Friday, August 15, 2014

Where to Get Your Cheesecake Fix in Manila

There's a Cheescake for Everybody: Where to Get Your Cheesecake Fix in Manila


A velvety soft and creamy pale body held together by a crumbly dark crust, topped with an assortment of many delicious things like colorful fruits, crunchy nuts, sweet syrups--is what your Cheesecake is all about. This dessert has many interpretations: from baked to no-bake, loaded with crazy toppings or simply a clean and classic slice, using various kinds of crushed cookies or biscuits as base, and its main layer--the thick and soft body of cheese, sugar, and eggs--can even come in many different colors if laced with other ingredients that your homebaker and pastry chef may fancy (coffee, chocolate, matcha, berries, etc.).

Because of its actual composition, texture, and preparation, there is quite a debate if a cheesecake is actually a cake, or a custard (or is it a pie, or a torte?). Whatever it may be, it's still your slice of wonderful creamy sweetness, served in many bakeries and restaurants, and available in quite the limitless flavor possibilities. Looks like there's a cheesecake for everybody, so for this edition of The Click List, we give you a rundown of the different cafes, restaurants, stores, and homebakers all around Manila where you can have your cheesecake fix.

Photo from Cheesecake, etc. Facebook Page
1. Cheesecake, etc.
Obviously a place where you can get your cheesecake fix because of its name, Cheesecake, etc. has been around for over a decade serving desserts. Their selection of cheesecakes is wide to suit whatever kind of cheesecake craving you may have -- the store has premium flavors, low-fat options, and even sugar-free cakes you can have by the slice or order as a whole. For something different, try Choco Berry (P145 slice/P945 whole) which is a hybrid of chocolate cheesecake and raspberry cheesecake, Mango Passion (P150 slice/P995 whole) with fresh mango puree; for a low fat option, order their Berry Blue (P180 slice/P1,200 whole) a cheesecake with fresh blueberries and low fat cream cheese.

Photo from Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes Facebook Page
2. Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes
Another bakery-cafe has 'cheesecake' affixed to its name, so to try their specialty cheesecakes is a must. Banapple has many branches all over Metro Manila to soothe your sweet tooth's cheesecake (and pie!) cravings.Their menu features over a dozen kinds of cheesecakes, from classic flavors (Blueberry Cheesecake - P110 slice/P1,050 whole) to indulgent and creative ones (Oreo Brownie Fudge Cheesecake - P120 slice /P1,160 whole); they also have special cake flavors depending on the season and occasion. Try their Banana starry-berry custard cheesecake (P130 slice/P1,280 whole), which has a thick banana filling, banana cream cheese, custard, graham crust, and topped with whipped cream, bits of oatmeal cookies, slices of almonds, and stewed strawberry sauce.

Photo from Jack's Loft Facebook Page
3. Jack's Loft
This restaurant and bar is not only popular for its affordable cocktails, they're famous for their cheesecake, too. Their best-selling Jack's Cheesecake (P175/slice) is served with a fruit topping of your choice (mango, blueberry, or strawberry), while the Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake (P110/slice) combines a layer of chocolate mousse and a sour cream cheesecake on an Oreo crust. Speaking of Oreo, fans of the popular cookie ought to taste the Oreo Cheesecake (P155/slice), which has crushed oreos baked with cream cheese laced with Irish cream.

Photo from Cheesecakes by Guy Facebook Page
4. Cheesecakes by Guy
Gregory Guy's cheesecakes have a strong following among Manila's sweet-toothed lot. Cheesecakes by Guy began, like most well-loved desserts and pastries in the metro, as a home business. From baking at home, his famous cheesecakes, playful and daring with its ingredients and toppings, are now available at Eastwood Mall. For a luxurious treat, order the Triple Caviar Cheesecake (P165/Taster portion 3", P500/Mini Premium 5", P1,200/Premium Regular 8"), generous with its layers of tobiko and lumpfish caviar. If you want fruits with your cheesecake, try the Spiced Apple Cake (P120/slice, P1,200/whole), best paired with their double shot cappuccino or hot tea. You can enjoy the young chef's cheesecake in the form of ice cream, too - his Homemade Cheesecake Ice Cream comes in four flavors (Classic, Vanilla Bean, Coffee, Chocolate), and is made with the same cheesecake batter used for the cakes.

Photo from URBN Bar & Kitchen Facebook Page
5. URBN Bar & Kitchen
Manila's dessertarians should know by now that URBN has an amazing selection of sugary delights. If your sweet tooth has not led you to this bar, then make your way here and load up on dinner and some desserts before you party. They have an arsenal of cheesecakes ready for you, and they are topped with happy, hip ingredients for that much welcomed extra flavour that breaks the monotony of regular cheescakes. Here's what's in store for you in the cheesecake department: Maple Bacon Cheesecake (P250), Tiramisu Cheesecake (P250), Nutella and Candied Hazelnut Cheesecake (P250), and Apple Crumble Cheesecake (P250). URBN Bar and Kitchen is open for dinner from 6pm to 10pm.

