We were lost, and Bin was getting irritable. He had already asked two I-know-nothing jeepney drivers and it was getting to him. We were also getting nowhere. Finally, on his 3rd phone call to the place, someone on the other end picked up and hallelujah! we found Cake2Go.
Now that it was in front of us, I see that itâ€™d be hard to miss. It has a happy cherry red exterior (and interior), something very suitable for Valentineâ€™s Day. I especially liked the ingredients for a pound cake painted on the wall complete with sketches of a mixer and a rolling pin. Sweet.
Run by friends and business partners, Marilen Yap and Luis Mesina, Cake2Go is only 2 months old. Its concept is simple and yet unique in this harried place we call Metro Manila: itâ€™s a cake outlet and delivery service. Luis, who does all the baking, explains that Cake2Go is actually a place for cake take-away (hence, the name). Eating in, while not discouraged, (there are two chairs) is not actually the point here. Luis builds on the concept of being a service that people can turn to when they need a dessert in a hurry â€“ theyâ€™ll come to you if you canâ€™t go to them. Not having to worry about diners keeps his overhead low and affords him the ability to offer lower prices for his customers. Cakes are also sold by the slice to quell cravings while in transit.
Most small bakeshops like these offer â€œsafeâ€ products â€“ those that Filipinos are used to and what they routinely go out and seek when having dessert. These are chocolate cake (or any variations on the now tired Chocolate Decadence), rum cake, apple pie, and cheesecake. Cake2Go, thankfully, is not like that. Itâ€™s a breath of fresh air with its unique selections, each one labeled as â€œcakes to comfort,â€ â€œnew 2 taste cakes,â€ and â€œtwists 2 perfection cakes.â€ Create new cravings with new cakes like Tres Leches, a Cuban-Spanish creation of chiffon cake soaked in two kinds of milk; Blumâ€™s Coffee Torte, a cookie crust with layers of chocolate buttercream topped with amaretto cream and chocolate shavings; Choc-Nut Pie with Walnuts, their tribute to the Filipino classic; and Tiramisu Crunch, another version of this famous Italian dessert, this time with phyllo pastry.
Of course for those less adventurous (shame!), Cake2Go has a chocoholic fudge cake, French apple crumble pie, classic graham cheesecake, the Decadent, and their carrot cake which they call Bugâ€™s. There are also a few cookies and date bars (food for the gods).
Because I get into a trance induced by the sight of such sweet gloriousness, my problem was in choosing what to bring home. Bin wisely stood back as I collected and selected my thoughts, whittled down my choices, then made my decision: one slice each of the turtle pie, French apple crumble pie, Blumâ€™s Coffee Torte, and my now-favorite, the Paradise Key Lime Pie.
Since we had at least a 15-minute drive back home, our cakes were a bit soft when we dug into them, but divine, nevertheless. I especially loved the key lime pie, so hung up am I about big flavors; tangy lime and smooth cream resting on a shortbread-like crust. The little lime specks were particularly appealing.
Iâ€™m no fan of mousse, so I didnâ€™t really enjoy the turtle pie and the coffee torte, but Boo lapped them up, and so did Bin. Cake2Goâ€™s apple pie is one of the few apple pies that Iâ€™ve seen in Manila that actually has a streusel crust. Hooray for that! I enjoyed it, save for a strong margarine taste.
Next time I go to Cake2Go, Iâ€™m ordering their King Louieâ€™s banana dream cake, the quezo de bola butter loaf, as well as the mac-ube cheesecake. And this time, I wonâ€™t get lost.
8 Jade Garden Compound
Santolan Road, Greenhills, San Juan
So that you donâ€™t get lost the way I did, here are directions:
**Coming from Greenhills and going towards Gilmore, turn left at the Santolan-Ortigas intersection. Drive a few kilometers, and Cake2Go will be on your right. Itâ€™s bright red, you canâ€™t miss it. If you do, you need lenses.
**Luis says itâ€™s better to visit them during off hours, because the road in front of the store gets congested during school dismissal times. (Xavier, ICA, etc.)
**Limited areas for delivery (San Juan, QC and Mandaluyong.) Call the store for details.
**A big thank you! to one of my (anonymous) readers for giving me the heads-up on Cake2Go. I owe you a cake from there, pal.