Sunday morning, we dropped by Mercato Centrale at its new location in Bonifacio Global City, close to the Lexus dealership and MC Home Depot - or, for petrolheads out there, the former location of the Manila Speedzone karting racetrack that bade goodbye in 2007.
|Who are we to say no to freebies?|
Apparently we lucked out on our visit. Comedian and writer RJ Ledesma had microphone in hand, announcing that Empire Macaroons was giving away free "macarons" for all the visitors and even the store tenants of Mercato Centrale. This was part of the World Macaron Day 2011 celebration. Off-mike, RJ was chatting away and gamely inviting visitors, asking if they had already tried the macaroons.
|RJ Ledesma was around to invite visitors...|
|...to these. So many little bites of heaven :)|
Everybody was entitled to one freebie, but with a charity donation to the Real Life Foundation, the ladies at Empire gave away two. Knowing how Mabie is such a huge fan of French macaroons, and driven to scratch a gastronomic curious itch, we gave two separate donations to sample four different flavors of the little pastry sandwiches. We tried the Mocha Kahlua, Rose Petals, Chili Chocolate and Citrus.
Now it would've been easy to cynically dismiss all this as a stunt to push mediocre wares, but they were genuinely good, with surprising variety and delicacy in the different flavors and even textures. The Citrus one was the softest, with a moister filling compared to the others. The Chili Chocolate, while nice, didn't have the kind of Aztec-style spicy chocolate kick I was expecting - what happened to the chili I wonder?
|Citrus and Chili Chocolate|
Positively left-field was the Rose Petals flavor, an interesting curio that really did taste like my idea of eating flowers (and no, not the cauliflower or broccoli kind).
Out of the macaroons, our favorite was the Mocha Kahlua, hands-down. The coffee and chocolate blend was just exquisite, tasting like something much larger than the itty-bitty confection held in Mabie's hand. It was that flavorful.
|The insides of the Mocha Kahlua macaroon. Yummy!|
A bit of searching the Internet reveals that Empire Macaroons is based in Rockwell. You might want to drop by and sample their stuff, or take home a box of your own little bites of heaven.