If you’re a Filipino and recently migrated to New Zealand and it so happens you are looking for Filipino restaurants that serves Filipino dishes, pastries, desserts and delicacies well it is a bit hard to find as there are only few of them here the only ones I know are Turo-Turo, Three Kings and Gold Ribbon. I don’t usually go to Filipino restaurants due to the reason that I can cook Filipino dishes at home that is why I haven’t been to any of them except for the Gold Ribbon. This visit was unplanned as we were visiting a relative who lives nearby the place, he just told us when we were leaving his house that the popular Gold Ribbon bakeshop was just around the corner. At first it did not sink in what restaurant was that until I remembered that my Aunt brought one of their cakes (Mango Cake) at my birthday and it was amazing and that memory gave me the urge to visit the place. My wife also remembered a lot of our friends told us that their Ube Cake (Purple Yam cake) is the best and a must try.
It was stationed inside a University in Auckland called Unitec at Mt Albert, the university is easy to find but the place it a bit tricky as it is located very deep inside the campus in a Building called Bldg. 79, my uncle just told me to use Gate 4 and turn left every time until you see a sign that directs you to Bldg. 79. After several turns we found the place and at first glance it looks so cosy, secluded and quiet (maybe because it’s not a school day). We immediately went in very excited to see a lot of baked goods in display, it was hard to choose but we ended up with the recommended ube cake and other food items we wanted to try. So the order was two Ube Cakes for me and my wife, Halo Halo for my daughter and Puto Bungbong (type of rice cake cooked in bamboo) for my mom who is visiting us from Switzerland.
First to try was the halo halo, I can say it’s an average halo halo and it’s not as par as the Chowking version but there is one thing I liked about it, they are using ube ice cream which they also make (you cant buy ube ice cream here in New Zealand in supermarkets), the ice cream was amazing too bad I forgot to ask whether they sell them.
Next to try was the ube cake, it was phenomenal highly recommended to everyone even non Filipinos in Auckland should try this, in a matter of seconds the plate was clean. It was more than what we had expected, true to what our friends had told us.
Up next was the puto bungbong, only sold during the Christmas season in the Philippines like the bibingka this is my mom’s favourite way back in the Philippines. On her first bite I saw her reaction and I know it was a dismay, she told me it was not good so I also tried it and I agree it was not good at all, nothing like the ones sold on the streets during “Simbang gabi“. The texture is similar to mashed potato instead of it being sticky and firm, not sure if it was reheated wrongly to melt the rice cake in process or this was a bad batch, my mom can’t stand it so she expressed to the owner what she thought of it in order for them to improve on this certain item.
At least the ube cake was extremely good and halo halo was OK so we still left the place with a smiling face but it would be much better if we did not have that bad experience with the puto bungbong.
Address : Bldg 79 Unitec Campus, 1 Carrington Rd, Mt. Albert
Phone : 098154321 ext 8050