7 All-Time Classic Eats For Nostalgic Holiday Dining
After enjoying a plethora of new and adventurous food this season, sometimes, all we want to come home to is a feast of classic flavors that we know and love. After all, familiar tastes always manage to heighten the sense of nostalgia that washes over us come Christmas time; memories of family coming together, friends sharing laughs, and the all-encompassing warmth of the holidays come to mind with each plateful of our top sips and bites. Cozy up on the sofa with your favorite people in the world and together, pick out the items on this list of all-time classic eats for a satisfying noche buena ahead.
1. Leg of Ham by The Plaza
Bring out the hot chocolate and queso de bola because we've got the perfect slice—or rather, whole leg—of ham to go with them. Seesawing between sweet and savory with reasonable amounts of fat marbled in succulent meat for extra indulgence, The Plaza’s version of the Christmas staple is by far, our favorite. They’ve spent over 50 years perfecting their recipes, so you can be sure that this ham is going to be a crowd favorite. And don’t get us started on how generously sized it is; it’s big enough to feed the whole clan, titos, titas, cousins, lola, lolo, and everyone in between!
P5,760/3 kilos, SM Megamall, Petron Square Dasmariñas, Rustan’s Makati, Power Plant Mall, (02) 729-0003, (02) 890-8446, IG: @theplazainc, www.theplazacatering.com
2. Ube Cake by Caramia
No Filipino spread is complete without ube-flavored desserts playing a major role, so careful not to overdo the main courses in order to make (a lot of) room for this purple-hued creation. This version by Caramia is as classic as it gets. It might look too pretty to slice, but it was meant to be enjoyed—not just Instagrammed! Thick spreads of buttery icing are sandwiched between fluffy and lightly-flavored layers of ube yumminess. Never overpoweringly sweet even after the last bite, no one will question you should you come back for a second serving—which you most likely will.
P825, (02) 822-1111 for deliveries, IG: @caramia.ph, www.caramia.ph for list of branches
3. Cheese Pimiento by Silver Platter
It’s what many had for recess as kids, merienda with mom, and what lolo would often serve on Sunday visits. This time around, when and how you serve up Silver Platter’s extra luxurious version of this Pinoy classic all depends on you. Serve it with crackers as a pre-dinner starter, as a grilled sandwich for an extra special breakfast with the grandkids, or turn it into a dip for veggie sticks for a healthy office snack alternative. Just make sure to bring enough as you're bound to share with your seatmates!
P500, (0927) 485-3399, IG: @silverplatterph
4. Pot Roast Beef by The Party Kitchen
You know you're in for a good time when roast beef is on the menu. The hearty dish is one that was made to go with rice or potatoes, which means, no diets allowed when this is on the table! And because this dish gets better over time, worry not about keeping untouched portions of it safe and sound in the fridge. It’ll taste better and bolder once reheated and enjoyed the second time around. (Wait and see—there will be nothing left to store again after that).
P1,590/large (good for 10-12 persons), (02) 519-1111, IG: @thepartykitchenph, www.thepartykitchen.ph/menu
5. Pancit Lagkit by Pepita’s Kitchen
Don't forget to slurp your share of pancit for better chances at living a long, fulfilling life! This particular one by Dedet de la Fuente of Pepita’s Kitchen is her version of the famous pancit Parañaque, her ode to her childhood hometown. Filled with veggies and lots of pig’s ears, this bilao good for 15 persons (or more) is always a tasty inclusion to your holiday dining lineup. Don't forget a squeeze of calamansi juice for that extra zing!
Price upon request, (0917) 866-0662, IG: @lechon_diva, FB: @LechonDiva of Pepitas Kitchen
6. Classic 1930s Ensaymada and Cheese Rolls by Homemade Treasures
There are but a few pastries that can rival the simple, yet consistently delicious Filipino cheese roll and ensaimada. Both have been mainstays in every celebration imaginable for as long as can be remembered, and this Christmas, we're highly recommending those made by Homemade Treasures based in Pampanga. The cheese rolls are crusted with a fine layer of sugar and butter, and biting into them releases a wave of cheese that's just the right amount of salty and flavorful. And the delicate ensaimadas? Made from an old family recipe, they're topped with shredded queso de bola that both complements and balances out its doughy sweetness.
Ensaimadas P300/2 pcs, P585/4 pcs, P840/6 pcs, P1,260/9 pcs, P1,680/12 pcs
Cheese Rolls P365/4 pcs, P500/6 pcs, P750/9 pcs, P1,000/12 pcs
(0928) 507-0928, IG: @homemadetreasures, December deliveries scheduled on the 9th and 16th
7. Pastel Snowflake Cake by Shoppersville Bakeshoppe
Here’s something the young (and young at heart) will love you for from this Katipunan institution. As a cake that’s made to be as cute as it is delicious, it’ll surprise you with its fluffy layers of old-fashioned chiffon, in mocha, orange, or chocolate flavors, frosted with customers’ favorite marshmallow icing in any color you so desire.
P1,100/9-inch mocha or orange chiffon, P1,400 9-inch chocolate, 355 Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, (02) 263-8380, (0906) 401-0896, FB: @shoppersvillebakeshoppe
Cover by Pat Mateo
Photos by Pat Buenaobra
Styling by Angelique Castro
Art Direction by Butchie Peña
Shot on location at Discovery Primea
Special thanks to Margaux Hontiveros