*Note: Photo credits of more than half the photos belong to my sister and my niece.
It was a cold and damp night when I had the insatiable urge to Web-surf for desserts. A few blogs brought me to Love Desserts, and that same weekend, amid a light drizzle, without breakfast or gum, I decided to take the bus then an overpriced Cab to Banawe in QC to gorge on their haunting sweets.
The place was a bit hard for me, my sister and niece to find (Picked them up somewhere in QC because an afternoon dessert buffet struck me as bland – sorry for the pun – without a fellow dessert-lover to share it with), with the rather obscure location and pastel signage. It sat small and straightforward below a Bruno’s Barber Shop branch, facing a desolate street.
Straightforward, I stress. The interiors were squeaky clean – what with servers mopping the floor every five minutes – and had that upbeat, freshman-student shack appeal. Sleek plastic chairs and tables, no frills, a cork board with love notes from patrons. The vast stretch of cakes and sweet goodies on dainty white plates sprawled on a counter facing the door, a sort of centerstage for guests to ogle at.
At once we were handed the menu (yes, they have one!) but since the ala-carte dishes were a bit pricey (P125-150 for a rice meal), we decided to proceed to the P199 dessert buffet instead (drinks, shakes, coffee and iced tea included). A note hangs by the table reminding guests to stay a maximum of two hours as courtesy to waiting guests. But surely they wouldn’t be filled all day?, I thought.
Oh, but they are. We arrived at 1 pm with only two tables occupied and within a few minutes, families and groups of Chinoy youngsters started pouring in every 10 minutes. More arrived until we left around 3:30 (Nobody asked us to leave by the two-hour mark, in case you’re wondering), leaving not a single chair unoccupied, some of them waiting for hours outside despite the rainshowers.
We digged in the wild assortment of cakes, pastries and cold treats without hesitation. I started off with the empanada, makeshift nachos and some dynamite – fried seeded green chili pepper filled with melted cheddar cheese and wrapped in crackling lumpia wrapper.
This was one of my favorites, being so crispy and enveloping premium, light cheddar cheese. The empanada was just okay. The fruit salad’s worth a try. The nachos you could probably skip as it is only fried lumpia wrapper with raw onion and grated cheese plus – whaddayaknow- a makeshift salsa of uncooked sweet spaghetti sauce.
I can blabber on and on about each cake but I’d spare you the agony and tell you one standout quality half of them have: they were too sweet, almost toothache-inducing. And that’s coming from a lady who can finish an entire 200-gram block of Cadbury in one sitting.
The brazo de mercedes was particularly disappointing. The meringue was airy, and the center, normally filled with fluffy, luscious beaten egg yolks, tasted like syrup. It was one ultra-sweet bite after another, and the deluge of ultra sweet things continued with their fruit shakes.
Perhaps the only exception (as far as the ones I tasted) was the strawberry shortcake, which on the contrary was quite vapid.
|This little lady obviously had her fill. Look at that face.|
The other half was delightful though, especially the marble cake and the cookies ‘n cream cake. Still, the sugar needs to be cut down even in these cakes (The Oreo cake had tangible bits of refined white sugar at the bottom, for one).They do that and I reckon this cake would make an exquisite dessert.
They’ve got quite a sizable spread so the overall experience wasn’t really disappointing. There are cold treats and other notable offerings to make up for the just-okay stuff, and these should really perk you up.
|Ice cream and toppings!|
Despite some misses, Love Desserts’ P199 dessert buffet is a refreshing concept, being the first of its kind in Manila. The shop could use some enhancements (more Filipino desserts perhaps?), but there is always room for improvement, especially for such a budding business. There is great potential in it – they already have hordes of sweet-toothed fans for starters. I am excited to see what they can still bring to the table, and thankful that there is a store like this not so far from home.
All in all, this place offers great value for money for budget-conscious dessert lovers. I mean, all-you-can-eat cakes, biscuits, ice cream and brownies plus coffee for P199? Not bad. Not bad at all.
Taste is highly subjective, and I want you guys to have a taste of this dessert buffet joint in Manila. As a post-Mother’s Day/ Father’s Day treat, I, together with Love Desserts, am giving away two dessert buffet seats at Love Desserts to one lucky mom/ dad (Special thanks to Jen Chua of Love Desserts!) via Rafflecopter!
Rules are pretty simple:
1. You must be a Filipina Explorer reader i.e. like the FE fanpage on Facebook.
2. You must be a mom or a dad (single parents are free to join. Just tag along whoever). Kids, let’s not be greedy. Parents need dates too, you know.
Earn more entries by liking Love Desserts on Facebook, sharing the contest to your friends, and leaving a comment on the post. All of which you can easily accomplish via the Rafflecopter widget below. Easy, yes?
This promo will run for two weeks starting today till July 12. Winner will be announced on July 13 or 14. Please make sure that your Facebook settings is set accordingly so I could send you a message in case you win.
915 Banawe Street corner Del Monte, Quezon City (a block away from Causeway)
a Rafflecopter giveaway