Neighboorhood bakery

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Counter displays on the first floor. (Foto by Arni Aclao and Paola Galan)


“THERE'S something romantic about baking,” chef Jason Hyatt of The Abaca Group expressed.

The declaration probably stemmed from the daily, curious observations along the process—perhaps on the intimate interaction of ingredients—or the beauty that becomes from a piece of dough after it has succumbed to fire. But really, the scent alone of freshly baked goodies triggers thoughts on romance or gastronomic affairs, at least. That, and a whimsical atmosphere.

Recently added to the fast-growing empire of The Abaca Group is Abaca Baking Company (ABC), an independent neighborhood coffee shop which deviates from the typical cafés all over the metro.

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The bakery boasts of artisan crafted breads and what-have-you produced from scratch baked elements. From bagels, pretzels to pastries and cakes, the menu sports a classic American food and affiliate picks. Early morning best-sellers include all-butter croissants, rustic breads, bagels and scones. By the way, chefs are already up and baking the day’s breads starting at around four in the morning. Skillet breakfast, fluffy French toast and Eggs Benedict (claimed to be the best in town) are also expected from the fare. The espresso drinks, too, are worth checking out.

ABC continues to deliver the quality The Abaca Group kitchens have been known for. It uses 100 percent unbleached flour (more natural and less processed) in its rustic loaves from hard American wheat; 100 percent New Zealand and Australian butters in its laminations; Tahitian vanilla beans; home-brewed extracts; and the finest 60 and 70 percent European chocolates. No improvers, no pre-mixes, nothing artificially flavored or colored. Everything is real. Also, the fermentation is up to 36 hours.

ABC can accommodate around 30 persons, upstairs–low lounge and traditional restaurant seating, dreamy string lights, USB sockets and all. On the first floor are high counters and bar stools. The playful ambiance is another thing. The space is graced by quirky murals and hand-painted clipboards from local design studio, Happy Garaje. Contemporary arts from Qube Gallery are also displayed for sale and on rotation.

Aside from the delightful baked chows, the lighter interior also kind of explains ABC’s dominant market, the younger herd. The whole thing is quite a “playful” version; a departure from all the previous The Abaca Group establishments for the last eight years—Abaca Boutique Resort and Restaurant, Maya Mexican Restaurant, Tavolata Italian Restaurant, Phat Pho Vietnamese Kitchen and Beqaa Middle Eastern Restaurant.

Abaca Baking Company is tucked in Crossroads, Banilad, Cebu City. It’s open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 28, 2015.

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