The old town of Ipoh is known as one of Malaysia’s best coffee producers. The “Old Town” coffee brand is a popular present for visitors coming from Malaysia. It is one of my favorite instant coffee due to its sharp strong yet rich flavor. Recently, I found myself back in Ipoh for a fam tour. While strolling through one of the famed concubine lanes in Ipoh, we chanced upon Panglima Dua Lima. A charming little cafe housed in an old shophouse serving freshly prepare Ipoh white coffee.
From what started as an online business of selling baked goodies and treats in Instagram and Facebook, Kim is Hungry Cakes + Cafe is one sweet success story. With enough loyal customer base who enjoyed her dessert offerings, Kim Gonzales, the owner, managed to open her own cafe. Now, her customers and walk-ins can enjoy her cakes, and cupcakes with the addition of coffee, frappes and other meals.
Summer is beginning to make itself felt. Pretty soon, people would be reaching for something cool and comforting to beat the heat. If you’re passing by either the Burgos Circle in BGC or SM’s The Block, why not check out Casa Italia? Don’t be intimidated by the fancy interiors of this gleaming Singapore-based Italian coffee and gelato cafe chain. The friendly staff greets you a warm “Ciao” the moment you step inside. Then, the array of vibrant colors of the gelato on display may just awaken your passion for dessert indulgence.
I’m glad an old favorite cafe returned. Coffee 8065, a cafe owned by the same people behind 8065 Bagnet re-opened early this year in a new location within San Antonio Village in Makati. Moving from their former home, on the 2nd floor of an old building along Estrella corner Pasong Tamo, their new home is more accessible being on the streetside. A bambike (bamboo bike) holds their signature sign parked just in front of their entrance. From outside, it looks like one of the houses in the neighborhood; inside is the familiar cozy ambiance with a very homey vibe.
There is a certain zen moment that I like about Vietnamese coffee. The time I wait for the coffee to brew and drip from the phin (a small Vietnamese brewing device) to my is a quiet still moment I savor every morning. I like the unhurried air it brings. There’s also the yin and yang combination from the ironically smooth yet strong coffee and the creamy sweet layer of condensed milk. Their perfect blend is just a satisfying reward for that short wait. More than the coffee, I also appreciate the surrounding of the cafe which adds to the experience of drinking coffee. That’s why in Hanoi, Cafe Pho Co, was a delightful find, tucked deep within rustic buildings past the souvenir shops fronting the streets. Ancient walls, a charming cat, unique coffee with egg and views one can get lost in moments.
Post-Typhoon Yolanda has shaped a different Tacloban City. Businesses are booming and the presence of numerous foreign aid workers have prompted locals to open up not only more lodging but eating places too. People of Tacloban love to eat and its a delight to see some quality home-grown establishments popping-up to join old favorites. With the presence of foreigners though, prices have gone up but there are still some affordable options around. This list is not a ranking but the places I have personally tried during my stay. Tacloban City Eats has a nice mix of comfort food, cafes, dessert place and a hotpot. Check out Chew Love, Dream Cafe, Libros Atbp, Porbida Burger, K Patisserie, Miyara Patisserie, Sofa Cafe, Huhku Hotpot Express and Oppa’s Kitchen.
As repeat visitors to Sagada, we at Happyfoodies were both overjoyed and saddened during our recent visit. Saddened because a) Misty Lodge’s restaurant is closed as Chef Bogan is attending to her mommy duties in Manila, b) Masferre Restaurant has taken off our favorite Kamatis Bagoong at Lechon Kawali in favor of a menu more oriented towards foreign guests. But on a bright note, we chanced upon a new, welcome addition to the eateries lining the town’s main street: Sagada Brew. It was actually the recommendation of Wanda, our kind hostess at Rock Inn Farm, to try out the new place (talk about very friendly competition). It was also a blessing to come on an off-peak season where a lot of eating places are closed for repairs, which helped directed our feet to this shop.
There’s a growing number of third wave coffee shops in the country, a testament on the burgeoning taste of coffee lovers out there. The Coffee Beanery, who have established their premium coffee brand for more than a decade, responded to this heightened sophistication and revived their coffee offerings to cater to this market. Letting customers appreciate real coffee as art.