In a house that seemed to have emerged straight from a Sampaguita film in the 1960s is Segovia’s Cakes and Recipes.
It’s a quaint house turned into a coffee shop by business partners Carmen Segovia and Virch Yabut.
A sense of warmth takes over once you set foot in the place. The porch is definitely a nice touch.
As you slide the door that leads to the air-conditioned dining area, Virch warmly welcomes you. The small tables, good for four, are covered with Carmen’s Archie comics collection.
I don’t quite know what to make of the dining area just yet, but for sure, it’s homey, cozy, warm, fun and very clean.
It smells clean, too; it does not smell of food at all, which I find impressive!
It was a sandwich that good friend Vivian Go served during one of our meetings that prompted me to visit the Segovia home.
After tasting the bread, which I’d best describe as eating “clouds slathered with butter,” I just had to go and see whose hands made them.
Unfortunately, on the day that I went, Carmen was busy baking in the kitchen. And you know how bakers are… I know better than to yank them out of their Eden.
Virch, who tried to convince her to come out, said: “’Di ko talaga siya mapalabas. Carmen kasi is such a perfectionist!”
In fact, I learned from Virch that Carmen insisted on wrapping her mamons, after baking them, herself. Nothing is delegated.
“But I had to convince her, she could no longer do that,” Virch said. “We have around 200 orders of mamon a day. If a tape is out of place, it bothers her.”
It was a gigantic sandwich made from “cloud” bread; it had a hefty chicken-salad filling. It cost only P55 (all their sandwiches are priced as such, except the burger).
I learned from Yabut that she and Carmen were childhood friends from San Juan.
“As a child, Carmen would pretend to own a store and sell halo-halo,” said Virch.
“When she was in grade 3, she started cooking and baking and sold her goodies to the friends of her parents,” she added. “By the time she was in first year high school, she was already selling fruitcakes in school.”
Segovia’s childhood passion for food was evident then and is still alive today.
She considers what she does a craft. A bread as good as hers could not be bought by the loaf, because everything she still makes herself, by hand.
A bread artisan, dietician and nutritionist, Carmen, as I deduced from all the stories, is happy just baking and cooking for a select few who go out of their way to delight in her food.
Virch, meanwhile, handles all the other aspects of the business. She’s the one who puts a price to their offerings in such a way that people are enticed to come to have a taste of their well-done home cuisine.
If you need sandwiches, call and order from them. Better yet, stop by their coffee shop in San Juan and see what their cakes and pastries are for the day.
I was lucky to have chanced upon their banana caramel–if you are a “banoffee” fan, you should try this, it is delicious!
Their mamon is tasty with a satisfying mouth feel, a nice bite, not airy but a delectable mouthful, smothered with cheese.
Call 7252849, 4772229, 7274616.
Finally a wine soda that’s so refreshing, especially when served super-chilled, in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Rosé varieties.
Vignette Wine Country Sodas are all-natural beverages that are perfect for lunch, when you want that swig of wine without the heaviness that comes with it.
The Pinot Noir has that burst of bright berries; Chardonnay is light and fruity; Rosé has a certain bubbly-ness, a blush with just the right hint of sweetness.
According to manufacturers, “all varieties are sweetened only with varietal wine grape juice from California vineyards.
“It is all natural, no added sugar, does not contain high fructose corn syrup, 50 percent varietal juice, no added colors, caffeine-free, gently pasteurized, lightly carbonated, no preservatives.”
I served these wine sodas during the iconography and monastic food event with Fr. Dennis Paez for the benefit of the Icon Makers of Ginto Foundation. Everyone loved it!
Call Lauren at 0917-3205266, 8623041-43.
Correction. To those wondering what “FCC” was in last week’s Butuan Lechon recipe, it’s a typo and not some fancy abbreviation. It should have read: “. . . lemongrass and then finish with a sprinkling of ½ cup rock salt and ¼ cup black peppercorns.”
For my new cooking class schedules, call 0917-5543700, 0908-2372346, 4008496, 9289296.