For the past 13 years, I have been teaching Saturday classes at the Ateneo de Manila -- every second semester finds me traversing the length of C5, all the way from Paranaque to Katipunan. I leave the house early to avoid any traffic and am always on the look out for new places that serve good hot coffee and a bite to eat.
I first discovered Manila Bake last year -- it's on the right side of Katipunan in the Blue Ridge area, coming from C5, going towards Ateneo. Since there are quite a number of bigger eating establishments near it -- it's sandwiched between a McDonalds and Banapple, don't rush past as you may miss it altogether. There's just enough parking space for two or three cars.
While Manila Bake may seem small outside, the interiors are spacious and well laid out.
It looks like a contemporary and modern bake shop with a homey, friendly appeal.
There are quite a number of food items for sale -- aside from the breads and pastries, there are bottled jams, pickles, dried fish, muscovado sugar and even batirols for your tsokolate eh and coffee presses for your daily brew.
The cakes and tarts are nicely presented in the glass chiller. Their chocolate cake, which comes in mini and regular sizes, is moist and has that old style home baked taste.
There are a number of breads for sale but my particular favourite is their sourdough bonete. At just P5 each, these delightfully crusty rounds are perfect when warmed and eaten with butter and jam.
Manila Bake also serves simple meals for breakfast, light lunches and merienda. I have only been here at breakfast time, so I haven't had time to try the other specialties.
There are a few tables set out for diners. The chairs are done in an old style rattan weave, in cool blue and white colours. The floors are wood and give off a warm and cozy feel.
Since I'm an early bird, I always have the place to myself. I sit in the corner and enjoy the peace and quiet -- and the smells of bread, freshly baking.