6. The Cake Club
Diamond Hotel's sweet selection of desserts is so popular that it has sprung The Cake Club, an establishment separate from the hotel where you can savor their best-selling cakes and pastries. Their signature Baked Cheesecake (P250 mini, P1,550 whole cake) is famous for its rich and cheesy flavor profile. The same cheesecake goodness is found in its ice cream counterpart at The Cake Club. If you prefer scoops instead of forkfuls, then try the Baked Cheesecake Ice Cream (P150/2 scoops dine-in, P350/one pint, P1,000/half gallon).

Photo from The Parvati Facebook Page
7. The Parvati
Head to TriNoma Mall to check out the one stop shop of a wide assortment of goodies made by your favorite local homebakers. Cakes, cookies, brownies, and all sorts of sweet treats are in store for you here, conveniently located in one store. And yes, they have different kinds of cheesecakes available, made by different homebakers, so take your pick. Parvati carries New York Baked Cheesecake by Bran and Bees (P130 slice/P1,250 whole) and Mango/Oreo Cheesecake by Joy San Gabriel (P155 - mini cake, P625/P615  - 6 inch cake). They also sell Australian Cheesecake Squares by Sweet Beginnings Patisserie (P145 small, P275 medium, P540 large), Triple Decker Chocolate Cheesecake by Kusina Torre (P140 mini), and Chocolate Cheesecake Squares (P95/2 pcs, P310/8 pcs) from Mark's Baking.

Photo from Caffe Pascucci Facebook Page
8. Caffe Pascucci
This cafe is known for their colorful interior, artsy wall murals, and of course, their selection of coffee. Their pastries and sweets pair well with their hot beverages, and they also offer two kinds of cheesecakes for you to enjoy. One is Dark Belgian Cheesecake (P195) which goes rich and heavy on chocolate, while the Arancione Cheesecake (P195) is light and citrusy. Take your pick!

Photo from Bizu Website
9. Bizu Patisserie & Bistro
This pretty patisserie's most popular cheesecake is the Fresh Mango Chiboust (P195 personal / P810 midi / P1,515 grande): a French style cheesecake crowned by fresh mango. For a berry boost, order the Fresh Strawberry Chiboust (P275 personal / P1,050 midi / 2,385 grande), a classic French style cheesecake topped with seasonal strawberries drenched in light syrup, or the Blueberry Chiboust (P185 personal / P615 midi / P1,215 grande), topped with blueberry filling on a special shortbread crust.

Photo from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Website
10. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
At CBTL, all pastries are baked fresh every day in their very own commissary, including their mouthwatering cheesecakes. All their cheesecakes are baked with an almond cookie crust. Head to the nearest cafe when craving for cheesecake, and select from these three flavors: the velvety Chicago Cheesecake (P125/slice), the classic Blueberry Cheesecake (P135/slice), and Triple Decker Cheesecake (P135/slice) which combines coffee, Oreo, and Chicago cheesecakes.

Photo from Secret Recipe Facebook Page
11. Secret Recipe
This establishment is popular among Asian dessert lovers for its range of gourmet cakes. The brand has been known to have award winning cheesecakes, so let your tastebuds travel to Secret Recipe and discover which flavors it fancies. They offer two no-bake cheesecakes: an Oreo Cheesecake (P150 slice/P1,600 whole) and a Strawberry Cheesecake (P150 slice/P1,450 whole).

12. ...and even more Cheesecake! (Plus Where to Get an Awesome Recipe)
There are more places that serve cheesecakes of all shapes, sizes, and flavors (in case we missed out on your faves, hit the comments section and share them with us). The 31 year old brand Sugarhouse has been baking their best-selling Blueberry Cheesecake for decades, and also offers a version of New York Cheesecake. Another family favorite, Mary Grace, also serves a classic Cheesecake that's velvety and atop a Graham cracker crust. Chef Pixie's Forget Me Not Specialty Cakes is another popular brand that began as a homebased business, and is most famous for the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake.
Twix Cheesecake
Relatively new but notable cheesecake discoveries by dessertarians in Manila include the Twix Cheesecake of Wicked by Cravings, Classic Baked Cheesecake of Draft Gastropub, and New York Cheesecake of Mamou. If you consider yourself a kitchen ninja armed with baking skills, then why not try baking your own cheesecake with a foolproof recipe from dessert queen and food blogger extraordinaire, Lori Baltazar? She shares her beloved cheesecake recipe (and other delightful, delicious stories) in her first book Dessert Comes First (P1,499, available at Fully Booked). Nailed her cheesecake? Don't forget to share a slice.

Photo from Fuly Booked Website
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