Katips Kuisine: Bread in a New Light

By Guest on 28 July, 2008

Bread and dough are never limelight superstars like cakes or ice cream, yet these 2 staples are institutions in the baking world, often being marks of a good and compleat baker. Bread and dough have always lent support to the tastiest toppings and spreads, adding substance and breaking satiety in the best of meals.


Just like its products, Manna Bakery blends in the cacophony of eating joints in the busy Katipunan area. It is hardly noticeable with its subdued facade and beyond pedestrian and vehicle eye level. And so I consider my discovery of this bakery literally manna from the heavens when I stumble upon it while pausing, waiting for a car to back out of its parking slot. It looks so out of place in its building that I decide to go down and check out this oddity.


Upon entering the place, I am enveloped in brightened cozy-ness. My senses are awakened with their display of bread of familiar names and unfamiliar uses. The traffic light of a bread guide further adds to my excited confusion, harrassing the calm-spirited cashier behind the counter with my indecisive ordering.

I decide on the Cinnamon and Walnut Sourdough Loaf (Php65). Scrumptious! Compared to the more popular cinnamon roll, the dough is chewier and tastes more doughy. There is more spice than sugar in this loaf and the walnut! Oh the walnut! Manna is generous with their walnuts. The walnuts in this sourdough are chunky, meaty, and moist. It reminds me of the freshest newly roasted chestnuts I once-in-a-blue-moon get to buy from my Greenhills suki. I was planning to bring this to work for my one week baon. I gobbled it all up in one sitting.


On my next visit, I order the Whole Wheat Pizza (Php240) and the Pasta Arrabiata (Php130). Interesting enough, the pizza reminds me of a grilled panini less the oil and fluffiness. The toppings are satisfactory, but its combination with the whole wheat dough gives the pizza a more grainy texture.
The Pasta Arrabiata is literally surprising. One must not be fooled by its Mary Jane plain presentation nor its expected tomato sauce flavor that initially greets. As the girl on the next table aptly tells her companion, “Grabe. *%^&! Grabe! Grabe! This gets really spicy pala! Grabe!” I smile and enjoy the spice that simmers at the end of my palate.
That was the end of my second visit, which was followed by a third, a fourth, and who knows how many more times I plan to go there? In each visit, I am delighted with their innovations (The Sweet Potato Bread with less flour is chompy, soft, and delectable even without any accompaniments. It’s my current favorite.). What one buys in Manna is probably healthy, but that’s a bonus. What I am enjoying right now is the rediscovery of the goodness of bread and dough. Just like in the movies, bread and dough may not get top billing, but they sure provide depth, substance, and lots of character.

Manna Specialty Bakery
Esteban Abada Street
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Open from Monday to Sunday, 7am to 7 pm

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  • JULY 28, 2008 2:41 PM

    katrina said...

    I'm a huge fan of bread! Too bad this is so far away. :-( I'd love to try all the different kinds they have.

  • AUGUST 3, 2008 6:57 AM

    Anonymous said...

    May I ask where Manna Bakery is exactly? I drove trough Esteban Abada from behind McDonald's up to KFC but didn't find it. They were not at Market of the Hills yesterday, either.

  • AUGUST 4, 2008 7:45 AM

    PAM said...

    Hi, Katrina - It really is far, but you will enjoy the trip. : )

    Hi, Anonymous - It's still past KFC. : ) From Katipunan going south, turn right on the road before Bo's Coffee, then turn left into Esteban Abada. Manna will be on your left.

  • AUGUST 6, 2008 3:29 PM

    bk. said...

    sounds interesting, pam. i'd love to see more bread shops in manila. this post made me remember au bon pain, i don't know why. and nice to see you blogging about food again! :)

  • SEPTEMBER 18, 2008 8:49 AM

    Anonymous said...

    the pizza was ok. not spectacular but because of the crispy, wholewheat, and (hopefully) freshly-made dough, it was worth the price.

    forget the pastas, they were lifeless and overcooked.

  • OCTOBER 14, 2008 8:43 AM

    Sidney said...

    Let's hope they will open more branches in the future...I am all for wholegrain breads...

  • AUGUST 18, 2009 4:46 AM

    Leslie said...

    This looks really good, wish I had actually tried it out back when I used to live right at E.Abada. Next time then. ;)
    p.s. Check out our site, we'll be releasing our whole new layout/design soon! If you have comments/suggestions,feel free to send them in too. :) Tnx.

  • OCTOBER 3, 2009 9:23 AM said...

    does anyone know what happened to Manna? i passed by a few weeks back and saw it was closed.. and now there's a new store there.. any updates where they relocated?

  • AUGUST 15, 2010 5:19 PM

    MannaBaker said...

    Hello! Manna is on sabbatical but we will be baking soon from another location. Please check out our website for any updates.