What do you do when you’re a scion of a food business magnate? You follow your heart. Fulfill your dreams. Pursue your passion. Make your own mark.
Stanford-educated Karen Yang (daughter of McDonald’s Philippines founder, George T. Yang) did all that. With a Computer Science degree under her belt, Ms. Yang decided to take up a pastry-making course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, no less. After working in prestigious dessert establishments abroad, she opened her very own patisserie in Serendra about a month ago. Her sweet little shop is called Chez Karine Bakery.
My Bea and I have not been to Serendra in months, so it was quite surprising to discover that there seems to be a French invasion in the vicinity. There are now 3 French-inspired bakeshops in Serendra: Le Petit Artisan, Chez Karine Bakery, and the newest addition, Gourmandise Patisserie. Last Saturday, Chez Karine (“chez” – silent z — is French for “at the home of”) won us over with its attractive display of Parisian sweets.
I’ve tasted a lot of macarons in town, but I have to say Chez Karine‘s are remarkably soft and chewy. Bea had a Strawberry cookie, while I gobbled up the Earl Grey and Salted Caramel flavors (P50 apiece). Each bite made me want to exclaim, C’était délicieux! Except that I don’t speak French.
After all the blog reviews that I’ve read on this bakery, I couldn’t wait to try its signature Royal Pudding. I let Bea choose among the 3 flavors: vanilla, muscovado and chocolate, and she predictably picked the last option. It’s good but I was kind of underwhelmed by the chocolate taste. It’s not as lusciously creamy as my favorite Hunt’s Snack Pack Pudding, which is one of my comfort foods. But the Chocolate Royal Pudding was not bad, it’s just not what I expected. Bea said it tasted like taho because of the raw sugar syrup at the bottom of the tiny jar. (I absolutely loved the jar, by the way. I even brought it home!)
I also ordered a Strawberry Gourmandise (P135), which is basically a cream puff with the delightful addition of fresh strawberry slices and delicate chantilly cream. It was my favorite item that day and I wanted to get another one but that’s bordering on gluttony, don’t you think?
If you like savoring pretty little desserts made fresh everyday, Chez Karine is a must-visit when you’re in Serendra. While we were there, we were warmly greeted by the beautiful and gracious mom of Ms. Karen Yang. She was very nice and friendly, and she was obviously beaming with motherly pride on the sweet success of her daughter’s shop. She must have been so pleased that she even gave Bea 2 coupons for free McDonald’s sundae cones. With a loving and supportive mom like her — plus passion and determination — sweet dreams can surely become a reality.