Today was a day for shopping for curtain fabrics and curtain rods. After completing my purchases at Fabric Warehouse in Libis, Quezon City, we proceeded to Causeway for a very late lunch. Dimsum mostly, although my daughter Sam ordered a shrimp wonton soup for herself. Disappointed that Causeway didn’t serve egg tarts, we decided to have our dessert elsewhere. At Mom & Tina’s, my husband suggested, which was a short five-minute drive away. We’ve never eaten there before although we’re not totally unfamiliar with the bakery’s products. When friends came over to the house a couple of weeks ago, they brought a tray of Mom & Tina’s profiteroles, we liked it very much and my husband went to Mom & Tina’s a few days later, bought a box of profiteroles and brought it home. That was when he first suggested that we go there sometime so we could see the other products.
Mom & Tina’s is located along E. Rodriguez’s Avenue in Libis, Pasig City, right beside San Jacinto Panciteria (I hear there are other branches). The first thing that struck me was the set-up. The place was large enough to accommodate twenty tables or so and I really liked that because I have little patience with cramped places like Conti’s and Banapple. I mean, you can have great food but if you charge an arm and a leg and you cannot even sit your customers comfortably, well, I’d rather opt for take-out or go elsewhere.
Mom & Tina’s in Libis has large tables and comfortable chairs and couches, the tables set sufficiently far enough from each other so that diners don’t have to bump into the chairs of the people on the next table. And there is none of the Starbucks ambience either which I so hate. You know, groups of people occupying all the tables but not really eating or anything but just hanging out, just to be seen, because there’s a perception that being spotted in Starbucks is cool. I love Starbucks’ cakes and pastries but I really hate the contrived enthusiasm with which the baristas greet customers. None of that stuff at Mom & Tina’s. No blaring music either. It’s a decent place for decent crowds. All you hear is light chatter and the occasional peals of laughter. At least, that was what we witnessed for the hour or so that we were there. I have no idea what it’s like there on weekdays.
I ordered a single-serve Oreo cheesecake and a cup of cappuccino for myself and I was happy with them. They were okay but nothing earth-shaking.
Younger daughter, Alex, with her obsession over mango cream pie, was so thrilled to see a version of her favorite pastry at Mom & Tina’s. If you think there are too few mango slices…
…there’s more mixed in with the cream. Alex complained though that it was hard to eat the pie because the bottom of the crust kept slipping off the tray. There’s also the matter of the crust being “hard” rather than flaky.
My husband, Speedy, had a slice of brazo de mercedes. The brazo de mercedes was good — sufficiently sweet but not irritatingly so. Let me explain though that not every slice of brazo de mercedes at Mom & Tina’s looks like the one you see in the photo above. That one appears to have ALL THAT CUSTARD but that’s because it was sliced off one edge of the cake where there is usually a large concentration of custard. The diameter of the custard of an average slice of brazo de mercedes would be about half the size of what you see in the photo.
Our older girl, Sam, ordered iced coffee and no pastry. She was too full from the dimsum and shrimp wonton noodle soup.
The service at Mom & Tina’s was good. The waiters were accessible but did not hover as though insisting that a customer orders more. They don’t make suggestions unless asked unlike in fast foods where the order takers really push hard to make customers order more than they can eat. And waiters at Mom & Tina’s pay attention to customers’ needs. Initially, our orders consisted of the mango cream pie, Oreo cheesecake and coffees (the brazo de mercedes and iced coffee were afterthoughts). When the pastries arrived, there were two dessert spoons with each. Because there were four of us, the waiter anticipated that we meant to share the pastries amongst ourselves and provided sufficient flatware for all four of us. In a world where good service is fast becoming a rarity, little things like that make a lot of difference.
One negative comment I have is the penchant for using disposable aluminum trays even for dine in customers. The mango cream pie and the Oreo cheesecake, for instance, would have been more convenient to eat had they been served on dessert plates. Perhaps, it’s a presentation thing but, really, dessert plates would have been more proper. Classier even because disposables so belong with the fast food culture.
Four coffees and three pastries and the bill was P578.00. Not bad. If we had gone to Starbucks, the bill would been almost twice as much. And given the quality of service and the comfortable dining set-up, the price wasn’t bad at all.