05 May2011

Just a few doors down from Excelente ham I found this store selling freshly made hopia. It was one of several such stores, but this one just happened to have the hopia cooking almost right out on the sidewalk so I decided to buy some. At PHP6.50 each, they seemed like a bargain to me. A dozen yellow munggo and a dozen ube where quickly packed up, still a little warm, and we paid and left to return home.

The first thing you notice is that these are indeed hand-made. They are not all the same size, not totally symmetrical. They had character, they had soul, they had a sense of originality. They were “real” in my books. I know I am biased in favor of those that make things from scratch, the old-fashioned way, but you just have to love the artisanal approach better than the mass-produced, totally predictable cookie or sweet.

The biggest difference between these hopia and say these commercial hopia are consistency and filling to dough ratio. These quiapo hopia had soul. :) We (the driver and I) had a couple of hopia on the way home and I smiled as soon as I bit into an ube hopia. It had a very thin flakey crust, a nicely flavored (albeit dryish and probably artificially colored ube jaleya) and not too sweet at all. The munggo hopia were even better, a soft flavorful yellow filling of mung bean paste with just the right amount of sugar. The hopia were sometimes burnt, sometimes hard in places, but oddly, I took comfort in those imperfections. It was as though they were home-made.

A bit of googling has me a bit perplexed as I am not sure if this Vienna Bakery is related to the snazzier Vienna Cakes that has a splashier page on an on-line directory. Suffice it to say, the Vienna Bakery on Carlos Palanca looked like it had been there for several generations…

The hopia are a bit addictive. Wonderful with a cold ice filled glass of soda or a hot cup of tea. Yum.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Madz says:

    Growing up, I thought hopia was really supposed to be hard and dry, since by the time I eat one from a box, it’s already in that state. It’s a good thing I chanced upon freshly made hopia myself a few years back some bakery near LRT D.Jose station (where they also make the hopia upfront). The hopia munggo was almost like melting in my mouth, very smooth and very addicting. :)

    May 5, 2011 | 7:53 pm

     
  2. EbbaBlue says:

    I will asked my hipag who leaves in Sampaloc to check on this place. Inuutusan ko rin lang siya bumili ng “sungkaan” (for my 9 yr. old apo) sa Ilalim ng Tulay – eh di patuluyin ko na siya dito; and so when I go there for my visit, alam ko na kung saan ang masarap na hopia. Like Madz, I too got used to “makunat/dry” hopia in Pinas kahit na yung galing sa Ongpin. Thanks, as usual another food-find courtesy of your site.

    May 5, 2011 | 7:59 pm

     
  3. josephine says:

    This reminds me of my beloved but long-departed father who loved hopia and used to go for food-finding wanders around Binondo where he first established his stockbrokerage business (still going strong…)

    May 5, 2011 | 8:25 pm

     
  4. Lambchop says:

    MMMMmmmmm looks so flaky delish! :) I wonder where I can find this in Cebu…

    May 5, 2011 | 8:29 pm

     
  5. tonceq says:

    These are staple food in Binondo, especially love them when they are warm (hot off the cooking surface)! I don’t know if it’s just me but I find the cube shaped hopias to be more softer than the original… makes me wonder how you make those… :)

    May 5, 2011 | 8:49 pm

     
  6. lurker_no_more says:

    when i was a kid, my father used to bring us hopia as pasalubong. That was when travel from Quiapo to our house in Del Monte QC was by AC (auto calesa) and the word traffic was almost unheard of, so mainit init pa pagdating nito sa aming bahay. I remember the hopia store was somewhere near the vicinity of Quinta market area. Vienna bakery could be the same hopia store we used to go, i just can’t recall the exact details, that was more than 40 years ago pa kasi.

    May 5, 2011 | 8:58 pm

     
  7. Footloose says:

    I’m a big fan of those dice-shaped hopia no matter what the filling. They probably won’t come out quite the same if you fried them in a dust-free environment using clean and healthier grease.

    There was also an exclusive hopia bakery down that street called Kim Chong Tin that sold the ne plus ultra of hopia imo. Its history appeared in an article in the San Francisco CA based Filipinas magazine some years ago and showed the coconut shell charcoal fired oven they use. It should still be there along with another bakery, Palma de Mallorca which was right beside Vienna Bakery.

