It’s been a while since I last wrote a feature on a restaurant, and I’m glad I’m finally breaking the beauty and skincare streak with Icings Bakery and Cafe, a family-owned establishment with branches in Tomas Morato, Market Market, Promenade Greenhills, Robinsons Magnolia, and Robinsons Las Pinas.
I visited the bakery and cafe last Tuesday with my parents, where we met the charming mother-daughter tandem behind the establishment: Ceyli and Candice Tong. Meeting them and hearing their story was something we really enjoyed, especially because you could see the passion and enthusiasm in their eyes.
Photo Credit: Zomato
Icings all started when Ceyli discovered their family’s secret recipes from her mother’s side—heirloom concoctions passed from generation to generation. Part of this family tradition was the use of natural ingredients, which is why Ceyli only gets her ingredients straight from the farmers of different provinces. She doesn’t use preservatives in any of her dishes, because apart from cooking good food, it’s important to her that her family and guests are also eating healthy food.
Over the years, Ceyli’s culinary skills and reputation in the kitchen grew. Requests came in left and right, wanting Ceyli to bring her personal style of high-quality, traditional cooking beyond the boundaries of her home—which prompted her to open the first Icings in 1993. My mom actually buys pastries from them (back when their old location was along Tomas Morato; their new location now is still in the same area but along Sct. Dr. Lazcano—the same street as Alfredo’s), and I remember bringing it as my baon to school.
Recently, Ceyli’s daughter, Candice, joined the Icings culinary team to spearhead operations of the restaurant. With her formal education in hospitality management, plus training with prestigious fine dining restaurants and 5-star hotels, Candice ensures the application of strict professional standards of quality and consistency. Together, Ceyli and Candice continue to create delicious recipes, cakes, and pastries for their growing set of foodies and followers.
Beef Taco Pizza
Grilled Vegetable Salad with Shoyu Vinaigrette
Gamberi in Aglio Oglio
That night, my parents and I were served a number of their best-selling dishes—Grilled Vegetable Salad with Shoyu Vinaigrette (Php 225), Beef Taco Pizza (Php 365), Chicken Pops (Php 160), Kani Clubhouse (Php 235), and Gamberi in Aglio Olio (Php 225). For dessert, we had their infamous Ube Empanada and a slice of Ube Yema cake.
Not gonna lie, their dishes all look like they came straight out of a home kitchen—like it was prepared with so much love and goodness. It’s the kind of comfort food you don’t mind indulging in and taking your time eating. If you’re looking for the familiarity and goodness of a home-cooked meal, Icings is your best bet.
My favorite dishes were the Beef Taco Pizza and Chicken Pops. The flavors just burst in your mouth, and the fact that it’s made with 100% natural ingredients makes you want to throw whatever diet you’re on outside the window and just keep eating. I was told by Ceyli herself that it’s best to eat the Beef Taco Pizza with my hands, and I’m glad I did. It was so much fun rolling the pizza like a lumpia, because you can really taste the soft texture of the pizza dough. The Chicken Pops, Candice told me, is a classic recipe of her mom’s that’s a favorite of everyone. She even shared a tip that I should try it with garlic rice, so I plan to order that the next time I visit.
I also liked the Gamberi in Aglio Oglio. It had just the right amount of spice, especially if you have a sensitive tongue like mine. The Kani Clubhouse was surprisingly refreshing. I thought it would be too filling, but the wasabi mayo was a great way to wake up my taste buds. Sweet tooths (again, like me) won’t be able to stop devouring the Ube Yema cake. It wasn’t too fluffy, and the sweetness was just right. Candice shared a funny story that this cake keeps evolving—it started out as a Halu-Halo Cake but eventually, they improved the recipe and came out with the fourth version, which is the Ube Yema.
It was a really pleasant evening getting to know the minds and hearts behind Icings Bakery and Cafe. My only regret is that I only tried the restaurant now, when the Cupcake and I always pass it everyday going to work. But it’s not too late, especially with Candice and Ceyli coming up with more innovative dishes to surprise and wow their guests. I’m definitely bringing the Cupcake there soon.
Icings Bakery and Cafe in Tomas Morato
101 Dr. Lazcano Street, Near Tomas Morato, Laging Handa, Quezon City