July 09, 2012
CHEZ KARINE, French for "At Karen's Place", is a Serendra Neighborhood Bakery by Pastry Chef Karen Yang. She graduated with a Patisserie Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and completed her internship creating macarons for French Pastry Chef Pierre Hermé.
(Read: Dessert Comes First | Opening This Sunday: Manila’s Newest Patisserie)
Karen's macarons are sold at P50/piece versus Krista's (P35), Brasserie Cicou (P35), Bizu (P45), and Margarita Fores' Lusso (P50). Are her macarons really worth the premium? Are you paying for Pierre Hermé macaron quality?
Besides the macarons, Chez Karine is known for its royal pudding specialty. Also on its menu are coffee, hot choco, and cakes to complete the dessert cafe experience.
The macarons are well-infused with flavors and have a chewier bite unlike the usual, crunchy meringue of other macarons offered in Manila. We found them a bit soft and a tad small, though--bitin if you only eat one.
(clockwise from top) Lemon. Filled with lemon curd cream. Strawberry. Filled with strawberry buttercream. Pistachio. Filled with pistachio ganache. Salted Caramel. Filled with salted caramel buttercream.
The Pistachio and Salted Caramel were my faves. It would be nice if they carried more unique flavors...
The boxes are cute, and a box of 7 would make a good surprise gift for someone special.
A lot of foodies are raving about the Royal Pudding, mostly because of the cute bottles that you can reuse at home. (Read: Tales from the Tummy | Chez Karine Bakery in Serendra)
I liked the smooth texture of the pudding specially the Muscovado flavor because of its sweet, familiar taste.
Thing is, I do think that it is expensive. If you remove the bottle, the quantity is small -not enough to justify the P100 price tag.
An alternative to the pudding would be the fruit-based Panna Cotta, which is sold at the same price.
The cakes are small and nothing to rave about. Better go to Cake Club in Bonifacio High Street Central for your cake fix. (Read: Our Awesome Planet | The Cake Club Dessert Haven)
I enjoyed my cup of latte with its thick layer of sweet foam--a great match for the desserts.
My wife and Aidan loved the hot chocolate's milky taste.
Plus points to Chez Karine for the carefully designed packaging. They would make wonderful-looking gifts for loved ones. :)
Aside from their use of quality ingredients, their packaging and food presentation somehow justify the premium pricing.
If you find yourself in the Serendra area, go on a tasting spree of the different flavors of Chez Karine Macarons. The Royal Pudding is something unique to try too. Just keep in mind that you're paying premium for the quality, packaging and branding.
The place is quite small and probably intended as a take-out counter only. The area of the alfresco tables gets dark at night, so it's not recommended as a dessert place to hang out.
CHEZ KARINE BAKERY
We are a French patisserie inspired by Asian and American flavors.
G/F Serendra Mall (beside Sonja's Cupcakes and Gelatissimo), Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Telephone: +632 804-1889
Mobile: +63 917 323-2845
Facebook: Chez Karine Bakery
Sunday to Thursday 10.00 am to 10.00pm
Friday to Saturday 10.00 am to 11.00pm
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Full Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our orders. We are not connected with the establishment or any organization marketing it.
P.S. It's the first time I've heard of Pastry Chef Karen Yang. What do you think of her treats at Chez Karine?