    May 5, 2011 | 9:01 pm

     
  8. Marketman says:

    Footloose, Kim Chiong Tin was a few stores down, though I think Palma de Mallorca was nowhere to be found… lurker, hot is best, definitely. tonceq and footloose, oddly, I think I have only had the square hopia once or twice… talk about being a creature of habit… I have no idea why I didn’t buy any cubed ones… Lambchop, none down in Colon somewhere? Josephine, funny how some foods conjure such strong memories. Ebbablue, there are several hopia places there to choose from. Madz, yes, the softer melt-in-your mouth ones are hard to stop eating!

    May 5, 2011 | 9:08 pm

     
  9. Gay says:

    I’ve known Vienna Bakery since I was a kid as we go (as well as Execelente and other shops) to Quiapo. My parents used to go there when they students at the University Belt. So up to now, we buy hopia at the bakery each time we visit Quiapo.

    May 5, 2011 | 9:35 pm

     
  10. kakusina says:

    Iconic bakery yata ang Vienna. Panahon pa ng mga lolo’t lola. They baked my mom’s 75th bday cake. Turned out to be good, a little sweet, but a nice, solid butter cake. Kahilera ng Vienna ang Excelente at mga vendors ng Baguio vegetables, tinapa, at itlog na pula.

    May 5, 2011 | 10:26 pm

     
  11. socky says:

    My father would go to Vienna Bakery to buy our hopia pasalubong. He somehow knew where to go for the best, whether it’s hopia, roasted peanuts, fried suman. He was a simple man, of peasant stock (he’s proud of that), didn’t smoke nor drink, but he was a foodie pala. Glad to know that Vienna still makes hopia the way they did when I was still a kid. Am missing the taste now.

    May 5, 2011 | 11:41 pm

     
  12. trax says:

    I am a big fan of hopia whatever the filling is. I have probably tried so many from different kinds of mung bean to hopia baboy to hopia ube. I like the once made by poland & holland. they are commercial but they are not hot and dry. there is also new echague bakery along a. bonifacio which has butter crusted yellow mung bean hopia. this is good even if its not hot. I don’t know if Madz is referring to baker’s fair near D Jose station which also cooks hopia along the street. I always buy their melt in your mouth dice-shaped hopia. so good when it is hot. they have ube and mung bean filled which is also good.

    May 5, 2011 | 11:45 pm

     
  13. Maria says:

    hu hu hu Pastilang lamia MM :(

    May 6, 2011 | 2:53 am

     
  14. Menchie says:

    Wow! nice hopia photos you there MM! were so dying here in British Virgin Island..just to taste some of that Hopia…I miss Philippines so much! and I promise to myself that next year, I’ll see to it that I will visit that place.
    Thanks for sharing Market Man!

    May 6, 2011 | 3:31 am

     
  15. netoy says:

    we have a hopia place in national city, ca called ‘ching’s famous hopia’. all they sell is hopia (munggo, pandan, ube, etc.) and they are still in business after a few years now so they must be doing good. i like to go to this place as you can be assured that the products are freshly baked. their products are also now available in the local seafood city stores.

    May 6, 2011 | 3:32 am

     
  16. chef ram says:

    so funny sa 2nd floor ng bakery nato ako naka tira dati.. sa catalina apartelle hehehhe and i love their hopya heheheeheheh kaka mis college days…

    May 6, 2011 | 3:38 am

     
  17. Meg says:

    It looks wonderful. Haven’t had hopia in sooo long. One more thing to add to growing list of food to eat when I go to Manila.

    May 6, 2011 | 4:05 am

     
  18. moni says:

    MM, on an early afternoon, Kim Chiong Tin, a few doors farther from Excelente headed towards SM bargain store, sells newly baked small hopia, hot, crispy and flaky. The mungo filling is pure mung bean, not adulterated with yellow sweet potato. That is reminiscent of the hopia in the old days. That tastes much better than Vienna Bakery’s version. Whenever I go to Quiapo, I make it a point to walk to Kim Chiong Tin and buy a small paper sack of munggo hopia and grab a sugar-free drink at 7-11 near the Quiapo church and eat it on the PVP bus back to Makati. I should give Vienna Bakery another try next weekend when I’m in Manila.

    May 6, 2011 | 8:04 am

     
  19. Jeff says:

    I used to buy diced munggo hopia at the ground floor of the LRT Central Station when I was in college…freshly cooked right in front of you…miss those days…yum!

