BGC's New Neighborhood Café Is Hiding Inside a Hotel
You might end up hanging out here for an entire day!
The Bake House
Lobby Level, Shangri-La at the Fort, Bonifacio Global City
Open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) While you hear of more and more people having staycations in hotels, a stay at a five-star accomodation like those in the Shangri-La Group isn't necessarily an everyday thing.
Not only is there an impression that dining at a hotel will set you back by a lot, but there’s also the apprehension that you'd have to endure a bit of stuffy formality.
What we do know is a hotel is the last place you’d expect to find a neighborhood café—and one where options are priced much more affordably than you’d expect. But that’s exactly what The Bake House at Shangri-La at the Fort is.
“We really designed this place for people to come in and hang out,” says Shangri-La at the Fort’s Director of Communications Annika Sta. Maria. “We have free WiFi and outlets for people who want to work.”
Not only is the café equipped with features to make working out of the office convenient, but it’s designed to be homey and cozy, too—not to mention the fact that it’s very easy on the eyes. Designed by Charlie + Rose, The Bake House has a lovely teal-and-gold color scheme as well as warm wood décor all over. Woven baskets full of loaves channel a rustic bakery vibe.
Aside from the homey, welcoming atmosphere, Shangri-La at the Fort Communication Executive Tiffany Go also describes The Bake House as “a café with a lot of heart.” “Our tagline is ‘freshly made with a conscious heart,’ explains Go. “We really make sure that every dish we make has a purpose.”
This heart is reflected in their commitment to becoming a zero-waste café. “All our packaging are recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable,” says Sta. Maria. “There’s no plastic here. Even the 'plastic' cups, they’re actually made with natural plant materials. All our straws are paper.”
Aside from being an eco-friendly café, The Bake House also offers food that’s all-natural and trans-fat free. “We refrain from using artificial dyes and flavorings because we think that the best dishes are those that we produce naturally, without any additives,” says Go.
Going all-natural doesn’t stop them from having an expansive menu of savory and sweet pastries, though—in fact, Chef Anthony Collar, chief pâtissier of Shangri-La at the Fort, saw this as an opportunity to go crazy. “I think [The Bake House] is his playground,” shares Go. “For the pastry chefs, this is their breeding ground for creativity.”
The Bake House offers a wide range of pastries, from classic European ones to treats inspired by Filipino flavors. For sweets, have the Apple Turnover (P85), an incredibly buttery, flaky pastry filled with spiced apples.
The Conscious Cookie (P60) is one that sells out quickly, prompting one to consider it a must-try. The cookie, best enjoyed warm, is a gooey, chocolatey, and nutty treat—a result of it being a blend of leftover cookie dough; part of their efforts to be zero-waste. “Instead of throwing away those scraps, we thought, ‘why not try salvaging those ingredients?’” says Go.
Those in the mood for something savory can’t go wrong with the classic combination of Prosciutto and Arugula Toast (P250), with the salty bite from the ham complementing the peppery greens well.
The Chicken Pot Pie (P180), meanwhile, has a rustic look that’ll make you feel like it was whipped up in a cottage in an unnamed European countryside. The pretty, hefty pie is stuffed with roast chicken and vegetables in a rich, peppery cream.
“This café is a representation of how we’ve embraced the community of BGC,” shares Go. “Because we are a part of this community.” Every neighborhood needs a café they can trust to be a safe and cozy haven—a second home, if you will. And guess what, your next one might just be inside a hotel.
Photos by Jericho San Miguel