Last one before we go on a Christmas break “review hiatus”, and it’s going to be on the university famous BANANA-RUM-A, by the main man himself Mang Tootz (See Svet’s review below). And I am actually afraid to do this review, for fear of disappointing throngs of Banana-Rum-A followers, but here goes.
There’s Ateh with her wok whipping up a fresh batch of Banana-Rum-A Turons outside for everyone’s viewing pleasure.
Banana-Rum-A, 3pcs for P10 – In case you’re still wondering, “What the heck is Banana-Rum-A?!” well they’re the Filipino classic Turon. It has the banana filling, with langka, wrapped with turon wrapper (what is it called actually?). With a dash of sugar, it is then fried to perfection, and there you have it, the merienda favorite that is Turon. But Mang Tootz, being the radical that he is, put a little twist into this classic treat. The key ingredient to his creation is Rhum. Yes, you read it right, Rhum. Hence the moniker Banana-RUM-a (with reference to the 80’s British pop group Bananarama. Haha!). Being the genius that I am, I didn’t get it at first. It was only my crew who told me that they put Rhum in the turons. Haha! And finally, for more pizzazz, they added sesame seeds and cinnamon powder, and voila! The famous Banana-Rum-A!
Turons are a personal favorite. Heck, it even has my name on it. Haha! So I’m always on the look out for fresh takes. I had high expectations with Banana-Rum-A, for it has a great following among UST students.
- I loved how the banana was still fresh, i.e. not dry, withered and lifeless even after minutes of being fried like other random turon joints. That’s a major plus considering that they make them in batches and they leave them in open air until sold. Other turons would be lifeless by then, but the Banana-Rum-A definitely surpasses that.
- The banana-langka combination blended well, you wouldn’t bite and taste just banana or just langka. In short, you can’t separate one from the other, which means they paid attention in crafting the filling and not just put the banana and langka on top of each other.
- The wrapper was not burnt, it was just right, not “fragile crispy”, and for me a sign is you wouldn’t get “tusok” inside the mouth when you bite it off and they become fragmented and pointy.
- The sesame seeds and the cinnamon powder add personality to the turon. Usually, I’m not a fan of sesame seeds, but with the cinnamon powder, I guess it was ok.
- As for the Rhum taste, well… It was ok. I’m not sure if it’s just the batch I had, but it tasted like gulaman. Don’t get me wrong. I love me some gulaman. But I can’t get over the fact that my turon tastes like gulaman. I asked my girls (and Dave) if they tasted the same, and they did. But then again, maybe it’s just the batch we got. In the Section A2012 Christmas Party, the Banana-Rum-A was served for dessert, and the gulaman taste wasn’t that evident. It isn’t bad, ok? It’s just that it DID taste like gulaman. Haha! So they should do a little work on the consistency aspect of it.
- Two thumbs up for value for money. For only P10, you actually get three pieces. You can share with two other pals or if you were really hungry (or greedy) you can have ‘em all to yourself (after all they are smaller ones compared to other big turons out there), and it would be just right. I’m taking home two orders for my Mom and Dad (and let them judge if it does taste like gulaman) and it wouldn’t hurt my pocket.
The final verdict is that the Banana-Rum-A is a good, affordable finisher after a hearty, oily, cholesterol-filled meal at Mang Tootz Food House. Although they need to be more consistent with the Rhum, or the sugar to tame the gulaman taste of it, which I repeat is not bad. After all it wouldn’t be famous and draw crowds if it were awful. You be the judge! Drop by Mang Tootz Food House with your “Diyes” and taste for yourself.