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.
The coffees — both hot and cold — are very good. The Dolce Vita and Alisa in particular are well-recommended; the first is a take on cold Vietnamese coffee: creamy, foamy, with a layer of Rorshach-like syrup at the bottom of the glass that lends the concoction sweetness but not overwhelmingly so; the second being the vegan, non-coffee offering (yes, vegans are welcome here), cocoa with a healthful dash of coconut oil.
For lunch, I had a serving each of the Beef Risotto with Black Truffle Oil and Smoked Whitefish Pasta (I was famished). Well, the risotto alone was enough for my hunger, a generous, plateful serving of chewy, sticky long-grained rice in a flavorful red sauce. Not to let a good plate of pasta to waste, I finished off the Smoked Whitefish pasta as well — al dente noodles served with eggplant, various chopped veggies, made a bit salty by flaked tinapa and seasoned with just a hint of spiciness.
To cap off the meal, I had a pair of sweet treats: a slice each of Mango Pie and Carrot Cake washed down with hot coffee. With a fluffy center, the Mango Pie is not overly sweet and light, a contrast to the density of the Carrot Cake which reminded me of fruitcake (no, it’s not a negative as I’ve always loved fruitcakes), moist (not dry like quite a lot of carrot cakes I keep running into) and again, not cloyingly overly sweet.
Good coffee and comfort foods aside, Yani Café has a homey, laidback vibe I like, not at all like a snobbish, high-brow cafe but more like a hub. If I brought my laptop with me, I could’ve lingered for more coffee and worked (floor outlets abound for charging); board games are on hand for groups to play; interesting selection of books to read on the sofa. The community marketplace area is a good way to explore non-mainstream products (health foods, et al). All in all, a lot to chirp about.