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What we're eating: Binka Bites from Millbrae

Uploaded: Jun 12, 2023
By Kate Bradshaw



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.

Nutella:
"Delightfully spongy, creamy and sweet"
"Perfect ratio of dough to topping, not too sweet or plain."
"Light and sweet (hint of coconut?), no hazelnut."

Ube:
"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.
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