I’ve been meaning to write about this place for a while, except that I want to keep it a secret.
But I’ve figured out a compromise.
The first time I set foot in its tiled wooden floors was by accident. I wasn’t supposed to be there, but my car was coded. To kill time I wanted to see some friends but they ended up dragging me to a Bible study with the promise that it was only a short one. (self: should have trusted your gut)
In any case, it brought about a great thing: the discovery of Another Happy Place.
The criteria for A Happy Place is simple: good place + good food + an ambiance where you feel as though you have your own private corner in the multiverse (while you’re served food and drink) with decent music that doesn’t compete with your vocal chords. Having passed the test, I hereby dub thee, It-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, A Happy Place.
Good memories since: hanging out with amazing people, a book date (in which I read parts of The Hobbit), a work date (with my beloved ID partner and the unstoppable machine Vera), getting new perspectives on God, and making new friends.
Predominant textures: smoothened concrete, wood, red bricks, and shiny metal. The space is industrial, modern, but cozy. To whomever architect/interior designer designed it: I’d love to meet you someday and personally thank you for creating just-the-right-kind-of-nook here in Manila. In the meantime, I send you good vibes from this humble post.
This place offers breakfast, meals (sandwiches, pasta, entrees), coffee & tea, dessert, wine and some cocktails. For smokers/humidity-loving-people, there’s an outdoor area where you can hang out beneath the branches of plank trees.
Among the entrees, I’ve tried two dishes. They did not disappoint.
The first is the Salpicao, which has a mild spiciness in its olive oil sauce. It’s a simple dish with garlic, mushroom, and medium-well beef chunks. The olive oil was great mixed with the rice, so book date doggy bagged the excess home.
The second entree is the Lamb Caldereta. A single serving could actually be good for two not-so-hungry girls, and if they share a dessert, their fullness level will be just right. For the price, it’s pretty reasonable. The dish has tender lamb chunks with all the good stuff: a small roasted onion that melts in your mouth with a subtle sweetness + roasted garlic cloves + soft roasted bell pepper + black and green olives + baby potatoes. I usually don’t eat rice, but for this dish I’ll make an exception. Best way to eat it: transfer rice to meat plate and mix it all up. YUM.
The Frutti di Mare pasta is also a recommendable dish. Tasty oil-based sauce and with a decent amount of seafood.
Their house salad was topped with tender baby arugula leaves, to my absolute JOY. (The best salads are made of young, baby leaves.) The blue cheese was separated, because I hate blue cheese. Reduced balsamic dressing was also separated, because I like my greens un-drenched.
Because no meal/Happy Place is complete without dessert, they have a variety of desserts to offer such as flourless chocolate cake, cheesecakes, muffins, cookies, silvannas, eclaires, etc. They also serve gelato.
Among their coffee selections, I’ve tasted their nutcracker latte which comes in a nice tall mug. It wasn’t too sweet, had a nice froth on top, and was not overpoweringly hazelnut and macadamia (because it had those syrups).
I have yet to try their tea, but every time I’m about to order tea from a commercial establishment, I can’t help but think of how overpriced these things generally might be, and how I can just put some leaves in hot water at home. Their selections are interesting though. I might try some one of these days.
I won’t say more about this place, so I leave you with pictures.