2/F S Maison at Conrad Manila, Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way, Pasay City
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Ask anyone with an intense cookie addiction what their favorite chocolate chip cookie is, and Famous Amos is bound to come up at least once. Their beige bags filled with bite-sized crunchy cookies were all over supermarkets and were a quick way to have your fix—so we were sad to see them quietly disappear from grocery shelves.
Lucky for us cookie fiends, the L.A.-based bakery founded by Wally Amos in 1975 is back in Manila with a grab-and-go store where you can indulge in their freshly baked cookies. “This recipe is a recipe from [Wally Amos’] aunt that's been modified. He grew up learning how to make cookies and appreciating cookies,” shares Sean Ponce, president of SJ Shaw Food Corp., who brought the popular cookie brand back to the Philippines.
The Manila outpost has eight cookie flavors—exactly the same offerings you'd find in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Macau, Hong Kong, and pretty soon, Japan and Taiwan. Expect it to taste the same as the crunchy bite-sized cookies elsewhere.
Mall-goers would be enticed by the aroma of buttery cookies wafting from the store, which has a small seating area for dine-in customers. “All our cookies are made fresh in the store,” shares Ponce. While waiting, you can watch the crew prepare the cookies by hand—there’s no scooper or heavy machinery in the store, and everything is manually done. You’ll be mesmerized by the team carefully dropping precisely shaped, small pieces of dough in pans before placing them in the specially-calibrated oven.
First-time visitors should go for the classic No Nut Chocolate Chip (P180/100 grams, P350/200 grams, P510/300 grams, P660/400 grams; P800/500 grams), which is your classic cookie that’s studded with semi-sweet chocolate chips. The 100-gram bag has about 10 to 12 pieces of cookies. Don't worry about bringing home the 500-gram bag though—the cookies can last up to three weeks, as long as you keep them in an airtight container.
If you want to sample more in one go, you could get a big bag and get a mix of different flavors—as long as they’re priced the same. For instance, you can get the classic flavor alongside Double Chocolate Chip Pecan, choco chips and pecan bits in chocolate dough; Chocolate White Chocolate Chip, chocolate cookie dough with bits of white chocolate chips; or Oatmeal, a crunchy cookie which comes with raisins.
The other premium flavors (P190/100 grams; P370/200 grams; P540/300 grams; P720/400 grams; P850/500 grams) include the toasty-sweet Butterscotch, the Chocolate Chip Pecan baked into their classic dough, as well as White Chocolate Macadamia and Chocolate Chip Macadamia, for big fans of the nut.
Wash these down with your choice of coffee or milk with their selection of locally sourced beverages, exclusive to Manila. You can’t go wrong with the traditional Fresh Milk (P85) or the Chocolate Milk (P95), with a chocolate flavor that’s not too overwhelming to pair with the cookies. There’s also Cereal Milk (P110), with a malty sweetness that'll remind you of childhood or Cappuccino (P130) if you need a caffeine boost.
Those who prefer the soft-style cookie won’t feel left out because Famous Amos has larger cookies that feature the same base, except the finished product is soft and chewy. Soon, you’ll find more than just cookies here. “We’re going to be expanding the menu in the future to include other pastries like muffins and some cakes and tarts,” Ponce shares.
Within the year, Famous Amos plans to open branches at SM North EDSA, The Podium, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Manila, Robinsons Magnolia, and Trinoma. Still, the promise of crispy chocolate-chip cookies and milk is enough to make us want to drive to S Maison a little more regularly.
Photos by Jericho San Miguel