Monday, May 30, 2011

Banapple: An Architecture of Love and Friendship

The places we visit from time to time play different important roles in our everyday lives. Some may remind us of where we have stumbled down, got bruised and wounded but then learned to stand up again and continue to fight. Other places could be part of a sad yesterday, of aches from a broken heart, stressed body or even a dampened spirit. Such memories and experiences from places are the aspects in life that makes us real and inspite of all the other structures that we want to forget or even not intend going back to, I still believe that most of these places are also filled with good, heartfelt and unforgettable memories that balances our whole being, of who we really are and what we have gone through.

Places, structures and the environment that has been a part of our journey, most especially those involved in creating romantic relationships and companionship is actually called the "architecture of love and friendship". I have encountered this idea during my Social Psychology class back in college and it is an interesting topic to that opens us to a new perception of how the environment becomes a part of the relationships that we build. It could be a skyscraper, a recreation area, a theme park, moviehouse, mall or even the four corners of your humble abode. Speaking of home, there is a menage, a restaurant very close to my heart, that has been a silent witness to a life-long friendship that I am very much blessed with - a haven for my foodie friends and a sweet tooth like me known as Banapple.

Banapple has been one my favorite bakery-cafes for years now. I may have enjoyed treats from other food places but nothing compares to the homey feeling of it's ambiance, the delicious meals, mouth-watering pies and cheesecakes that is truly worth coming back. I can still recall the first time that I have visited Banapple, at their branch in Katipunan for a breakfast with my closest friends after work. Though tired and sleepy, their comfortable and cozy place (love those crafty tables decorated with marbles) never failed to make us feel revived and we even felt better upon tasting their delectable treats. This time we have visited their new branch nearer to my place in Kamuning, Banapple in Il Terrazo, Tomas Morato.

The first ever meal that I have fallen in love with is their Garlic Beef Tapa with Creamed Parsley Eggs paired up with their House Blend Iced Tea. The cured beef tasted really tender and flavorful, with hints of garlic and an interesting push and pull of sweet and salty flavors - a trademark that defines the goodness of this dish. It becomes more appetizing when eaten with their fragrant garlic rice together with the smooth and creamy scrambled eggs drizzled with some vinegar. The scrambled eggs is also another feat to consider in this dish. Its creaminess complements the goodness of the beef making it extra special. I also adore how the flavors of the meat stands out and then eventually blends well with all of the other components of this dish - an exciting breakfast meal that will give a good start of the day.

Garlic Beef Tapa with Creamed Parsley Eggs
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Their House Blend Iced Tea is indeed very thirst-quenching and has a honey-citrusy like sweetness into it that will be very much favored by your tastebuds. I love that they have used natural flavors with this drink which as for me, makes it a homey concoction and a creation of love.

House Blend Iced Tea

Another meaty favorites that me and my friends make sure to get every time we dine at Banapple are: Crisp Pork Scallopini with Cream Barbecue Sauce, Salpicao Rafael and Hickory Smoked Barbecued Country Ribs. These dishes are truly palatable and will surely hit the list of your top favorites. The Crisp Pork Scallopini is really to die for - imagine crusted and juicy for pork cutlets fried to golden perfection and then generously covered with a savory sour cream and barbecue sauce - nothing but divine! Add some of the pork and the sauce to the garlic rice and the corn relish and it will be a scrumptious meal that you will surely order again at your next store visit.

Crisp Pork Scallopini with Cream Barbecue Sauce

Said to be named after the owners' son, Rafael, Banapple's Salpicao Rafael is made with tender rib-eye steak cubes and sliced button mushrooms, perfectly seasoned and sauteed with garlic pieces and smothered with their special brown sauce. The savory brown sauce and garlic amazingly complements the juicy meat making this dish undeniably one of a kind and a honed tandem to a steaming hot white rice.

Salpicao Rafael
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The Hickory Smoked Barbecued Country Ribs, on the other hand, is something that me and my friend craved and raved about for days after eating it. I still can't get over that succulent country ribs that is flawlessly grilled and glazed with their homemade hickory barbecue sauce, very exquisite and delicious as it gives your mouth combinations of amazing flavors from the meat and most especially the sauce. Another thing to be noted about this dish is that the meat is so soft, it falls right off the bone. Who wouldn't love and dare refuse country ribs like that? No one.

