New Dessert Alert: Kuya J launches The Halo-Halo Espesyal

When it comes to Filipino desserts, nothing beats halo-halo in taste and variety. It has two uniquely Pinoy desserts, the leche flan and the ube halaya, as its ingredient, and if desserts within a dessert doesn’t convince you of why the halo-halo should be considered our national Filipino dessert, then consider the fact that the halo-halo mirrors the mix of diverse cultures that made the Filipino culture what it is today. Each ingredient contributed to the flavorful and colorful treat that Pinoys and foreigners alike love and look forward to, especially during the scorching summer season.

To me, a good halo-halo has at least two out of three things: thinly shaved ice, lip-smacking milk, and the right composition of ingredients. I’m not a big fan of ice or temperature extremes (food that’s too hot or too cold), which is why I go as far as waiting for my ice cream to melt before enjoying it. This is why the first item on my list is important – thinly shaved ice allows me to enjoy the halo-halo sooner because it melts faster. Second to ice, milk makes up a big portion of the halo-halo, so it has to taste good! Lastly, good halo-halo is not about having the most number of ingredients thrown into the mix. It’s about finding the balance between too many and too few ingredients, and making sure that the ingredients complement each other well. Getting all three makes it the perfect halo-halo, if it even exists!

So when Kuya J Restaurant announced the launch of their new Halo-Halo Espesyal, I wanted to see for myself if it was my kind of halo-halo. More than just a new addition to the menu, they made sure to do something different with their halo-halo to offer a special and exciting way to enjoy the dessert. Not only did they use paper-thin shaved ice, the ice is also made of milk! Why has no one else thought of that before?

Doing so gave the shaved ice a rich and creamy consistency, and allowed it to melt in your mouth while you savored the other ingredients. And when it comes to ingredients, they made sure to include a thick chunk of homemade leche flan on top, sprinkled with crunchy corn flakes, and drizzled with ube cream that effortlessly goes well with the ice made of milk. The rest of my favorite ingredients were included too, like the sweet and meaty macapuno strings, caramelized saba, a serving of velvety ube jam, and glazed langka. You just have to dig in deep and find these burst of flavors at the bottom of your glass.

All this is served in a huge goblet and is affordably priced at Php 99. I know the summer season’s officially over, but this won’t stop me from getting my hands on a cool glass of this treat anytime soon!

Aside from the new dessert, let me also share with you some of my other Kuya J discoveries and insta-faves, since it was my first time to dine at Kuya J:

Kuya J Lumpia Presko. Sauteed crab meat and bamboo shoots filling rolled in malunggay wrapper. For the diet-conscious and the healthy eaters, this is a good choice of appetizer to try!


Kuya J Kare-Kare. Kuya J’s new take on the Kare-Kare includes a reinvented peanut sauce. I’m not a big fan of Kare-kare (because I don’t particularly enjoy the taste of peanut), but this I liked!


Kuya J Crispy Pata. The star of the table offers a perfectly deep-fried pork skin, with tender juicy pata meat underneath. This was easily my favorite dish!


Kuya J Sisig. Best enjoyed with friends, pero pwede ding on your own!


Kuya J Danggit Rice. I enjoyed the danggit rice immensely, because the fish lent a naturally salty flavor to the rice. Not to mention, danggit is one of my all-time favorite fish! It worked well with all the other dishes we tried, too!

If you have never tried any of Kuya J’s dishes before, I can tell you that they’re definitely worth coming back for! More than the variety that their menu offers, it’s Kuya J’s fresh take on traditional Pinoy cuisines that makes the experience special and worth looking forward to. Have a taste of their special brand of heartfelt cooking (and their Halo-Halo Espesyal) at a Kuya J Restaurant nearest you!-HANA


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