July 8, 2018

Papa Kim's Korean Bakery And Coffee - Antipolo

Koreans have invaded the Philippines, literally and figuratively speaking, and Filipinos for the most part are very welcoming. The term “kinain ng sistema” (consumed by the system) is jokingly being thrown to people we know who are die-hard fans of Koreanovela or K-Pop bands. I even have friends who would choose watching Korean drama series over going out; moreover, celebrities like Anne Curtis are obsessively fan-girling Korean celebs as well. I’ve never gone out without coming across a Korean tourist, expat or immigrant. Almost all major Philippine communities have their fair share of Korean establishments. They are everywhere and so is their influence. Heck, Starbucks even have Korean translations on their store signs. 

I’m not ashamed to admit, I have watched a few Korean dramas and admired a few Korean celebs; but I only stick to shows and music by 2NE1, Hye Kyo, Joong Ki and Rain. Hehe, I’m too selective like that. But what I love about the Korean influence to the Philippines besides makeup and beauty products (which are so good btw) is the cuisine. I was introduced to it when I was in elementary by my late father and I wasn’t as fond of it then as I do now. My vivid memory of that introduction was that I was a bit repulsed of the taste of Kimchi as I was not a fan of spicy and fermented food. But after being exposed to other Korean food, it has found a soft spot in my heart and tummy. My favorite Korean dishes would have to be anything Korean Barbeque, Gyeranjjim (fluffy steamed egg casserole) and Japchae (Korean stir-fried glass noodles). 

What I haven’t tried though are Korean desserts and pastries. I didn’t know that Korean bakeries are slowly proliferating the Manila food-scene and it has been known as one of the most unique parts of  and also underrated of all the Korean food; finding its roots somehow with Japanese and European influences. Since I was itching to satisfy my sweet tooth, I together with a friend, ventured to Sumulong Highway in Lower Antipolo to visit one of the newest Korean bakery in town: Papa Kim's Korean Bakery & Coffee.

Papa Kim's Korean Bakery & Coffee offers authentic breads hand-crafted by Korean pastry chefs, baked fresh every single day, 365 days a year. Tucked away in an area overlooking the urban cities of Metro Manila, Papa Kim’s 2-storey café offers a space for those looking just chill, to catch up with an old friend or hunker down to study and get some work done while enjoying an oasis of sweet treats and savory sandwiches & dishes. 

Papa Kim’s clients can choose from a variety of South Korean pastries and breads displayed on their racks before heading to the counter to order coffees, milk teas, bingsoo, cakes and more. Their cold display case is a sight to behold, with beautiful cakes and pastries and shaped like baby animals and cakes topped with elegant fruit and floral designs. Bet you would be tempted to bring one of those cute cakes to take home like I was, if only I was going straight home after, but I wasn’t. Anyhoo, here are the items that we tried at Papa Kim’s: 

Japchae - is a Korean sweet potato starch glass noodles stir fried with vegetables and meat and is one of Korea's best-loved dishes. Papa Kim’s serving is good for two people. Right off the bat, I loved the presentation. The noodles’ consistency was just right, they weren’t too chewy or too soft. It was savoury but IMO lacked some of the sweetness that I’m familiar to. The toppings were generous though and I liked that the spinach leaves were cooked perfectly. 

Irish Cream Frappe - when it comes to coffee, I like mine to be on the bitter-sweet side of things  (parallel to what my life is... just kidding!) but the staff suggested this to me being this is their best seller. A bit sweet for my liking but truly something cool, refreshing and deliciously decadent. 

