Top 7 Bottles of Joy

Happiness comes in many forms. Sometimes even in bottles. No, I don’t mean instant happiness, but the happiness that comes from food in bottles. It’s hard ranking them because my food cravings change from day to day, but here’s the rundown of my Top 7 favorite bottled foodstuff, in no particular order. (Why 7? Because I was planning to do this post for 07/07/07 but real life got in the way :P)

Nutella Hazelnut SpreadNutella Hazelnut Spread
I first encountered Nutella as a little girl. It’s the stuff childhood memories are made of, along with Horlicks Choco-Malt tablets and Liver Sausage. Don’t mind my memory association. I had a weird childhood. It re-entered my life when I was in college; for some reason, it escaped my notice until that fateful day at the supermarket when I realized, “Hey, they have Nutella!”

A favorite addition to already sinful desserts, its smooth rich chocolate-nutty goodness is just as delicious on a piece of white bread. Try it on crepes, ice cream, cookies—just about anything. Nutella-tastic resto recommendation: Order the Fantastic Pinay Crepe from Café Breton. Then, order a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on top, ala La Pinay. Sheer bliss as the mango and Nutella meld together, making sweet music topped by a luxurious bite of creamy ice cream.

Gourmet Sundried Tomato Pesto
You can feel much love from me to Gourmet, can you? One of my favorite instant bottled Pesto blends, Gourmet’s Sundried Tomato pesto marries the sour-saltiness of sundried tomatoes with fresh basil. It’s a more flavorful pesto variation and lends itself to a host of other dishes, other than just the usual pesto on pasta. Try it with rice or chicken breasts.

YakultWith Lactobacilli Shirota Strain! A yogurt drink hailing back to the days when yogurt drinks were unheard of, Yakult was a food group all on its own. It was deemed healthy and we were told to drink one bottle a day. Just one bottle though, I was told that drinking more was bad for you. Now, I drink a couple of bottles in one sitting but I’m still healthy, still alive, with lots of good bacteria. Plus, I have friends who attest that they would pour three bottles of Yakult in a glass then gulp it down, and nothing bad happened. So, what’s the story?

Bottled Fish Roe
No, it’s not caviar, nor Japanese-style roe like Ebiko or Tobiko. It’s fish roe cooked in olive oil, garlic, and god knows what other spices. I’d like to know too because I’m truly nuts about this and would love to learn how to make it. I haven’t sworn allegiance to any particular brand since I’ve tried only two. I loved them both, but sadly, I can’t find more. My first bottle was branded Carmel, we bought from the Gourmet Silang store, while the other, I think it was called Blue Kitchen, just showed up in our house. I’ve no idea what fair my mom picked it up from but unfortunately, I can’t find any more.

I’ve only learned to eat hummus recently, thanks to forays into foreign food care of Bentolunch. I was on the lookout for some ready-made hummus that would last in the fridge—I wasn’t sure restaurant hummus had the shelf life. Fortunately, my mom spotted a jar of hummus at Healthy Options so now, I can have hummus when I want it, without having to open a can of raw garbanzos. All hail the bottle!

Gourmet Brand Bottled Tuyo
For years now, the lowly dried herring, locally known as Tuyo has been glammed up with olive oil and all sorts of spices. Still, before all these brands began sprouting everywhere, there was Gourmet Tuyo. While I can’t pinpoint when I first encountered it, I am sure it’s one of the first bottled tuyo brands in the market. And to me, it’s still peerless, with its cleanly deboned fillets and perfect blend of spices—it has just a hint of vinegar to add a subtle sourness to the tuyo.

Mine Shine Milk TeaUnfortunately, it’s not as easy to find. That’s why when Gourmet (yes, that Organic Veggie and Salad Dressing brand) participates in food fairs, we make sure to grab a couple of bottles at least. Otherwise, it’s only available at their Silang, Cavite store. (Which reminds me, we’re all out, hence the absence of a photo. Durn.)

Mine Shine Milk Tea
Mine Shine Bottled Milk Tea! I love Mine Shine because it’s light yet milky enough, without being too creamy. You can taste the tea underneath the milk. It’s pleasantly refreshing with a taste I can’t tire of. I enjoy it both cold and hot. Just nuke it in a microwave-safe mug for a minute or so. Mmmm—good!

There you have it. My Top 7 Bottles of Joy. I’m sure you have your own bottled favorites. What’s yours?

