I’m no hipster wannabe, but I was googling hipster places in Manila the other day just to prove a point. (The point I was referring to: True hipsters don’t call themselves hipsters as in the case of my friend, Eva/UVLA. They are hipsters, nonetheless.) After finding Cubao X on the list, I thought that was the end of that. Then M suggested that our group of friends travel to Maginhawa to check out this milkshake place that serves astounding concoctions. Just like that, I’m sucked back in!
StrEAT Maginhawa Food Park represents the upward trend of Manila’s dining culture. It’s a lot—as in “parking lot” or “vacant lot”—that has been transformed to a foodie-heaven of a park. (Not so much grass as there is gravel, but there’s a small patch in the middle to satisfy those who question the park’s “park-ness”.) It’s got that hipster thing going on, so I was actually surprised that there weren’t any fixie bikes in sight.
Food trucks and stalls of assorted cuisines line the perimeter, and there’s a small common seating area in the middle. Each individual restaurant has indoor and/or outdoor seating available, though the seats fill up quickly. Expect to go take-out. The park is open from 5 pm to 2 am, Tuesdays to Sundays. (StrEAT is closed on Mondays.)
So… Milkshakes! Welcome to The Lost Bread. They specialize in French Toasts and Milkshakes.
It looks simple from the outside, but wait till you see the magic that happens inside:
Y had Nut Interested, because he’s on a diet. Well, at least he’s trying to be. We constantly torment him with our poor life choices. (Haha!) According to him, his shake was delicious. Lots of peanut butter flavor in there.
Totally aptly named, The Carnival is all those sweet carny treats blended together in a single cup. I haven’t been to an American carnival—unless watching American Horror Story: Freakshow counts—but I figure this is the closest I get. We sure as heck didn’t have this in Fiesta Carnival, so you won’t see me complaining.
There are a lot of sweets in a single cup, so the soft-serve ice cream base itself has a more neutral flavor. Most enjoyable is the stunning presentation and the combination of textures. It is supposed to be flavored with caramel elements (syrup, popcorn), though I prefer a stronger vanilla essence on the ice cream base to match the caramel. Maybe it’ll help prevent the umay (tired palate) factor.
Tip: Snack on the popcorn before it gets soggy.
This is someone else’s order that I’m hoping to try next time.
All milkshakes are priced at a reasonable PHP 99. It’s less than Starbucks and more or less like milk tea. While I didn’t get to photograph the second page of the menu that features savory and dessert french toasts, a grilled cheese type of thing with mozarella, munster, monterey jack, etc. costs PHP 149 with a helping of tomato soup. Not bad either.
Verdict: All in all, the individual ingredients weren’t earth-shattering or amazing, flavor-wise, on The Carnival, but a slight improvement in ingredient quality (particularly on the cake and ice cream base) will go a long way. Also, you gotta respect both presentation and showmanship. I’m coming back for sure to try another milkshake and that cheesy French toast.