Ever imagined café and camera combined?
It’s a good thing to see that Metro Manila is embracing and welcoming cafes lately. You see owners thriving to have their coffee aroma stand out from the crowd, and how they burn the oil to think of concepts that will entice their target market. Having coffee shops is one great risk to take, aside from great competitors, you have to think of a bizarre yet one-of-a-kind approach that can make the people say ‘Yes’ to your cafe. Fortunately, we’ve found one who took the chance of taking their cafe to the next level with the infusion of photography in every aspect. So clean out your lenses and zoom it in to this quaint, little café along Maginhawa street- Caffera Café the first photography themed café in the Metro.
I’ve been into several cafés and Caffera is that one place that really made a difference among all. From their walls, lights, and even to their mugs, you can vouch that this place is all about pictures, and cameras. It can accommodate up to 15 patrons both inside and out (veranda), it might be too small but with the coffee, food, and creativity splashed into this café, you’ll surely spend more time than what you desire. So let me take you on a tour of this awe-inspiring place.
Caffera Menu and Counter
Caffera didn’t fail in bringing out photography out of its lenses and frames because even in their menu, photography has its presence. Instead of having Frappuccino, they turned it into Frapperture, and instead of the usual hot coffee names they mashed it up with Instagram filters like X-PRO Espresso, Amaro Cano, and Lomo Latte. Also, they didn’t stick with the tall, grande, and venti sizes. They had it the Caffera way- it is Pixel and Megapixel. Creativity at its finest!
We had their best sellers Caramel and Tiramisu Frapperture Php 130.00 each with whipped cream topped with a tiny fondant 2D DSLR. We also tried Chocolate chip cookie smores for Php 110.00. Its sweetness is just right. I just love how they opted to have cookie chips than the usual graham crackers for s’mores.
Chocolate chip cookie s’mores
Photography fever doesn’t stop there. Who could ever thought that you can have camera lenses as substitute for mugs and for lights? Well, Caffera took the shot. You might not believe at first but once you got a hold of the camera lenses, you’ll have the same reaction as mine “pwede pala to!” Aside from having these, they got their walls clothed with photographs that add ups more to the vibe.
Camera lens mugs
Camera lights (see how innovative they are)
If photos can be hanged up on a wall then the same thing goes with real life cameras. I am a fan of vintage cameras and when I saw them, I thought of snatching them out and taking them home, but I guess it’s better just to leave them right where they are. They also have a spot for your notes and for your calling cards. So better grab that chance to post your calling card because who knows, maybe an unlocked door can be opened.
Cameras hanged on the wall
“When life gets blurry adjust your focus”
You can also post your calling cards
The people behind Caffera are not the usual people you’ll expect to see in the business industry because they are actually students! Caffera is owned by Jyka Espinoza, Jizel Hacutina, Gabriel Valera, and Kevin Yu who are all senior Entrepreneur students of University of Santo Tomas. They had it started September last year as an implementation for their thesis, and with Caffera’s outcome I bet they deserve a flat one for this one. Evidently, Caffera is the outcome of Café and Camera. I asked them why they opted to have photography concept instead of contemporary, and they said that they’ve observed that this is a season where most of the people took photos of the food they eat and places they go to. Caffera plans to expand for a bigger place to accommodate more customers, and they are also open for events since they plan to have a Cafe booth. So you better go and check them out.
I’m just glad that I was able to visit this place. Aside from the way its interior and the food is designed, conceptualized and presented, and the way imagination and inventiveness has been set free in its walls, what amazes me is the fact that this is actually owned by four graduating students. Well I guess being in the business is not a matter of money (well just second in the priority list) but a matter of faith. Will you see it as a risk or as a chance? And with these students they risked to see it as a chance, and it is. Kudos to the brave hearts of these four young people!
Address: 2/F Dona Zenona Suites, 54 Maginhawa street cor Mahusay, UP Village
When you talk about food spots, Maginhawa Street in UP Village will always be on the list. It is a long street surrounded by food establishments rendering their own recipe of unique and creative must-try food and meals, with these, Maginhawa made its way on the culinary map.
