Friday, July 7, 2023

Let's Talk Detroit Style Pizza and Bagels with Chef Aaron Lau at EAPPOC Pizza and Booya Bagels

The Grandma Pizza. The EAPPOC Roni Cup. And The Russian. Add the Italian Bagel Sandwich and Beef Bulgogi Bagel Sandwich too. Chef Aaron Lau has a lot to say when it comes to Detroit Style Pizza and bagels, and he's raising the bar with his lavish and savory creations at EAPPOC Pizza and Booya Bagels...

Call him a visionary. A perfectionist. Or even a rebellious renegade out to change the system. Chef Aaaron Lau is all that and then some. Pizza and bagels are steeped in tradition with its own set of rules. Chef Aaron Lau showcases his own uniquely inventive spins at EAPPOC Pizza and Booya Bagels. And he'd rather let his Grandma Pizza, EAPPOC Roni Cup, The Russian, Italian Bagel Sandwich and Beef Bulgogi Bagel Sandwich do all the talking...

A seasoned veteran of the culinary scene, Chef Aaron Lau honed his skills with stints abroad including db Bistro Moderne by Daniel Boulud in New York. While in New York, Chef Aaron was captivated by The Big Apple's iconic staples, pizza and bagels. The idea for his very own concept for pizza and bagels sparked a dream of transforming simple food and elegantly elevating it for a new dining experience. Along with partner and co-founder Nikki Oropesa-Lau, Easy as Pie, Piece of Cake or simply EAPPOC Pizza and Booya Bagels came to life at the height of the long days of the quarantine experience. From a different point of view, the timing seemed right despite the uncertainty of the times. Like the old saying, there's always two sides to any crisis. And Chef Aaron felt it was the perfect opportunity to offer his specialty pizza and bagels.

His experience at a renowned world class kitchen taught him a few simple lessons, including only using the best and finest ingredients for fresh and real flavors matched with a perfectionist's approach to execution with time-tested techniques. Made from scratch with absolutely no short cuts, each pizza and bagel from EAPPOC Pizza and Booya Bagels reflect his uncompromising commitment to quality from the tedious fermentation process of the specialty dough to the special proprietary sauces and toppings. And you'll soon find out that this simple philosophy immediately becomes evident from the very first bite.  

My first encounter with EAPPOC Pizza happened during the early days of the pandemic with a delivery (more on that experience on my earlier post, ECQ Eats: Detroit Style Pizza? Make That Easy as Pie, Piece of Cake. By EAPPOC Pizza. from September 2021 and Experience the Crowning Glory of Detroit Style Pizza at EAPPOC Pizza from August last year). That Meatball Detroit Style Pizza from two years back along with the EAPPOC Roni Cup just opened up a whole new perspective on the perfect Detroit Style with its delicately crisp wall of dough and cheese frico lining its edges.

Each slice and bite makes the case for Chef Aaron, and he doesn't even have to say a word. For Chef Aaron, the proof is in the pudding. Or in this case, his specialty creations at EAPPOC Pizza. Let's take a bigger bite and closer look...

The Grandma Pizza or White Pizza (P 585) topped with four cheeses, garlic and herbs on a sesame thin crust is Chef Aaron's homage to a Long Island classic. Baked on a rectangular sheet pan and simply topped with cheeses, the rectangular pizza is then sliced into squares reflecting the humble and rustic homestyle origins by Italian immigrants using simple and readily available ingredients at home.

Chef Aaron then adds his own creative touch transforming the simple pizza with his own proprietary four cheese blend with garlic and herbs on a crisp crust with sesame seeds. 

The flavors are simple, honest and uncluttered with each bite delivering a rich, creamy and flavorful burst from the four cheeses followed by the subtle and lingering hints of garlic and herbs adding depth to the comforting notes. The addition of sesame seeds to the crisp crust elevates the traditional Long Island classic with lavish layers of both texture and flavor along with the indulgent blend of premium cheeses, garlic and herbs. Creating pure joy from the simplest things is a personal mantra and signature trademark at EAPPOC Pizza.

The world's favorite and most popular pizza topping is celebrated with EAPPOC Pizza's bestselling EAPPOC Roni Cup (P 1,100) with Chef Aaron's own EAPPOC Cheese Blend and premium pepperoni served with a side of fortified marinara. The sharp savory notes of the pepperoni punches through lingering on the palate and smoothened by the rich cheese blend. A dab of the fortified marinara brings out even more flavors for a solid craving busting pizza.

The unique Detroit Style complements the hearty blend of flavors from the pepperoni, cheeses and fortified marinara with its unique texture as the base. The corners are the first to go, and understandably so with two full sides of the crisp frico for that true Detroit Style experience. That's the crowning glory of the Detroit Style. But I'll have the middle squares any time with pizza this good.

