Foodie Finds With Art Gallery Owner Joanna Preysler Francisco
Welcome to Foodie Finds! This is an article series by Tatler, chronicling where and what to order according to the food-obsessed.
I myself have never understood non-foodies. How can one not love flavours, spices, aromas and all the cultural nuances and memories that come with every bite? Dining is an experience meant to be savoured and is even more fun when shared with loved ones. Dining around a table means sharing, conversing, bonding and learning.
A dish can tell you so much about a person, a culture, and a country. It speaks volumes of a nation's history and is an art form on its own. Skilled hands are trained over years or are born out of pure passion and practice. Professional chefs and home cooks alike, from young stars to grandmothers, have been cooking up meals filled with emotion and have truly made us foodies, happy.
Through Foodie Finds, we ask our epicurean friends to share their favourites. In this feature, we tackle takeout and delivery. Hear what Joanna Preysler Francisco co-founder of Provenance Art Gallery, Sunday Morning food store and fashion designer has to say. Here, she shares her go-to shops for takeout:
Read more: Where To Buy Ensaymada
50 Shades Of Dough
Trisha del Rosario Lacson, who has been my best friend for about 40 years, started this business in San Francisco. She was successful there, then moved back to Manila last year and picked up steam quickly in Manila. Hers is the only ensaymada I’ll eat, and for a once non-ensaymada-lover, that’s a huge deal.
All—and I do mean all—of her cakes, cookies, and her savoury treats like empanada are, simply put, the best in my book. Apart from her ensaymadas and all flavours of empanadas, I recommend her coffee crunch cake, tres or quatro leches, cookies, and just about anything she makes. I don’t speak in hyperbole but she is just that good.
Real Girl Toy Kitchen
Johanna Garcia has been a friend since our school days in San Francisco, and comes from a long line of chef-grade mama home cooks! Her mum, tita (aunt) Tina Roces, and her grandmother have trained her palate since she was a little girl, and I grew up having the best home-cooked meals at their home.
Johanna specialises in heat-and-eat mains, as well as bottled sauces and dips. Recently, I’ve loved all her Thai dishes. [I enjoy] her take on the double eagle cheesesteak sandwich (made for me only, apparently), 48-hour roast beef belly, sous-vide steaks… but the staples in my house are her roasted tomato soup, chimichurri, and hummus which I can eat by the spoonful. Her creamed spinach, on the other hand, I can eat by the pyrex-full!
Everything she makes is with the best ingredients. She meticulously hand cuts her meats, makes her own condiments and sides, and you can taste the love that goes into everything she cooks.
Tatler Tip: Real Girl Toy Kitchen also has great home-made ice cream.
Read more: Where To Buy Ice Cream In Metro Manila
One of my best lockdown finds is this Instagram-based food business. They are super easy to work with, and Chef Nathaniel Imson (“Nats” for short) is eager to suggest, work with his customers' wish lists, and innovate.
I have my favourites from them: kalitiran, porchetta, and just about anything I have ordered has been excellent; made with love, I can tell! Apart from their food being great, they have that added touch of customer service and accommodating requests (extra sauce please).
You can tell that Belly Best aims for complete customer satisfaction, adding little happy notes on top of their containers, making everything they do extra-special. I highly recommend them, and I keep going back for everyday dinners with my family, special occasions with loved ones, and when I need to send out gifts of love.
Karisia Bitong-Gatmaitan is the mama behind this wonderful gem of a home-based kitchen. She has the most delicious carrot cake and carrot cupcakes, which I actually crave. And her scones with clotted cream (only available on Thursdays) are the best I’ve tried this side of London.
She also [creates] meticulously decorated cakes and cupcakes which are perfect for any occasion. Plus, she is so nice and easy to work with—always an added treat.
My first ever go-to food delivery service during this lockdown. KC’s Kitchen is homecoming, traditional fare that we have come back to again and again. Our Taco Tuesdays in my home are courtesy of KC’s, and they have the best crispy pork belly, baby squid in garlic and olive oil, and prawn mayonesa with garlic noodles. When I need to send a gift of food, I call on Katrina of KC’s Kitchen and they never disappoint. They have truly become a staple in my home!
Azucar y Sal
I have to mention them too, as they’ve consistently had the best Italian fileto steaks, Chicken Alexander, and chicken relleno. Yum!