It’s been a long time since we’ve been into Maginhawa, and if my memory serves me right it was because of Food Festival why we were there. Just a few days ago, We spent half a day and tried two food spots- Jek’s Kubo Bulalo at Ulo-Ulo along Maginhawa and The Wicked Kitchen (corner Makadios and Maginahawa) and for this reason, this article is entitled “The Wicked Bulalo”
Jek’s Kubo Bulalo at Ulo-Ulo
It is my second time in Jek’s and up until now I still don’t know who Jek is. We found our spot at the corner of the establishment and ordered their well-known Bulalo for Php 150.00 that can be shared by two people. It is a place jazzed up with a carenderia style which makes it more comforting to their diners. The color motif, brown, gray, white and highlights of yellow gave the refreshing atmosphere and it piled up more when our Bulalo was served. I expected the Bulalo served piping hot but ours was just warm, not what we’ve expected but the meat is extraordinarily soft, and the veggies left us with a crunch- just right for our taste buds.
Bulalo Specialty Php 150.00
Aside from Bulalo they also offer Ulo-Ulo sa Miso (Php 130.00) another specialty, and their Kubo Favorites such as Adobo Flakes (Php 80.00), Beef Salpicao (Php 95.00), and Beef Tapa (Php 80.00)
The Wicked Kitchen
We opted to have our dessert at The Wicked Kitchen without the thought that it will be a long walk from Jek’s Kubo to our targeted place. We’ve almost scoured the entire length of Maginhawa from Jek’s Bulalo to Sikatuna Village just to look for Wicked Kitchen. Finally, after a few stop overs, we have at last gasp a sigh of relief when we found it located at the corner of Maginhawa and Makadios street. The place is cozy with typography prints on the walls, and gives a modern minimalist vibe. The black and red interior identifies why they’re named Wicked Kitchen.
We spotted Wicked Kitchen at the second floor of the establishment. The place is roomy and can accommodate more or less 15 people. The crew are also friendly, so don’t be hesitant and feel free to ask them the must-try food on their list, especially their sweets!
Gluttony Php 170.00
We tried to have Gluttony their bestseller for our dessert which is good for two (Php 170.00) and it is really a must try. Gluttony is a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie with mantecado ice cream on top, a great compliment to the crunchy on the outside and chewy in the inside cookie. The ice cream scoop wasn’t that generous that’s why we ran out of ice cream or maybe because we ate most of it, but in any case this place is really a go-to. Truly a Wicked experience.
Other Wicked Menu
Jek’s Bulalo and Wicked Kitchen escapade was a great choice. It might be a long tedious walk from Jek’s to Wicked Kitchen but it was worth it! Follow them now on their facebook pages:
I love pasta. Especially the kind of pasta that suits to one’s student allowance. I remember having pesto as my only lunch during college, just to get by the whole week chockfull of deadlines, projects, and exams and from there I realized I’ll never get tired of eating pesto. That’s why whenever I see pasta/pesto in the menu, ‘one pesto please!’ will always be my reflex. Few days ago, I together with my friends scoured the busy streets of Manila- Recto to UST Dapitan. I had them try the student-budget pasta of Pasta plate which ranges from Php 55.00 to Php 120.00 and rice meals from Php 69.00 to Php 164.00.
Pasta Plate have their branches at UST Dapitan and Taft. It’s a quaint little establishment whose interior is clothed with red and green color motif. The one located UST Dapitan is not too spacious and can only accommodate a handful of friends but still a good place to stay and have your student-budget pasta.
They offer wide arrays of Pasta, Pizzas, and Paninis. We had our lunch and ordered Chicken Ala King (Php 75.00), Chicken Fillet Pesto (Php 85.00), and Ham and Bacon Carbonara (Php 75.00). They are generous with their servings! The Chicken Pesto is just right for its price, but if you want to try other pesto I recommend Sardine Pesto just for Php. 70.00 (sulit talaga!). When it comes to carbonara craving, Pasta plate will never fail you. The Ham and Bacon Carbonara has the right sauce texture and will make you lick clean your plate , while with the Chicken Ala King, I was looking for the creaminess of the sauce but nonetheless it’s still good for its price.
