I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the Monday morning rush, EDSA traffic, and Makati do not mix. If they do, it’s a surefire recipe for stress and disaster. That’s exactly what happened to me one Monday when I went to the nation’s financial capital for an employment exam. I arrived 50 minutes after my call time due to the traffic and was unable to finish the said exam properly, thus I left the company hungry and angry. Since I was already free for the rest of the day, I walked from PBCom Tower along Ayala Avenue to Greenbelt in order to have lunch and unwind.
But enough of that rather disappointing job exam. It sank into me that I was already at Greenbelt 2 and Bizu Patisserie and Bistro caught my interest when I first saw the place – so I took the chance and went inside. To be honest, I really wanted to feature it here at The Monching’s Guide. According to their official website, the restaurant’s name was taken from the French word bisous meaning “kiss”. I felt the high-class ambience of this patisserie as soon as I entered; it looked intimidating for a first-timer like me. This wasn’t the first time I heard of Bizu, though – I always see their Le Petit branch at Robinson’s Magnolia and they had a cart set up at Rockwell Power Plant Mall on my last visit there. The place still had Christmas decorations following Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker as their motif with ballerinas and nutcracker soldiers around. The pipe-in music is likewise excellent with accordion and all, reminiscent of roadside cafes in Paris. I’d like to bring my significant other to a date here, but as we all know, that will only happen when pigs fly and crows turn white.
Moving on, I got a table for one and a server named Weng took care of everything for me. She handed me the menu and asked me what I want; seeing that I’m a first-timer, she suggested some good choices for a late lunch. In the end, I settled for Clam Chowder, Blueberry Pancakes, and a pot of Breakfast Blend tea. To start off, she gave me a basket of complimentary bread and some herbed butter to accompany it. Nothing spells a good deal like “complimentary”, and Bizu’s freshly baked bread seals the deal. The herbed butter paired off well with it, and who would have thought it consisted simply of basil and chopped garlic. The Breakfast Blend tea (P185) arrived afterwards, an energizing brew made from loose leaf tea kept in a silver tea ball so the leaves don’t spill out. It’s a rather brisk black tea, way stronger than the Twinings English Breakfast I used to drink when we’re out of coffee at home. I don’t know if it’s just me, or I find their take on the traditional English Breakfast too powerful. Maybe that’s how this tea should taste like – thus it’s always paired with milk. Speaking of which, I asked for milk to pair my Breakfast Blend tea with and it was promptly given. Now that’s a nice way to mellow the cup.
I was already enjoying the complimentary bread and tea they served earlier, but then the Clam Chowder (P355) arrived. Weng asked if I wanted some freshly cracked pepper on top of the soup, to which I obliged. The first thing I noticed is that the chowder was served in a sourdough bread bowl much like that of The French Baker’s, although Bizu’s version is smaller in size. But the most obvious difference, however, can be seen in the soup. It’s more flavorful and has more body as compared to French Baker’s soup, which appears to be rather watery. I still had some complimentary bread and herbed butter from earlier, so I mixed some buttered bread pieces in the soup. I’ve got four words for that: IT WAS ABSOLUTE HEAVEN. Bizu didn’t scrimp on this one – the abundant clams and chopped vegetables give it a chunky, hearty texture. However, I’ve got some comments with regards to the sourdough bread crust – the sour taste is rather tolerable when paired with the soup, but it becomes unappealing in the long run. Unfortunately, I was out of soup at that time and finishing the bread bowl was a challenge in itself.
Fortunately, Bizu’s attentive service saved the day. As a satisfied customer, this makes them stand out among the rest. You don’t need to call them when you want a glass of water as they’ll fill it up for you. If you want something, they’ll be on your table in a jiffy. Seeing that I was having a hard time, my server from earlier asked if I wanted to refill my tea pot with hot water – which I declined at this point. She then asked me if the pancakes should be served already to cap off the meal, and to this I said yes. The reinforcements finally arrived in the form of Bizu’s Blueberry Pancakes (P325), four pancakes no bigger than a saucer with blueberry topping. If this was cheesecake, then I’m in heaven! Seeing an opportunity, I used the blueberry topping as a spread for what remained of the sourdough bread bowl. I then proceeded to deal with dessert. The pancakes were rich and fluffy, and went very well with the blueberry on top. This was the best pancake I’ve tasted so far, though I still believe that there’s a better pancake around. I haven’t dined at any of the other pancake restaurants here so I’ll leave my judgment up to this point.
Sadly, I was unable to finish dessert at the restaurant and took what remained of it home as I already felt like a stuffed Thanksgiving turkey. Now that I mentioned it, here’s a short bit of advice before I end. Whenever you do a food review, don’t order too much and try to have only one or two dishes depending on your appetite. I learned this the hard way; after downing that entire bread bowl of clam chowder, I was already on the verge of vomiting (which is a no-no, especially in a restaurant like that) and I only finished half of the pancakes I ordered. The fact that I was also stressed out because of a screwed-up job exam also became a contributing factor as to why I overate that day. Fortunately, the long walk from Greenbelt 2 until the Ayala Avenue MRT station restored my stomach’s normalcy.
As they say, don’t eat when you’re mad, bad, or sad – only when you’re glad. Until the next review, bon appetit. Check out their Facebook page for more information, and feel free to also like Bizu Catering Studio.