Amidst the small town of Anao, Tarlac, is Kape Agape, a small community cafe inspired by the highest form of love “agape” – the love of God for man and of man for God. Located at the heart of town abundant with ylang-ylang trees, the cafe not only serves nourishing food for the tummy but also for the soul.
It’s refreshing to know that in the age of processed and fast-food meals, there are still alternative dining places that offer “clean” food with recipes stripped off of preservatives and chemicals that could harm our bodies in the long term. Coming off from another revitalizing yoga session from Life Yoga, I ventured to the adjoining cafe Vibe Superfood. Just a cursory look at their menu and reading witty, music-inspired names of the dishes instantly put me in a good mood. I placed an order for their Curry Me Away (a song from the Doobie Brothers) and Matcha-Twenty (from the band Matchbox Twenty) and got excited for the treats to come.
Your Happyfoodies trudged to the northern highlands for the days leading up to the new year with an overnight stop in Baguio. By chance, we got billeted in a hotel on a quieter street parallel to the always-busy (read: noisy) Session Road and chanced upon the barely month-old The Coffee Library on the ground floor of the Rex Hall Student Residences along General Luna Street. Needless to say, it was a serendipitous find. Yes, it is eye-catching, with tasteful touches of ethnic crafts, mix of red brick and warm wood, even vintage “padyak” (foot pedal-powered) sewing machines converted into tables, but how was the food, you may ask.
It became my temporary office in Bontoc. The cozy sofa and chairs, the tasteful interiors heavy on the travel theme coupled with beautiful photos of the rice terraces and people of the Cordilleras is truly inviting. My almost weeklong stay in Bontoc finds me at Goldfish Cafe catching up on work and the online world. For Bontoc standards, Goldfish Cafe is the fanciest cafe in town. For a town whose local coffee culture is quite predominant already how does Goldfish Cafe’s specialty coffee offerings fare?
The last time Happyfoodies attended a lunchtime wine tasting event, we left the venue slightly inebriated. As we boarded the lift with some editors, we seem to share a collective feeling of being primed for taking an afternoon nap and foregoing the tasks reserved for the rest of the day. When we set our appointment with Nectar Restaurant in Makati for some lunchtime wine and food tasting, we thought history might repeat itself. Happily, with a bit more restraint, it did not. Oh, we’re not big wine drinkers, certainly no connoisseurs, but the concept of promoting a more democratic wine dining tradition sounded very interesting and too good to pass up.
Avocado is one of my favourite fruits and being a sucker for desserts, the combination of the fruit with a cake can be lethal. Strolling along with a fellow foodie friend in the streets of Kapitolyo, Pasig, which is fast becoming a food hub with a lot of new dining options popping up, we discovered Lia’s Cakes in Season. Lia’s is one of the old dining establishments in the area (it’s been there since 2004) known for its signature Avocado Cakes.
Food discoveries during travel have always been the heart of Happyfoodies. And during this Lakbay Norte 2, a familiarization tour of select places in Northern Luzon, we get to try out some interesting food stops on the way to Baguio from Manila on our first day. We had breakfast at SOUL Cafe in La Union, snacks at Cafe Isabelle and dinner at Hotel Elizabeth’s Flora Cafe.
With all the new eating places cropping up, it’s safe to say that there’s no shortage of pasta places to go to in Manila. The issue rather is where to go for good pasta that’s more imaginative than usual, tasty and yet won’t clean up your pocket as fast as you can clean up your plate. Your Happyfoodies happened to chance upon Pasta Box at the far corner of The Collective along Malugay in Makati and the clean, spic-and-span interiors worked like a charm in pulling us in and giving this place a try.