It’s been a long while since I last dined at Le Petit Soufflé. I haven’t been able to return since I visited for the first time, but when I heard about the opening of Workshop Bespoke Bakery, I had a good reason to check out the Megamall branch of the restaurant.
It’s definitely a smaller one compared to their Century City Mall restaurant, but I’m not sure if it’s because they added an area for the bakeshop or if it’s always been like this. In any case, the interior is similar to the one in Century City Mall where they try to give a cozy garden/al-fresco dining ambiance. The lighting is definitely better at Century City Mall though. (Photography problems lol.)
Anyhoo, this post is mainly going to be about Workshop Bespoke Bakery, but I wanted to share with you what we had for lunch before grabbing dessert. I made it a point to order stuff we hadn’t tried before, and among them, here are what I would recommend:
Porc Blanquette (Php 475)
Pork loin and Japanese short grain rice are cooked in a tasty truffle velouté sauce, and then topped with more truffle in the form of soufflé.
My brother Jason has a thing for the good things in life, so any time he sees the word ‘truffle’ on a menu, you can be sure it will arrive on our table! Sometimes the dish is a hit, and sometimes it’s a miss, because with truffle, adding too much or too little makes a world of difference.
And the good news is, this one gets a thumbs up from us! The scent of truffle fills the air the moment you scoop into that tasty soufflé. What I like about Le Petit’s soufflé dishes is that they do not deflate even when you go at them with your spoon.
The truffle sauce which the filling is cooked with creates a creamy, even buttery sensation to every bite. And the taste is pretty spot on!
Squid Ink Rice (Php 425)
Delicious squid ink rice topped with some seafood, shimeji mushrooms, and a soft bed of scrambled eggs.
This dish was so good! Sometimes I find that with squid ink rice dishes, they either hold back on the ink so that the rice isn’t too black, or put too much of it that the rice becomes too salty. This dish found a good balance, I believe, thanks to the addition of the scrambled eggs. You mix everything up inside the small cast-iron bowl (and it was hard to mix since the bowl is so small) and just make sure you get your seafood and egg well-distributed into the rice.
The result is well worth the black teeth and lipstick you get after eating this haha! The pillowy scrambled egg adds such a nice texture to this dish.
Just Mac And Cheese (Php 325)
Perfectly baked macaroni with a mix of sharp cheddar and mozzarella to create the ooze. Topped with shimeji crimini mushrooms and thin slices of Hungarian sausage.
I realize my photo is the mac and cheese option with the foie gras on top, but honestly, I think you can just skip it. Order the plain mac and cheese and enjoy the dang thing in its natural state! The 400-peso price difference doesn’t really feel worth it. Well, I guess unless you’re super addicted to foie gras.
So now that lunch is done and over with, I finally made my way to the Workshop Bespoke Bakery. You don’t have to eat at Le Petit Soufflé to visit the bakery, but it is located within the Le Petit restaurant.
It’s much tinier than I expected, with most of the space taken up by the kitchen and the display counter. There’s one table at the corner and a few bar-type seats, but you are allowed to sit at the Le Petit Souffle restaurant area anyway so it’s not much of an issue. I just like the ambiance of Workshop Bespoke Bakery more for cafe hang-out sessions. It’s a shame there isn’t that much space.
What excited me the most about Workshop Bespoke Bakery was the fact that it houses the creations of a chef who has taken the pastry scene by storm– not just locally mind you, but internationally as well. I have a special appreciation for pastry chefs, and I feel like the success of Chef Miko Aspiras (and his partner in crime Chef Kristine Lotilla) has pushed other Filipino pastry chefs into becoming more creative as well.
The desserts at Workshop Bespoke Bakery range from the familiar to the unique, but the way they were displayed makes the mouth water for sure. There were some empty spots when I went to check it out, but a lot of the pastries were already out on parade.
Chef Miko Aspiras is considered a dessert dynamo, so I was pretty confident I wasn’t going to be let down no matter what I picked from the lineup of his Workshop Bespoke Bakery. That certainly didn’t make decision-making any easier. I kept walking back and forth between the displays for so long until I finally went with the three things that caught my attention the most, plus one special recommendation from the staff.
