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Monday, June 15, 2015

Pandesuelo and long forgotten pinoy breads at Kamuning Bakery

I celebrate my Independence Day together with selected bloggers, being a patriotic foodie at the famous Kamuning Bakery Cafe, where all the politicians /celebrities from yesteryears and today has dined in including the late Pres. Cory Aquino. It was nostalgic as well, as I had to taste my favorite filipino pastries like the pandesuelo (its a freshly pugon baked pandesal, which is sweet and filling and best served hot)   and ogled at the bakery racks for their pandecocos, panderosas, meringues and other Kamuning Bakery's delicacies.  The best part was when the  owner, Wilson Lee Flores, toured us at his bakery and showed us the 76th year old giant "pugon" oven, where all the traditional breads, cookies and cakes "preservatives free" are baked.

With fellow bloggers at the big "pugon" site

The Kamuning Bakery Cafe offers the best filipino-inspired pastas that I have tasted,  I liked their chicken sisig pasta, tawilis pasta, and the longganisa pasta. They also served the best selling Kamuning Chicken Basket with pandesuelos which is juicy, delicious and tasty the way I liked my chicken, home fried and its best to partner with garlic rice.  Inside the restaurant /cafe is the  imported Italian coffee maker machine which they used for making the best  Benguet province Arabica coffee beans brewed into latte or cappuccino or other drinks and native chocolate tablea drinks.

Despite the rise of bakery chains, groceries with gas or electric ovens and industrial bakeries or multinational giants, 76-year-old Kamuning Bakery still continues to serve loyal clientele and its niche market with its artisanal, high-quality and pugon-style baked products.

chicken sisig pasta

tawilis pasta
longganisa pasta
coffee maker

On its 76th year and seeking to still be relevant in the 21st century, Quezon City’s first bakery the revived Kamuning Bakery has restored its old café to serve all-day breakfast meals of diverse pasta choices, rice meals or sandwiches with Third Wave or artisanal coffee, tea, juices, chocolate tablea.

Tuna clubhouse sandwich

The artisanal and pugon-style bakery still opens daily at 5 a.m., while its restored and now air-conditioned Kamuning Bakery Café is open from 7 a.m. to 12 midnight daily in the same address since 1939: No. 43 Judge Jimenez Street corner K-1st Street, Kamuning, Quezon City (near Caltex of Kamuning Road).

It has also revived a lot of its old traditional breads, cookies and cakes, plus adding modern cakes of all kinds baked in its antique pugon or wood-fired brick oven, such as birthday or wedding cakes, and many others. The No. 1 bestseller is still the pugon-baked Pan de Suelo breads. Since 1939, a lot of showbiz and political celebrities, writers, musicians, artists and people from all walks of life patronize Kamuning Bakery.

Kamuning Chicken Basket

Pandesuelos with Ice Cream

To differentiate it from many foreign cafes and bakeries coming to the Philippines from the West and Asia, Kamuning Bakery’s new owner and writer Wilson Lee Flores introduced Filipino-inspired innovations like chicken sisig pasta, tawilis pasta, longganisa pasta, Kamuning iced tea, Kamuning chicken basket (traditional fried chicken),

Strawberry Cake 

Hot Chocolate

Jonel Uy and Wilson Lee Flores

Short history

Kamuning Bakery opened in late 1939 as the first bakery in the newly-established Quezon City upon the invitation of President Manuel L. Quezon’s friend and adviser the newspaper tycoon Don Alejandro Roces. It opened in what is now called Barangay Kamuning, the city’s oldest community and once planted with flowering kamuning trees. Kamuning Bakery founders were Atty. Leticia “Letty” Bonifacio Javier (whose parents Miguel and Jovita operated pre-war Manila’s renown Los Baños Bakery in Singalong) and her husband Marcelo Javier Sr.

Letty’s father, husband and a brother-in-law were military officers who became World War II heroes, they died fighting the Japanese military invaders. Letty raised three small kids on her own by running the bakery with integrity, good service and excellent breads.  She passed away two decades ago and the bakery still operated despite the rise of many modern and bigger competitors.

Revival and innovations

Realty entrepreneur, 3-time Palanca award-winning writer & 12-time CMMA award-winning columnist, foodie and history enthusiast Wilson Lee Flores first read about Kamuning Bakery from newspaper columns of his Ateneo college paper Guidon’s moderator the late top food critic Dr. Doreen G. Fernandez. He also read about it in other publications, including the Palayok coffeetable book of Dr. Doreen Fernandez. He loves the traditional pugon-baked, no-preservatives and no-additives breads of Kamuning Bakery.

Wilson Lee Flores wanted to save Kamuning Bakery from obsolescence, so he invested in and revived the bakery in December 2013. He spent 2014 rehabilitating the bakery, and Quezon City honored the revived Kamuning Bakery on October 12, 2014 with its highest “Manuel L. Quezon Gawad Parangal Award” at the Araneta Coliseum.

He asked an old tenant to cut short their lease contract of the bakery’s former old café which was then a dental clinic already, so he restored and reopened it as Kamuning Bakery Cafe  on March 20, 2015.

At another space the old owners used to lease out to a printing shop, Wilson Lee Flores also asked that the lease contract be cut short, so he’s planning another casual restaurant to soon open there beside Kamuning Bakery as a pugon chicken & pugon pizza resto utilizing the rehabilitated second pugon oven. All pugon chicken customers shall get free pugon-baked pandesal breads.

Kamuning Bakery makes artisanal breads, cookies and cakes based on recipes and practices passed on from generation to generation. Built in late 1939, the same wood-fired brick oven (more known as “pugon”) continues to bake traditional bestsellers, two of which are the pan de sal and pan de suelo (a registered trademark of the bakery).

Kamuning Bakery Cafe is more than just a bakery. It is a cherished and well-preserved tradition. It is history made alive with quality products and sincere friendly service.

Contact details
Kamuning Bakery Cafe
No. 43 Judge Jimenez Street corner K-1st Street, near Kamuning Road, Quezon City, Metro Manila, The Philippines
Telephone numbers: 7945045, 9292216
Office Tels: 4112311, 3326066, 4151692, 4126685   Telefax: 4126685

“Like” Kamuning Bakery or Wilson Lee Flores on Facebook, follow Kamuning Bakery and Wilson Lee Flores on Instagram & Twitter for updates, thanks!

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