Ever since I discovered Antonio's Coffee+Bibingka last year I can't get control my craving out of it. As a matter of fact this is not my very first review about this famous merchant. I am a frequent wanderer at SM North particularly the Sky Dome area where I first unexpectedly experience the small shop peddling this rice cake and coffee, which turned out to be a constant hang out place of me and my beau. I'm not sure if you noticed too that there were carts of Antonio's strategically located at SM North where they could spread the word that they are selling the freshest bibingka pieces in the market today. Bibingka as we all know is a common snack item and just recently it captured the hearts of many as it continue to expand and be known- some with dining area while some are in food cart. Just so you know the following are the branches with dining area that you may opt to visit during your craving-for- bibingka-moments: SM Calamba branch which opened January 2011, followed by Sky Garden in SM North last February 2011 and Fairview last April 2011. Additionally, these are branches that are cart set-up only which opened only this year: Wilcon City Center last March 2012 , SM Lazaro May 2012, SM North Annex June 2012 and SM Fairview just this month of July.
When I was invited to do a food review for them, I could turn down the idea as this is the only shop that serves excellent bibingka varieties. I swear and I'm saying this without sugarcoating. I cannot actually remember how many times I bought a box or two for a simple pasalubong for my parents every other weekend. Together with a handful of bloggers we stayed at their cute and neat shop in SM Megamall building A to conduct a taste test from most of the things written on their menu. Now I'm missing those memories I had with them because today's weather is such a perfect time to indulge ourselves into this snack items with overpowering appeal. Who could afford turn down freshly baked bibingka, putu-bungbong partnered with coffee or your choice? No one I believe.
Antonio's Coffee+Bibingka branch in Megamall has an open-type dining area and could cater approx 10-15 guests compared to that of in Sky Garden, smaller in space yet quite intimate in style.
Caught this Special Bibingka being subjected to heat as the staff is loading carefully each plate inside the Bibingka oven. I never baked bibingka before and I would love to try it anytime soon.
One of the staffs while assembling the puto-bumbong. She's already in the wrapping stage when I was observing them. Too bad I never caught them during the cooking and molding stage :(
Oh the very familiar boxes of Antonio's Coffee+Bibingka :) They only have one size for their box if I am not mistaken. Four small bibingka pieces could fit the box.
Uh-oh I am drooling already by the sight of this. I noticed that they cook less more often to maintain bibingka's freshness. Everybody loves them warm of course. Just perfect for a cool day like today. Its oven-freshness can is so noticeable among the diners and passersby alike.
Special Bibingka (Small-PhP25 Medium-PhP75 Big-PhP95)
Super Special Bibingka (Medium-PhP 85 Big-PhP105)
Original Bibingka (Medium-PhP95 Big-PhP115)
Bibingka is therefore not just eaten during Christmas season as they are readily available all-year round in most malls. These three variants have basically the same ingredients like rice flour, coconut milk, egg and milk plus grated coconut and muscovado sugar on top. You know what separates one Antonio's bibingka variant from the other? It is the type of cheese used to make each rice cake piece as irresistibly good as possible. Special Bibingka uses kesong puti or white cheese; Super Special Bibingka uses queso de bola; and Original Bibingka uses only ordinary cheese. Everything seemed so special even if other variants do not have the descriptive term "special" before its name. Each piece was served hot and made with generous portion of ingredients. I particularly like the kind of brown sugar used, the quality of grated coconut and of course those slices of salted duck eggs. So divine! Truly a mouthful of experience.
Puto Bumbong (PhP60)
This one just like bibingka is commonly associated with Misa de Gallo because we can only see them so saleable during Christmas season. Made from a very good quality of pirurutong rice the main reason why you'll be challenged a bit for it to chew though it is as usual mechanically soft yet sticky. However, Antonio's version is far from the elongated type of violet-colored Puto Bumbong, as they prefer to sell it in such a way that it is yes nicely elongated but flat and almost rectangular in shape.
European Choco (PhP90)
Brewed Coffee (PhP50) and Irish Coffee (PhP60)
Bibingka and Puto Bumbong are best served hot and best partnered with warm cup of coffee. Antobio's has two sizes of hot drinks. We had assorted choices of the said drinks as seen above, which was according to our preferences. I would like to take note that the European Choco is at first not my type because it is too bland for me but later on proved to be worth buying because I admittedly forgot to stir it before drinking. Irish Coffee tastes just right for me and probably I'll be ordering Cappuccino or Caramel Macchiato next time for more points of comparison. Frankly speaking, prices for hot drinks are not that reasonable for me.
European Choco (PhP 105)
Java Chips (PhP105) and Cafe Latte (PhP105)
For the cold beverages which are coffee-based and much like the counterpart of their available hot drinks, we ordered for the following as seen above. Well they were the only available variants that time so we took the opportunity to taste them. European Choco is equally better as its hot counterpart. Mildly sweet and has obvious bitter cocoa taste. However, Cafe Latte is thankfully not so sugary and completely creamy. Wasn't able to sample the Java Chips so I'll keep in mind to order this flavor on my next visit.