    May 6, 2011 | 8:14 am

     
  20. becky says:

    i am so with you marketman on fresh made monggo hopia. i love love baker’s fair! slightly crunchy on the outside, then crumbly then the mushy interior that holds the cookie crust outside…ah..yes indeed it would be nice with soda or tea :)

    May 6, 2011 | 8:57 am

     
  21. Lemons and Anchovies (Jean) says:

    One of my favorite snacks, though I don’t think I’ve ever had the ube kind (but I love ube)–I’ve only ever bought the mung bean variety. There’s a place here in the SF Bay Area that makes them in-house, Valerio’s. I bet the Viennas are even better. This post has inspired me to try to make them myself but perhaps it would be a better call to leave it to the experts! :-)

    May 6, 2011 | 9:05 am

     
  22. anna says:

    a trip to quiapo is never complete without visiting vienna bakery. i so love the hopia and the pan-de-coco specially when you wash it down with ice cold mountain dew.

    May 6, 2011 | 9:13 am

     
  23. ingrid says:

    My mom’s Friday Quiapo Mass will not be complete without buying at least 2 packs of these hopia. I get into a trance when I see the lady cook/heat up those cube ones – like playing “dama”. I always ask my mom for the cube ones especially because its good for 1-2 bite snack treats. My German uncle likes them so much that every time he’s here I would accompany him there come rain or shine. Its nice to know that places like these still make hand made goodies.

    May 6, 2011 | 10:22 am

     
  24. Lee says:

    I love the no-nonsense, straightforward store sign. VIENNA BAKERY. Hopia Like it too.

    May 6, 2011 | 11:46 am

     
  25. Mindanaoan says:

    Gigutom ko dah

    May 6, 2011 | 3:11 pm

     
  26. Gigi says:

    Artisanal food having soul……hmmm, I hope they observe food safety and hygiene standards! The DTI asked a relative to participate in a nationwide program where they went around advising entrepreneurs of food-based businesses. After hearing his stories on how the food process and mfg were variously done, I never bought native delicacies again. Picture this — dough being kneaded in the open air while chickens nearby would kick up microscopic dust and chicken shit. Of course, it is eventually baked so conceptually, bacteria is killed, even the salmonella. But still……

    May 6, 2011 | 5:53 pm

     
  27. denise says:

    ooh i remember the bakeries in Rizal Ave near the bus stations going to Bataan…i love watching them cook the square hopias…and the lovely smell overpowers the stench of the city

    May 6, 2011 | 7:18 pm

     
  28. malyn says:

    Hi! I am one of your many blog fans. When I saw this entry I just had to share one hopia experience with everybody. I love hopia, and when i had a projrct in Bali, Indonesia, they made me try a pastry that my staff were raving about. They called it Pia (the brand name was Pia Legong –Llegong being a kind of dance). Wow! The crust was flaky but not oily and the filling was just the right sweetness. Unlike our hopia, their’s was cheese, chocolate and I dont remember what else. You have to order as they rarely have some left for walk-in customers. I fell in love with the cheese flavored pia….but of course nothing beats hopiang monggo…yum.

    May 6, 2011 | 7:24 pm

     
  29. Chinky says:

    I love monggo hopia but have never tried this one. I like holland hopi a that is still warm and fresh!

    May 6, 2011 | 9:06 pm

     
  30. Mary Lee says:

    Do you think you could pack up some of these the next time you head our way? Good mung bean hopia is my all-time favorite pastry, diabetes or not. I can even convince myself that I am actually eating something somewhat healthy… These should get through customs and the sniffer dogs, don’t you think?

    May 6, 2011 | 10:08 pm

     
  31. mayums says:

    i miss eating diced hopia; we usually get ours from baker’s fair. for the round, flaky types, it’s always holland hopia for us.

    May 6, 2011 | 10:33 pm

     
  32. Kasseopeia says:

    @tonceq: the cube ones start out as rounds of filling barely covered in dough and all in a row on the cooking surface. Then the cook would turn them around with a long spatula – all at the same time – pressing them to the surface and then against something flat. I have seen everything used – plywood, another spatula, the back of a baking sheet – but the technique is the same. There is a small bakery (Baker’s Fair, methinks) in Recto where I get fresh-off-the-cooking surface diced hopia and as I was eating, I watched the lady make one whole batch – about sixty or so – with such deftness that I would think she’s been doing it for years.

    I agree – definitely addictive and best with a cup of hot tea or, more appropriate for this weather, a tall glass of sago’t gulaman loaded with ice. YUM!