Mango Bingsu - or Ice Flakes as what Papa Kim’s calls them; bingsu is popular Korean shaved ice dessert with sweet toppings that may include chopped fruit, condensed milk and/or fruit syrup. Can you believe that it is only my second time to eat bingsu? The first time was when I was in Taiwan last month and the second time was this. I wanted to try the strawberry variety but my friend requested to get the mango version and come on, who would say no to mango? So I happily indulged. We ordered the small serving that can already feed two persons. Since this was served together with our orders and was melting fast, we ate this almost simultaneously with the Japchae. This came with a generous portion of mangoes slathered on the shaved ice, and subsequently a scoop of vanilla flavored ice-cream drizzled in mango syrup and some almond nut flakes. The mangoes, of course, were exquisite with an intense yet balanced sweet and tangy taste. The shaved ice was delicate with a mellow milk taste. The ice cream provided a much needed creaminess factor that binds the whole dessert together. Loved it!

Red Bean Bear Bread - this cute little thing is one of Papa Kim’s Keopi's perfect matches. This pastry is Papa Kim’s signature Bear Bread and comes in 5 flavors: custard, strawberry, chocolate, cream cheese and red bean. When we were there, the only available Bear Breads were custard and red bean and we went for the latter. The bread’s consistency was ok: soft and fluffy. The red bean paste filling and bread simply go really well together. It wasn’t too sweet, not too heavy and perfect to eat with a coffee or a tea. I didn’t want to eat it really, because it was too cute!

Blueberry Cheesecakeno one could ever go wrong with cheesecake and this is one of my favorite cakes ever especially if partnered with blueberry. If I had to choose a dessert to enjoy for the rest of my life, I would probably choose cheesecake. The cake was light, airy, moist, milky and tangy, just how I like my cheesecake to be. Though this was more of  a cake as they used a sponge cake as its base and layer, unlike what we're used to with other cheesecakes with crushed graham crusts. I guess it was so good that my friend can’t even forget about it that even after hours later she would mention, “That cheesecake was really good.” 

French Cream Soboro - Soboro bread also known as gombo or Korean streusel bread is usually covered with a peanut crumble. We ordered two varieties of this: French cream and chocolate. This easily caught my eye while browsing their display case as you can see it is so aesthetically and visually pleasing (and would also be good for the ‘Gram). The pillowy soft bread was the perfect vehicle for the French cream filling which had the right amount of sweetness to it. The crumbly top gives it a good texture while the inside has some buttery notes, has good density to it and was soft. I’m telling you this thing is addictive!

Chocolate Soboro - this one is the chocolate version and kinda reminded me of Starbucks’ Whoopie pie for some reason. I liked that it was not so sweet and the chocolate flavor was distinct. 

Cream Puffs - another type of pastry that I really love to eat are cream puffs since I like their flaky consistency. Yes, I only like flakes for pastries and not people. Haha! Anyway, we got all the cream puff flavors Papa Kim’s has to offer: strawberry, custard and chocolate. The delicate pastry and light creamy filling are downright addictive. The cream filling is generous as you can see on the photo below. But I have to say that I would likely go for the original custard filling as I find the two other flavors a little bit strong for such a delicate type of pastry. 

After finishing the Japchae and Bingsu, my friend and I decided to check out the roofdeck so we can enjoy the cool Antipolo breeze while finishing the blueberry cheesecake, the Irish cream frappe and the rest of the pastries. The view was perfect, unfortunately, Mother Nature wasn't cooperative as we wanted it to be. It started to drizzle and turned into a complete downpour. That kinda cut our excitement as we were looking forward to watch the sunset from there. But perhaps that can happen some other time. 

By the way, Papa Kim's offers 50 % off on all their breads pastries, daily from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm. You can find them also on their other branches across Metro Manila which I have written down below. Have you tried Korean breads and pastries too? What's your favorite?

Sumulong Highway, Mambugan, 
Lower Antipolo, Rizal
Contact No: 0917 586 9734
Email: papakimskoreanbakery@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/papakimsph
Instagram: instagram.com/papakimsph
Our branches:
- Tomas Morato, Quezon City
- Banawe Street, Quezon City
- Ayala Mall The 3th, Pasig City

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Papa Kim's Korean Bakery & Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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