Thursday, September 27, 2007


"Where'd you get that?" I asked my co-worker Oleg one morning as I passed by his cubicle while he was eating an ensaymada with his morning coffee. "Have you found yourself a Filipina girlfriend?" I teased him.

Oleg was born and raised in Moscow and had immigrated to New York during the IT boom years. In front of the bus stop in Jersey City where he lives, is a Filipino bakery shop. He was always attracted by the ensaymada so, one day he bought one; he has been hooked ever since.

The bakery in the above photo is located right on Plaza Miranda in front of Quiapo Church. I love baked foodstuffs although they're usually consisted of simple carbos -- from pan de coco to ube bread.

But I bet everyone has a certain favorite. What's yours?

By the way, do you guys remember the peanut bar -- those inch-and-a-half, individually-wrapped squares of ground peanut sandwiched in sweetened crispy flakes? I love them, too.


Labels: , ,

posted by Señor Enrique at 7:47 AM


Blogger Dom Cimafranca said...

Wasn't that a running joke in "Deuce Bigalow?" Oh, right, that was bibingka.

I had an Indian Muslim colleague in Singapore. She was also hooked on ensaymada. Every trip where I knew we'd meet, it became SOP to bring a box.

Funny, though, she could never pronounce it right. "Ensalaymada" was the closest she got.

September 27, 2007 9:07 AM  

Blogger pusa said...

hmmm havent noticed this bakery before, time to revisit quiapo i guess.

my personal favorite is the piyanono, not sure how to spell it but its the rolled bread with margarine and sugar .

oh i also love those peanut bar, i used to eagerly wait for my mother to come home from work knowing that she'll have this sweet as pasalubong :)

September 27, 2007 9:35 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Give me a Cinnamon roll, Eric!

I should give that bakery a try next time I visit Quiapo!

September 27, 2007 9:46 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... that's funny, Dominique, "ensalaymada."

Incidentally, I once brought to the office a dozen Krispy creme donuts one Friday morning. Would you believe, Oleg still preferred his ensaymada for breakfast that morning? He didn't take a single donut from the box. Hehehe.

So one Saturday we had to work, I treated him and a couple of more project team mates to a merienda in Cendrillon down in Soho. Guess what we had? Bibingka and halo-halo!

I heard Oleg married a Filipina, but not completely sure because I haven't spoken to him since I left NYC.

What Filipino foodstuffs can do, huh?

September 27, 2007 9:50 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Sabi na nga ba hindi lang ako ang mahilig sa peanut bar, eh. When I was a kid we can buy them one piece at a time, but nowadays they're packed and sold like ten pieces in a package.

Oh, yes ... pianono (not sure with spelling, either). My aunt would always have some for dessert at her house during the Sto. Domingo feast in Queszon City. I tell you, I couldn't wait until they were served :)

This bakery is alongside Mercury Drug, Pusa.

September 27, 2007 9:54 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ah, yes, cinnamon roll, Sidney. Yummy!

But if you ever visit NYC sometime soon, down in Macy's pastry shop in the cellar, try their amazing cinnamon rolls.

By the way, Scrooch, if you happen to read this (she's in NYC right now having a grand time, folks), do check out these cinnamon rolls at Macy's!

September 27, 2007 10:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ensaymada looks like a cinnamon roll. Or it's different from that Eric?


September 27, 2007 10:57 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also like ensaymada. I can't remember now the last time I had one of those. Hmn, makapunta nga sa Filipino store. :)

I don't think I remember peanut bar.

September 27, 2007 11:12 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

Yup, she's reading this alright :)

Ok, will try to check out those cinnamon rolls. Am currently loving the bread of Zaro's at Penn Station where I make "tambay" while waiting for my train. I'm making "tipid" so I try to take the train on off-peak hours.

But the best bakery goody, for me, is the "hopiang baboy" of this bakery I go to in 20th Avenue in Cubao almost across Camp Aguinaldo. Simply the best.