The crisp crown around the edges gives this Detroit Style Pizza that signature look, mouthfeel, texture and finish that Chef Aaron has perfected since he opened EAPPOC Pizza. And that pepperoni, curled into a cup rendered with its own oils is the proverbial feather in the cap. Rich, bold and savory layered with a creamy finish from the blend of premium cheeses, the EAPPOC Roni Cup is the best way to get acquainted with EAPPOC Pizza's Detroit Style creations.

But there's one pizza that literally takes the cake defining the quintessential EAPPOC Pizza experience...

With its near mythic cult status, The Russian (P 2,450) is probably the most elegant expression of the Detroit Style yet with its layers of house cured Lox, lump fish caviar, salmon roe, EAPPOC Cheese Blend 2.0, lemon-vodka cream, creamy house Ranch, onions, spring onions and fresh dill on a crisp Detroit Style crust. Just look at it, it's probably the most indulgent rectangular pizza ever. 

Feeding the eyes before the palate, the vibrant colors becomes a visual cue of the elegant weave of contrasting yet balanced flavors and textures on a Detroit Style crust. And Chef Aaron pulls all the stops with The Russian for the most indulgent slice of pizza in the metro.

That buttery and melt-in-your-mouth house cured salmon, the burst of briny sweetness from the caviar and salmon roe, the silky smooth indulgence of the lemon vodka cream and house ranch, the creamy richness of the updated EAPPOC Cheese Blend 2.0 and the fresh, clean hints and bite of the onions, spring onions and dill come together seamlessly for pure indulgence. 

The use of fresh and premium ingredients along with the masterful execution perfected by Chef Aaron combine for an elevated Detroit Style expression unlike any other. Pizza was never this decadent or opulent. And you'll only find it at EAPPOC Pizza.

In between slices and bites, Chef Aaron served his equally indulgent Burrata with cherry tomatoes draping the palate with a lavish richness. The fresh tartness from the cherry tomatoes cuts through the creamy notes and textures of the burrata for that balanced finish. The finest ingredients transforms any dish, no matter how simple. But this was sort of like a palate cleanser before the next batch of specialty offerings prepared that day by Chef Aaron...

...with his Bagel Sandwiches from Booya Bagels (for more on Booya Bagels, see my post #banginNYStylebagels: Now, These Bagels are Bangin'. At Booyah Bagels... from September last year). Another New York icon receives Chef Aaron's creative makeover highlighting Italian and Korean flavors for a filling and satisfying meal in itself. And just like his Detroit Style Pizza, Chef Aaron prefers his bagels do all the talking. 

The Booya Italian Bagel Sandwich (P 420) is a fully loaded meal in a bagel layered and stacked with Pepperoni, Salami, Ham, Cream Cheese, Cheddar Cheese and Mozzarella Cheese slathered with Honey Mustard on a fresh baked Sesame Bagel. And just like his pizza, Chef Aaron has mastered the traditional art of the classic bagel, becoming the perfect vessel for a variety of flavorful possibilities.  

The Booya Italian Bagel Sandwich with its impressive stack of cured meats and premium cheeses is one savory and tasty offer you just can't refuse at Booya Bagels. The soft yet dense and hearty bagel maintains its form all the way to the last bite with the each of the layers of meats and cheeses packing serious flavors. You can also enjoy the traditional Lox and Bagel at Booya Bagels, or change up your bagel game with the Booya Italian Bagel Sandwich. And it's a welcome change. 

Chef Aaron gets even more creative with his Beef Bulgogi Bagel Sandwich (P 485) for an east-west combo that just works. Imagine tender and juicy USDA Angus Beef Bulgogi slathered in kimchi mayo topped with fried egg, Cheddar Cheese and scallion salad on Chef Aaron's Sana Ol bagel. The Sana Ol variant is Chef Aaron's Asian version of his Everything Bagel, this time topped with peanuts, kaffir lime, pinipig, dilis and chili flakes pairing well with the savory beef bulgogi. And no, you won't find a bagel like Sana Ol anywhere except at Booya Bagels.

From the USDA Beef Bulgogi to the fried egg, the kimchi mayo, cheese and scallion salad, the Beef Bulgogi Bagel Sandwich is comfortingly familiar yet at the same time refreshingly different and unique. The complex flavors from the savory filling to the bagel itself complements the other delivering unrestrained notes with each bite.

When it comes to pizza and bagels, Chef Aaron has some definite and firm ideas on the traditional and iconic staples. But he would much rather have you experience his culinary philosophy and style with a bite. So come hungry, and let the house specialties of  EAPPOC Pizza and Booya Bagels do all the talking...

EAPPOC Pizza and Booya Bagels are located at at LPL Suites, 112 Legaspi Street, Greenbelt, Makati or call 0917 183 8817 for details. You can also check out their website at, their FB Pages at and as well as their IG Feed at @eappocpizza and for more information and updates.

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