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58 Responses to Top 7 Bottles of Joy

  1. nina says:

    Nutella is loooooooooooove ^_^

    • kaoko says:

      For some reason, I associate you with Krispy Kremes. Probably because I was dying with envy when you got invited to that PR Launch. Now I wonder how original glazed krispy kremes would be like with a dollop of Nutella…mmmm…sugar—killing—braincells—

  2. Abigail says:

    I love me some Spicy Morning (Japanese tomatoey sauce with bits of onion and garlic – great on scrambled eggs with sauteed veggies), tonkatsu sauce (lovely on Japanese-style burgers made with white miso, sake, green onions…and of course yummy on the traditional takoyaki and okonomiyaki), mango sauce in a jar (to die for on vanilla ice cream and in natural yogurt), and Branston pickle in a squeeze jar (we buy that when we visit my hubby’s family in England – it’s sweet/spicy squeezable veggie pickles that are awesome on cheese sandwiches).

  3. Abigail says:

    By the way, are you in Japan? I didn’t know you could buy Yakult outside Japan.

    • kaoko says:

      The boyfriend agrees with you: he puts tonkatsu sauce on anything. I’m interested in the mango sauce since I love mangoes. I love mango gelato <3 <3 <3. Mango sauce sounds like it would make it even better!

      And Yakult, to my surprise, is available practically everywhere! Was surprised that it's a global brand. And I was shocked when I googled it. In China and Taiwan, it's available in 100ml bottles!!! Here, it's only 80ml, but that's better than Australia where they're 65ml bottles only. :( Hahaha, after googling, methinks Yakult deserves an entry all its own 😛

  4. YUE says:

    I wanna try that Mine Shine Milk Tea~~

    • YUE says:

      Hey…my post is cut (^^;)
      Anyway, I said…Were can I buy that??
      Do they have it in landmark?(Coz I don’t see them in waltermart makati)

      • Tony Lou says:

        7-11 has them. it costs around P36-38 depending on the store. totally worth it.

      • kaoko says:

        Aside from 7-11, Ministop also has it, but it’s around 42PHP. I’m wondering though why it’s not available at other retail outlets like Landmark and SM. I’d love to buy them in large quantities. That’s why when I saw them sell Mineshine in bulk at a MAFBEX booth, I bought lots, hehehe.

        It sort of reminds me of Meito Royal Milk Tea, only watered down.

      • YUE says:

        Thankyou, kaoko&Tony Lou!
        I’ll try to look for them if I ever stop by~ (^^)v

      • kaoko says:

        No prob 😀 If you can’t find any, let me know. I still have a couple of bottles at home, I can meet you at Sango 😀

  5. Sylphie says:

    Wow, Mine Shine Milk Tea sounds good…I’ll look for it next time I go to the asian grocery. Yakult is good! I usually down five in one sitting.

    • kaoko says:

      I must confess, I like a lot of Asian-style Milk Teas. Meito Royal Milk Tea is a good powdered brand if you can’t find Mine Shine. For some reason, it’s hard to find :(

      • Clair says:

        Maybe you should also post about the elusive search for milk tea! 😉 My boyfriend now loves it. Especially after going to Shanghai. He has been drinking more of it than I do!

  6. Beatie says:

    I love my bottled Teriyaki sauce from Kikkoman. It’s simply great with any meat, veggie or noodle dish. It sizzles nicely in a stir-fry and it’s always an option when I can’t think of what I wanna make for dinner. Just put any ol’ thing in the pot with the sauce. I’m convinced even dirty socks with teriyaki sauce would taste nice.

    Only downside is the bottles are too small. I go through them too quickly. 😉

  7. karen says:

    have to agree with nutella and yakult! nutella, i put on almost everything! yakult, i gotta drink one each day. :)

    i am quite curious about that bottled hummus dip? knowing that you got it from healthy options i’m sure it’s quite expensive. how does it fair tastewise?

    • kaoko says:

      Actually…I haven’t opened it yet. ^_^;; I just makes me happy seeing it in the pantry. I’m not sure if it’s pricey though since I’ve no other brands to compare it with. And restaurant hummus is always pricier. I think it cost 250PHP. That reminds me, I’ve yet to try it. You know what, I’ll open it now and report back to you, heehee.

      • Mila says:

        Hi, my first comment (enjoy the blog, especially since you’re a pinoy bento blogger). I’ve had the Healthy Options Hummus, and I like the ones that have roasted garlic or sun dried red tomatos in them. Flavorwise it’s very dense, so you only need a little. I suggest take some, drizzle good olive oil and a splash of lemon juice if you eat it with pita. Or have it with some sharp feta/goat cheese and olives.