September 27, 2007 12:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite is the kabayan and the kalihim. many of the neighborhood bakeries that we grew up with are now gone. I guess with the expensive imported wheat and other ingredients add the preference of pinoys now to branded baked goods,this business will go the way of the kalesas in the near future.

September 27, 2007 12:24 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Kyels only yellowish with butter on top sprinkled with sugar and shredded coconut.

September 27, 2007 1:16 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Okay, will take pics of it, Irene and post it. I'm sure you used to like it, too, unless you don't like peanuts.

September 27, 2007 1:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Cool, glad you read this, Scrooch :)

Try H&H bagels and bialys, too.

Hmmm ... hopiang baby, eh? Might check it out :) Thanks!

September 27, 2007 1:18 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Almost everyone I know went crazy over krispy kreme when it came to Manila, Leo, but odd as it seems, I never craved for it since leaving NYC. I'm enjoying the local fare too much :)

Kabayan and kalihim? Hmmm ... now I have to find out what they look/taste like. Thanks!

September 27, 2007 1:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love all baked foodstuffs mentioned here. haha!

A former student of mine ventured into the food business. She now operates a steak house and lately put up a bakeshop. Lucky me, whenever she fancies experimenting with a new recipe, she usually calls me for the taste test. Sarap ng baby back ribs niya! And she has these baked goodies she calls "pound cake" - which is actually a "classier" version of the "kabayan" as mentioned by Leo. hehehe. It's my favorite! I think I should bring a box of these goodies for you next time I go to Manila, Eric, so you can try them too. Aside from the mini puto, of course. :)

Oh, should anyone here happen to visit Dagupan in the near future, the name of the resto is: Am-Am's Restaurant and Bakeshop. :)

September 27, 2007 3:04 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

So that's what a kabayan is, basically pound cake (Sara Lee is the brand most famous in the States since readily available at all grocery stores).

Last I was in Dagupan we had light dinner at Cafe du Marc. But will definitely check out Am-Am's next time. Baby back ribs, whoa! Delish!

Thanks, Rhoda!

September 27, 2007 3:22 PM  

Blogger Nashei said...

I'm crazy with ensaymada too!!! muhlach ensaymada the ube flavored one i could finish six of those in one

September 27, 2007 5:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Eric,

I will not trade for anything my favorite pandesal and anchor butter.

September 27, 2007 5:44 PM  

Blogger jon go said...

well, my favorite would have to be pan de coco..

and i do remember the peanut bar, especially since i know the owner of the factory.. miramar foods.. well, just the daughter... :)

September 27, 2007 5:48 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I actualized a long held dream to take baking lessons when I returned to Manila, Nashei, and one of my instructors, Mr. Pascual, created that particular ensaymada for the Mulachs. We also baked some ensaymada in the class :)

September 27, 2007 8:06 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And how I could forget all about the pandesal, Mayumi, when I have it for breakfast practically everyday. Shame on me. I also have the leftover as afternoon merienda whenever I'm home. And yes ... Anchor butter :)

September 27, 2007 8:08 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I love those peanut bars, Jon :) Does she bring you a couple whenever she comes over to visit with you?

And of course, pan de coco.

Question: can I still buy "bukayo?" Where?

September 27, 2007 8:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have "bukayo" here in Pangasinan, Eric. Actually, I bought two packs just this afternoon on my way home from the campus journ lecture.

Ewan ko ba, bigla ko na lang naisip, gusto ng bukayo, so, while hubby was focused on driving home, I suddenly blurted: "Ay, bukayo, gusto ko ng bukayo, dali, punta tayo sa palengke!" He got upset kasi ayaw niya nang ganoon na biglaan ko na lang siyang pahinhintuin, o palilikuin pag nagmamaneho. "Madidisgrasya tayo niyan, eh!" he blurted back at me. hehehe.

