Fleur de Lys (fleur-deh-LEES) was my go-to dessert place when I was living in Quezon City (QC). Being so near it made me feel prepared to take on any sugar craving that might creep up on me in the middle of the night or day, since it opens early and closes late. Now that I don’t live in QC anymore, I miss Fleur de Lys terribly, so I make it a point to drop by whenever I’m in the area, that is if I don’t make it the excuse to drive all the way to QC. My favorites include the strawberry pie, and now their waffles.
Making their debut just last May, the waffles offered at Fleur de Lys are unlike anything that can be found locally. Owner and pastry chef, Jackie Ang-Po, has outdone herself making a waffle that’s unique unto itself. For one, it’s yeast-raised instead of relying on the common leaveners like baking powder and/or baking soda. There are sweet and savory waffles. In addition, her waffles are sweetened with crystal sugar which are roughly four times larger than regular granulated sugar. (Crystal sugar is also called sugar crystals, decorating or coarse sugar.) No, it doesn’t make it that much sweeter and the occasional grittiness against the teeth is beguiling.
I will make any excuse I can to have breakfast even at the late hour of 11 in the morning (I’m usually up by 6 am), so I barely glance at the savory waffles before zeroing in on their sweeter counterparts. If you’re not like me, I’ll pique your curiosity by telling you that the savory waffles are herbed and come with either sunny side up or scrambled eggs. Jackie recommends the smoked Italian sausage waffle (P160) and the sweet chorizo hamonado (P150). The meats aren’t mixed into the waffle but serve as toppings or tasty sides.
On to the sweet waffles aptly called “Waffle Wonders” on the menu, my morning is looking brighter already. There’s a choice of either vanilla or chocolate waffles, but when it comes to waffles, there’s no waffling around with me. I always order the banana-peanut butter combo (P100 – see cover photo), and at Fleur de Lys it even comes with a dollop of cream. Yippee! There’s the option to swap the cream for vanilla ice cream which is only an extra P30. But today I feel like easing into my indulgence instead of rushing into a full-on, head-on sugar collision. Jackie urges me to also try the waffles with mangoes, cream, and caramel sauce (P125). I’m an obedient eater and do as I’m told.
A few words of waffle wisdom: First, make sure that your waffles come to you hot. Your experience is affected if not. At Fleur de Lys, the waffles are yeast-raised, so they possess a different texture from what people might be used to. In Jackie’s words, her waffles are “…crispy outside, and somewhat makunat (bite-y) inside.” A taste yields a crumb with resistance and a somewhat spongy bite. It doesn’t come away as lightly as a baking powder waffle would and the almost imperceptible yeasty flavor indicates that this is a waffle that’s worthy of savoring. No matter what time of night or day.