Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Food and history at Kamuning Bakery and Cafe

I love history, though not while in school. Haha! I love stories about the olden days and seeing pictures of how places looked like decades ago. I love vintage items, ancestral houses and certainly, eating in old restaurants. When I read about the 77-year-old Kamuning Bakery and Cafe in some blogs, I got very curious and excited to go there. Doing some research, I found out that it opened in 1939 and that among the famous personalities who had been its patrons were the late President Corazon "Cory" Aquino and national artist Nick Joaquin.
Thankfully, it wasn't long before I had the opportunity to make my first visit to Kamuning Bakery and Cafe. I heard that my officemates were going there one afternoon to buy bread and I tagged along. Once inside the historic bakeshop, I beamed with a feeling of nostalgic delight seeing those breads that I grew up eating in our province of Quezon - kalihim, kababayan and even pinagong, which the town of Sariaya is known for. My friends and I couldn't resist buying a lot! And then, one Saturday last February, I finally was able to dine at the café together with one of my kids. 
Our orders:

Tawilis Pasta, P185. There were six kinds of noodle dish on the menu but I went for this one because it' s unique to Kamuning Café and besides, I love tawilis, which are small fish found only in Taal Lake in Batangas. I love to eat it breaded and fried to a crisp - it's perfect with my favorite vegetable dish pinakbet. This Tawilis Pasta that uses fettuccine is pleasant to the taste with its balance of creaminess with the subtle savory flavor of the fish. Yummy!

Kamuning Chicken Basket, P185. This fried chicken is good! Even my son gave his stamp of approval. It's rightly spiced and crunchy to the bite. Each piece is quite enormous, too! And there's fries that go with these. You can order a basket of two pieces chicken for P185, or four pieces for P370.

My son wanted rice with his chicken so I ordered for him
Blueberry Cheesecake, P65. This one's a little thinner that the ones you could have in some restaurants. Not short on the cream cheese and blueberry flavors, though. Probably the best cheesecake your P65. could buy nowadays. By the way, don't go searching for this on the café menu because it's not there. I asked the server if he could get me a slice from the bakery, and he gladly did, thankfully.

Brewed coffee, P75. Kamuning Café's cup of joe gave the perfect ending to my afternoon meal. Here, they use Arabica coffee beans from Sagada. As is my won't, 
 I had it black. 

                                             Mango juice, P80. My son's drink.

  Interiors - notable are some antique pieces, drawings
as well as other works or art

I loved the vintage wrought iron chairs similar to what my 
grandparents used to have.
Antique stained glass windows remind me of ancestral houses 
that I dream to live in. 
The bakeshop 
My childhood Pinoy bread favorites - kalihim, kababayan and pinagong plus many more. All breads are baked the old-fashioned way, using pugon or wood-fired brick oven.
Kamuning Bakery is divided into three sections - bakeshop on the left, cakeshop in the middle and the cafe at right. This is located at 43 Judge Jimenez corner K-1st Street, Quezon City.

As I see it, Kamuning Bakery and Cafe is a gem tucked away in this side of Quezon City for its priceless history and of course, the traditional Filipino breads and the coffee plus savory food offered at the café. The ambiance of nostalgia that it gives off is a treasure in itself as well, for people like me who find interest in history. 
But people come to Kamuning Bakery and Cafe not just for the food and coffee. They come to discuss, mostly about government and politics. Professors from the University of the Philippines and yes, the bigwigs in government do come and for this reason, owner Wilson Lee Flores last year decided to hold media forums here so aptly dubbed as "Kapihan at Pandesal sa Kamuning". Some of those who have graced these events were Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senators Francis "Chiz" Escudero and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos and Representative Leni Robredo. 
So pay this decades-old foodie place a visit, folks and enjoy as much as I did, drinking and munching away a relaxing weekend afternoon. 
Happy eating!

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