Chicken Ala King
Ham and Bacon Carbonara
Pasta Plate is a one of the food spots that must be visited around UST. If you want to have the student friendly prices for pasta I recommend this place. Also try their Banana & Nutella Panini and Churros con Chocolate.
When it comes to sweets chocolates are what first pops into my mind but never macarons! I guess only one in a million would crave for macarons than chocolates. Well, macarons have never crossed my mind when it comes to sweets. I rarely see them, and only a handful does sell macarons in the metro but whenever I get to see them in bazaars and malls, I get enthralled by the set of jam filling sandwiched between two colored cookies. I love how they come in various colors! I’ve never risked to try macarons up until my sister led me to Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Café, just a few blocks away from the hustle and bustle street of Tomas Morato Quezon City.
Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Café is a picturesque, tiny two storey establishment, with delicate doodles on their windows and walls, and white-washed DIY furniture concept. The place is fitting for only twelve to fifteen regulars. If you are looking for a great place to brush off some workload and spend some time with your family and friends, then Mrs. Graham’s is a good go-to place which has a homey and cozy vibe, and once you’ve found your spot inside, don’t miss to look up and see their huge hanging macarons which I hope I could bring home.
The macaron experience was great! We’re fortunate that we paid visit on that day because it was Mrs. Graham’s first year anniversary #mrsgcafeturns1. In celebration for their one year, they have Anniversary Macaron featured on their list, that for every Anniversary Macaron (Php 65.00) you buy, you get to have one macaron flavor of your choice ( one anniversary macaron/ person). It is a good thing I’ve got friends upstairs and so we had six anniversary macarons and matched it with other six macarons of our pick- Bailey’s, Tiramisu, Tequila Rose, and Salted Caramel.
I expected the cookies to be like any other cookies with the cracking sound, but it wasn’t which is actually great. The cookie was soft and chewy. I enjoyed my every single bite to it. I just felt the lacking kick of coffee in Tiramisu macarons, it left me more with a chocolate tang. My favorite was Tequila Rose, the tequila butter cream dollop inside has a different texture, and its sweetness comes along well with the cookies. Aside from these, they also have cookie dough, white coffee, ensaymada, bittersweet, s’mores, PB&J, french toast, pancake, and mint chocolate which ranges between Php 45.00 to Php 60.00 really an affordable price unlike other macarons which is around Php 70.00 and up. What caught my gaze with their flavors is the bibingka with salted egg. I was thinking, how were they able to come up with that bizarre yet unique idea flavor?
I got the chance to talk to Ms. Anna Grahams, the woman behind this unique and great place, and she’s been into the business of macarons for two years. She shared to me that she used to buy macarons at Bizu Patisserie since macarons is her favorite. She didn’t go to any culinary school or workshops, she just simply went through the web, researched and viola! they got Mrs. Graham’s. She also bakes the macarons herself and it is their aim to give something new and different to their customer’s palate, that’s why they’ve come up with bibingka with salted egg and others which are offered on a seasonal basis.
Aside from their best seller macarons, they got coffees and teas on their menu list which I bet I must try next time. Also, I got thrilled that they have board games available – A really cool place to be in. I asked if they plan to expand Mrs. Graham’s, and for now they want to have their second floor as an avenue for arts and crafts workshops. It’s my first time to have these macarons savor in my mouth and having it tried in Mrs. Grahams is a great choice. Check more about them at their facebook page: Mrs. Graham’s. Again, Happy Anniversary and more macarons to come #mrsgcafeturns1
Address: 51C Scout Rallos Quezon City
Operating Hours: 11am-11pm
Craving for burgers?! Looking for something new? Well you’re in for a treat! There’s this new burger food spot in town that you should not miss out on. Located in the heart of Manila, near the corner of P.Noval and Loyola street, you can find this cool looking burger hub conveniently placed along the University Belt. Although it has just recently opened its door last November 2014, Yummerz Burger surely brought a new flavor to the Burger hype.
In this era of food-rush, many fast food establishments and restaurants have been trying to step up and claim the hearts of the people. Certainly one of the most enticing factors that have been added in the past century for this food-service-war would be the customer experience. Besides the food that you will be serving, it will also matter a lot on how the customers felt during their stay.
