apple Pie which my mom, who is diabetic, loves as well. =)

    Jan 26, 2006 | 11:07 am

     
  10. teddy montelibano says:

    malu fores’ blue kitchen was my source for THE BEST rhum cake in manila which i consumed like the true glutton that i am for things i love – until the tragic day that i was told i have diabetes (until now i am in denial). but you give me comfort, MarketMan when you reported that they now have sugar free desserts. by the way, if you or anyone can tell me where i can get good sugar-free goodies (breads, pastries, desserts), please let me know. i was told there is a stall in the saturday salcedo market that carries sugar free products, i shall check this out when next i visit the saturday market.
    thanks and my very best regards to you, MarketMan….

    Jan 26, 2006 | 5:07 pm

     
  11. Marketman says:

    teddy, the sugar is bad, but isn’t anything that is naturally high in sugar bad? Cakes with refined flour would convert to sugars immediately. Most fruit is high in sugar as well… certainly you must have to watch carbs as well…at any rate, you could always resort to my mothers reasoning in the late stages of really bad diabetes and say, “oh, I’ll take two scoops of ice cream” then reach for the insulin… She died of something else… Careful management of diabetes hopefully doesn’t mean a complete stop to sugars, no?

    Jan 26, 2006 | 6:25 pm

     
  12. daphne says:

    their products are great but I just want to complain about one thing. last Christmas, I bought some stuff from them as presents and they were charging me so much for the wrapper and ribbon. I can’t remember exactly how much basta sobrang harang!!!

    Feb 1, 2006 | 1:00 pm

     
  13. Marketman says:

    daphne, all good stuff usually comes with a price…

    Feb 1, 2006 | 4:48 pm

     
  14. thea says:

    i love blue kitchen’s dulong in oil! great with pasta!

    Feb 2, 2006 | 8:22 pm

     
  15. malcximus says:

    hi MM! ever since blue kitchen opened a store at the shang i’ve been a big fan. i used to hoard their food for the gods, oatmeal cookies, spicy tuyo and tawilis in lemon oil during the holidays to give out to my friends and business associates back when i was still in manila. w/c by the way i did again during my recent visit last christmas. when i moved to california i always ask my f.a. friends from CX to bring me anything from blue kitchen (no meats, of course).

    but i recently heard that the owners are migrating to canada. is that true? and i was told that they’re now running out of stock on some of my favorites specially the spicy tuyo, w/c i love mixing with my spaghetti, EVOO, minced fried garlic and parmesan cheese. i guess, ill just have to find out for myself and call there shang store.

    i love their food and they have such a nice staff. i think they still have the same lady managing that store at the shang since they opened.

    love to mention cibo too. good italian food. we were dying to have them as caterer on our wedding last january at the ville sommet, tagaytay. unfortunately, they’re not one of the official caterers yet at that time.

    Aug 25, 2007 | 2:08 am

     
  16. Marketman says:

    malcximus, I have not heard that the store is closing. Their Rockwell store is well stocked and has all the favorites as far as I can tell…

    Aug 25, 2007 | 7:59 am

     
  17. Poncois says:

    For those of you with high blood sugar problems, try and get a box of Akoz Herbal tea (Banaba) made by International Pharmaceuticals. I’ve seen my friends’ levels drop from 200+ down to the low 100′s. At least there’s one pallative to allow you to enjoy the sugary stuff.

    May 31, 2008 | 1:46 pm

     
 

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