Author: oggie

Yani Café – Finding Good Coffee & Comfort Food in Pasig

Risotto, Vegetarian Pasta and Smoked Whitefish

I didn’t notice the sign on the building facade nor saw any on the stairs and hallway leading to the second floor (why no signs of the nice bird logo I wondered) but the spacious area fronting the Office Warehouse store could only be it. I’m rarely in the Pasig area but if I find myself here, Yani Café could be as good as any reason to do so.

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Ritual Ph Philippine Vinegar Discovery: In a season of sweetness, why not try some sour

Ritual PH Vinegars

Happyfoodies have been loyal customers and fans of Ritual Philippines since it started out in its original location, the now defunct and demolished The Collective along Malugay Street in Makati. It was a bit of a homecoming of sorts visiting them now in another location, this time along Arnaiz Avenue (formerly Pasay Road) in front of New World Hotel and finding more of the stuff that provokes our collective curiosities.

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Hiap Yak Tea Shop: Opium coffee anyone?

Kuchings buttered coffee

There’s a small, non-descript coffee shop named Hiap Yak Tea Shop, tucked somewhere in the alleys of Indian Street in Kuching, Sarawak, where the hot, steaming coffee is still served with a pat of butter. Of course, it makes for a creamy, buttery, if a bit strange, brew but there’s an interesting backstory (or tale, if you prefer to think it’s part-fiction) to why in this small shop, the coffee not the bread or biscuit is buttered.

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Black Bean Coffee and Tea: Java Goodness in Kuching

Black Bean Coffee cup

Happyfoodies had a blast covering the Kuching Waterfront Music Festival in Kuching, Sarawak in the eastern part of Malaysia. In between tasks and barring rain, we had occasions to wander off into the side streets and small alleys at the waterfront area leading to the bridge and parliament building. One of finds is this small coffee shop along Ewe Hai street, Black Bean Coffee and Tea shop while waiting for the sunset to shoot.

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Blue Wonder Coffee & Bean Roastery

Original Blend french press coffee

Happyfoodies have always been Cartimar regulars long before the time when it became the go-to place for pet lovers and owners. Not really venturing far from the pet and plant supplies blocks, Blue Wonder Coffee & Bean Roastery has escaped our attention until recently. It seems like an anomaly of sorts, a warmly-lit, cool stopover place among stalls of PX and other goods, like an oasis for those who know a bit more about coffee beyond the big brand cafes.

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Contessa Dolce: For a Medley of Strong Coffee and the Right Kind of Sweetness

Contessa Dulce in Cash and Carry Makati

Located right next to the Starbucks in Cash and Carry in Makati City, Contessa Dolce provides an interesting counterpoint to the coffee chain behemoth’s offerings — good, old-fashioned, freshly-milled (strong) brewed Arabic coffee and pastries that hit the sweet spot without going overboard on the sweetness.

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Lamisaan at Holiday Inn Baguio

Highland Greens ala Nicoise

The table is set for Baguio’s bounty and the highlands flavors

The crux of international hotel chains lies in the homogeneity of its offerings – it’s good when it comes to expectations regarding service and facilities.  However, it’s less than welcome if we’re talking about food.  At a time when locavore eating is encouraged, it’s a pity that oftentimes when you eat in different branches of a certain hotel or restaurant chain, you get more of the same flavors, same dishes, same offerings.  It’s even more lamentable when we’re talking of Baguio as a branch location, as the city offers a bounty of produce as well as traditional food from the highlands.

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