I got my "bukayo" anyway, and happily munched on it (Yum!) while ignoring him as he kept lecturing me about road safety. :)

September 27, 2007 9:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

gusto ko yung kabayan, yung mainit init pa, at syempre ang pan de sal, kahit coco jam, peanut butter or butter ang palaman basta't mainit pa, solb na solb na yun.... :D

September 27, 2007 9:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ang daming tinapay na pagpipiliian, gusto ko yung pandecoco. ikaw ba ano gusto mo?

September 27, 2007 11:32 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Eric, I see that you are remembering the foodstuff (baked and otherwise) from your former beloved NYC. Well, Sara Lee pound cake is still thriving, though the natives are not really into it. When my elderly mom used to live with us, I used to purchase Sara Lee wrapped in heavy tin foil in quantities and store them in the fridge. Usually on sale, because its sale was just slow.

But Krispy Crème is now in the doldrums, no thanks to the nutrition-conscious activists very noisy here. I recall it was during the IT boom when it came out and its stock soared astronomically with the rest of NASDAQ. Same with the opening of branches. But now, no more. Its sales not as plumb as the donuts they are still churning out.

September 28, 2007 1:17 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

You can still buy bukayo. I like the ones in Laguna. Any snack hut that sells buko pie and espasol on the way to Los Banos will have bukayo in stock.

Yes, bialys. A year or so ago I used to buy bialys from a kiosk in Megamall. The name of the kiosk was New York Bagels. Don't know if they're still operating though.

September 28, 2007 5:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love all kinds of bread, may it be in the nearest friendly kanto bakery, french baker or anywhere else. it's a good thing my new office is near a small bakery here in ortigas. =)

September 28, 2007 5:35 AM  

Blogger IndioBravo said...

In my hometown in Gagalangin Tondo,we have an (Old) bakery,old because it's I think,more than 30 years already.It's called Los Angeles Bakery.In my opinion,they make the best Brazo de Mercedes in Manila.Their eggpies are awesome as well but the Brazo?Delicioso!Definitely my hands down favorite bakery in Manila.

September 28, 2007 5:42 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... I'm with your husband, Rhoda. Sudden shifts in speed or directions of an automobile can indeed be fatal :)

Aha, so there's still bukayo in Pangasina, eh. Ok, next time I crave for some, I know exactly where to order from :)


September 28, 2007 6:25 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Lino, sige subukan ko yung kabayan next trip I make to the bakery. Masubukan nga yang local version ng pound cake.

September 28, 2007 6:26 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Pan de coco always first comes to mind whenever I find myself in a neighborrhood bakery, Iskoo, because they don't have this in Goldilock's or Red Ribbon.

Oh yeah, how about yema? Poland Bakery here in D. Tuazon has the best large ones ... hehehe.

September 28, 2007 6:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You are right, Amadeo, it was during the mid-90s when suddenly, Krispy Creme are springing up in Manhattan. Its somewhat crunchy texture set it apart from Dunkin' Donuts (love its coffee). I didn't know that Krispy Creme's popularity has waned down in the States. Manilenyos, on the other, are going over ape about it, or is it just "the PR machines feeding the hype?

I always have Sara Lee in the fridge just in case I suddenly crave for merienda during late nights or snowy days. I'd sometimes have it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Know what I miss from the States? Apple strudel! Love that old joke: "Henry Kissinger is as American as apple strudel" ... hehehe.

September 28, 2007 6:36 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, I think they still have New York Bagels (in Alabang mall). I found out about this establishment when the family of someone I attended baking class with bought that particular branch. Their muffins are excellent, too!

Thanks for the tip, Scrooch. Next time a family member drives over to Laguna, I'd ask them to get me a bottle.

September 28, 2007 6:39 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And that reminds me of Delifrance, Carla. They have awesome pastries.

By the way, I noticed a new rend at malls -- bake shops where you pick and choose the stuff you want and then bring them over to the cashier. Glorietta has one right by the entrance next to Oakwood.

September 28, 2007 6:42 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Not all bakeries can whip up a delicious brazo de Mercedes, IndioBravo. And egg pies are another favorite. My brother always has one in his house.

