Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King
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Eat Me: Bibingcrepe

posted by in Cafés, Filipino, Restaurants


Eat me. Posted by Hello

Every once in a long while, I eat something that makes me say “omigod, omigod, omigod,” over and over again. My dad frowns upon me using the Lord’s name in vain, but omigod (whoops, there I go again), this is more like culinary rapture.

I was blessed to experience such an epiphany at this new spot that my fellow food lover, K chanced upon. She’s an expert at sniffing out gems such as this one. Anyway, places like these are usually out of the way (which it isn’t), flirt on this side of pricey (which it doesn’t), and are small (hmm, okay).

It’s called HalfMoon, and they specialize in something called a bibingcrepe, a play on the words “bibingka” and “crepe.” Bibingka (pronounced bih-BING-ka) is yet another Filipino rice cake made from ground rice, sugar, eggs, and butter. It’s cooked on a banana leaf in an earthenware pot (see photo for better visual aid), and when cooked is slapped with more butter, a sprinkle of sugar and grated coconut on the side. Special versions have salted duck eggs (itlog na maalat) and/or unripened native soft cheese (kesong puti) cooked on top. Crepes are of course, large thin pancakes.

The geniuses at HalfMoon have married the two together into something unique, the fruit of truly inspired food minds: a food that has the fluffiness of a bibingka, its exterior possessing the outside crunch of a well-made crepe. This little glory encases a filling that positively oozes in its deliciousness. Is it a pancake? a cake? a thick crepe? A little of all, perhaps?

bibingcrepe cookingWhile being cooked, the bibingcrepe (again, see photo) rises slowly and develops a pocked exterior, an indicator of its interior’s fine crumb. This is actually the result of the leavener being used, (I take my chances and say it’s baking powder). As you can see from the photo, there’s a thin crispy coating that forms on the edges of the pan, the “crepe” that makes up this bibingcrepe.

HalfMoon collage 1
When cooked, the bibingka has a fluffy middle with raised, crispy sides. The desired filling is smeared and slathered on, drizzled with a white cream (I venture to say it’s a combination of confectioner’s sugar and milk), cut in half, piled on top of each other, and then smacked with one last swipe of butter.

The result? A definitive crunch as teeth bite into thin crispy crepe, followed by silence as they sink deeper into a pillow of softness, sticky, drippy, and omigod. This bibingcrepe holds its eater captive, locking him/her into a state of pleasure that is his (or hers) alone. It cannot be replicated by anyone else. It is one’s own individual bliss. A little rice cake-crepe that speaks to its name in every sense: bibingcrepe.

HalfMoon collage 2
Bin and I shared (okay fine, I hogged) the choco cheese (P80), which is their bestseller, and the choco banana peanut (P90). Other choice fillings include chocolate, cheese, corn, peanut, banana, and other permutations of those ingredients. It’s only P75-P90 per bibingcrepe, each of which has six substantial slices. There are also a few select drinks like bottled water and assorted iced teas.

HalfMoon (the place itself) is an al fresco affair with plenty of electric fans, which were no match for the torrid summer heat. But it’s not unpleasant, so concentrated was I on keeping my mouth busy. The only thing that marred my experience was biting into some parts of cake that had a slightly metallic taste – the product of too much baking powder. I made sure to tell the chefs to consider sifting their dry ingredients together for proper incorporation. I may understand where that metallic taste comes from, but some other unforgiving customer may not. What a shame that would be.

This place is open early (10 am) and closes late (1 am). The chefs say that the bulk of their business is done at night when it’s not as hot. Makes sense.

HalfMoon bibingcrepe
238 T. Morato corner Scout Bayoran,
Quezon City
Phone: 376-2283
They even have a blog!

16 Responses to “Eat Me: Bibingcrepe”

  • Bibingcrepe best eaten on the premises. It loses crunchiness when you attempt to take it home. Eating one order alone is not for dieters, hehehe. –K

    [Reply]

  • Hi K,
    I *agree*! And yes, it’s definitely not for dieters. More for me and you! :p

    lori

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  • I’ve never seen anything like that before. Oh…my….yup, I’d really like to eat that.

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  • I’ve been dying to try that one out — I’ve always been put off by the al fresco dining (especially since it’s a hot, hot summer) but, after reading your entry, I’m heading over there this Saturday. ^_^

    Btw, may I link you on my blog? ^_^

    [Reply]

  • Hi Lori! We’re so happy you liked our product :)

    I appreciate all the suggestions, I’ll make sure we work to improve on them.

    In the meantime, I hope you visit us every now and then to try the new flavors we are coming out with. We value feedback from experts such as you.

    Salamat po.

    [Reply]

  • Hi Tin
    Yes, please do link my blog from yours. :) Thank you! I tried to access your profile but to no avail. Let me know your blog URL so that I can visit your blog too. :)

    lori

    [Reply]

  • Hi Dennis,

    You’re most welcome. The pleasure was all mine! :) My only regret is that HalfMoon was not there yet when I lived in the Scout area. :( Oh well, more reason for me to keep on coming back to my old neighborhood AND to eat more bibingcrepe! :)

    lori

    [Reply]

  • Wow. It makes me want to book a flight straight over from Boston. Omigod indeed! Thanks for this cool post. What a great blog!

    [Reply]

  • Oh my God! Oops :) That’s looks incredibly good.

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  • This looks incredibly good, Lori. I’ll have to check out some recipes and see if I can approximate it at home… or find a place in LA that serves them!

    [Reply]

  • Nic,
    This *is* good! :) Use your favorite pancake recipe and then slip a fried egg in the middle of two pancakes. Voila!

    lori

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  • Hi Nic,

    My brother & partner in HalfMoon is currently finishing his culinary program in San Francisco.

    He plans to open up a stall soon somewhere near his place. I’ll let you know the moment it opens.

    This sure is a great blog Lori :)

    Dennis

    [Reply]

  • I must say YUUUUM…I was able to finally convince someone to try this with me, and my efforts were not in vain.

    Sinking my teeth into that buttery, slightly crisp exterior down to the cheesy-chocolate melty filling, meeting the nuts (which they added an extra spoon of, upon request) while inhaling the intoxicating scent of butter was OBLIVION.

    [Reply]

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