Chewy Junior – Soft and Chewy Cream Puffs in Different Flavors!

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I’m not a sweets person, although I love ice creams, chocolates, and brownies, I find myself looking for pastry with light creams/filling to balance the sweet sugary taste that most bakeshops or boutiques seem to be doing to compensate for cutting down on the flavor elements.  That’s when I discovered cream puffs.  So just like my sisig obsession where I would order sisig from any restaurant that offers them just so I could compare, I also try out different cream puffs just to see how each one would fare against the others.  This reminds me, I should do a cream puff review… (*jots down a reminder*).  Looking at SM Mall of Asia’s restaurant directory (which is now a board printout placed on top of the touch screen…?), we came across the name “Chewy Junior”, and it immediately sparked our interest.

Store Location

It’s located at the 2nd Floor, of the Entertainment Mall section of Mall of Asia, near the south wing, beside Roti Mum, and near the Science Discovery Center.

The Wandering Boots _ Chewy Junior
Red circle marks the spot (click to see a larger image).

About the Shop

Before I proceed with the review of the shop, it’s important to note that they’re on their SOFT OPENING so perhaps after a few weeks, some of my review about the store and service may not be applicable.

The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 01
There were a couple sets of tables and chairs outside. You can see Mario sitting outside while waiting for some of the customers inside to get out. The shop is really small so it was best to give way to diners who are done and are leaving the shop than crowd the place by forcing our continuously growing bodies (and bellies) to fit in the cramped space. ^_^;

The store had seats or a lounge inside the shop which was cramped and the aircon doesn’t seem to be working effectively or perhaps because there’s constant baking and the heat from the ovens are overpowering the cool air from the air-conditioning system.  Nevertheless, we chose to eat inside (because of the comfy seats) rather than staying outside which would probably have been breezier and cooler because of Typhoon Mina’s lingering effects.

The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 02
Here's the view from outside. The glass wall/window shoes a part of the kitchen or work area, and a display of some of the goodies. I think it would have been better if there were cream puff trays were placed near the windows, facing out to the people passing by instead of the pizza that wasn't really their main product.

Their staff, although very knowledgeable about their product, weren’t the friendliest and accommodating bunch.  It wasn’t clear to me if it was a “pay as you order” thing or pay later thing because when we ordered, we got served the puffs, and the pizza was served later, yet nobody asked for our payment or gave us our total bill.  I volunteered to pay in the middle of our meal after I noticed that the other customers who came in after us paid right away.  Another feedback about the shop is that it looked like they were too many people working in such a small space.  Anyway, I bet they’ll learn a lot after 1 week of soft opening…

The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 06
Display isn't full... But they were doing their best to cope with the orders and display.
The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 07
Here's a look at their working space, the ovens, the dips, blenders, and all. Really small and I can tell it was pretty difficult to move as I watched them yelling "Hot" to the other crew members to avoid getting near the hot trays they were transferring from oven to cooling rack. Although, eventually, I heard a couple of "Aray!" and "Init!"... ^_^ It can't be helped when there's too many in a space that's too little.
The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 08
Here's a view of their cushioned seats/bench... It's clean, and the colors are pleasing to the eyes... Yet, the space is very small, again... In fact, we need not stand up when our pizza order was ready to be served. One of the Chewy Junior crew just handed it over their small counter divider/window, to Mario, who obviously had very good reach... ^_^;

The Menu and What We Ordered

I think that everything on the menu was priced fairly.  The puffs, are priced at P45 and P55, depending on flavor.    They also sell boxes of their mini-puffs but their headboard menu didn’t include the price.  If I’m not mistaken, it was 179 for 15 mini-puffs.  I didn’t expect it, but they also served pizza for the same price as the cream puffs, P45 – P55.  We asked which one’s the best seller and they recommended NY Cheesecake which was a premium flavor so it’s P55.  Together with the best seller, we ordered the Chewy Original, a deluxe flavor for P45, Twisted Pepperoni pizza for P45, Meaty of the Minds for P55, Just Lemon Iced Tea for P45, and Wicked Watermelon P55.

