July 25, 2013

Restaurant Review: Vanilla Cupcake Bakery

 Fancy cupcakes and muffins have been the treat du jour for much of the 2010s. Cakes are too filling, bran muffins too unsatisfying. The solution was obvious: petite sugary snacks that appeal to the eye as much as the tastebuds. 

Since its inception, the movement seems to have fallen into three camps: Haute dessert flavours crammed into the muffin (think creme brûlée flavored), traditional varieties elevated to a higher level (straight-up lemon or chocolate chip) and the all-decor, no flavour category.
Vanilla Cupcake happily falls between the first two, serving up scrumptious red velvet, salted caramel and cheesecake hybrids and refined classics like lemon, a rich chocolate chip and a quirky strawberry lemon. However, that’s just a morsel of the flavours on offer, all of them decked out in a kaleidoscope of colors, so pretty, you may not want to eat them.

The ambience matches the food on offer, with retro pinks, blues and yellows that are as sweet and adorable as the cupcakes themselves. The aesthetic approach is Japanese-Lolita meets 1950s diner pastiche, meets Alice in Wonderland at Tea. The faux-garden with bright furniture would be a delight if weren’t so damned hot right now, but the quirky couches and chairs offer more than enough entertainment on the inside. Here’s hoping they keep the decor as cute as it is now, without going down the rockstar mid-life crisis renovation Heaven & Eggs went through.
A variety of western café food is also on offer, so a full meal is definitely on the table, if you’re hungry. Hearty spaghetti with meatballs, buffalo chicken with garlic fries and an all-day breakfast menu provides a solid menu for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with the sort of menu that Heaven & Eggs in Glorietta 4 is spruiking, only thankfully, healthier. And if you’re not into cupcakes, have the banoffee or strawberry panna cotta or a crushed cucumber, lemon and mint cooler served in a funky jar. It’s good for what ales ‘ya.

Presentation is everything, so the staff do a brisk trade in porting the goods on colorful china and glass goblets with all the pleasantries. From packaging to desserts, Vanilla Cupcake may just be the cutest thing to land in ATC.
Don’t Say: But they’re just mini-cakes. That’s girly.
Do Say: I came for the cupcakes, I stayed for the All-Day Breakfast menu.

What: Vanilla Cupcake Bakery
Level M1, inside Kamiseta Store, Trinoma Mall, Quezon City 
2/F Trinoma Mall, Edsa corner, North Avenue, Quezon City 
2/F Glorietta 4 Ayala Center, Makati City 
Upper Ground Level, Corte de las Palmas, Alabang Town Center
Average dining cost: P100-200 

* Full menu, not just cupcakes.
* That said, awesome cupcakes
* Great selection of drinks
* A real - real coffee machine that pulls espresso shots
* Gorgeous decor
* Gorgeous plating

* It’s small, so if you’re a big group, fight to get that couch!
* Weekends are packed, so hang around for an opportune moment
* Not enough people are tucking into the savoury meals - they’re good and people are missing out. You can stuff yourself with cupcakes after a pesto dip!
Mark and Millie

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Listening to: 505 by Arctic Monkeys
       Loving: Bali
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