Santa’s gift to Manila foodies craving good bread and pastry — Maison Kayser! I wrote about Maison Kayser opening in New York about a year ago. So imagine my surprise and delight to find out they were opening in Manila. A well-known Parisian chain, they seem to be aggressively marketing themselves and expanding all over the world — they probably have close to 100 branches globally. I guess they have figured out how to prep their doughs and pastry and freeze or refrigerate them and ship them to far flung areas… as I can’t imagine some of this pastry being made from scratch in a warm tropical setting… At any rate, regardless of how they do it, they opened their first shop in Rustan’s Rockwell a couple of days before Christmas and we specifically went for a visit to check them out the day after they opened…
The little shop has that characteristic Kayser feel… white tiles, marble, stainless steel, glass, and a few color accents. It looks decidedly upscale. The afternoon we visited, most of their breads and pastries had been wiped out, but we managed to purchase some pain au chocolat, two rolls, a couple of eclairs and half an hour later, returned to buy three fresh croissants that had just been delivered. The eclairs were delicious and at PHP120 each, not outrageously priced, as I had feared. The chocolate croissant was good, but the pastry had gotten a bit soggy…a huge risk in the humid Manila weather. The croissants were very good, and at PHP75 each, a little less than they are priced in New York, if I recall correctly. The croissant seem physically smaller here, and less puffed up, see photos of New York ones here, but they were delicious.
Mrs. MM was speaking with one of the owners of the franchise (one of three friends who partnered for this venture) and she said that they have 2-3 more outlets planned, mostly in mall settings. While I am ecstatic that Maison Kayser is here, I am a bit perturbed that they are mostly in malls, as that means you can’t buy a fresh croissant until about 11am or so… that DOESN’T help when you want to eat it fresh out of the oven for breakfast! For now, the baking is done at a commissary in Las Pinas and breads and pastries transported to outlets. I think this affects the quality of the breads and pastry a bit, but we were told that they will be baking in the store in a few days. I think they rightfully rushed to open before Christmas, and I wish them well in the busy days ahead.
We purchased two rolls, actually what looked like large Kaiser (not Kayser) rolls and the next morning, I made a ham, tomato and triple cream cheese sandwich with mustard, and a side of macaroni salad — a post Christmas dinner feast. The bread was very good, but a bit chewy. I should have toasted it longer to dry it out a bit. But I am quibbling. Clearly, I am thrilled to have Kayser in the neighborhood.
Congratulations to the Maison Kayser in Manila!