This New French Resto's Excellent Croissants Will Make You Say Oui
It's all about classic French fare here.
Crimson Hotel, Entrata Urban Complex, Civic Drive, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) France is home to some truly distinctive eats—from well-crafted breads to intricate pastries to all kinds of savory dishes that are rich and have a distinctive depth of flavor. But it’s also worth noting how the French people take their food seriously, making sure to use fresh and seasonal ingredients in their cooking, and taking their time to have leisurely meals where they savor every bite and morsel—sans distractions to take your attention away from the food. It’s worth taking a page from this philosophy, and if you’re looking for a place where you can do just that in the company of great French fare, you’ll want to check out Baker J, a recently opened restaurant in Crimson Alabang!
Here's why this new French restaurant is a must-visit:
Baker J began as a online bread-and-pastry store that opened in 2020. It was long meant to be a restaurant, but the quarantine hit—so they had to put those plans on hold and stick to deliveries in the meantime. “We started the construction of the restaurant [in the first quarter] of last year, but since the pandemic happened, we had to stop temporarily,” shares Crimson Hotel’s Director of Marketing and Communications Ronie Marie Reyes in an interview with SPOT.ph. “So, we launched the deliveries [in the meantime] by [the third quarter].”
As restrictions eased up in 2021, they were finally able to push through with the restaurant’s construction, and opened Baker J as a full-fledged dine-in establishment. Their elegant space is dominated by regal shades of cream and hickory brown, with added pizzazz from royal-blue chairs, walls shelves that display plants and miscellaneous colorful vessels, and of course, the colorful display of pastries at the front counter.
French food reigns supreme here, with French chef Nicolas Pasdeloup behind their menu. “Chef Nicolas created the menu of Baker J with traditional French comfort food in mind, especially the recipes he grew up with back home,” says Reyes. “According to him, in Paris, they take time to enjoy their food. And that's the habit he wants to share to Baker J diners—to take pleasure in every bite of good food.”
Croissants, of course, are a French staple, and Baker J’s version (P90) is rightfully excellent—light and flaky on the outside, with the rich aroma and telltale taste of good butter. If you’re one to live life on the wild side, you can also go for its dark-chocolate stuffed cousin, the Pain au Chocolait (P90). You can do as the French do and pair these laminated pastries with a cup of joe: The Chemex (P170/two to three cups) is wonderfully robust, while the Rose Baker J Latte (P190) is scented with its namesake flower for a surprising floral depth amid the coffee’s bitterness and the milk’s creaminess.
As Baker J is open as early as 6 a.m. daily, it’s a great place to slow down and take your time savoring a full-fledged breakfast—something we could all use amid our hectic schedules, really. They’ve got an extensive breakfast menu available until 10:30 a.m. and you can’t go wrong with the Complet (P550), a fit-for-a-king (or queen) breakfast plate that ticks all the right boxes. It’s got free-range range eggs any style—we recommend going the sunny-side route—as well as their homemade sausage and bacon for a meaty bite. The plate also comes with crisp-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside roesti (a.k.a. Swiss potato pancakes), tomatoes that are roasted until bursting with juices, your choice between their not-too-sweet waffles or pillowy pancakes (we went with the former), plus sliced fruits and detox juice for a fresh counterpoint to the heft of the other ingredients.
Another stellar choice is the Eggs Benedict (P250)—a well-executed rendition of the classic brunch dish. Baker J poaches their eggs just until cooked but keeps the yolks runny and bright in color, then places them on top of smoky bacon and English muffins. Then comes the kicker: A generous dollop of Hollandaise sauce, in all its golden-yellow, silky-smooth, tangy-rich glory. Cut into the eggs and watch as the yolks flow over the bacon and English muffins and meld with the Hollandaise sauce, making every forkful even richer.
Baker J’s lunch and dinner menu, available from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., isn’t to be missed either. Try the Smoked Salmon Tartine (P400) for a light but flavorful bite. Here, slices of their house-made sourdough bread are topped with a colorful bevvy of ingredients—including succulent slices of smoked salmon that melt in the mouth, avocados for buttery richness, caper berries for a briny pop of flavor, earthy baby spinach, and tangy, creamy goat cheese.
You’ve got plenty of reasons to save room for dessert, too, as Baker J’s got a stellar lineup of sweet treats. It doesn’t get any prettier than the Strawberry Cream Puff (P120), a stunning pastry of choux-pastry shells, lightly-sweetened whipped cream, and fresh strawberries for a tart and juicy bite. On the more complex-tasting end of the spectrum is the Savarin au Rhum (P60), a small but impactful cake that’s soaked in lightly-sweet rum.
Trends come and go, but classic French eats never goes out of style. And with great takes on some of the cuisine’s best dishes—plus a sophisticated look and cozy ambience—Baker J is a great place to get your fill in the Metro.
Baker J is at Crimson Hotel, Entrata Urban Complex, Civic Drive, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
Photos by Majoy Siason
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