Mabuhay! Favorite Ube Desserts in NYC

Yesterday was the Philippines' Independence Day and if you're a long time follower of mine, then you know Alexa and I have celebrated this Filipino holiday together on our blogs with a feature called Mabuhay since 2014. It's a way for us to honor our shared heritage and each year we try to do something different -- sharing personal stories, or talking about our favorite Filipino restaurants, movies, music, brands, art, you name it! And of course, books are always mentioned. 

This year, Alexa will be talking about Kabisera (a new-to-us Filipino restaurant) while I'm going to share a ranking of our favorite Ube desserts in NYC. In case you didn't know, ube is a sweet purple yam native to the Philippines and a cultural staple in our cuisine. It's become pretty popular in the U.S. lately so we thought it would be fun to share some of our favorites and rank them. Two Saturdays ago, Alexa and I met up in the city and proceeded to try (or in some cases, re-try) six different ube desserts throughout the day. Here's how we ranked them! 

[top-bottom; left-right; ignore the selfies ☺]

6 • Ube hopia from Kabisera: It's a flaky pastry that's often filled with mung bean or ube (it's sometimes compared to Chinese mooncakes). We liked it but we wished the ube flavor had been stronger. 

5 • Ube cream puff from Keki Modern Cakes: Tasty but definitely on the sweet side. We had to share and still couldn't even eat half (to be fair, this was also our 5th dessert of the day!).

4 • Ube biko from Kabisera: Biko is a sweet rice cake topped with coconut and the one served at Kabisera did not disappoint! It was just the right amount of ube-ness and sweetness. 

3 • Ube iced lattes from Kabisera: The latte was delicious! I've had ube lattes before (from different restaurants) and this one captured the flavoring perfectly. I had to pace myself because I was so tempted to drink it all (and order another!). 

2 • Ube bouncy cheese cake from Keki Modern Cakes: We've had this cake once before and we remember loving it so we were excited to try it again. It was just as good as we remembered and if it hadn't been our last dessert of the day, we probably could've eaten at least half the cake between the two of us. (I happily took the leftovers home.) 

1 • Ube soft serve from Soft Swerve: And here's our #1! We've been to this place at least 5 times and we always ordered their ube flavored desserts. But it's been at least 3 years since we were last here so we were long overdue for a visit. We ordered their Woodside special which consists of, "Ube Purple Yam Ice Cream With Toasted Coconut on Top and Bottom, Finished With a Ring of Mochi" and again, even better than we remembered! I already want to go back for more. 


And now, to end this post with a couple of books!
 To keep things simple, Alexa and I will each recommend a book by a Filipino author and share one we'd like to read. Here are my picks:

My book recommendation: 
Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
I read this in 2016 and the story really stuck with me. It's about a Filipino teenager in her senior year of high school and just as she's ready to make her immigrant parents proud with a full scholarship to college, she finds out that their visas expired years ago and they're actually illegal. It's a story of identity, culture, the "American Dream," family, and more. Honestly, just recapping it for you all makes me want to reread it. 

I want to read:
This book comes out on Aug 9 and I actually have it for review, so I'll be reading it next month. The tagline on Goodreads describes it as, "a kaleidoscopic, emotionally charged debut about a tight-knit community of Mexican and Filipino American families on the Texas coast." I have a feeling it's going to be a very relevant read and I can't wait to get to it. 

So that's my post for Mabuhay! I hope you enjoyed and don't forget to check our Alexa's post!

If you'd like to see posts we've done in the past, check them out here

1 comment

  1. It's been so long since I've had Soft Swerve and now I'm craving it!


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