Cerealicious' conception back in 2005 taught the whole lot of us how to enjoy cereals outside the comforts of our home at any time during the day. These processed grains that come in all forms and colors (C-shaped and brown is my personal preference) graduated from being the cute little things we drown in milk in the mornings to the crunchy snack that go oh so well with pureed ice-milk.
Even before fro-yos arrived on our shores, Filipinos-- mostly students, have been enjoying cup after cup, or should I say trailer after trailer of Cerealicious' fun cold concoctions that incorporate different brands of cereals with fruits, syrups, and chocolates. Together, fans of Cerealicious figure the different movies behind the catchy blockbuster bowl names, then gush about how many times they cried watching My Best Friend's Pudding or how cute Tom Cruise was in Jelly Maguire.
My Bestfriend's Pudding
With such a fetching concept and fun desserts that are impossible not to like, Cerealicious burgeoned from a hidey-hole in the second floor of a car park building at the University of Santo Tomas, to a major player in their category-- with now a growing number of branches across the metro.
Cerealicious further ups the ante by expanding its menu, making it a full-line cafe, and offering freshly cooked meals that are, of course, still made with cereals.
One is advised to start the meal with Bacon Cheese Munchers (P85), a cornflake-crusted ball of mashed potato with a dice of cheese and a small square of bacon strip inside.
Bacon Cheese Munchers
The balls are as good as they look in the picture; it is impossible to stop popping one after the other. A hesitant bite into the crunchy crusting outside would squish the ball and reveal the mushy texture of the smooth, evenly textured potato. The cheese dice and bacon slice are the bonus points for this round.
A ball is good on its own but it gets all the more interesting when you dip it in the sauces supplied. The ball dunked in barbecue dip is highly favored by my taste buds.
The Cerealicious Chicken Pesto (P75 half order, P148 whole) was made for the patrons of the brand who are pasta-lovers.
Cerealicious Chicken Pesto
The cereal factor here comes in the breading of the chicken. Instead of something oily and bland, we get a sweeter, crunchier fillet, care of the crushed cornflake coating.
They could actually get away with serving sub par pasta tossed in grocery pesto paste but Cerealicious makes the effort of cooking al dente pasta, coating it with fresh basil bits, and sticking to their promise of serving healthier food by not making this dish too oily.
There's also the Oatrageous Burger (P138), which again shows how good their team is with naming their products.
The dish features an oat beef burger patty, which as the name suggests, incorporates oat as the meat extender in place of the dubious fillers. I appreciate the effort of giving burgers a healthier face lift, but it's clear that this dish could use a little more salting.
A dish called Bubba Shrimp (P185) is one item you wouldn't expect to read from Cerealicious' menu.
This is their take on everyone's favorite tempura, using cereals in place of the usual suspects for the batter. The batch of shrimps I had was perfect and fresh-- not gummy at all. The mildly spicy Cajun sauce that comes with it presents an interesting way to enjoy deep fried shrimps.
But among all, my heart and the best of my approval goes to Cerealicious Chicken Cordon Bleu (P158).
Cerealicious Chicken Cordon Bleu
It's a stretch to call this dish incredible, but my affection to it is still undeniable. This dish is basically a well-made cordon bleu roll made slightly sweeter (and a lot more special) by the crunchy cornflake breading. Surrounding the roll is a savory cream sauce that well-complements everything. I can eat this everyday.
Cerealicious' attempt in further penetrating the food service market is surprising but favorable. With the expansion of its menu, the metro gained another option for fresh, cooked food served at an affordable price. If only they could do something with the long wait for the food, most likely due to the size of the kitchen that wasn't intended to handle cooking. Whatever step they take, I hope they would not compromise the quality of the dishes-- which at this point, delivers more than what's expected.
The new and further improved Cerealicious taught me to consider the place during casual lunches. But more than anything, it urged me to start coating my food with cereal because it makes everything so much better.