    May 6, 2011 | 10:40 pm

     
  33. MP says:

    Hi MM, this brought back a funny, albeit scary memory of a trip to the US a couple of years back. An aunt asked me to bring some food pasalubong for some relatives, mostly hopia, she said. The Customs officer asked if I brought some food (Yes) with pork derivatives (No). When he checked my aunt’s packed bag, he saw the hopia wrapper which had a picture of a ‘dancing’ pig on it! I learned never to accommodate relatives’ requests for ‘padala’ or if I can’t say no, I check each and every item I carry. In my defence, I didn’t check then because I honestly didn’t know there’s a pork-hopia variant!

    May 7, 2011 | 1:37 am

     
  34. allen says:

    Kasseopeia is right although I believe all branches of Bakers Fair do sell diced hopia (both ube and munggo) I always passby their Farmer’s Market branch to purchase some ube ones. It’s also pretty cheap at P25 for 5 pcs (minimum purchase)

    May 7, 2011 | 1:53 am

     
  35. Pia Alonzo says:

    lurker_no_more, we also buy our hopia near quinta market. our aunts used to bring us to master’s hopia in that area and that, too, was some forty years ago. we still buy from master’s till now. it’s a must to bring master’s hopia to friends and relatives across the seas whenever we go visit. we should try vienna, though, if we are somewhere in that area.

    May 7, 2011 | 3:19 am

     
  36. sp says:

    MM, Vienna Cakes used to operate inside Vienna Bakery in Quiapo before they set up their own showroom. I ordered a cake there many years ago. There’s another store in the area called Master Hopia which sells hopia in different flavors. The pineapple hopia is a must-try. It’s at the corner of Villalobos and Palanca. Not sure though if it’s still there since it’s been a long time since I’ve visited the place.

    May 7, 2011 | 12:02 pm

     
  37. Dodi says:

    What a coincidence MM! I was just in Hidalgo St. in Quiapo looking for camera accessories and I just had to follow the aroma and bought hopiang munggo and “baboy” still piping hot from the ovens of Vienna Bakery. When I got home, I opened this blog and lo and behold….your post!!! So I am enjoying my hopia whilst reading this, isn’t that cool? Yummmy yum yum!!!

    May 7, 2011 | 6:06 pm

     
  38. Dodi says:

    Hopia “baboy” is not pork. Or is it?

    May 7, 2011 | 6:10 pm

     
  39. christine says:

    Are these the hopia that are sold stacked nicely in the white ‘wax paper’ bags? I remember accompanying my mom to Sin Kian while growing up, and crossing the street and buying the hopia monggo there. I would likewise get a whole bag as pasalubong whenever my mom and dad goes to Quiapo without me. But I failed to remember the name of the store……….. ;p

    @ Dodi : hopia baboy is made with a filling that contains pork fatback and onions.

    May 7, 2011 | 9:15 pm

     
  40. Dragon says:

    LEE!!!!! (ROFL)

    @ Dodi – I think hopia baboy is actually kundol cooked in lard (heard somewhere).

    MM – this is a generational thing, I believe. This entire article has conjured an image of Manila, my life in the late 60’s/early 70’s but has been around since ‘Peacetime”. I regret not having had the time to visit this area during my Christmas homecoming. I used to go here regularly to shop especially for food and food related stuff (as well as local goods at Ils de Tuls – another generational thing?).

    My Scottish/Aussie partner also loves hopia!

    May 8, 2011 | 2:22 pm

     
  41. Norma says:

    Hopia brings back memories indeed! My Father used to buy lots of hopia packed in four or five Carnation milk cartoons from Quiapo. Hopia is my Dad’s gift of good will. Our driver had to load the hopia in Dad’s car, and wherever they go, Dad gave hopia as pasalubong. He gave hopia to our neighbors, our office staffs and factory workers, to friends he visits or just happen to meet on the street, and even to street children who would surround him whenever they see him. Dad loves hopia, but he had diabetes when he was in his fifties. So instead of eating them, they became his gifts to his friends. Street children in the office and factory neighborhoods used to call him Mr. Hopia. Munggo hopia is my favorite. I find the pork hopia too sweet and fatty.

    May 8, 2011 | 4:38 pm

     
  42. Janette says:

    Ohhhh…how I miss hopia…Sayang, walang hopia dito sa Spain.

    May 8, 2011 | 10:47 pm

     
  43. Kar says:

    MM, I love Salazar’s realy flakey hopia. Love especially the ube! yum!

    May 9, 2011 | 2:07 pm

     
  44. cez fabian says:

    Yes my mom always bring this to us as pasalubong everytime she goes to Quiapo Church. I will ask my dad/mom to buy it and send it to me here in Dubai ..

