In a MIYO Monday not too long ago, I give you an overview of what I do on Sundays. To be frank, I don’t like Sundays much. They spell sloth and silence for me and I dread Sunday evenings – it’s when I feel the weight of the coming work (and workouts!) of the week creeping up on me. Yeah, yeah, a pessimist’s view.
There are some things that I do love about Sundays however. It’s the only day when I actually wake up later than 6.10am. Why 6.10, you ask? That’s the hour my eyes flip open every single day of the week; internal body clock I guess. I also adore Sundays because it’s the day when I get to go out and buy coffee as opposed to making my own. And on this day, I get to break away from my usual virtuous breakfasts of oatmeal or whole bran cereal.
I’ve always said that you can take away my lunch and dinner but let me have my breakfasts. As evidenced by the wealth of posts dedicated to breakfast on DCF, I needn’t tell you that breakfast is A BIG DEAL with me. I will like a restaurant more just because it’s open for breakfast and sometimes, I feel an extra kinship with people when I find out that they too are fans of the first meal of the day.
Yamato Bakery Café needs no introduction. It adjoins Mitsuyado Sei-Men, currently one of the busiest restaurants in Manila. But unlike its noodle neighbor, Yamato opens earlier and I don’t need to put my name on a waiting list.
It’s designed to be a take-away place, grab your breads and go. But to humor morning people like myself who are forever on the lookout for new brekkie joints, there are a few tables and chairs. It’s heartening to see that the ”kitchen” is so exposed although at 7:30 on a Sunday morning when I’m here, the pastry chef is still doing his mise en place. The glass display case offers a panoply of cakes of the Japanese (egg white cheesecake) and Continental (red velvet, choco mousse, cream puff) persuasion, but I’m here for flaky pastries.
Yamato’s selection of feuilletage, or family of puff pastries is exceptional. Everything is good as long as you remember one thing: ask for your orders to be heated. Pastries that fluff and flake magnificently need that reviving kiss of heat to return to their original glory. The croissants, of which I spy three types, are ideal. There’s plain butter, bacon (nice and smoky), and cheese (lower right in photo above), which has a melting nugget of cheese waiting to surprise once I get to the middle.
My Bin likes okonomiyaki in any way, shape, or form and he’s delighted with the okonomiyaki bun. Shaped liked a flattened oval, its cushion-soft insides hoist a combination of bacon or some such smoked pork, bonito flakes flapping halfheartedly, and squirts of Japanese mayo. I’m sure I missed a few key components, the bun is such a mishmash of deliciousness.
And of course, you see my Blueberry Danish in the cover photo above. I’m not much for blueberry anything – I prefer peach – but my Bin chooses this and a Danish is a Danish, and at Yamato, the custard filling is soft, a slippery bed (and bedside partner) for the fruit filling.
There are many breads to take home from this bakery café, but mostly white and soft since that is the type of bread that the Japanese like. Nothing wrong with that, and I especially love the Thick Bread (above) which are terrific for French toast or even a croque madame.
One last thing. I know it’s not commonly eaten for breakfast and I’m no big fan of cream puffs but the ones at Yamato make me rethink that. Crisp choux pastry cradles an ethereal cloud of cream, its sweetness but a whisper. I fall in love at first bite and immediately buy half a dozen to bring home to my dad. (Cream puffs are his favorite, next to bread pudding and upside down cake).
Yamato Bakery Cafe
22 Jupiter St., Brgy. Bel Air, Makati
(02) 823 0960
Open 7am-9pm, Mon-Sun