Trend alert! These innovative dessert and snack brands are bringing takeaway food to a whole new level
The sweet spot: Dessert kiosk Tokeru (meaning “to melt away” in Japanese) offers adorable and portable mini cakes with warm lava centers. The cakes are served on sturdy, spillage-proof paper plates. Additional toppings include whipped cream or ice cream, extra fudge sauce and fruit compotes — making combinations that range from Dark Forest (with dark chocolate lava) to Matcha Madness (with green tea lava) and more.
The backstory: It goes all the way back to Osaka in 2013, when chef Sonny Mariano was in “the nation’s kitchen” on an exchange program. It was his homestay hosts’ recipe for home-baked lava cakes that led to a dream of opening a pastry shop. Fast forward to May 2018, where chef Sonny and Nico Cruz, Russel Santos and Carolyn Atienza (who were his co-interns from a stint at a luxury Miami hotel) and classmate Philip Ching (from the Center for Culinary Arts, Manila) put their heads together to open the grab-and-go concept Tokeru.
Tokeru; 3/F Bldg A, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Pasig; fb.com/tokeruph
The sweet spot: Apéritif caters to those with a taste for luxury. Behold the Designer Strawberry Cone, filled with whole Driscoll’s strawberries in decorated dark chocolate shells, with pieces of chocolate-and-cornflake bark and dragées thrown in for extra flavor and texture. If savory is your thing, reach for the premium cheese and cold cuts served in a Graze Cone: the Charcuterie Cone comes with Milano salami, prosciutto, truffle cheese, brie, cocktail pickles, red and green olives and bread.
The backstory: Sisters Kim and Karla Zulueta, who come from the fashion and resorts industries respectively, drew attention on social media for their Instagram-worthy grazing table party spreads. People came knocking, and the duo knew they had to team up and open Apéritif. Two years on, the sisters have found success with their Graze Cone, earned a patent for their Graze Box (which is heftier than the cone) and opened a physical shop in an upscale mall — with nationwide stores to come.
Apéritif; 4/F SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; aperitifph.com
The sweet spot: Maxi Mango dishes out delectable mango float desserts in cups — think layers of mango bits, crushed graham crackers and sweet cream piled around mango soft-serve ice cream. The cupped dessert brings to mind the traditional homestyle mango ref cake (no-bake, refrigerated cake or float) that’s a favorite summer treat.
The backstory: Husband-and-wife team Ivan and Miki Velasquez combined their work experience — they both handled soft-serve ice cream — with a mango float family recipe that was passed down by Miki’s nana (her nanny from when she was three years old). The couple source fruits from their hometown in Davao to create their floats. The Velasquezes successfully expanded operations to the Visayas in the first quarter of 2019.
Maxi Mango; multiple locations around the country; maximango.com
This article first appeared in the April 2019 issue of Smile magazine.