Despite the dreary weather last Saturday, a group of us trekked to Eastwood after a satisfying authentic Japanese fast food dinner in Makati (more on this later) for coffee and dessert. Why should we travel all the way over there when there are a bajillion other coffee shops closer to where we already were?
You see, Eastwood is home to GIGI Coffee & Cupcakes. It’s a chill little coffee shop slash dessert place that’s open ’til late on weekends and is slightly detached from the busy nightlife in the area. I’m a huge fan of non-mainstream coffee shops that put more thought in their food and drinks rather than how to be a status symbol to the yuppie crowd and GIGI fits the bill perfectly.
The interior of GIGI Coffee & Cupcakes is elegantly decorated in various shades of green complemented by streaks of brown. It is a welcome change as every other cupcake shop nowadays has a pastel colored cutesy theme.
Not that I have anything against pastels and pinks of course, it’s just that GIGI’s warm color scheme invites even the manliest of men (or the formal-est of bosses) to take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe even a cupcake or two without looking out of place. You can grab a quick cup of coffee and cupcake before work in your corporate wear and sit on one of the tall benches on the side of the cafe with the morning paper and it’d be all good.
Another cool thing is their foolproof graphical menu on the wall right behind the counter. It contains clear illustrations of cupcake prices depending on quantity as well as their various coffee offerings and their corresponding espresso/milk/water/foam proportions and prices. For the hungry, GIGI also serves heavier fare like sandwiches and bread rolls, bottled juices to wash them down, and for the sweet tooth, jars of homemade candy in different flavors.
However, front and center are rows and rows of pretty cupcakes in assorted flavors displayed in glossy glass cabinets. Scanning their cupcake choices, I saw this image below and my heart was all a flutter. Before my own two eyes were actual glorious Bacon Chocolate cupcakes. Let’s just skip to the part when I sank my chompers into the magnificent creation, shall we? My brain went into caveman mode and all the words I could say then were: “Bacon good! Chocolate good! Cupcake good!!!”.
Now that I’ve snapped back into the land of reality, maybe I can describe it with a little more finesse (a notch above caveman at least). The cupcake base is plain chocolate. It was dense and moist without being too heavy, which is exactly how I like cupcakes. The frosting is kind of a stiff chocolate ganache, and it served as the pincushion for the bacon.
The contrasting combination of the salty, crunchy bacon and the sweet, soft chocolate cake all went together surprisingly well. I swear, there were rainbows and stars a-twinkling in the background after my first bite, not unlike this graphic below.
For the non-fans of the sweet and salty cupcake combination, there is a number of other cupcake flavors to choose from at GIGI Coffee & Cupcakes. From among those we tried (nearly all of them, what gluttons we are), the top 3 are the Apple Crumble, Peppermint, and Red Velvet cupcakes.
Sadly, I do not have a picture of the Red Velvet cupcakes. This flavor is practically a staple in all stores that sell cupcakes. But not all red velvet cupcakes are the same. In fact, many get it wrong. Fortunately, GIGI’s version is pretty good. So good that we had to order a second serving of it. So good that when a friend of mine found out that I went to GIGI Coffee & Cupcakes, she had to mention that they have the best Red Velvet cupcake ever.
What I love about GIGI’s cupcakes is the soft, moist, and dense crumb that’s neither too sweet nor too bland. Every cupcake of theirs I’ve tried consistently had the same beautiful texture, no matter the flavor or topping. A cupcake goes for a very reasonable p40 apiece, p235 for half a dozen, and p455 for a dozen. Drinks are also fairly inexpensive, ranging from p65-p95.
Notice that their cupcake liners are personalized? It’s a really nice touch, methinks, especially when most other cupcake stores use generic, store-bought liners. Also good to note is that the shop is conveniently located. No one in our group is a regular in Eastwood, but we didn’t have any trouble finding the place. GIGI Coffee & Cupcakes is on the ground floor of Felina Corporate Center, which is thankfully a ways away from the night scene in Eastwood City.
- Affordable prices.
- Many unique flavors to choose from.
- Elegant instead of the all too common “cutesy” decor.
- Super nice staff.
- Far from where I live. 🙁
- Limited branches (but I hear they’re opening shop in Shangri-La Mall, whee!).
4.5 bacons! GIGI Coffee & Cupcakes is the kind of coffee shop that I’ve been looking for in my part of town. They serve great coffee and great cupcakes all at fair prices. Their decor is elegant rather than girly which makes it a great place for both formal and informal meetings. Come on, you know it can be awkward to discuss with someone in a suit and tie in a place swimming in pastels. Definitely worth a trip to Eastwood wherever you’re coming from.