Hickory Smoked Barbecued Country Ribs

Banapple, with its wide range of food selection also offers something for the white meat and fish lovers - the Chicken Breast Parmigiana and Breaded Fillet of Cream Dory with Honey Thyme Mustard Sauce. Nobody could ever resist the charm of this white meat dish with its lavish chicken breast fillets encrusted in a parmesan-crumb mixture, abundantly topped with a rich tomato meat sauce and mozzarella cheese cubes - its chicken smothered with a cheesy tomato-based sauce like you never had it before! The complementing flavors of the cheese and the tomatoes truly highlighted the goodness of the chicken making it very Italian and extraordinary.

Chicken Breast Parmigiana
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Breaded Fillet of Cream Dory with Honey Thyme Mustard Sauce is actually one their many delicious dishes that always never fail to impress me. Though most of time, I tend to eat more of the dark meat, I am also a self-confessed lover of seafood. I really got hooked with this meal the first time I have tried it. I cannot forget their velvety cream dory fillets blanketed with herb crust and then drizzled with warm honey thyme mustard sauce that greatly accompaniments the cream dory fish. The strong flavors of the Dijon mustard and the sweetness of the honey along with lemony and aromatic qualities of the thyme mingles with the subtle flavors of the fish creating a spectacular feast for the senses. Served with buttered sweet carrots, its adds a certain color, crunch and texture to the whole dish.

Breaded Fillet of Cream Dory with Honey Thyme Mustard Sauce

For the pasta lovers, get ready to be teased for Banapple's yummy heritage of treats and eats will surprise you of their fantastic pasta dishes that will make your heart jump out of pure joy and happiness. First on their pasta bestsellers is the Lasagna Roll-Ups. Unlike the traditional way of preparing this all-time favorite, Banapple cleverly came up with a more exciting way - wide and al dente lasagna strips are the rolled-up and filled with herb cream and parmesan cheese and then covered with classic tomato meat sauce and mozzarella cheese - an effective way to genuinely highlight the true goodness that this dish has to offer. With every bite, you cannot help but adore the herb-tasting and creamy filling that lingers in your mouth and further balances the taste of the tomato meat sauce, making it even richer and creamier. The bite of the al dente lasagna along with the delicious meat completes this very innovative ensemble.

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Next, is actually my personal favorite, something that I will honestly fell in love with over and over again - the Baked Creamy Cheesy Penne. Its simplicity hides a great deal of amazingly flavorful taste. Plainly served in a bowl with some soft bread, savor its inviting taste and aroma with its luscious white cheese sauce and meaty tomato sauce. Dig deeper into the bowl and you'll be bewildered of what you can find in it - al dente penne pasta with delightful Hungarian sausages that gives the whole dish a hint of spice and cutting-edge taste. The mixture of the red and white sauce together with the penne and the sausages really makes this pasta creation stand out and appetizingly remarkable.

Baked Creamy Cheesy Penne

After tasting all of these great-tasting food that, I think, is almost fit for the Gods, let me state more of the reasons why Banapple has become my own architecture of love and friendship; and let me do it over a pile of their luscious cakes and desserts - certified sweet tooth style! I have learned to keep Banapple into my memory and has been a part of my heart (and tummy) because of their beautifully decorated and uniquely flavored cakes that me and my friends used to share every time. Banapple is a known haven for incredibly delicious pies and cheesecakes. First on my list of favorites is the classic Blueberry Cheesecake. It is a dense, soft and smooth cheesecake over a graham cracker crust and then topped with blueberry jam. The tangy taste of the blueberries merge with the creaminess of the filling making it such a heavenly delight that no one could ever defy.

Blueberry Cheesecake

Another cake that I am always excited about is the Cherry Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake. It's the same smooth basic cheesecake only made more interesting by incorporating it with the goodness of dark chocolate truffles, chocolate biscuit crust and cherry icing, cherry jam and a cherry on top. I love how the fruity flavors of the cherries gave the rich fusion of the cream cheese and chocolate more depth and layer of flavors. The unified taste of the cherries and dark chocolates give it a sort of a taste same to the classic black forest cake but Banapple made it even more interesting my making it into a cheesecake.

Cherry Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

Coffee Toffee Roca Cake, being a kid again is what this cake reminds me. The coffee-toffee flavors of it makes me recall of a candy that I used to ask my mom to buy me whenever she goes to the supermarket. The chunks of toffee candies and almonds topping the coffee flavored cake and icing doesn't just give this cake a sophisticated look but at the same time a very gastronomic feat. You can never go wrong with the partnership of coffee and toffee, turn it into a cake combined with chocolates and viola, it's a match made in heaven.

