The Blue Kitchen is a real gem. Started 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 NYCâ€™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 donâ€™t let their diminutive size fool youâ€¦they have a lot of good stuff on offer. There are so many things about this business that I likeâ€¦ 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 â€œimportâ€ authentic provincial specialties from well-guarded sourcesâ€¦
I have been going to The Blue Kitchen since they openedâ€¦ 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 secretâ€¦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 sausages 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 based 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 peelsâ€¦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 havenâ€™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.