Confession: Never been a fan of breads, especially the commercial variety. When I eat hamburgers, I always leave the buns out; they make my throat hurt. Or I always have to have a glass of water handy just to push down that bread-y morsel.
And then there’s BreadTalk.
The first BreadTalk item I bought oh so many years ago was the Walnut Braid (if you say it out loud, it sounds like a mispronunciation – but what it really is right on the label, a braided bread dotted with walnuts). They have whimsical names too: Rocky Milk, Spring in the City, Cures of the Golden Flower, Hot Chic. And of course, the Cheesy Earthquake Bread.
BreadTalk is a global brand that started in Singapore which (thank the gods of breads and croissants whoever you are) opened its shops here in the Philippines.
The prices of the items are a bit high for a city like Bacolod but people still queue mainly because of the quality of their products.
The breads, for instance, have a soft, pillow-y, almost cloud-like quality, with a sweet almost milky aftertaste that is neither unpleasant nor cloying. I haven’t seen a hard-crust BreadTalk item (correct me if I’m wrong), but that’s not a loss for me.
The sheer number of options is mind-blowing, with each item having a personality of their own. Spring in the City, for instance, is a roll made with floss (shredded pulled pork, I presume), with a generous sprinkling of spring onions and magic. Cures of the Golden Flower (that’s not a misspelling) is a basic bread with slivers of almonds.
Then there’s the Flosss (again, not a misspelling; it really has three ‘s’), everyone’s favorite, which is a sweetish bread topped with ruosong, or traditional shredded meat. The floss lends a salty taste, almost umami flavor that perfectly complements the subtle sweetness of the bun.
My personal favorites are the walnut braid, which has walnuts nesting on a milky crust atop a braid-shaped bun, and the Cheesy Earthquake Bread, a sliced loaf with processed cheese baked within the bread itself. The loaf is, as per usual, extra creamy and extra soft, and is best eaten immediately after purchase (I tried storing it in the refrigerator – bread is as good as new the next day, no need to re-heat).
The breads are one thing, the cakes are another though. Granted, we ordered only one: the Mango Furomaji Cake.
It was cute, came with a smiley face, but it tasted like an ordinary layered sponge cake, with a really thixk frosting. Good for kids, probably, but not for one who does not have a sweet tooth.
I’m not saying it’s throwaway bad; I’m just saying the cake we ordered was not at par with the quality of the rest of the breads (which are superhero-tier). Will I be coming back? For sure. Maybe lay off the cakes, but more on the breads. And that lovely croissant.