    May 9, 2011 | 5:05 pm

     
  45. Dodi says:

    @Dragon: Kundol sure looks like a “baboy” especially if it’s huge! teehehehe .. I went back to Quiapo today and bought ube hopia naman…yum yum! Thanks MM for re-acquainting me once more to this simple but delicious pleasure!

    May 9, 2011 | 9:35 pm

     
  46. jack says:

    This post made me even more hungry (i still haven’t had my breakfast). It made me crave for hopia. I miss the hot square hopia.

    May 11, 2011 | 11:33 am

     
  47. Bessie says:

    Hi! MM,
    Have you tried ” Master Hopia ?” It is also located in Quiapo, close to Vienna Bakery. It is the BEST hopia monggo! ( Php 8.00 each) Our hopia favorite since college. ( Php 3.00 ea.then) I was in the bakery last month and I bought two boxes ( Php 400.00 each) , brought them in the US. They’re now in our freezer . Six months supply! ;-)
    I hope you will try it next time you’ll be in Quiapo.

    @Christine, “white bags” Yes, its Master Hopia.

    Jun 2, 2011 | 6:53 pm

     
  48. chris says:

    vienna bakery holds so many childhood memories. i used to accompany my mom to quinta market and my reward would be bread from vienna bakery (cinnamon roll, pan de coco or spanish bread) and a cold bottle of pop. my mom would buy a bag of hopia to bring home, but i didn’t appreciate hopia then. now, whenever i go to quiapo i never fail to pass by viena and buy myself pan de coco or spanish bread and pop and remember those days with my mom when life was simpler then. if i chance upon freshly baked hopia, i would buy a bag to bring home to my kids.

    Nov 6, 2011 | 11:54 pm

     
  49. crow says:

    i love hopia! and anything that have beans in it. Moon Cake! Red Bean Bun! Yum!

    Nov 14, 2011 | 3:33 pm

     
  50. melody tuazon says:

    i miss hopia in vienna.miss din dito sa bahay.miss q rin mga dating kawork q jan.

    Jan 24, 2012 | 1:27 pm

     
  51. melody tuazon says:

    nkkaguto pg hopia nkikita q.hopia baboy..promis vienna bakeshop sarap ng luto jan..

    Jan 24, 2012 | 1:34 pm

     
  52. Boots says:

    Does anyone have a tested recipe for diced hopia? Much appreciated!

    Feb 28, 2012 | 2:54 am

     
  53. robin castagna says:

    Hi, MM! We were in Quiapo the other day to get supplies from Killion and that corner bakery equipments store in Orozco. On the way home we passed by Vienna Bakery and bought the Munggo Hopia, Pandesal and the Bonete. My heart melted when I took a bite of the Hopia. Saraaaap!!!! The Bonete, my Mom said is the same as the Pambonete of Bicol. The Pandesal had the slightly smokey aroma of the pugon it was baked in. Haayyyy! Definitely coming back! I saw some nondescript oversized buns that I’m sure are killer. Oh, and they have rye bread. Rye bread?! In Quiapo?!! Yes. Only in Vienna Bakery.

    May 31, 2012 | 2:16 pm

     
  54. Art says:

    While waiting for our bus, I would treat my college girlfriend to a hopia and Sarsi snack in one of those stores along Recto Ave. Three daughters and forty years later, hopia and Sarsi are still our favorite. They bring back great memories.

    Aug 22, 2012 | 8:13 am

     
  55. sophia says:

    funny how this one post evokes so many memories, even in my case. My father used to buy goodies from the area in the early 60’s when Avenida was still the fashionable place to go. He does mention Vienna bakery quite often. Excelente ham too. So i meander along the streets whenever i am in the area, and I’ve tried the ube hopia, never mind, gigi, what the DTI says. the trick is to eat hot off the grill, so to speak, and in the morning when the shops have just opened. Anyway, chocolates from the US (was it Hershey’s ?) were once found to contain rat hairs, right…so i wouldn’t be too finicky…i’d just swallow and cross my fingers hoping i won’t die …anyway, there’s also an alley across Vienna where you can buy walnuts, almonds, etc. by the kilo very very cheap ! then i go all the way to Ongpin to buy foodstuff like this hopia which has kundol or wintermelon. i don’t know the name since I can’t read chinese…but it is wrapped in yellow Manila (?) paper, with chinese letters in red ink.

    Apr 4, 2013 | 8:32 pm

     
 

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