Here’s a photo of their menu (click to get a larger version):

The Wandering Boots _ Chewy Junior Menu
Their cap says "U Gonna Love It". Because it was soft opening, a lot on the menu are, understandably, not available.
The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 18
Left: Meaty of the Minds / Center down: NY Cheesecake / Center top: Just Lemon Iced Tea / Right down: Chewy Original / Right up: Twisted Pepperoni

Chewy Original P45/each (a DELUXE flavor)  The Wandering Boots Rating 3 SMALL

When I asked for the best sellers, this one wasn’t recommended and I wondered why because normally the original or basic flavor is what most stores are known for.  If you make the simplest item on the menu good enough for it to be liked by people, then it would be easier to build up on it and sell variations.  Well, in Chewy Junior’s case, I now understand why the Chewy Original wasn’t a favorite.  It was lacking sweetness which I thought the white powder on top would have brought into the cream puff but it didn’t.  So now I’m confused if the white powder was really powdered sugar or not…  Anyway, as for its texture, it was indeed chewy…  Well, I expected it to be chewy on the inside, but their menu board said that their puffs should be “crispy on the outside”…  It wasn’t…  That’s probably from sitting out in the display rack for a long time.  Well, it’s not all bad because I liked the cream which is very important in cream puffs!  The cream was heavier than most creams used in puffs but I liked it because it sort of had a cooled butter icing feel to it everytime I take a bite.  I also like that it’s bigger than the usual cream puffs for its price.

The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 12
Probably not enough powdered sugar? If it wasn't sweet enough for me, it's worse for Mario because he likes everything sweeter than how people usually like them.

NY Cheesecake  P55/each (a PREMIUM flavor)  The Wandering Boots Rating 4 SMALL

Out of the 2 cream puffs we ordered that day, we liked this decked up version more than the plain Chewy Original.  It’s because this had more flavor and sweetness (it should, with the extra cream and cheese and whatnots…  So I was very happy with this one, although it also had an issue of the lack of the “crispiness” on the outside that their posters were saying…  If the outside was crispy enough, I could have gotten a nice shot of the puffs sliced open, but it was really chewy through and through so when we tried to “fork” it open (they didn’t have knife), it didn’t look pretty.

The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 15

Meaty of the Minds P55/slice  The Wandering Boots Rating 5 SMALL

The pizzas we ordered were surprisingly good!  They’re even better than our chewy cream puff experience.  And, like the cream puffs, the serving size was generous for its price.  Although I think SM sells their rectangular pizza (2 triangular slices) at around P70, but the SM’s pizza  is more bread, and Chewy Junior pizza is generous with the toppings.  Just a little bit of warning, Meaty of the Minds was on the salty side, which wasn’t a problem for me… ^_^

The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 17

Twisted Pepperoni P45/slice  The Wandering Boots Rating 5 SMALL

Mario liked this one because it wasn’t as salty as Meaty of the Minds.  We’d order this again if we happen to find ourselves inside Chewy Junior shop.

The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 16

Overall

I love the cream in their puffs, I love the serving size which is bigger than the usual cream puff and bigger than the usual pizza slice.  I didn’t like how super chewy the outside was to the point that I was fighting a bit with my food.  It wasn’t a huge struggle to eat them but my expectation was set by the menu board and their poster so I thought they were really going to be crispy on the outside.  I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt though, because it was just soft opening and a lot of things aren’t really upto standard when restaurants are in their soft opening.  I’ll definitely give them a another try especially that their shop, so far, offers the most number of cream puff flavors I’ve ever seen in one shop.

More pictures!

The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 11

The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 22
Regular sized cream puffs
The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 24
Hello mini cream puffs!
The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 23
I've decided to try this one next time! This one's Nutella!
The Wandering Boots_Chewy Junior 03
They offered Mini Puffs but the prices aren't on the menu. They said it's P179 for a box of 15 minis.

Contact Information:

Website:  http://www.chewyjunior.net/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ChewyJrPhilippines

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No Bake, Stove Top Pizza – Easiest Homemade Pizza Recipe!

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One day, me and Mario were at the grocery and he requested that we bake our own pizza…  So naturally I said, we can’t, because we don’t have an oven…  So then I suggested, we can make pizza “pandesal”, or even pizza baguette and just use an oven toaster (hassle)… ^_^;  But then I had a lightbulb moment!  I want my pizza to still be that wonderful iconic circle of goodness, can hold tomato sauce on top and not absorb it, can carry toppings and not be soaked and soggy, I want my pizza to be crispy, if it’s not deep dish then I want the crust to be crazy thin!  The perfect idea, a Tortilla Pizza!  I’ve been playing with tortilla bread for a long time now, cooking my version of KFC’s twister and then before they had that sandwich style chicken in a tortilla (I forgot what they called it).  So now, pizza is the game!  Here’s my Tortilla Pizza recipe!

Easiest and Quickest Tortilla Pizza Recipe

Tortilla Pizza Recipe

Ingredients:

Tortilla bread

*  You can choose any kind you want – wheat, regular, vegetarian — and any size as long as it fits in your pan.  You can buy this in the freezer section of the grocery, together with the ready-made pizza crust and lumpia wrapper (at least for SM Sucat Hypermarket that’s exactly where you’ll find it.)

