No bleak moments at Shine (restaurant review)

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The first time I ate at Shine Bakery and Cafe was on a whim. My comrades for the day (my mom, my sister and her husband) and I didn’t go there because we read some review or saw in on a “top ten” list.

We first spotted it after emerging from Toy Kingdom, which was right across from it. What attracted us to the restaurant was the way it looked on the outside: it was clad with typography and steampunk-inspired decals, and a free-standing chalkboard was shouting out the promo of the day (during our visit, it was all about chili cheese dogs, but more on that later). Although we initially passed on it, recalling the menu we saw outside ultimately reeled us back in.

Brightly lit and bedecked with pops of pastel, the inside looked like a candy store, perfectly understandable since their main pull was their line of sweet treats. Don’t be fooled, though; they have a pretty hefty list of savory meals jumping from European to American and even Asian in case you need to fill up before getting your just desserts (see what I did there?). The place was also quite literally sparkling clean partly because of all the glass, and the servers fast and friendly.

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We had no idea what the must-tries on the menu were so we had to wing it. From the “hero burgers” list, I asked for an order of medium rare Classic Cheeseburger Sliders: Angus beef topped with veggies and cheese slices, all tucked into mini brioche buns. Biting into the palm-sized burgers was heaven; the beef was well-seasoned and so juicy, it was dripping down my hands (not that I cared). The sliders came with a side of homemade potato chips – crispy, salty and paper-thin, just the way I like ’em – and some tangy bourbon aioli dip.

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Classic sliders

My brother-in-law got a regular-sized burger. I forgot what it’s called but it also had an Angus beef patty, apparently a staple in all their beef burgers. What I won’t forget was smack on top of the patty was a deep-fried whole jalapeño slathered with cheese sauce. Yes. And if you think it tastes as devilish as it sounds, you’d be correct. It too was juicy and seasoned well, plus the jalapeño lent the whole thing just the right amount of heat.

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Angus beef burger (yes, that’s a cheese-covered, deep-fried whole jalapeño)

We grabbed a couple of pasta dishes too. My mom ordered the fettuccine tossed with some cream sauce and topped with a dollop of black truffle. The dish was, in lack of a better word, savory. It was like carbonara kicked up a luxurious notch. My sister, on the other hand, stuck with the traditional version (she has this thing about judging a restaurant based on their carbonara). It was pretty OK, but what stood out for me was the thinly sliced and very crispy pieces of bacon on top.

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Fettuccine with black truffle
Carbonara
Carbonara

Because we ordered two items from the hero burgers menu, we got two chili cheese dogs for free. Each dog was topped with chili, cheese, and slices of jalapeño. I’ve never been a fan of putting beans in bread (which is why I don’t eat burritos, either), so I didn’t like that part. Otherwise, that dog was pretty darned tasty.

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Chili cheese dog

Once again, I committed the grave mistake of not ordering dessert, especially considering it’s primarily a bakery and cafe. After wolfing down my meal and grabbing bites and forkfuls from neighboring plates, I had to pass on their cupcakes, éclairs, and cakes. Oh well, that’ll be the motivation I need to come back.

The items on the menu are a bit on the pricey side, but considering the portions and flavors you get, you won’t suffer from buyer’s remorse.

Overall rating:

Shine Bakery and Cafe
3/F SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City

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