Halo Halo is a shaved ice dessert, covered in various toppings, all floating in milk. Toppings vary from maker to maker, and at Filipiniana are; mung bean, kidney bean, cubed flan, green pandan crispies, coconut meat shavings, ube (taro) mash, and a scoop of custardy vanilla ice cream. At Filipiniana, they have the best Halo Halo I have ever eaten.
Since the location is brand spankin’ new, the space is immaculate and has a Halo Halo theme. The walls are brightly colored. In the back seating area, the walls are dark purple imitating ube extract coloring, often the color of ube ice cream or cake. The pictures on the walls are of different toppings used in Halo Halo. The staff is super sweet and asked me over and over again, “How do you know about Halo Halo?”
Filipiniana also serves coffee, smoothies, and bubble tea. I love bubble tea, and tried the Green Apple Tea with Tapioca. It was fine, but not my favorite bubble tea in Tampa.
The pastry case varies daily. Luckily, when we visited there were large slices of Ube Cake in the case, the deep violet hue of the sponge cake and the soft fluffy princess frosting stark against the purple palette calling my name. This Ube Cake is spectacular, and I ate it slowly as I watched crowds of customers arrive from the restaurant next door to quickly buy up the supply.
I’m really excited that they serve Taho, tofu custard in browned sugar sauce. Sometimes flavored with ginger in the syrup, and often served with sago (white tapioca) pearls. Next time, I’ll definitely check it out, because it is my favorite served the Chinese way at the local dim sum place.
It is great that they are a dessert only shop, but we are definitely missing some decent Filipino savory foods in the bay area.
Filipiniana Philippine Café
3848 W Waters Ave
Tampa, FL 33614