In this aspect Yummerz Burger brings its own personality. With its cool interior and wall art, the place will surely speak to the artist inside of people and will be very welcoming for students and art-lovers alike.
For my experience, I happen to stumble upon this place one ordinary afternoon. Tagging one of my friends along, we decided to give it a try seeing that it’s a new place around the UST area. Upon entering you will immediately notice the artsy interior with its cool looking graffiti. It surely got my attention being an art-lover myself. It adds this authentic hip and artsy vibe to the whole experience. The price was reasonable considering the healthy serving they will give in return, and the food itself was really great too.
Yummerz Burger’s friendly crew keeping a warm and positive atmosphere within the place adds to my positive mental notes. Food service only takes several minutes at most, and the food was served hot and warm ready to be consumed by our eager stomachs. We ordered two of their regular burgers for only Php 95.00 which was surprisingly huge maybe close to a Quarter Pounder by my estimates. We also ordered some fries for Php 100 each, you can order a smaller serving for Php 60.00. The fries weren’t ordinary fries, their crisscut! I can’t even begin telling you how much I love crisscut fries! They provide a mesh of fried crunchy goodness against every bite you take. Ooh crisscut! Maybe the greatest invention since bacon!
The burger and the fries both comes with their own garlic ranch dip, which was surprisingly good too as far as garlic ranch dips go. We ate heartily during our stay, and it was later on did I discover their secret weapon-The sauce!! You have to try their hot sauce! It’s like Leonardo di Caprio amazing! No need for awards, this sauce is the Hollywood king of hot sauces! It packs a punch that doesn’t hurt, but enough to give you a wild ride.
I got the privilege to talk with the owner afterwards, Engr. Clark B. Ferrer whom I thanked for such a wonderful experience. He is really a great guy who just wants to introduce something new for the people nearby especially the students who are craving for burgers.
It would be insufficient to say that I enjoyed my experience with Yummerz burger, it was really a wonderful and exciting experience. Maybe it was how they introduced something new to the field of food service and how they delivered it to their customers. Needless to say, I will surely come back for more!
Do you know any new food spots in town? Give us suggestions on where we should go next, hit the comments section below!
Chicken has been and still is the trending food here in the Philippines. From the undying Jollibee fried-chicken of childhood years to the KFC’s non-stop gravy refill and different varieties of chicken recipe today, still Chicken has its own spot to every featured menu. We were at the UST Paskuhan on search for a low budgeted food around its vicinity. We headed to P.Noval and stumbled upon this simple, humbling establishment- Wing St. It wasn’t the ambiance or the interior that drew my gaze to their place but the word “wing” in their name. Its chicken wings that made me take the shot.
Upon stepping in, we were welcomed by a narrow pavement leading to their counter where they take your order, and on the left side you’ll see a hand doodled design of their menu. The place may not be too roomy for five or more people but they have prepared chairs and tables for big groups of diners outside. They render affordable and cheap prices for their chicken wings, truly a good place for students and low budgeted single professionals:
Value meal – P69.00 (w/ iced tea) add P30.00 for classic solo fries
Rice meal – 79.00 (w/rice) add P26.00 for iced tea
Flavors to choose from:
- Garlic Parmesean
- Classic P30.00
- Overload P50.00
Additional Rice P12.00
Additional Sauce P10.00
We ordered two Buffalo wings rice meal with ranch dip for only Php 79.00 each. Their buffalo recipe has its own unique kick of spiciness, and I must say that with the affordable prices, their food correctly justifies it- “swak sa panlasa at sa bulsa”.
The owners Angelo Lleander and Khaori Sato, proud FEU Tamarraws, were inspired by Wingman based at Makati which left Angelo with the aspiration to create his own unique recipe of Buffalo wings. “Kumain kasi ako doon. At yun na,” Angelo said as he shared Wing St’s story. They started 13th of November this year, and now they’re planning on expanding their menu. Wing St. shared their motto with us, “Come hungry, leave happy”.
I must say that with my dining experience at Wing St. and the sight of the happy diners around me, Wing St. is a really good go-to place for students and low budgeted folks like me.
Address: 1223 Delos Reyes st. corner P.Noval
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WingStManila