I’m big on breakfast. I eat it every morning, and when I can, I even eat breakfast food for dinner. What I eat for breakfast is dependent on what I ate the night before and how much time I have that morning. My weekday breakfasts are quite the boring affair of some disgustingly nutritious cereal and milky coffee, and then it’s off to the gym for me. There are days however where I wake up and make whatever I happened to dream about the night before: usually scones with nuggets of chocolate or pancakes. Lately, I’ve been tinkering around with whole wheat versions of biscuits an addition to breakfast that’s welcomed by no one in my household except me.
Of course I love eating out for breakfast, usually on the weekends. My new a.m. pleasure is having breakfast at The Columns, the 30-storey residential tower of Ayala Land that sits pretty at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Buendia. Restaurants have slowly begun opening for business at the ground floor of the building: Starbucks, New Bombay Canteen, Earle’s Deli, newsstand Mag:Net, and Kopi Roti which has finally opened its Makati branch.
I’ve written about this Singaporean coffee house before and detailed how I would drive all the way to Morato in Quezon City just to get my kaya jam on toast-poached eggs-coffee-with-condensada fix. Admittedly, my excitement was dampened somewhat when I discovered that Kopi Roti’s Makati branch was at The Columns. Questions of “Where to park?” resounded in my head.
Little do I know that adequate parking space is found along Malugay street just behind The Columns, facing the Makati Fire Station. This is where I find one of the lobby entrances to the building manned by security guards. I drive up and tell them that I’m going to eat at Kopi Roti and they detach the chain link barrier that opens up a parking space for me. Yahoo! On this early Saturday morning, I can’t assume that the same can be said on a weekday, but weekends work out perfectly.
Coming around the back, I see a couple eating at New Bombay for breakfast (!) and a man outside Kopi Roti waiting patiently for his order. A cool breeze envelops me so I opt to eat outside as well. Because it’s a Saturday, Makati becomes a virtual ghost town. An easy silence pervades, interrupted only by the occasional wheezing of a bus barreling by and the footsteps of pedestrians. As for pollution, save for the errant vehicles, there is none. The air I’m breathing in is whole and pure ”“ or as pure as can be given that this is Manila, after all. I’m a city girl at heart and it takes a helluva lot of pollution to get me down.
Eating at Kopi Roti is never an eat-and-run affair. It takes at least ten minutes for the coffee to come out, and seven minutes to prepare the eggs, so I consider this a leisurely meal. The coffee’s dark earthiness is cut by the smoothness of the condensed milk, its sweetness merely a fleeting presence on my tongue. The eggs ”“ hold the soy sauce, please ”“ are ever so gently boiled just ”˜til the whites have gelled. The yolks quiver with the saucer’s slightest movement, their golden goodness erupting when I pierce them naughtily with the tip of my kaya toast. Today I try Kopi Roti’s coffee bun, a very different specimen from those of Roti Mum or Delifrance. This one is crunchier with more fragile edges and an almost wet butter center. I dip the bun into my coffee and smile as it disintegrates in my mouth.
As I eat, I gaze at Makati Med in the distance and see the rows of fast food joints on the other side of Ayala Avenue. I look up and admire The Columns, the building stretching out almost to eternity, and then I squint as the sun suddenly shines down from behind a cloud playing a sort of peek-a-boo, its glowing orb looking like the center of my eggs’ golden yolks that are now nothing but yellow streaks on my glass plate.
Kopi Roti at The Columns
Ayala Avenue corner Buendia, Makati