For me bread is the reason why Inquirer calls Wildflour Cafe + Bakery the hottest restaurant in Manila. It was indeed hard to make a reservation even for a 1:00 pm lunch on a weekday. Luckily they took pity on our group and we got in.
Located at the ground floor of the modern and all glass Net Lima building in The Fort it still managed to look like a cozy bistro inside.
They had a small amount of of pastries which were definitely more American in influence. That sticky bun continues to evade me. They ran out when we wanted it for our dessert and when I went back a second time to buy bread.
After this lunch I went back just to buy the cranberry walnut bread and baguette. Both were excellent but I just loved the crusty cranberry walnut bread. Although it was quite pricey for a small loaf I would buy it again and again. A simple spread of peanut butter and marmalade or even just a slice of cheese made for a wonderful meal.
Tarte flambée is an Alsatian classic similar to pizza. This tarte measured maybe 6 inches long and was a nice appertizer for sharing. Of the two varieties we all liked this one wtih sweet caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese and for contrast salty, smoked bacon. The crust was incredibly thin and crisp. I initially thought puff pastry was used.
tarte flambée, caramelized onions, bacon & gruyere P425
This tarte was mostly sweet from the caramelized onions and apples. The brie and arugula didn’t add any salty component which we found lacking. But if you’re a vegetarian this is a perfectly good dish.
tarte flambée, caramelized onions, brie cheese, apple P425
I would skip the bone marrow. Just like the one I had at Stella it was dry and a bit hard. Is it the quality of local bone marrow or is it just simple over cooking? Take a look at the bone marrow I had in Marlowe in San Francisco. The marrow was thick, jiggly and definitely spreadable. The ones in Manila look and taste exactly the opposite.
bone marrow P350
A better choice for appetizers was this olive oil poached tangy tuna salad which tasted unlike any tuna salad you’ve ever hard. Instead of canned tuna with mayonnaise I assume fresh tuna was poached in olive oil which gave it a freshness and richness not found in canned tuna. Plus there was no ‘tin can’ taste even though it was served in a tin can. And of course it was a perfect way to enjoy more yummy bread.
olive oil poached tuna salad P280
In my opinion the popular croque madame was highly overrated and overpriced. The sandwich was made with a thick, soft sweetish brioche and ham and topped with bechamel sauce, Gruyere cheese and a fried egg. As you can see from the picture there was hardly any bechamel sauce and the Gruyere cheese wasn’t very generous. It wasn’t bad but I found it very boring. It was the only thing we didn’t finish.
croque madame P420
For a better sandwich I wholeheartedly suggest the jamon et fromage. While both sandwiches contained the same ham the choice of bread and condiments made a whole world of difference.
This typical French sandwich used a baguette which I’ve grown to love from my recent trip to Paris where even a cold, refrigerated sandwich was better than anything I’ve eaten in Manila. I thought I would never have the chance to eat good baguette sandwiches until this I tried the one at Wildflour.
As I bit into the bread I heard a loud almost artificial sound of cruuunch then my teeth sank into a soft and dense pillow of bread flavored with butter and mustard. Just the perfect vehicle for lean ham which wasn’t too salty and was moist. It didn’t really need the brie or pickle but it was a nice touch. The first bite exploded in my mouth and instantly brought me back to my trip in Paris where we had our share of sandwiches. I really loved those simple sandwiches we had in Paris and I thought it would be long before I get to eat it again. Thankfully I can now get the same if not a better version of the sandwich in Wildflour.
jamon et fromage P310
The burger was just ok for me although my friend Tisay loved it. I prefer the burger of ‘Cue. I think I was so enamored with the ham and cheese sandwich that nothing came close to it
California burger P450
Peanut butters lovers rejoice Manila finally has a dessert worthy of Elvis’ praise. A very potent peanut butter layer atop bananas and cream. Simple but very fulfilling for peanut butter lovers like me and Elvis.
peanut butter banana cream pie P180
Their chocolate eclair was more American style than the usual thin and firmer French style. But I’m not complaining since we all loved the thick chocolate topping and the rich, creamy custard filling.
chocolate eclair P110
I love cornbread and I eat it whenever I’m in the US. My favorites are from Founding Farmers in DC and Whole Foods. I was overjoyed to finally find it in Manila until I tried it. It was quite disappointing since it didn’t resemble any cornbread I’ve tried. Even Kenny Rogers’s corn muffins tasted better. I think it lacked cornmeal. Only my friend Pat liked it.
cheesy cornbread P130
The tres leches came out cold and it was quite good. The blend of three kinds of milk in the cake cubes wasn’t overly sweet but we were already too full to give it any justice. When I tried it again after several minutes it became watery and too sweet. I suggest eating this dessert right away to enjoy it’s correct flavor and texture.
pastel del tres leches P170
You all know how obsessed about coffee I am. Whenever I’m in another country I would walk miles just for coffee. I was so excited that a new place offered pour over coffee complete with a Hario kettle other than UCC which is more popular for siphon coffee.
I smelled the coffee when it was poured in front of me and I didn’t smell a thing. I tasted it and found it lacking in any semblance of coffee flavor. It was so mild it almost tasted like colored water. It’s like they didn’t use the correct quantity of ground coffee or the coffee was just inferior. Please please please improve your coffee Wildflour.
royal supreme coffee P95
In spite of all the tea light candles on our table it didn’t help ward off numerous flies that were quite irritating.
There was a fly on the menu on the left!
Wildflour’s menu (click for full size)
I’ve never been to Church and State in Los Angeles where the owner US based Chef Walter Manzke used to work but this restaurant is so similar to several of the restaurants I’ve eaten at in the US. The short one page printed paper menu that suggested constant updates, French food in a casual setting and the inclusion of all American baked goods, pour over coffee are common in the West Coast and I gladly welcome to Manila.
I plan to go for breakfast one day just to catch the sticky buns and I’ll bring a thermos of my own coffee to avoid disappointment. I’ll also go back for the sandwich in my dreams, jamon et fromage.
Wildflour Cafe + Bakery
Ground floor Net Lima Building
4th Avenue corner 26th st. Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Philippines