One of the best bakeries in London is on its way back after a long hiatus, and it’s bringing sweet, sticky bibingka to the party.
Kapihan, which put out peerless pan de adobo, pan de coco, and single origin Filipino coffees in Battersea until autumn 2021, is returning to southwest London this January. Brothers and sister Nigel, David, and Rosemary Motley, along with David’s wife, Plams, will revive their expression of the islands’s baking and coffee cultures at 547 Battersea Park Road.
Unlike the previous Kapihan — and Kape and Pan, a popular pop-up in St. Giles — the new version will be squarely focussed on bibingka.
“Bibingka was always the best seller from our first Kapihan amongst the varied selection we offered. Traditionally served as a sweet pairing with our coffee menu it was through bakery experiments during Covid lockdown we trialled many versions,” Nigel said.
Those experiments, and time away from the city, have brought this new focus on an endlessly iterative bake based on glutinous rice and coconut milk, that can be rendered savoury or sweet. A special weekend version, served whole to be shared, will incorporate ube halaya, salted egg, and queso de bola
The new cafe will also focus on Southeast Asian coffee varietals too rarely seen on London cafe menus, sourced and roasted by the brothers with a little fun along the way. The first guest coffee on the menu will be a Thai coffee, produced using the “natural process” which sees coffee cherries dried like grapes in the sun before extracting the seeds. It lends a rich, sometimes boozy quality to the coffee, with heavy sweetness. The fun comes in some kubo floats, made with espresso, sparkling water, muscovado syrup, and a whipped oat cream.
Its previous cafe on Parkgate Road closed after a new landlord took over the property and decided to convert it into flats. Since then, the Kapihan founders have returned to the Phillippines, to both hone their new London operation and establish a presence on the islands.