Whether you want to impress your guests (or yourself) or you simply hate slaving over the stove for hours, made-to-order party food trays are heaven sent. But not all food trays are made equal.
Here are some of the best ones in town:
1. The Plaza Catering
The Plaza is one of the oldest and most celebrated catering businesses in the metro. More than 50 years and four generations later, they’re still going strong. Today, Chef Karla Reyes—the great granddaughter of Engracia Cruz Reyes, founder of the Aristocrat Restaurant in 1935—is at the helm of The Plaza Catering. They’re famous for their Premium Baked Ham (P1,500/kg), a timeless classic. But to stay relevant and up-to-date, they’ve added new dishes to their repertoire, like their New York-Style Hot Pastrami (P2,800/kg), which Chef Karla introduced in December 2016.
2. The Good Seed by Edgy Veggy
The Good Seed is the deli and catering arm of Edgy Veggy, one of the most loved vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Metro Manila. Agriculturist, farmer, yogi, and homeopathy advocate Denise Celdran opened Edgy Veggy in 2008 when she “realized that most vegetarians don’t get enough protein, eat too much carbohydrates and sweets, and end up gaining weight.” Thanks to The Good Seed, vegans and vegetarians can bring their A-game (not just salads) to potlucks. Made from all-natural and organic ingredients, The Good Seed by Edgy Veggy will surely be a hit, especially with today’s growing demand for healthier food options. Try their Vegetable Lasagna with Soy Milk Bechamel (P1,650) and Sisig (P300)—their signature mixture of Shiitake and tofu on a bed of fried brown rice with turmeric and coconut.
3. The Olive Treat
The Olive Treat is owned and operated by “One-Man Roaster” Marco Olives, who aims to share “dishes we grew up eating with family and friends because the best memories are over good food.” From procuring the ingredients and cooking these beloved dishes to delivering to your doorstep, Marco does it all. This is indeed a “one-man business” and he actually prefers it that way. According to him, “this is the perfect way to ensure that all of the products are of great quality.” Our recommendation? Enjoy the Slow-Roasted Pork Belly (P750/kg, minimum of 2 kg per order).
4. The Party Kitchen
From The Romulo Food Group that brought us Romulo Café & Lounge, Cerchio, and Claudia’s Kitchen comes The Party Kitchen, a food delivery service that vows to “bring back the ‘special’ in special delivery.” The Party Kitchen is known for their take on usual Filipino party favorites like the proverbial Pinoy Spaghetti, Pancit Malabon, and Lumpiang Shanghai. But aside from these classics, we suggest you explore The Party Kitchen’s extensive party menu. Try the Kare-kareng Tadyang (P990/large), Lechon Roll (P1,300/1.5kg), Callos (P990), Chap Chae (P885/tray), and K-Pop Chicken Wings (P895).
5. Lily & Rose Manila
Lily & Rose Manila has appeared in some of the fanciest gatherings in the metro—from intimate dinners in a famed blogger’s home to a well-attended opening of a premium makeup brand. People have been raving about Lily & Rose’s upscale dishes, all of which are available in food trays, making it perfect for sharing with hungry friends with discriminating tastes. They also serve awesome starter platters like Caviar Bites and Salmon Tartare. You can request for a customized menu based on the theme of your party to make your get-together even more fabulous. Aside from their outstanding food trays, they also offer packaged meals with specific caloric content. Who says you have to deprive yourself when you’re trying to stay healthy?
6. Rustic Mornings by Isabelo
Before Portia Dee Baluyut became the celebrity chef that she is now, it was her dream to open her own restaurant. She grew up watching and enjoying the cooking of her beloved lola Chit and she ended up falling in love with food, too. Together with the rest of her family, she opened Isabelo Garden Restaurant in Marikina City, an intimate, reservation-only garden restaurant. A few years later, the concept of Isabelo evolved into Rustic Mornings by Isabelo, the perfect brunch place in the suburbs.
Aside from bringing us culinary delights like sinfully irresistible Fried Chicken and Waffles and Homemade Bagnet, you can now bring Rustic Mornings’ goodness to any party with their equally sumptuous food trays.
It doesn’t have to be a holiday for you to enjoy Banapple’s party food trays. In fact, you don’t need an excuse to bring a tray of Banapple goodness home. From a humble pie-and-cheesecake place a few years ago, Banapple now has 14 branches around the metro—delighting the public with their no-fail pasta dishes and rice meals. Check out their full party selection menu with a list of delectable cakes, but allow us to suggest the definite must-tries. Order the Lasagna Roll-Ups (minimum P1,535), Baked Creamy Cheesy Penne (P1,360), Hickory Smoked Barbecue Country Ribs (P1,600), Herbed Chicken Rolls with Basil Cream Sauce (P1,450), and Banoffee Pie (P880).
8. Gigi Gaerlan Custaroons
After 11 years of experimenting and perfecting her unique recipe for Custaroons (custard + macaroon), Gigi Gaerlan opened her first Custaroonery store in 2010 at the St. Pio Chapel Compound in Libis, Quezon City. Today, she has 13 stores around the metro plus three separate pick-up points for special orders. Custaroons are little perfect bites of pure joy. The top half is a chewy macaroon and the bottom half is creamy and sweet custard. With the growing demand for such a unique treat, they now accept special orders so you can bring dozens and dozens of Custaroons and Poppers to your party (or your bedroom) because believe us when we say one bite is not enough.
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