On Tuesday we had a delicious lunch with Dan, who introduced us to Grill 21, a tasty and unassuming Filipino restaurant. Eating with Dan was eye opening because he knew the menu and ordered dishes which I would have openly dismissed. Since he was doing the ordering, I had no choice and that was great. We had pork and pork liver in a pork blood sauce, we had deep fried pork belly with pork liver dipping sauce, we had tiny Filipino spring rolls, a tangy shrimp and vegetable soup and for dessert the famed Halo-halo.
What truly struck me was the ice cream, this deep violet scoop seemingly floating on top of the bowl. Dan was smart enough to have his camera handy and sent us this picture. I saw that ice cream and my smile has yet to come from my face. I asked about the ice cream and its color and was told that it was made from ube, the purple yam. The vibrant color and the rich texture of the ice cream were all the convincing I needed.
I have now begun my search for the purple yam. I will certainly be making purple yam ice cream as well as purple yam cake. The juice of the purple yam could make an interesting sauce or poaching medium. A streusel or crumbs of ube would be equally as exciting. And lets not forget purple yam pies and custards.