New Food Alert: Ombu Kusina’s Flavored Ice Halo-Halo
What’s summer without halo-halo? A hot mess, that’s what it is. For most of us, it’s not summer until you’re sitting near the beach scarfing down a chilled glass of icy halo-halo. So it seemed fitting for us to don summer outfits on a particularly hot Saturday to find out more about the flavored ice halo-halo at Ombu Kusina in Tomas Morato.
3 Halo-Halo Flavors for the Summer
So here’s the lowdown.
The Ombu Kusina halo-halo comes in 3 flavors: Mango, Tres Leches, Milktea. What sets their halo-halo apart is the use of flavored ice. Instead of having shaved ice and adding milk and syrup on top to flavor it, Ombu Kusina flavors the ice itself so the taste doesn’t dilute as the ice melts. Aside from that, they use very finely shaved ice that gives you the consistency of smoothie while you’re eating . No more crunching down on mouthfuls of ice with this halo-halo.
If you’re into a rich and milky halo-halo that is closer to our classic Filipino flavors, your best bet would be to get the Tres Leches. It’s rich without being cloyingly sweet, making it an easy decision for those that want a familiar taste punched up a few notches.
But if you’re one of those hard core milk tea lovers, you will definitely like enjoy the brewed tea taste of the milk tea variant. According to the owners, the flavor is the favorite of their sister Iris. And while it might feel like an odd way to have milk tea, it actually makes a lot of sense. How many milk tea drinkers have found themselves spooning the last bits of pearls at the bottom of their cups? This version is bound to keep the tea colder for longer too.
But me? I love Philippine mangoes. So the mango halo-halo wins it for me. Under the icy mango puree was saging na saba, nata de coco and red and white beans so you get all the classic chewy add-ons but with the sweetness from the mangoes.
Other Summer Merienda Items from Ombu Kusina
While I would have been perfectly happy with just the halo-halo, we knew that Ombu Kusina had a lot more merienda favorites in store for us. I personally liked Chef Griffin’s take on the arroz caldo. It was thick, sticky and gooey and topped with some alfalfa, red pepper, crispy wonton and a cured egg.
The cured egg is a staple at ramen shops but I think its addition to the arroz caldo added an extra flavor from the soy sauce and an added texture because of its soft boiled interior. It’s best eaten piping hot with the classic tokwa’t baboy — fried tofu cubes are mixed with crispy pork chunks and sit in spicy vinegar sauce.
If you like tinapa, be sure to check out the tinapa croquettes. The creamed smoked fish is coated in breadcrumbs and served with a special mayo dip. But if you sandwiches are more up your alley, you have to try the Suzi Wong Sandwich. It’s not for the fainthearted though! It is a ham, cheese and pickle sandwich that’s deep fried and served with sweet potato chips.
If you’re dining with family or friends, I’d definitely recommend Ombu’s Three Cheese Pizza. It features three Filipino favorites – queso de bola, mozzarella and kesong puti. The thin crust pizza is crisp and the melted cheeses give the right combination of richness and saltiness.
There are so many delicious dishes at Ombu Kusina and their merienda options alone merit a few return trips. If you ask me, I’d likely bring my family or my girlfriends here for a big lunch and end the meal with a glass of halo-halo. It’s perfect for the summer weather and worth every calorie. And because we love you, we’re extending the summer fun with an exclusive 10% discount on your total bill. Just use the following code when you dine in: VIPHungrytravelduo! And… if you treat mom on Mother’s Day in Ombu Kusina, get a special reusable and waterproof ecobag as a gift.
For more updates and salivating Filipino favorites, check out the Facebook page of Ombu Kusina.
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