Like most of you foodies out there, I'm a big fan of things home-made. I love how raw but exquisitely done labors of love are. I love how each of my most favorite home bakers leave their signature on their products— those little imperfections that set them apart from the mass produced ones. I love the thought that someone made whatever I’m eating now from scratch. It makes me feel extra special.
Several years as a dessert lover taught me that excellence is not always directly proportional to how high a baker paid for tuition fee. The best desserts, I firmly believe, are made at home by someone’s mother, tita, sister, or lola. Maybe even someone’s father or kuya. In my book, home bakers have as much chance in garnering my approval as someone schooled in those institutions with names I can barely pronounce or remember.
However, I have to admit that patronizing a home baker isn’t a cinch. Aside from searching hard for the baker who usually relies on zero advertising, taking that leap of faith by ordering for something rumored to be outstanding, and abiding by a strict call-days-beforehand scheme, one needs to live or at least work near the home baker. Sure, finding your way to that Makati or Pasig subdivision is not a problem, but would you really go all the way to Sta. Mesa for a bite of that Custaroon?
That logistics dilemma, The Parvati solves.
The Parvati, located at the ground level of the Mindanao Lobby of Trinoma mall serves as home to both bakers and dessert lovers. Truly the first of it kind, The Parvati welcomes products from passionate home bakers and lends them chillers and racks for easier access of the dessert lovers. With the Parvati around, one need not go to far away kitchens nor catch a fleeting bazaar to get a taste of something unavailable in the mainstream bake shops.
Dezaato Mochi Ice Cream
Casual musings amongst dessert-lovers brought about Parvati's opening. “We were discussing about putting up a dessert shop. It so happened that we have a lot of home baker friends so we decided to help them out,” Joanna Tan, Operations Manager of The Parvati relates. Currently, the Parvati is in touch with 47 bakers, who makes about 51 desserts—all available in this well-lit comfy pastry shop.
With that much sweets in store, one is bound to be overwhelmed once in Parvati. Shelves upon shelves of cookies and cakes plastered with tummy-grumbling pictures can be found as soon as you walk in. Reading the labels alone (i.e. Coffee Indulgence, Chocolate Truffle Filled Mochi Balls, White Monster Cookies) is enough to send a sweet tooth to euphoria. These 51 desserts are classified into separate categories in a pamphlet for easy reference. One may also consult the sticker toques posted on the labels. The more toques, the better recommended the dessert is.
But of course, no one else can better judge a dessert than you; and this fact, Parvati understands. That's is why tastings are encouraged in store. Come to Parvati and taste as many desserts as you can before choosing one. You can do the tastings while indulging in the savory items such as pizzas and pastas they offer. That way, you won't get that sugar high (and crash) easily, and taste most of what they offer.
Complimentary coffee for those purchasing any of the home-baked desserts.
If only I knew that during my first visit to Parvati, I would have been able to taste much more. But since I was on a frenzy that time, overwhelmed with so many good desserts-- I found myself filled and high after 6 desserts. I warn you, those toothpick portions are deceiving!
First toothpick skewered a piece from Frank and Carol's Chocolate Cake (P110- mini, P495- 6 inch.,P985- 8 inch.) .
The cliche "looks can be deceiving" is well apt for this particular cake. It is holey and if you've eaten enough cakes in your lifetime, that look will immediately prepare your taste buds for something dry and airy. But spongy, it is not. On the contrary, it is wonderfully moist and indulgent. A tiny piece was able to make me agree to the 3-toques rating plastered on its wall. Beats any commercial chocolate cake, I must say!
The Coffee Indulgence by M Cheesecakes and Pastries (P120 per slice, P600 for whole)-- so intricately decorated, was also good, but fell a little short in my expectation of a coffee cheesecake. The bitterness wasn't that powerful as I imagined. Add a little more coffee, and this would have been perfect.
The Creme Caramel Bread Pudding by Christina's Kitchen (P140- regular, P75-mini) and Mini Brazo Mercedes by JOY (P130- box of 8) also both got my stamps of approval.
For the Creme Caramel, think, Leche Flan plus pudding. A no fail combination, I believe. The Mini Brazos, as the name suggests, are smaller portions of the well- loved cake-- perfect to serve this coming holidays.
Mini Brazo de Mercedes
But the best dessert among what I've tasted would have to be a tie between the White Chocolate Cheesecake Squares by Mark's Baking (P95- box of two; P310-box of 8) and The Triple Decker Cheesecake by Kusina Torre (P130 per square).
Triple Decker Cheesecake
Conjuring words to describe how exactly these two taste is a torture. I don't think such exact words to describe how lavish the White Chocolate Cheesecake or how extravagant-tasting the Triple Decker is exist. All I know is that a cube from each of these cakes made me decide that I shall order these for myself on my upcoming birthday. I found the cake and brownie that perfectly encapsulate how sweet of a year 2010 was for me. Thank God, they are available in Parvati. And thank God, it's just in Trinoma. Now, I need not go to faraway subdivisions during the times I want to feel extra special.
Gift cheques are also available for purchase.
Interested home bakers can drop off their products for sampling anytime in Parvati. You may also call 901 14 28 or visit www.the-parvati.com for further inquiries on how to consign your products.