Petra | Jordan. A rose-red city half as old as time
San Vicente | Palawan. Counting solitary strides.
Taj Mahal | India. A teardrop on the cheek of time
Catanduanes Island. Postcard-pretty slideshow.
Keep Kalm (at Kalanggaman Island | Leyte).
Nikko | Japan. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil in this UNESCO heritage town.
Counting temples in Bagan | Myanmar.
Chasing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.
Where to Stay? | Luxury, Backpacking & Glamping
Inaul Festival | Maguindanao. In homage of a weaving tradition
Rishikesh | India. a morning walk inside the Beatle's Ashram
Cairo | Egypt. a surreal moment at the great pyramids of giza

Scenic Golfing Greens and Fine French Culinary Experience at Baker J Café | Pampanga

 

Entering Quest Plus Clark's Mimosa Plus Golf Clubhouse, my attention was immediately drawn to  the brilliant sheen of the morning sun kissing the greens of the golf course. I sensed a lovely day ahead as I smelled the aroma of coffee and fresh pastries.


Heidi Manabat
Photo Credit: Baker J Cafe

It turns out, we will be having our brunch at Baker J Café, which has just opened their second full-service restaurant in this tranquil Chroma Hospitality property in the north.


Heidi Manabat
Some of Baker J Cafe's pastries

Baker J Café grew from humble beginnings as a virtual patisserie in 2020 to a go-to dining venue for individuals looking for edible joie de vivre, bringing the finest and fullest of the French culinary experience mixed flawlessly with local gastronomy.


Chroma Hospitality Inc. Country Manager, James Montenegro; Filinvest Hospitality Corporation Senior VP, Francis Gotianun; Quest Plus Conference Center – Clark and Mimosa Plus Golf GM, Michael Gapin; Quest Plus Conference Center – Clark Executive Chef, Jean Louise Leon; Chroma Hospitality Inc. VP for Sales & Marketing, Carmela Bocanegra

“We launched Baker J online in the middle of the quarantine as we saw an opportunity to sell healthy bakes and other bread and pastries,” shares Chroma Hospitality Country Manager, Mr. James Montenegro. “We opened our first full scale restaurant soon after at Crimson Filinvest City Alabang. The success has been overwhelming which prompted management to expand,”


The friendly staff of Baker J Cafe

Choosing Quest Plus Clark's Mimosa Plus Golf Course's newly renovated Clubhouse as its second location proved to be a wise decision. Both golfers and visitors to Clark will now have an opportunity to enjoy Baker J Café's signature classic and nouveau French baked goods, as well as to a curated breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu — in the presence of a picturesque setting surrounded by greens.


"Complet", like a complete brunch / breakfast

“At Baker J, we take pride of the French culinary experience — from sourcing the ingredients to the way the food is being prepared and served to the culinary artwork of our French chef Jean Louise Leon to the different types of cheeses and wines used in cooking. Everything else is taken in at its highest level,” Mr. Montenegro explains.


Baker J Café opening at Mimosa Plus Golf Clubhouse


Joining other travel and lifestyle writers, I attended the three-day media event where we got a taste of not only Quest Plus Clark's distinctive hospitality but also many of Baker J Cafe's scrumptious delicacies, plus a rolling tour of the whole Mimosa Plus Golf Course.


Heidi Manabat
Pancake with Blueberry Compote

I ordered an Eggs Benedict variation called Eggs Royale which came appealingly plated with smoked salmon, the savory and tangy Shakshuka — the vegetarian version — and some French pastries including my favorite, Petite Madeline and Kouign Amann, to go along with a cold brew coffee.


Some of Baker J Cafe's refreshing drinks

At the helm of Baker J Cafe's kitchen is French-born and -raised Jean Louise Leon, who also happens to be Quest Plus Clark's Executive Chef.


Baker J Cafe's interior

Chef Jean's interpretation on the classic French dish Coq Au Vin from Burgundy, which brilliantly shows the outstanding wines of the famed wine region, is one of the must-tries on the new menu.  


Heidi Manabat
Baker J pastries

No French breakfast is complete without trying out  Baker J's signature Confit de Canard. It is made with duck confit croquettes and served with green lentils and mizuna leaves in balsamic vinaigrette. Other must-try's includes the hearty yet light Pan-Seared Salmon Steak with Ratatouille; and, of course, the French staple brunch items such as the Salmon Tartine with Avocado and Goat's Cheese and the traditional Croque Monsieur with Grùyere.


Mimosa Plus Golf Course

After satisfying our French culinary cravings, we were taken on a rolling tour aboard a golf cart around the 175-hectare and 36-hole Mimosa Plus Golf course. During an earlier conversation with the management, we learned that upon taking over property management in 2016, Filinvest installed a rain bird irrigation control system to ensure minimal water and power usage in the maintenance of the golf course.


Rolling on a fleet of golf carts

The management was also forthright in admitting that they have not yet achieved net-zero emissions, but that they are actively working toward reaching that goal.


It was a lovely day indeed. A filling French brunch and a golf cart stroll through rolling greens of grass and century-old Acacia trees. Who knows, maybe the next time I go back, I'll tee off some shots and hit a hole-in-one — or maybe, sit through another round of French brunch at Baker J Café. That sounds fine with me.