Harina Artisan Bakery: Your Bread Leveled Up!
When in Manila and craving for delicious bread because of too much TLC, Asian Food Channel and The Food Network-watching, Harina Artisan Bakery has a lot of things for you!
Located in White Plains, this quaint and rustic cafe is one of many excellent food joints along Katipunan Avenue that promises an excellent selection of freshly baked bread and pastries that are all-natural do not have any added preservatives. Of course, their all-day breakfast menu capitalises on their core product, which is not surprisingly, bread!
Harina Artisan Bakery opened in November 2013 and is the brainchild of the foodies and award-winning chefs and owners of Monsee’s. Don’t be surprised if you find the popular Spanish Bread on their shelves.
Fun fact: Harina is the Spanish word for flour, in case you didn’t know.
When I arrived, I was greeted by the friendly staff, the homely and rustic atmosphere and choices muffins, cinnamon swirls, and bundt cakes done the traditional way and none of those multi-layered, sugar overloaded, prettified cakes seen on TV (or TV cakes as I call them, which do not really rock my boat). These are cakes done traditionally and properly.
As you wander around, it is not hard to see why the place gives off a comfortable and homely feel, thanks to is wooden shelves, rustic mugs and whatnots, as well as its chalkboard atop the counter. Before reading further, just imagine this review being narrated by Anthony Bourdain.
As we settled down onto our seats, we couldn’t help but admire the table setup: hand-rolled bread sticks and dips on a bare wooden table, which really added to Harina Artisan Bakery’s rustic and homely feel. One could instantly imagine dipping those bread sticks in some cookie butter or perfectly done peppered soft boiled eggs.
The Signature Iced Tea was served first, topped with a slice of lemon for extra tartness and a sprig of mint for a hint of freshness.
As I slowly savoured my serving of iced tea, Harina served one of its house specialties, the Bloomin’ Bread – a crusty pull-apart Italian loaf with basil puree topped with an assortment of melted cheeses partnered with a rustic olive oil with balsamic vinegar dip served on top of a wooden board. Very Jaime Oliver indeed!
A great balance of crust and soft white bread with savory cheese, this bread is best shared with friends and family as an appetizer for things to come.
The Chicken Caesar Sandwich – a Cajun style grilled chicken sandwich with Caesar salad dressing, a poached egg, and bacon and Parmesan cheese on warm baguette. The chicken was juicy and tender with spices that tease the tongue and complimented by the tang of the dressing. My favorite of the day.