Binka Bites are inspired by a rice cake from the Philippines. Photo by Kate Bradshaw.
Binka Bites, a dessert shop inspired by bibingka, a type of rice cake from the Philippines, now has two locations: a new shop in Millbrae and a South San Francisco outpost.
The brand, established in 2012, offers desserts that have a similar consistency to mochi cupcakes, with an added coconut flavor.
At Binka Bites, there are a variety of flavors, including s'mores, mocha cookie crumble, Nutella and ube – with different fillings including langka, macapuno and flan, plus salted egg and cheese, dulce almonds, matcha custard and mango cream flavors. They also offer baked mochi donuts in three flavors: ube, Nutella waffle cone and Guava Brava; cake cups from the Chinita Baker; and espresso drinks.
I was determined to try some, so after striking out by catching the South San Francisco location just after it closed, I headed for the Millbrae spot, which closes later. I picked up a regular Nutella Binka Bite cupcake for me and a dozen mini bites, with four each of three flavors: Nutella, ube and cookies and cream, to share with colleagues.
My Nutella bibingka was spongy and moist, topped with a comforting dollop of Nutella. I warmed it up before eating it so the Nutella was extra melty. It was a hit, but I couldn't quite find the words to describe the texture.
So I asked staff members throughout the newsroom to try one of the mini bibingka bites – called "binkies" – in order to group-source some words and phrases they thought of when they ate these mini-desserts.
Here are their responses.
"Delightfully spongy, creamy and sweet"
"Perfect ratio of dough to topping, not too sweet or plain."
"Light and sweet (hint of coconut?), no hazelnut."
"Surprising but subtle flavor. Moist. Slightly chewy. Very soft, like a pillow. Sweet with a delightful hint of salt."
"Delightful texture, but I can't really taste the yam."
Cookies and cream:
"The frosting is so creamy and luscious."
"The cake is moist; the perfect amount!"
Binka Bites, 979 Broadway Unit 106, Millbrae, 650-296-8215; 304 Alida Way, South San Francisco, 650-787-9010; Instagram: @binkabites.