I grew up opting to watch cooking shows over cartoons on Saturday mornings. This tagline ushers in my age old tale of how I got interested in food and cooking as an 8 year old lass. I would tune in on a show called "Cooking It Up With Nora". Nora was Nora Daza, the grand dame of Filipino Cooking.She was the queen of Pinoy cooking shows. I don't remember her sharing the limelight with anyone.


But this post is not about her, or her iconic cooking show. During the odd times that I chose to watch cartoons, I watched Strawberry Shortcake. The sweet and fruity cartoon of the 80s. I hope I am not the only one who remembers her, with her gigantic strawberry sized cap, the shape of a chef's hat. How could you forget such a cutie?



This weekend, I was fondly reminded of her. In the most extraordinary instance, I might add. We paid our first visit to Shangri-la at the Fort. Being a San Juanite, it is a big deal to drive to the Fort on a Saturday afternoon. We had our eyes set on Pink's, the famed L.A. hotdog joint. But I choose to write about it in a separate post.


We chose to explore the Shangri-la at the Fort without spending much. We told ourselves, yeah right... What chance do we have at that? Might as well just sit for tea or coffee.


We walked past the hotel lobby, across to the High Street Lounge.



It had the high ceiling, elaborate interiors, and huge windows that we expected. We browsed the menu quickly and was pleasantly surprised with the price points on coffee and afternoon tea offerings. Soon enough, we made our choices and we soon had our coffee table filled with goodies.


But one item earned its well-deserved close up. Make a wild guess?


Strawberry Shortcake.


The strawberry is always synonymous to lusciousness. What with seeing it dipped in chocolate in many glossy print ads. Or Julia Roberts eating strawberries with champagne in Richard Gere's suite in Pretty Woman.


Seeking out a strawberry dessert around Metro Manila often leads to disappointment. Our search for a grand strawberry cake always leaves us in a lost cause. It just feels more accurate saying it in tagalog. Lagi kaming umuuwing luhaan.


But today, it was different. In a glass showcase of desserts, this cake would be your unlikely choice. It didn't look at all enticing. It was tempting to choose another.



But on the strength of our server's recommendation, we said, okay let's try it!



It looked unimpressive at first glance. But after the first bite, it was love. Like Valentines' Day all over again. The layering of pound cake, lipsmacking vanilla bean cream and plump strawberry bits tasted like heaven. All those previous heartbreaks just melted into thin air. My sister told me about a strawberry shortcake she tasted in Baguio which was as good. But for the time being... This. Is. The. Best. Strawberry. Shortcake. Ever!!!


At P180 a slice, this is the cake to beat. So good with coffee or tea!  Maybe the Shangri-la ambiance helped. Whatever did it for this cake, I am so raring to go back!



I hope to see you there too!

P.S. This article originally appears in my personal blog, Chowpowwows, where chow is always on the lowdown. 


High Street Lounge
Level 2, Shangri-La at The Fort, 
30th St, Taguig, Metro Manila

Published by Michelle Africa