Tucked away in the back of one of several shopping centers along a very consumer-friendly street, House of Silvanas
(2055 Gellert at King, Daly City) offers cool treats from the Philippines to those lucky enough to stumble on it. The small bakery is operated by Crissy and Manu Sagarbarria, the son and daughter-in-law of the owners of this Manila-based mini-chain. Crissy is usually there to provide the friendliest customer service you've probably received in a while.
The namesake silvanas look like giant, crumb-dusted French macaroons. Both are largely comprised of meringue, but silvanas rely on the heft of crushed cashews and a generous swipe of buttercream filling, and are ideally served straight out of the freezer. The lighter crunch has more in common with astronaut ice cream, actually. And while the French rely on flavors such as rose and violet, the bright colors of silvanas reference tastes like ube, pandan, and buko.
"They're basically the cookie version of the sans rival
," explained Crissy Sagarbarria of the cashew and buttercream-rich cake that we will have to return for when we have the foresight to order it two days in advance -- and, perhaps, have a few more inches to spare on our waistline.
In the meantime, we feel quite satiated and happy with our box of mixed silvanas and a (now empty) bag of miniature pastries and confections, including butterscotch date bars called "Food of the Gods" and crumbly polvaron
milk candy. We got a little lost trying to find this spot, labeled as "Bake Shop" on the shopping center sign from the street view. We're glad we didn't give up.