Regarding themselves as a “playground for food and design”, Black Apron Philippines is a group of food enthusiasts and craftsmen who work together to deliver inventive and beautifully plated food. And while Black Apron’s culinary brand is still a work in progress, their dessert and coffee pop-up event at Yardstick Coffee Makati showed me just what “experimental” can do with food.
My dates for the night didn’t make it, so I was alone and lonely. It was only my second time at Yardstick Coffee, and my first time to attend a pop-up food event. However, the aroma of roasted beans and coffee vapors were enough to lighten up my mood. I sat silently in the middle of the usual cafe chatter, anticipating the surprise about to be served.
The first Black Apron dessert was inspired by Breakfast: a chunk of Granola and Raisins, topped with Buerre Noisette Ice Cream, and Himalayan Salt. It was an unlikely combination, but worked quite well. Sweet, salty, and sweet again, punctuated by fruity and savory tastes. I wish I was given more than just a scoopful of Buerre Noisette Ice Cream, because it was so good.
What followed was a pile of random goodness: cream cheese, kesong puti, blackberry jam, cake, sprinkled with basil flowers. My first scoop instantly reminded me of a hearty lunch, because of the collective borderline-savory taste of the olive-tinged cake, basil flowers, and blackberry jam—diffused and made lighter by kesong puti and cream cheese at the bottom. Striking, distinctive, but not the kind that lingers, so I had to note while eating lest I might forget.
I felt a bit stupid about the last serving, because I just didn’t get it, no matter how good it was. Caramel honeycomb on a bed of cream, banana and caramel, sprinked with pulverized Hany and Graham crackers. My first scoop tasted like a regular banoffee pie, but the second one, with everything in it (including the rose petal), left me almost teary-eyed with delight.
The experience cost me Php 500, which included a cup of Yardstick Guatemala Coffee, which was a great finisher because of its moderately bold and citric flavor. Overall, I was very satisfied with the taste and craftsmanship that went into each dish that I sampled. I also admired the artisanal plates and bowls use for the plating.
Black Apron proved that it’s not rocket science to come up with dishes with equal portions of experimentation and great taste. Some of the ingredients used for the three-course desserts were kinda foreign, but never intimidating. In fact, they were very homey. Something I could actually whip up at my own kitchen…if I were as genius as they are. Great job!
Their next Black Apron pop-up event is scheduled on March 20, 2015. They’re waiting for you.