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The Cult Of Cheese

We dissect Manila’s love affair with Japanese-style cheesecakes and tarts in all their iterations, from dense and creamy to light and fluffy. And all overflowing with umami.

Oozing Golden Tarts

Pablo’s Cheese Tarts hie from Osaka where Masamitsu Sakimoto created a recipe that lets you order cheese tart like steak—from rare to medium textures. The Signature Rare Cheese Tart is a mouthwateringly creamy and wobbly mess inside a crisp pie shell. The Premium Cheese Tart has a richer, full-bodied flavor underneath the slightly bitter caramelized top. Both are densely packed with two different kinds of cream cheese to ensure smooth texture and rich, sweet flavor. It should stay fresh in the fridge for three days, but who has that much self-control?

Robinsons Place Manila, Pedro Gil Street, Manila, (02) 244-6847; B7, Bonifacio High Street, Taguig, (0927) 916-9425

Proudly Pinoy

Made with five kinds of cheese (two from Laguna, two from Davao and one French cheese), LAVA’s cheese tarts are a molten mess enclosed by a thick, twice-baked crust. The result is a tart with fantastic gooey cheesy centers that, given a chance, will ooze out the crust just like lava trails down a volcano side. This homegrown brand supports local artisanal cheesemakers, and is just as good as the imported brands.

Lower Ground Floor, SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City

Light As Air

This is elegance embodied in cheesecake form. Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake was created by Tetsushi Mizokami after a trip to Tasmania where he fell in love with the cheese, now a prime ingredient in his phenomenal cheesecakes that he makes in a water bath, so the exterior doesn’t harden or brown. Incredibly understated, the cheesecakes have an airiness and texture of a soufflé. It’s light golden on top, with a subtle aroma of sugar and eggs—it feels like biting into a cloud.

Upper Ground Level, Mega A, SM Megamall, Pasig City, (02) 730-4500

Sophisticated Cheese Cookies

The perfect gift for the cheese lover, Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory’s cheese cookies are individually wrapped and come in three flavors. Salt & Camembert blends Hokkaido milk, French Guèrande salt and a Camembert cheese filling; Honey & Gorgonzola is flavored by strong Spanish rosemary honey; and Porcini & Gouda balances richness and sharpness. Sit down with a box of these and a glass of wine—the perfect way to end your day.

Greenbelt 5, Makati City