Monday, June 20, 2016

Les Bagels: an extraordinary breakfast bagel restaurant in Ortigas

         Aldous of invited me to a unique food event at the Podium, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City. This time, we had bagels for breakfast. Lots and lots of bagels at LES Bagels. the restaurant concept is highly unique. The menu is mainly composed of these doughnut type dishes which come in different flavors complete with different sauces and fillings. The origins of the dish came from Europe but this was transplanted to America in the early 20th century by European immigrants who came to seek a new life in the country. The restaurant is owned by the same group that owns the wildly popular Borough in the Podium.

       According to the owners, the restaurant was conceptualized from their travels to New York. There, they learned about bagels as a breakfast dish enjoyed by people living in the city. The dish has become so popular that it has been served in different flavors with different toppings. Since they enjoyed the dish so much, they started to introduce it in Manila as a restaurant brand. Their flagship branch is in Tuscany Hill, BGC while the Podium branch in Ortigas opened just sometime this year.

      The bagels are baked fresh everyday in their BGC branch This is to ensure freshness and tastiness. Another interesting thing about the restaurant is that the menu was conceptualized by a Jewish chef with German origins who settled in the Philippines. He loves bagels so much that he made more than 10 different dips and 10 bagel variants for discerning customers. Take note that the dips are made of a cream cheese base mixed with different flavors such as scallions, truffles, fruits, herbs, smoked salmon, raisin, and caviar even.

         During the taste test, we were made to try out the plain, sesame, chocolate, raisin, whole wheat, garlic, black sesame, "everything", pumpernickel, and blue berry bagel variants. These were toasted to a crisp and served fresh off the oven. The bagels were priced at 40 php save for the whole wheat which is sold for 60 php. The dips were much pricier. Customers can choose whether these are served on a plate or on the bagel itself. Also, the dips on the plates can be served at small, medium, or large variants. The cheapest dips were sold for 160 pesos while the most expensive ones were served for 1150 pesos for a large amount. Since we were lucky, we had almost all of their dips served for our consumption. I'd say I loved the blueberry bagel as my personal favorite. The crisp exterior was filled with a juicy and moist blue berry filling. Also, dipping it with the sweet blueberry dip (160 pesos for small) was truly heavenly for me. As one who loves and swears by the tastiness of blueberry, I can truly say that this awesome combination made my month. 

          My second place favorites include the garlic bagel mixed with scallion or chives dips. I also love this spice overload; and I attest to the explosion of sharp, tangy flavors while eating this combination. For those seafood lovers, the smoked salmon dip caters to the palate. Fruit lovers can try the strawberry dip variant or the apple cinnamon one. Bacon lovers can get a fix through the bacon cheddar dip. In sum, the bagels were simply the pastries where you put the tasty dips while the latter served as a the source of slightly salty and awesome flavors.

      Dessert was also tasty in this place. We had the oatmeal cookies, chocolate cookies, and brownies. While still not officially offered, we were able to savor these new creations. I especially loved the cookies for their outburst of sweetness. I'd definitely go back to savor more of these bagels and desserts.

          LES Bagels is located at 2/F, Podium Mall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City. You can visit their FB page at

The story in pictures:

Different bagel variants on display. The blueberry bagel rocks.

The different dips. I prefer the blueberry dip on the left and the chives dip on the far right.

Another shot of the bagels

The storefront

The display board

The counter

The table arrangement

The menu

Bagels for display purposes

The counter

The menu.

Freshly baked variants

That creamy blueberry filling inside the bagel

Chopped off bagels

Dessert! I especially loved the cookies.

L.E.S. Bagels Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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