I will make note of Los Angeles Bakery in Gagalangin as you've mentioned just in case I happen to be near it one day. Many thanks!

September 28, 2007 6:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ay, macaroons! Forgot to mention, my favorite too! :)

I noticed, I am fond of anything with coco in it - bukayo, macaroons, pan de coco. I also like those coco sprinkled Dunkin donuts. Ay naku, basta pagkain talaga, kuwela! Naku, tataba tayong lahat! Lol!

September 28, 2007 6:45 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ay, one of the best macaroons I've tasted -- Long Life Bakery at Retiro (now N.S. Amorante) near corner Mayon in front of Lourdes Church. They call it macaroon muffins - 8 pesos each!

Oo nga, wait til Christmas, talagang gain weight na naman ito ... hehehe.

September 28, 2007 7:00 AM  

Blogger Watergirl said...

Breadtalk and those bakeries where the bread is all laid out and you pick the ones you want on a tray are Singapore and HK models of bakeries. The breads are also sort of like the ones you'd find in Sing and HK (Breadtalk is a Sing franchise). A bit sweet for my taste though. And chock full of stuff that sometimes doesn't work with basic bread.

I prefer mamon tostado from the pinoy bakeries, although a good, fresh pan de sal is never to be avoided. Dollop of butter and you're good to go.

September 28, 2007 12:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will never get tired of ensaymada and coffee- I'll tell you that. In our annual United Way charity bake sale many of my Pinay officemates bring ensaymada and they're always the first ones to go :)

September 28, 2007 12:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yum! This is probably the best topic you could write about Senor Enrique!!! Ensaymadas are yum. Although when we came back last Christmas, there were all these new 'flavours' - ube, salted egg, choc, etc.. So many specialty brands. While I still ate them, they seemed more like cakes now then bread. Still prefer the normal ensaymada from the corner bakery/sari-sari store. What do you think? We have a couple of Filipino bakeries here in Melbourne and we also stock up on pan de sal, ensaymada, Spanish bread (my brother's favourite) and pan de coco.... Hmmm.. maka-daan nga mamaya....

September 28, 2007 1:00 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, MTan. Now I have something to throw at dinner conversations -- that it was originally a bake shop concept from HK and Singapore. And yes, the selection seems to be those sweet pastries and buns.

Ah, the good ol' pandesal. I'll take some :)

September 28, 2007 1:03 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Know what, BW? With Pinoys basically in every part of the globe nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised if ensaymadas become a regular baked good staple on a global scale, across many cultures ... hehehe.

September 28, 2007 1:04 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Better get over there early, Gracing. Today being a friday, many folks might stock up Pinoy baked foodstuffs for the weekend :)

Those ensaymadas from the local sari-sari store are also good since they come from a bigger bakery tat supplies many neighborhoods.

September 28, 2007 1:16 PM  

Blogger jon go said...

i haven't spoken to her for a long time.. but i have been to the factory where you can eat them hot off the oven!

September 28, 2007 2:06 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hot off the oven Jon? Wow! Lucky you ... hehehe.

September 28, 2007 5:52 PM  

Blogger Francesca said...

tulog na sana ako, midnight na kasi, but when I read ensaymada, bigla ako ginutom, get up from pc and munch muffins at 12:30am, lol

September 30, 2007 6:37 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Bigla ka tuloy nag midnite merienda, Francesca ... lol.

Is there a Filipino bake shop where you are? Wala siguro, no?

September 30, 2007 6:46 AM  

Blogger Tina said...

of all this tinapay talk could anyone give me a recipe for ensemada? my favorite is kalihim which is bread with red filling,some said the filling is made of old bread mixed together then kinulayan ng pula yuck-yum i'm still not deter!

March 08, 2008 9:10 AM  

Anonymous Pa Ul said...

Interesting post to read. I was at Cafe Du Marc, a local cafe.

October 11, 2012 8:20 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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