SNEAK PEEK: New York's Famous Magnolia Bakery Is Now in Manila
Now's your chance to try their famous Banana Pudding!
M Bakery PH
G/F One Bonifacio High Street Mall, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Filipinos love sweets. We love to end our meals with dessert, and a lot of our popular snacks are on the sweet side, too. It’s one of the reasons why New York’s Magnolia Bakery decided to open an outpost in Manila—their first in Southeast Asia—called M Bakery PH.
Magnolia Bakery has become somewhat of an institution in New York City since they opened in 1996. Known best for their signature Banana Pudding, they also catapulted to fame because of Sex and the City, which featured their delectable cupcakes. In fact, many Sex and the City-themed tours feature a stop at their original branch on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village.
The bakery soon expanded, first around the U.S. then internationally, one of the latest being this Manila branch. “We love our sweets,” says Stewart Ong, managing partner of Phil Jacobe Ventures Inc., who brought in M Bakery from the U.S. “We also have this very unique practice of pasalubong so I think M Bakery will be a good fit here.”
The sweet vibe starts with the dainty little bakery in BGC’s new One Bonifacio High Street Mall. The quaint nook is full of pastel pinks and teal, with hand-painted labels for the freshly baked goods on display. “We wanted to keep the same vintage feel of our flagship in New York’s West Village,” says Erick Larios, director of franchise operations for Magnolia Bakery.
Space may be tight, but the team made sure to still make the open kitchen, where customers can watch as bakers expertly frost different cakes and cupcakes, its centerpiece. “Just like in our New York shop, cupcakes here are also decorated in full view of everyone,” says Larios.
All the action does happen in their small bakery—M Bakery does not have any outside commissary, making the pastries for the day in small batches. While they use recipes by founder Allysa Torey—which are compiled in cookbooks that are also on sale at the shop—and by current chef Bobby Lloyd, opening a location outside of the U.S. has challenged the team to incorporate local ingredients in their baked goods. Their classic Key Lime Pie, for example, uses calamansi instead of key lime for a familiar fruity tang in the soft, almost airy cupcake.
Of course, the classics that made them a favorite in New York are also on offer like the Banana Pudding (P145/small, P295/medium, P375/large), which has become almost synonymous with the bakery. It’s easy to see why it’s become a cult favorite—somehow the mix of banana chunks, rich vanilla pudding, and the crunch of wafers feels comforting, like something you would have to turn a bad day around.
Banana Pudding may be their signature pastry, but the cupcakes also helped catapult Magnolia Bakery to fame—especially for fans of Sex and the City, who saw Miranda and Carrie gobble down the treats. The Vanilla Cupcake With Vanilla Buttercream looks like a dream, with dainty pastel-colored frosting in an intricate floral design. The familiar sweetness of vanilla is prominent, but not too overpowering, making it just the perfect sweet bite with a cup of coffee (which they also offer in the bakery).
From their interiors to their pastries and cakes, M Bakery is unapologetically soft and dainty—and with the stress that comes with living in this city, we all need that touch of sweetness in our lives.
Photos by Ian Santos
*M Bakery opens on August 22, 2 p.m. Cupcakes start at P120/piece, P720/half-dozen, and P1,200/dozen.