One of my latest food and dining discovery at the start of new year is Harina Artisan Bakery Cafe. I had the opportunity to visit last month and I learned Harina is more than just a bakery. Of course, there are breads of many kinds, including cakes and pastries, and guests will not miss it upon entering the restaurant with it’s two red doors. After all, baked goodies are the primary offerings. But when I settled in their spacious dining area, we were served breads and more.
Breads and Sandwiches
Serving as our appetizer, we started munching on Harina’s Bloomin’ Bread. It’s a crusty Italian loaf sliced to look like a flower in bloom, filled with basil puree and melted cheese. It’s one big loaf, making the bread ideal for sharing and served with dip of balsamic vinegar. I really enjoy the bread because of the contrast, crusty and chewy at the same time, plus the added flavor of cheese and basil. It’s a perfect way to get things started, especially when you’re hungry and still waiting for the main meals to be served.
Then the main meals started pouring out. The first sandwich that I tried is Waldorf Salad Sandwich. It’s a filling of chicken with red and green apples, celery and chopped walnuts in mayonnaise. Holding the filling together is a flaky pastry bread. Waldorf Salad is one of my favorite salad, so this one became an instant hit for me. It’s just like having the salad with a bread on the side, except this one, I get to eat both at the same time. The bread’s consistency is that of a croissant, light and tasty.
Then I had the Chicken Caesar Sandwich. It’s grilled Cajun chicken and lettuce in Caesar dressing, with bacon and Parmesan cheese topped with poached egg, held together by a baguette. The flavors of grilled chicken, bacon and the creaminess of the egg yolk that flowed through the entire sandwich is really good. I had to be careful biting on to the sandwich though because of the toasted baguette that somehow hurts my mouth.
The last sandwich that we devoured is the Adobo Pulled Pork. The baguette holds a filling which consists of pulled pork adobo with fried kesong puti, lettuce and tomato. This sandwich is so flavorful primarily because of the adobo. The veggies gave it a fresh twist, complemented by the creamy kesong puti.
Serving as our dessert that day is Strawberry Cheesecake-Stuffed French Toast. It’s brioche filled with cheesecake and topped with whipped cream and strawberry preserves. For those who want a dessert that’s not too sweet, this one’s for you. Yes, surprisingly, despite all that this french toast is made of, it’s not sweet. And maybe that’s the reason why I was a bit disappointed, especially because it has my favorite fruit on it. But again, if you’re trying to stay away from sweets, I’m sure you’ll be satisfied.
Nope, we’re not done yet. I did talk about dessert already, but I have yet to share with you the pastas that we enjoyed at Harina Artisan Bakery Cafe. As I said, it is more than just a bakery. Proof to that is the Creamy Bacon & Asparagus. It’s Fettucine topped with creamy sauce, asparagus and poached egg. Initially, I felt weird looking at it because I thought the pasta has a big dollop of whipped cream on it. It turned out that “whipped cream” was actually a poached egg. Break the egg first to allow the yolk to drizzle the entire dish. It was flavorful and creamy, really yummy!
We also got to try the Arabiatta. The menu says it’s spicy red tomato sauces with roasted garlic and red chili peppers. Don’t be concerned though because the dish is not that spicy at all. In fact it’s sweet and can be mistaken to a Filipino Spaghetti. I was actually hoping it would have more of the Italian flavor the way I want it. That’s just me, I’m not really fond of sweet pasta dishes.
Harina‘s sandwiches and pastas are delicious, a solid proof that they can offer more than just a bread. It looks like my latest discovery is on the right track, having rebranded itself from Cafe Monsees. I will definitely go back for Harina’s Bloomin’ Bread, Waldorf Salad Sandwich, Adobo Pulled Pork and Creamy Bacon & Asparagus. The good thing is, the place is just along Katipunan Avenue in White Plains; I can always go back quite easily because it’s just near my place. Their menu has a lot more items to try out and with my recent dining experience, there’s a good reason to keep going back.
Harina Artisan Bakery Cafe is more than just a bakery indeed. Of course, not to be snubbed are their wide selections of bread. The breads I had are really good and one can tell that the best ingredients are used to painstakingly bake them. These are not just your ordinary run-of-the-mill bread shoppe I tell you. It’s artisan, and when this term is used, it simply means that the breads are made of select quality ingredients and made with hands. I assume they do have equipment to make the bread, but a big part of it does not go through automated machinery. This results in better tasting bread of irregular shapes and sizes.
You can have bread and more at Harina Artisan Bakery Cafe , whether to bring home or to enjoy at their spacious dining area. It’s located at 118 Katipunan Avenue, White Plains Quezon City. Harina is open daily, from 6am to 9pm. They can be reached at phone number (02) 352-6721. Visit their website, Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram for more updates.