CafĂ©s as beautiful as the food they serve.
I donât usually take photos of the places I eat in, itâs just not my thing for several reasons â the privacy of other patrons comes to mind; and I often get lost in the food anyway. But the following places are so thoughtfully conceived and well-designed that I canât help but take photos. When ambience matters, these places will please.
Absolutely nowhere near me, coming over here entails military-like precision and planning. I hate that because I like it here so much. Just like CaffĂ© Bene, CafĂ© Shibuya is a paean to thick toasts.
Of course Iâm immediately drawn to the cluster of chalkboard art.
The Original Shibuya Honey Toast, the regular (P175) version, because who am I to get the baby portion (P145)? As purist as can be, and a pleasure it is. The toast is exceptional, feather-light and blissfully buttery, a pillow on which the honey and vanilla ice cream come to rest, then melt…
In Manila, the best Japanese hamburger is found at Arafu CafĂ© but CafĂ© Shibuya does a comparable version.
Scarsdale was the name of the diet that I was on in high school. I donât remember much about it except that I was ingesting large amounts of yogurt and cheating on cold mangoes. Go figure.
Anyway, this Scarsdale is much better. An ode to resident Chef Carlo Miguelâs time spent in Scarsdale, New York, and a glamorized re-do of GoNuts Donuts. The bakery-cafĂ©âs interiors are cleverly designed, and there are many well-lit nooks perfect for positioning and picture-taking.
Flowcharts and diagrams â gustatory guides of sorts.
They serve brunch but today Iâm just having the specials: the croughnuts and donuts.
You can take GoNuts Donuts out of the mall but itâs still the same donut. Itâs gummy and wrong, texture-wise. The server is kind enough to nuke it for a few seconds though, upon request, and itâs slightly improved.
I much prefer the croughnuts here. There are the little bites and the regular sized specimen here is their banner Carloâs Favorite. My favorite cronut is the one from Yamato Bakery but this comes second â on the condition that itâs freshly cooked which this one is. The dulce de leche filling gushes out gloriously, a contrast to the crisp and crunch of the pastryâs spiral layers.
My coffee guru friend Zarah and I are in Tobyâs Estate on the day they open last March. We have the place to ourselves and we love it. Iâve been back once since then but Iâve yet to try their food. Still, no one can deny how understatedly stunning this place is.
This is how it looked when food wasnât served yet.
On that first day, weâre taken behind the bar and shown how this Italian Stallion of an espresso machine works. Itâs painfully gorgeous to look at. And touch.
Nowadays, everyone knows about the off-menu Gibraltar, and the deeply chocolate Hot Chocolate. But Iâll still swear by the Americano any day. Because Iâm a purist.
This is an incredible place with truly superlative coffee.
G/F UP Town Center, Katipunan, Quezon City
Open daily from 10am.
On Facebook & Instagram: CafeShibuya
Scarsdale Artisanal Delights
514 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.
Open daily from 9am-9pm.
On Twitter and Instagram: @scarsdale_ph.
3rd Level, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue corner Salamanca Street, Makati
125 L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati
Open daily from 7am.
On Instagram: TobysEstatePH