2 August 2014
Video 48 is a blog that features various silver-screen trivia, movie posters, and other pop culture memories of yesteryears. In reality, this is a video shop located along West Avenue right across Del Monte Avenue. Connected to this shop is the Pastry Passion bakeshop and cafe, located at the ground floor. Both Video 48 and the cafe are located within the Mary Santos Artcade, 48 West Avenue (thus, the Video 48 moniker). Whereas other video rental shops closed down over the years withh the advent of digital movie downloads, this one has withstood the test of time. Many still frequent the place to rent out films from their extensive collection, including film students and movie buffs. Video 48 also boasts of a wide range of memorabilia and collectibles from different film franchises.
Now, let’s proceed to the pastry shop—the main focus of this entry. Pastry Passion is owned by Shirley Santos-Yanga, daughter of Video 48 owner Simon Santos and grand-daughter of the famous Filipino painter Malang (Mauro Malang Santos). Truly, the passion of Malang’s family in their chosen fields extends up to the third generation. Grandfather Malang is a well-known painter, cartoonist, and artist. He had four children—two followed in his footsteps and became painters (Steve and Soler), Sylvia, and then Simon. Simon’s daughter Shirley then put up Pastry Passion, which has been featured in various magazines and newspapers. Showbiz personalities also frequent the place; Susan Roces’ favorite table is located near the cake display shelves, while THE John Lloyd Cruz is a regular customer.
Enough of that short introduction. If you may remember, Pastry Passion was part of my itinerary since it was only one ride away from where I work. I wasn’t actually planning to add it at first, but I kept on seeing it on the way to the office (the Quiapo / Kalaw-bound jeepneys I ride every morning pass by West Avenue) so I put it on my list. I finally had the time to try it out after finishing some overtime duties. What started as a trip for their macarons—pretty cheap at P25 a piece—ended up as a quick dinner to reward myself after a day of running back and forth.
Pastry Passion evoked a quaint village cafe tucked amidst the intersection of West and Del Monte Avenues; a good place to stay while I was waiting for the rain to stop. I ordered a Tuna Waldorf Sandwich (P150) to start off. The eponymous salad first served at the Hotel Waldorf, made into something that the Earl of Sandwich would appreciate. Homemade tuna spread, apple slices, lettuce, and cheese all between a croissant – and served with potato chips. It looked rather small for a man of my build, but never mind as I was already hungry. The apples provided sweetness and a crisp finish to counter the chips’ saltiness. The light and flaky croissant worked as a vehicle for the multitude of tastes and textures: sweet, savory, soft, and crisp. Capping it off would be the lettuce that contributed a small amount of green. I personally think that adding just a bit of curry would have made things livelier. Oh, and candied walnuts too. Otherwise, I’m not yet hooked on this dish. I admit that it’s not exactly a commendable choice for dinner since it works as a light snack for people with small appetites, so pardon me for that. Sandwiches aren’t exactly appropriate dinner fare.
The next dish, on the other hand, fit the dinner description better. Pastry Passion’s Beef Lasagne (P180) is basically layers of tomato sauce with ground beef in between sheets of lasagna pasta. It was served with two bread sticks that matched the dish peerfectly. One thing I noticed was the lack of sauce (more of it is preferable), but the amount of beef compensates for it. It’s big in taste, notwithstanding the small serving, that I actually felt full after this. It also came with parmesan cheese, which worked to my advantage. Each of the pesto bread sticks that came with the lasagna was enough for the entire meal. Hands down, this is the best savory dish I’ve tasted at Pastry Passion – and I recommend it.
What’s a good dinner without dessert? Again, Pastry Passion delivers when it comes to this field. Cakes and other pastries are their specialty, but their Apple Pie (P115) looked tempting so I gave it a shot. It’s your familiar apple pie served a la mode and topped with three scoops of vanilla ice cream. It reminded me of Everything at Steak’s apple crumble, with the a la mode serving and all. However, this one does not have the apple crumble’s tartness so I was able to enjoy it more. The additional amount of sweet crumb on top balanced out the bottom crust. Apple pies owe their wonderful scent to cinnamon and nutmeg—and Pastry Passion did not scrimp on these spices. The crust had the right amount of sweetness and flakiness, so it wasn’t overwhelming.
They didn’t have coffee that night, so I settled for Stash’s Earl Grey Tea with extra milk. They also carried Twinings, but I wasn’t much of a fan of the brand as it’s not economical. Twinings teabags are meant for single-cup drinking, but Stash teabags can be used up to two or three times. I’ve tried their Blueberry Superfruit and English Breakfast tea variants, and their Earl Grey racks up a third to my list of favorites.
Despite being unable to try out their cakes and fully tour the adjacent Video 48, I’m still happy to have discovered Pastry Passion. I’ll be sure to return here soon. Their savory fare needs a bit of fine tuning (just my two cents), but to cut them some slack – they specialize in cakes, pastries, and sweets. But do you know what I liked most about this place? All the items are AFFORDABLE—yes, it needs to be emphasized. The entire meal I wrote about in this post only set me back around P515, twice the cost if I ate the same food in a different place. I hope to bump into a few celebrities the next time I stop by for a slice of cake and a cup of coffee.
Pastry Passion Manila
G/F Mary Santos Arcade, 48 West Avenue,
Barangay West Triangle, Quezon City 1104