CHECK IT OUT: Scout's Honor at Century City Mall, Makati
Pastry Chef Miko Aspiras rocks the dessert world with a craft cookies-and-milk shop.
Hole in the Wall, 4/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue corner Salamanca, Makati City
Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Thursday); 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Friday to Saturday); and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) It was a project that almost didn't happen. Though he was hesitant at first, award-winning pastry chef Miko Aspiras has joined Century City Mall's concept food court, Hole in the Wall. Chef Miko picked from a bunch of ideas, including New York-style waffles and macarons, until the creative dust settled, and he was left with the pastry he loves the most. "I make all these technical and classic desserts, but at the end of the day, I eat cookies. I love Chips Ahoy and Keebler."
The best tasting cookies are those that are fresh out of the oven. That's what Scout's Honor brings to the table-freshly baked cookies made only upon order. Chef Miko, along with partner and fellow pastry chef Kristine Lotilla, has concocted six types of dough and 20 toppings for customers to mix and match. Choose from Classic, Double Chocolate Fudge, Molasses and Oats, Vegan, Sugar-free Peanut Butter, and Savory. An order gets you 70 grams of your choice of dough molded into your preferred size-either a giant one or several tiny nibbles-with your preferred add-ons tossed in. Eight to 10 minutes in the oven, and you have a chewy, personally designed cookie.
Samoas Dreams and Thin Mint
Scout's Honor also has a retail rack with 10 varieties of cookies baked daily. More than half of them are classic Girl Scout cookies, to which he adds his own spin. The Samoas Dreams is a caramel- and coconut-coated salted Sable Breton with chocolate covering the bottom half and drizzled all over. The tropical taste of coconut is subtle yet evident, contributing texture. The components sound too sweet but the flavor is just right.
The delicate Thin Mints break easily, but the beautiful combination of the double chocolate fudge cookie and soft, refreshing mint buttercream will make you pick up all the pieces and make the most out of your treat.
From top left, clockwise: Molasses and Oat, Cookie Incepcion, Matcha Sesame
The Matcha Sesame, tied with a bow of thin string, displays the tandem's flair for fusing unconventional and adventurous flavors. The perfectly round green-tea cookies, speckled with chocolate chips, sandwich a slim layer of black sesame and white chocolate filling. The flavors are intriguing and addictive.
The Cookie Inception is the pastry version of Turducken (a dish where a chicken is stuffed into a duck). An Oreo cookie is trapped within the crumbly walls of a double chocolate fudge cookie, which is further tucked inside classic chocolate chip. It's indulgent but not cloying.
Charcoal and Horlicks Milk
Cookies are best with milk, and Scout's Honor offers a good variety of what Chef Miko describes as not a milkshake but "shaken milk." Some of the flavors are Horlicks, Bamboo Charcoal, Fruit Loops, Black Forest, Creamed Corn, and 13 others, which are infused in imported pasteurized milk upon order. Coffee with fruity and chocolatey notes from Kenyan beans are also available.
The shop is currently on soft opening, with a pending mid-November grand launch. Until then, the chefs have a couple more tricks up their sleeves, including a cookie skillet topped not just with sugar pie (think Crack Pie) but also ice cream from Fog City Creamery. A kouign-amann (a buttery French pastry) stuffed cookie is also in the works, as well as a premium cookie, which will be introduced every month. One of them is an exciting bamboo-charcoal cookie with Valrhona chunks, sandwiching foie gras buttercream and raspberry jam.
A cookie is a simple thing, but Chef Miko knows there’s an intricate technique to make it the best-and that’s what he plans on doing.
Craft cookies cost around P70, retail cookies are P75 to P95, and shaken milk is P100. Prices are yet to be final.