Menu, prices: Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory café in Manila

Steph Arnaldo
Menu, prices: Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory café in Manila
For Japanese fluffy pancakes, omurice, milk pies, and more, check out Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory's second branch in Estancia Mall!

MANILA, Philippines – You might know them for their milk cheesecakes, delicious (and pricey) crackers, and milky soft-serve, but Japanese Hokkaido milk treat brand Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory is greeting 2020 with their very first stand-alone café, and in the Philippines, no less.

 

INTERIORS. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

TMCF’s first resto-café in the world has two Metro Manila branches so far – one in Ayala Malls Manila Bay and a second in Estancia Mall, Pasig City, which opened on Saturday, January 18. 

“Our local chefs and Japanese partners saw the potential of Filipinos’ interest in Japanese cuisine here, so we decided to open the pilot TMCF café in the Philippines first,” TMFC marketing Manager Cheenee Bautista told Rappler.

“We really thought it would click here,” she added. Based on the lines for TMFC’s fluffy Japanese pancakes, saucy omurice dishes, and creamy milk pies – we’re pretty sure it did.

SPACIOUS. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Japanese cuisine, Filipino talent

It’s all your TMFC needs in one comfortable, well-lit, tita brunch space – you can buy retail, enjoy pastries in-store, or indulge in heavy, Japanese-inspired meals and treats created by local talent.

RETAIL. Walk-in customers can come in just for TMFC's signature biscuits and cakes. INTERIORS. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

 

“Our savory menu items are created by our very own Chef Chloe Lao, while all pastries are made by Chef Dan Rosales,” Cheenee said, noting that the pastries are still made under strict compliance with its Japanese makers. 

“Everything is fresh. Most of our ingredients are locally-sourced, except for the Hokkaido milk. But we make our milk pies fresh every day, in-store, at the Cow Cow Kitchen,” she added.

 

COW COW KITCHEN. Freshly-made milk pies are baked and sold here. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Sorry – we know you’re hungry, so here’s what you really came for: Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory’s complete menu, price list, and a few first impressions:

First stop: Appetizers

I don’t like waiting for my main course on an empty stomach (you wouldn’t like hangry me, either), so I always like having a little plate of appetizers – in this case, chips – to chip away at until the beast is tamed.

Cue TFMC’s House Potato Chips (P180) served with a nori aioli, an ode to Japanese seaweed. 

POTATO CHIPS. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The chips are just like what you’d find in a bag of premium, store-bought kettle chips – they’re thin, light, and crispy-crunchy in every bite – a true ASMR dream. They’re also not as oily, yet still taste freshly-fried.

We also tried the Sweet Corn Tempura (P260) served with truffle aioli – imagine balls of sweet, bright-yellow Japanese corn kernels jumbled together into a bite-sized ball, then fried together in crunchy tempura batter until golden-brown. 

SWEET CORN TEMPURA. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Tempura and truffle – who knew? BTW: The truffle flavor, although noticeable, isn’t overpowering. 

Other appetizers include Chicken Karaage (P295), served with a house mayonnaise.

Second stop: Sandwiches

TMFC’s sandwiches are made not just for merienda, but for any time of day. They’re pretty filling, owing to the freshly-made sourdough bread they use.

BEEF RIB SANDWICH. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

We tried the 12-Hour Short Rib Sandwich (P485) – pulled beef ribs that have been cooked for 12 hours, blessing carnivores with tender, fall-off-the-bone barbecued beef. The strong, savory flavor is contrasted by the parsley aioli, the pickled red cabbage slaw, and the fresh mixed greens inside. 

Plus points if you like your sourdough bread buttered and toasted extra crunchy, too.

Other sandwiches on the menu include: 

  • TMC Tamago Sliders (P335)
  • Shrimp Katsu Sando (P390)
  • Molten Mozzarella Hamburg (P440)
  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato Jam (P325)

Third stop: Fluffy, jiggly pancakes

These Japanese souffle pancakes are thick, tall, fluffy, and airy, with just the right jiggle. With their soft, custardy interior and crisp but fluffy exterior, I can understand why they’re the star of the TMFC show.