      • kaoko says:

        That sundried tomato variant also caught my eye. I wanted to try it as well, but jalapenos sounded more harmonious with hummus. Now that you’ve recommended it though, I’ll prolly give it a shot because I love sundried tomatoes. Thanks for the tip 😀

  8. Tony Lou says:

    mine shine and yakult! i love me my mine shine. and i love yakult!

  9. Mila says:

    I’m a fellow Nutella/Mineshine addict. The latter I think has non-dairy creamer which makes it taste so good. I don’t want to know, it’s my treat when days go well.

    As for yakult, do they still have the ladies who go around selling it door to door? I remember those ads in the 70’s and early 80’s.

    Have you tried the Connie’s kitchen gourmet bottled tuyo? I also like her dulong (which is not the same as fish roe – if it’s from tuna, then you can also get some fresh at the Salcedo market on Saturday’s. Eat it with garlic and chilli peppers on al dente pasta! heaven!).

    I also try to keep a bottle of kimchi (double wrapped in ziplock bags to keep the smell at bay), to add some vegies to any meal. But only if you like it stinky and spicy :)

    • kaoko says:

      We also have Kimchi in the fridge, hehehe. I don’t eat it, but my mom loves it. And surprise, she’s also named Mila.

      I don’t see door to door yakult sellers anymore, but I still see their carts used in marketplaces and such. Hehe, I still remember the ads yes, “Yan ang diwa ng yakult,~~~”

      I’ve tried Connie’s tuyo and it’s okay for me, but I’m still more loyal to Gourmet. For one, gourmet’s tuyo is split into two fillets and totally deboned. Connie’s, IIRC still has the bones in the middle? Thannks for the dulong tip and the tuna roe tip. Bottled dulong, I’ve only tried once, the brand was Joyce’s I think? The tuna roe, I have to make sure to get some next time I go to Salcedo. I really want to experiment with it.

  10. Tiffany says:

    Re: Pinoy Caviar/Fish Roe
    The one you got from Blue Kitchen is also made by Carmel. You can get it directly from her at a cheaper price pa. Email me so I can give you her mobile.

  11. Tiffany says:

    P.S. No need to email me. Here’s a number to call for Carmel’s Pinoy caviar and other goodies 911-3443.

  12. Mila says:

    I forgot to add that if you got your fish roe from Blue Kitchen, they have outlets in Rockwell (Basement level near restaurants) and Shangri-la Mall Edsa (I think they have a kiosk on the 5/F).

  13. Christina says:

    This is so nice! Yum, yum, yum!

  14. joey says:

    I am a fervent Nutella fan too! :) It is the best!!!

  15. Clair says:

    Mine Shine!!! Definitely 😀 😀 😀 I like Yakult too, though I’d go for the Dutch Mill yoghurt drink (natural flavor) when I want more than a bottle of Yakult. The taste is similar. Hehehe 😀 Hmm. Maybe I ought to post something like this too :)

  16. khursten says:

    Oh my! I have a nuttella alternative. The same great taste with less price. I forgot the name now… will post about it later. :3

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  18. u8mypinkcookies says:

    i love Nutella, Yakult and MineShine milk tea (the only brand of milk tea i like!)! YUMMY!

    too bad they don’t sell MineShine in groceries :( until now, 7-11 palang din ba yung meron?

    • kaoko says:

      I think so. Last time, I happened upon some at a fair, but as to groceries, wala e. Parang 7-11 and Ministop lang talaga. There’s this brand of powdered milk tea that I like, it reminds me of MineShine, I’ll take a photo sometime and share with you, baka gusto mo try.

  19. u8mypinkcookies says:

    kaoko- okay thanks!

    let me add to my list: SKIPPY peanut butter!

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  21. surrealistic says:

    Yakult! :3
    I heard of that old wives tale too. Something about not drinking more than bottle, since it was harmful? Never knew why though and who knew in Australia, we only had 60 mls? orz

    Nutella is another favourite too :3 Kewpie mayo goes well with everything~

  22. mel says:

    hi where can i get mine shine?


  23. mel says:


    I went to 7-11 today, but i haven’t seen one. Ill try na lang sa mini stop. thanks 😀

    • kaoko says:

      I hope you manage to find some. I frequent the convenience stores in Makati and that’s where I usually find some. Hopefully it’s just temporarily out of stock.

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  26. K says:

    Ooooh I love nutella and mineshine! and crepes from cafe breton! No crepe is better than theirs!

  27. kaoko says:

    Agree! Whether it’s savory or sweet, Breton delivers!

  28. a says:

    Thanks very interesting blog!

  29. literature says:

    I relish, cause I discovered exactly whazt I waas looking
    for. Youu have ended my folur day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have
    a grdeat day. Bye

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