Nikko's Baking Studio is inviting you to 'Taste the Story'

It's true that when you pray to God, you need to be specific and soon enough you might just have it. That is exactly what Nikko Santos-Buendia did while she was conceptualizing Nikko's Baking Studio back in 2013. She wanted a school where she can hold baking classes, complete with a small patio where guests can try her cakes, pastries and coffee. She even prepared a menu for her students so she'd have something to offer when they get hungry in class. 

It was a school slash bakeshop in the making, although guests weren't really that excited for the classes but more for her food instead. Since her spot is located near the center of Makati's hustle and bustle (Nikko's Baking Studio is along Paseo de Roxas), it became a place for nearby office workers to get pasta and sandwiches for lunch. But then slowly, Nikko were getting sentiments expressing wishes for rice meals as well. Everything wasn't turning around as planned.

Nikko is almost about to throw the towel considering that her plan wasn't exactly turning out the way she want it to be, but instead of giving up, she took on the challenge and looked on the bright side. And she's right, what she has started is a gift and a blessing from God; and had she not have encountered those obstacles in the past only means that her restaurant wouldn't be as successful as it is today.

At present, Nikko's Baking Studio is now a homey, cozy that you can escape to after a stressful day at work in Makati's Central Business District. The transition from a school to a dining area and is now a quasi restaurant serving lunch, dinner, snack and drink favorites which were taken straight from her family's kitchen at home. 

Personally, I just love a restaurant that makes you feel like I am staying in someone's humble abode. What's even more interesting is the stories behind the yummy snacks, dishes, drinks and desserts at Nikko's Baking Studio.

The 126 Cheese Sticks, for instance, was named after Nikko's maternal grandparents' home address along 126 Calamba Street in Sta. Mesa, Manila. This would always be the snack of choice of Nikko and all her siblings and cousins.

I tried one of Ta Binks' Chips and Dips options such as the unsweetened fried Banana Chips (made with saba bananas) with Ta Binks' version of Garlic Cream Cheese. Ta Binks is actually Nikko's aunt who helps her grandmother in the kitchen while waiting for her parents to pick them up from work.

Surprisingly, Nikko and her family enjoy eating Chicharon Bulaklak with Sinigang na Baboy. My reaction in two words? Just. Epic.

Another family favorite is Empanada Kaliskis which comes in both Chorizo and Chicken fillings. This also reminded me of weekend mornings when my grandparents use to have this in our home as afternoon snacks.

Other starters include healthy and hearty soups in either Mushroom, Tomato Basil and Pumpkin and Carrot.

On days where you just want to go to the beach but can't take a leave from work? Then I hope this plate of Chori Burgers can make you feel like you're at sea -- and is inspired by one of Boracay's most popular snacks. Nikko's version, however, uses Pandesal from Lipa, Batangas.

Or just sit by their patio and enjoy a healthy serving of Tuna Melt Sandwich with their in-house juice concoctions like Pandan od Cucumber Juice.

The story of Nikko's Baking Studio's Pasta Thermidor was actually a discovered recipe from one of the family's drunken nights when they used their Tita Tess' thermidor recipe but ran out of rice so they used pasta instead. Smart move, Nikko!

Lucban Longganisa was quite a staple at Nikko's home since her dad used to receive a lot from one of his friends, which was why the Lucban Longganisa Pasta which is cooked in wine became a favorite midnight snack in the family.

And due to insistent demand, here are the mains that Nikko got from her family table to ours. One of which, is Marlon's Salpicao which is beef salpicao just the way you like it. It's savory, garlicky and unjustified if not served with that right amount of steamed rice. And by right amount I mean A LOT if it. 

Basically, the mains are too much for a single person that it's good enough for two, so it's best to share these dishes with your BFF. Bro's Adobo Flakes is crispy and perfectly balanced as this is served with scrambled eggs.

One of my ultimate all-day breakfast favorite is Dad's Longganisa - I mean, just look at this. It's just beautiful that I'm having tears of joy just thinking about it.

If you're extra hungry / if you have guy friends with you, the best choice would be Ayala's Roast Beef. It's tender and served with homemade mashed potatoes and that brown gravy that makes you want to get an extra piece of bread, just so you can wipe that plate clean.

Overall, the dishes are Filipino comfort food to the next level. Mom's Kare-Kare will surely make you want to tuck yourself to bed and sipping on a hot cup of coffee or tea. Each dish hits not just one, but all right spots.

And it just goes on, and on, and on. I think most moms are great in the kitchen, but Mom's Callos is a clear winner. It's so homemade and really something I look forward to eating again soon.

Mom's Lengua is just as traditional as it gets. Creamy, full of mushrooms and very comforting. 

NBS Chicken Inasal is super NBS! This is equally defined just like her full menu. Nothing but Spectacular. Everything is so good. And before my tummy can't handle it, I still had a few space left for dessert. 

There's the Calamansi Pie which I think is Nikko's version of the Key Lime Pie. The Turtle Pie is a sweeter, more kid-friendly version since it's chocolate based. 

I'm not really a fan of vanilla (like Vanilla ice cream-I'd rather go for either Strawberry or Pistachio) but since this dessert has caramel on top I would gladly dig into this slice Vanilla Crepe Cake.

But my most favored dessert is Nikko's Fresh Pineapple Pie. This is unlike any other pie that I have had all my life. I wonder if they can make this ala mode though? Another favorite is the Leche Flan Cake, which is very Filipino in all angles. Oh I cannot wait to come back to Nikko's Baking Studio!

OH, AND DON'T FORGET to wash everything all down with an after-dinner drink. Like a glass or Sangria. Or an Old Fashioned. 

I didn't specifically asked God to try almost everything from Nikko's Baking Studio's menu, but it had to happen. It's a gift --- and I am very happy to oblige and enjoy all these dishes anytime of the day.

Check out Nikko's Baking Studio on Instagram and visit the hashtag #TasteTheStory to see more of pictures during that night!

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