Calamansi Tart (Php 190)
A tart composed of a buttery shortbread crust holding sweet pili paste and calamansi custard. On top is a perfectly toasted meringue.
This tart was inspired by the lemon meringue tart no doubt, but the use of calamansi in the custard plus the addition of the pili nut paste makes this a Philippine-ized version of that tangy Western classic. As a fan of citrus desserts I liked this well enough.
The sweetness of the pili paste has a way of cutting through the tang of the calamansi, but the flavors are balanced by the marshmallow-like meringue on top. My only qualm is that the crust is a bit difficult to cut into.
White Nutella Forest (Php 300 for small)
Steeped roasted hazelnuts are used to flavor the so-called white Nutella in this dessert, which is basically hazelnut flavored white mousse. The whole thing is glazed with white chocolate.
This was the cake recommended by the staff when I asked what I could add to my order. It is apparently one of their bestsellers, but it is also a Workshop Bespoke Bakery signature cake. This was the sweetest dessert of the bunch I ordered thanks to that white chocolate coating. The first bite was good, but it quickly became too sweet for me. I’m not quite sure what that dark colored mousse in the middle is, but it might be a light Nutella/hazelnut mousse.
This is one of those desserts you just enjoy and not try to pick apart too much because it works perfectly as a whole. Because this was on the sweeter side I didn’t eat a lot, but my brothers enjoyed it quite a bit.
Basque Burnt Cheesecake (Php 175 for a slice)
The famous Spanish-style cheesecake that has a nice caramelized crown but a moist custardy heart.
I first came across this cheesecake from a cookbook and have been wanting to try it out for quite some time now. The flavor is milder than American-style cheesecakes, and the texture is much lighter– closer to a Japanese cheesecake actually. I really like this type of cheesecake, because you can eat a whole slice without overwhelming your palate. Workshop’s Basque Cheesecake is served with a side of dulce de leche pecans for a boost of flavor, and it works so well!
17 Layer Cake (Php 285 for a slice)
Alternating layers of moist chocolate cake and dark Valrhona Guanaja ganache make this cake a literal tall order. A shiny chocolate glaze is poured on top for good measure. There’s also a dollop of warm cream on the side.
Quite possibly Workshop Bespoke Bakery’s crowning glory. This cake is such an attention stealer because it’s very tall and looks decadently chocolatey. I could never finish a slice on my own because decadent it indeed is, but it isn’t sweet. (I definitely recommend ordering this to share.)
The layers of chocolate cake and ganache intersperse in such a way that eating this reminds me very much of eating a truffle. Every bite is filled with intense chocolate flavor and just melts in your mouth! Eating it with the warm cream helps to manage the richness of the cake.
Looking through the other reviews on the web, it seems Workshop Bespoke Bakery has its fair share of hits and misses. Luckily, all the desserts I tried were hits for me. The flavor combinations are super interesting, which isn’t surprising coming from Chef Miko Aspiras. But the best part is that I didn’t feel like the desserts were too expensive for the quality that you get. (And also considering who created them!) I think dessert-lovers would appreciate this place, especially since they also serve Yardstick coffee here to go with the sweets.
As I was writing this, I took another look at the menu of Workshop Bespoke Bakery and decided that I would have to come back another time for a spot of coffee plus dessert. On the to-order list: Araguani Dark Chocolate Tart, Vanilla Rum Caneles, Guyabano Almond Tart, Guava Orange Cheese Tart, and the Manchego Cheesecake. (Whew, what a long list!) Let me know if you’ve tried any of these desserts I mentioned and what you think of them! 😊
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Workshop Bespoke Bakery by Le Petit Soufflé
Full disclosure: I received GC’s to dine at Le Petit Souffle and Workshop Bespoke Bakery, but all opinions stated above are my own. This post is partially sponsored but I received no monetary compensation to write this post.