Coffee Toffee Roca Cake
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One of Banapple's well-loved cakes and my dear friend's favorite as well, is the Snicker Fudge Cheesecake. Imagine the pleasing texture and sweetness of the snickers chocolate bar in a cheesecake - lots of nuts, chewy caramel and creamy milk chocolate - something that is more irresistible and sinful. I love how they have derived the idea of using this chocolate bar and turned it into a cake. Just look at how they have carefully layered this cake from its chocolate crust, smooth and creamy cheesecake filling (it even has a chunk of the chocolate bar in it), a thin layer of caramel and on top, a layer of chocolate ganache with chopped walnuts and almonds, mind blowing isn't it? This cake is so rich and so delish you will prefer it to eat it slowly, indulging in its every amusing components, texture and spectacular taste.

Snicker Fudge Cheesecake

Last but definitely not the least, is the two warm cakes that will melt your heart at first bite: Apple Caramel Crumble Pie and Chocolate Chip Walnut Pie. The first is a variation of the classic apple pie. Banapple's version could actually be either warm or chilled and is made with lots of apples and an amazing streusel that has a hint of the cinnamon flavor. I was actually looking for the dulce de leche like caramel that makes this cake really special, binding the flavors of the streusel, apples and cinnamon but it seems that it has less this time. Hope they could've put more of it for it adds a certain sweetness into the cake that rounds it all up. Still, this cake is such a treat that every apple pie lover will surely come back for.

Apple Caramel Crumble Pie

The Chocolate Chip Walnut Pie is something that I've had for the first time. I am not a big fan of warm cakes and the only cake of that type that I am so amused about is the molten chocolate cake. This pie actually changed my notion about warm cakes, for this one tasted pleasingly different and ambrosial. A very rich tasting pie (for me, it was like a crossover of the baklava and date cake, really amazing!), it is composed of chocolate chips that added a certain depth of interesting chocolaty taste and spiced cookie dough filling that has all the great tasting flavors that I could find - sweet brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, butter and walnuts. Others may think that this cake leans on the sweeter side so it is best to top it with whipped to balance the sweetness out. Overall, this cake was stellar; out of the box but strikingly awesome.

Chocolate Chip Walnut Pie

Good meals and sweets become more special if shared with friends, maybe over simple catching ups or the most hilarious chit chats. Banapple is a home where the happy and magical moments of great friendship have become a vivid part of my existence, where love and comfort from family and friends is overflowing. I believe that many people, good friends and lovers have also experienced this very same things under the roof of every Banapple branch. Its walls and crafty interiors are the silent witnesses of what me and my friends have gone through - the struggles that we faced together, heartaches that we mended and cured and most of all blessings that we have acknowledged. Indeed, Banapple, is the perfect architecture, not just for a romantic love to flourish but also for a great friendship to last a lifetime.

me and my dear friends at Banapple Il Terrazo

Pies and Cheesecakes

Katipunan Branch:
225 Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
Tel. # 4392675

Katipunan Too:
206 Katipunan Avenue, Blue Ridge, Quezon City
Tel. # 4382675

Tomas Morato Branch:
2nd Level Il Terrazo, Tomas Morato
cor. Sct. Madrinan, South Triangle, Quezon City
Tel. # 4132675

Ayala Branch:
Ayala Triangle Gardens
Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Tel. # 7562675

Greenhills Branch:
Northeast Square
47 Connecticut Street, Northeast Greenhills
San Juan, Metro Manila
Tel. # 4772675

***Dedicated to all of my friends and angels... Love you all with all my heart!***


  1. I so hate you now! Di ka naginvite!

  2. never tried bannaple yet. I read a lot of good reviews about this resto gotta try that this week. The Snicker Fudge Cheesecake looks delish! Btw, i liked your blog my short stay is fun – will hop over again and browse slowly…

    Here's mine if you have time: The Cuisineuer

  3. @pinkcookies: it is... and i am so much in love with it... can't get over their meals and delish pastries... :)

    @chazymonster: hahahaha! sorry chaz, limited lang kasi yan tsaka biglaan lang din... :)

    @rome: thanks for dropping by my page! i am glad that you enjoyed your stay... the snicker fudge cheesecake is really divine, it's a must try! banapple is truly awesome, visit one of their branches one of these days... :)

  4. oh wow! all their cakes look delicious. hope they open a branch in the South soon. :)

    i love food too, hope you could drop by my blog. :)