Tomato sauce

Quickmelt cheese (Mozzarella cheese if you have budget)

I’ve tried brands Magnolia and Che Vital.  Magnolia melts quicker and all the way through while Che Vital doesn’t really melt well but that’s 30PHP cheaper.

Toppings

This can be anything you want, I prefer red onions, greenbell pepper, mushrooms, pre-cooked and seasoned ground beef.

Other things you’ll need:

A pan with cover (to keep the hot air inside the pan and heat the pizza evenly on top.  Otherwise, the tortilla will get burnt while the cheese isn’t totally melted.)

A flat spatula (I recommend something that’s really wide and flexible so it’ll be really easy to slide under the pizza for getting it into the pan and out of the pan)

Easiest and Quickest Tortilla Pizza Recipe
This kind of spatula or an even more flexible one would be ideal. Photo credit http://4ugifts.co.il

Simple steps:

1)  With the covered pan in place, put the stove on in low fire/heat and leave it closed while we’re preparing the pizza.

2)  Use a spoon or a ladle to get some tomato sauce into the tortilla bread and use the bottom of the ladle to spread the sauce all over the bread.

Easiest and Quickest Tortilla Pizza Recipe

3)  You can start piling up the toppings at this point.  You can either put slices of cheese first before the rest of the toppings, or leave the cheese for last so that they melt on top of the toppings and bind them together.  Or, you can always put a thin layer of cheese at the bottom, then rest of the toppings, and  top it with a thin layer of cheese.

*  Note:  If you’re using Magnolia Quickmelt, you don’t really need to grate the cheese because this brand of cheese melts easily and completely.  You won’t even notice which block of cheese was what and where after it’s been melted.  But if you’re using Che Vital Quickmelt cheese, better to grate or cut really thin slices.  This cheese will melt but not completely, so you’ll still see rectangular cheese slices in the pizza.

Easiest and Quickest Tortilla Pizza Recipe
This is a sample of one version I did using Magnolia Quickmelt. I sliced thin strips of cheese and laid them in the bottom (after the tomato sauce), then all the toppings on top of that. Plus additional slices of cheese on top of everything else. It's inside the pan now, ready for melting... ^_^
Easiest and Quickest Tortilla Pizza Recipe
And this is how it looks like after the cheese melts. See what I mean about the cheese being completely melted? Yum!
Easiest and Quickest Tortilla Pizza Recipe
This is the version using Che Vital Quickmelt. I grated the cheese to make it easier to melt.
Easiest and Quickest Tortilla Pizza Recipe
And again with the Che Vital Quickmelt, after the cheese melted. Not really a total meltdown. I like Magnolia's Quickmelt cheese better because when it melts, it blankets over the whole pizza.

4)  With the help of the flat spatula, place the “pizza-to-be” in the pan, and place the cover back.

5)  Pizza will be ready in 5 minutes, and you can open the cover to check on it every now and then even before 5 minutes is up, so  you can decide whether to let it stay for a while more before take it out using your flexible flat spatula.

Easiest and Quickest Tortilla Pizza Recipe
More please! Yum! I can finish 2 6inch tortilla pizza in one sitting. ^_^ And I use a regular knife to slice them up. A pizza cutter would just be too fancy and expensive. I'd rather buy 300PHP worth of toppings or more tortilla bread than get a pizza cutter (unless it's for free - that's a different story). ^_^;

This is really easy, and pizza will be flying out of the kitchen in quicker time than in takes to finish the 1st batch!  Mario and I have been having this pizza feast for 1 week now and because of the 100% control over which toppings you can add to the recipe (or prefer not to have), there can be a number of variety of pizza flavors you can experiment with!  Every dinner time, our kitchen smells like Pizza Hut kitchen (no joke)!  It makes me hungry just thinking about it now… ^_^  Another thing I like about this Tortilla Pizza recipe is that I can enjoy more toppings, less bread… ^_^;

Have fun with this recipe and the different pizza flavors you come up with!  Hmm…. how about dried squid pizza instead of anchovies…?  Hmmm….

Easiest and Quickest Tortilla Pizza Recipe

*** Quick tips:

–  Don’t put cheese at the very edge of the tortilla because once it melts, it will have a tendency to spill over the bread and make a hot sizzling pan of cheesy mess.

–  If you want a great bargain on tortilla bread (50% off of the usual price which is around 100PHP for 12pcs of 6inch, or 120PHP for 10pcs of 12inch tortilla), you can wait for the half-off sale (closing sale) of French Baker.  The Mall of Asia  and Megamall branches have a good number of tortilla breads left over at the end of the day and nobody, except for me and my bro (that I know of) buys them.