FIRST LOOK: LAVA Cheese Tarts at SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City
We've got a whole lotta love for these homegrown cheesy treats!
LAVA Cheese Tarts
Lower Ground Floor, SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) There’s a new kid on the (cheese) block. Say hello to your next obsession: LAVA Cheese Tarts!
From a distance, you’ll be intrigued by the store’s fiery red and textured gray walls combined with wooden and steel accents. Described by its owner Richard Sanz as “industrial minimalist and rustic,” the modern spot could easily turn into a place to recharge and relax, thanks to its round tables and long counter perfect for quick shopping breaks and catch-up sessions.
If the interiors don’t catch your eye, the intriguing aroma coming from the store will definitely compel you to come closer. And when you do, it’s a sight to behold! Rows of freshly baked golden tarts filled with four kinds of cheese—two from Laguna, one from Davao, and another from France—are on display, begging you to consume them instantly or take them home in a box. Each cheese tart is sold at P80, but order a box of six and you get it at P75 per piece.
The molten tart is surrounded by a thick, slightly sweet crust that’s good enough to eat on its own. But once you bite into the twice-baked brown exterior (which surprisingly gives easily yet doesn’t crumble), you'll get to the gooey yellow center—the best part of the experience! The mild yet tasty combination of the four soft cheeses settles on your tongue like a silken dream, but then happily reunites and meshes with its crunchy casing for a wonderful play on textures. Fair warning: Prepare to get messy if you order one straight from the oven because chances are, the warm cheese will be dripping all over your hands once broken in two. Just like the way hot lava slowly travels down the side of a volcano.
While the cheese tart is undoubtedly the star of the store, the LAVA Origins Coffee is also a formidable option that goes effortlessly well with the cheese tart. Sourced from various places in the Philippines such as Bukidnon, Atok, and Mindoro, the non-commercial coffee beans are carefully selected, mixed, and freshly brewed to give every cup a strong kick. Ask the barista for the secret special blend and you’ll be treated to a no-frills, non-acidic grind on the spot! Try any of their hot or iced options for a quick caffeine fix: Americano (P90 to P110), Café Latte (P110 to P130), Cappuccino (P110 to P130), and Mocha (P120 to P140).
The team behind LAVA Cheese Tarts prides itself on being a homegrown brand that supports local artisan cheesemakers and coffee farmers. For over two years, they scoured the country in search of the best sources for cheese, and once they found them, did countless tests to finally come up with the unassuming palm-sized concoction. Sanz promises that this locally made pastry is just the beginning! He has already formulated salted egg cheese tarts to be sold during the holiday season, and also plans to infuse beloved Filipino flavors—tsokolate, mangga, and ube, to name a few—into the tarts for 2017.
Get ready for LAVA’s soft opening today, November 3, 4 p.m. at SM Aura. Be one of the first 50 customers in line and score a free cheese tart!