CREME BRULEE. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The Creme Brulee Pancake (P265) – two pancakes doused in a mildly sweet, vanilla crème anglaise (a light, custard-like sauce for pastries) are finished off with torched sugar on top. 

I’ve never had these before, so I was quite surprised to remember my childhood mamon baon upon first bite. It has that airy, chiffon-like feel initially, but firmer, and with more bite. Its sponge-like surface also helps to absorb the sauces better. But don’t be fooled – a few bites of this can start to fill you up, since it’s pretty dense.

SUMMER BERRIES. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

If you like tart, berry-based syrups on your pancakes, try the Summer Berries Pancake (P315), topped with a colorful mixed berry compote (I was pleased to see whole strawberries and blueberries!) and served with nama cream. 

I’m not a super sweet tooth, but I appreciated these souffle pancakes for what they were worth – they’re not overtly sweet, surprisingly, and they’re between firm and fluffy, like a denser chiffon cake.

Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Heads-up, though: They’re freshly-made upon order, so expect a waiting time of 30 minutes or more. 

You can get it just Plain (P210) with maple syrup, or as Chocolate (P265).

Fourth stop: All rise for omurice

Another crowd favorite is the omurice – the famous Japanese “food porn” delicacy that features flavored rice underneath a creamy omelette, split in the middle to ooze sauce all over the plate. They look extra delicious in anime shows, so I was curious to have my first try.

We tried the Chicken and Cheese Omurice (P350), which was huge. The omelette is already opened up for you, so it’s ready to eat – there’s tomato rice pilaf mixed in with chicken bites, underneath a scrambled egg, and surrounded by a cheese bechamel sauce.

OMURICE. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

 

Other omurice variants include the Hayashi Beef (P395) and the Chicken and Tomato (P315).

Fifth stop: The mains

And if your jean buttons aren’t popping yet, props to you – there may still be room for TMFC’s main entrees! We tried the pescetarian-friendly Salmon Teriyaki Gratin (P485), which was probably one of my favorite things on the menu. Strips of salmon are set atop a heap of silky, truffled mashed potatoes.

SALMON GRATIN. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Drizzled on top was a viscous, sweet-savory teriyaki sauce, and topping everything off were mozzarrella shavings, leeks, and sesame seeds. Pile on every element onto one spoon, and you’re guaranteed a mouthful of flavor – salmon, teriyaki, cheese, and truffle.

Yes, the price is a bit on the steep end, but for fresh salmon and a truffled side dish, it could be worth the occasional splurge. 

Other main dishes include:

  • Grilled Chicken Teriyaki (P360)
  • Pork Mille-fuille Furai (P390)
  • Molten Hamburg (P380)

Last but not least: Dessert

No, we didn’t forget about the Milk Pie (P100/piece) – a freshly-baked, crisp puff pastry hugging a cool, Hokkaido milk-cream filling, similar to a lighter, less sweet bavarian custard. 

MILK PIES. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

I didn’t think I’d like it at first – my first bite was all sugared, crunchy pastry – but the second bite changed my mind. The milk pie is generously filled with the Hokkaido filling, which isn’t overly sweet but still creamy, sans the umay. They’re best served chilled!

Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

If you’re a fan of the Cow Cow Ice soft-serve ice cream, you can get it here too for dessert. There’s the Hokkaido Milk (P150) flavor and the Hokkaido Cheese (P170), a mix of gouda cheese and cream cheese.

COW COW ICE. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

 

I enjoyed it with a milk cheesecake add-on (P120), which was pretty tiny but yummy nonetheless. You can opt for a cookie add-on (P60), too.

Thirsty? There’s iced and hot coffee, freshly-brewed tea, and flavored iced teas available.

The rest of the menu

Pasta

  • Gyu Bolognese (P380)
  • Ebiko Carbonara (P345)
  • Baked Three Cheese and Tomato (P399)
  • Ebi Aglio Olio (P360)

Waffles

  • Caramel Banana Waffle (P240)
  • Classic (P210)
  • Cheese Waffle (P265)
  • Summer Berry Waffle (P265)

Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory can be found at the ground level of Estancia Mall’s East Wing, Capitol Commons, Pasig City. It is open from 11 am to 9 pm from Mondays to Thursdays, and from 10 am to 10 pm from Fridays to Sundays. – Rappler.com

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.