Thursday, March 13, 2014

Of Clothes, Collectibles and Coffee, at the Appraisery

It has been a long year since I last had an experience with some friends just shooting the breeze at Cubao X. I used to refer to it as Cubao Expo, but now I think it's known to many as Cubao X.   A few weeks ago I got an SMS invite from a fellow blogger about this seemingly new cafe at the venue.  I almost forgot how I missed the place, so even though I was busy conceptualizing and building up my new blog which is all about DIY weddings and design, I just had to say YES.

I got all giddy, not minding how hard it was getting on the MRT late in the afternoon, that I would see my favorite art gallery and shops there.  Upon reaching the place, I realized that I didn't bring extra cash, for I know I will get something for my girls and myself, of course.  I remembered last time, I went home with a lot of accessories and old children's books.

I came a bit late than the other bloggers, but I know I have to go around the vicinity first and see if The Reading Room and the craft store is still there.  Sad to say, The Bead Lady, Heima and some other art galleries were replaced with other businesses.

But it sure was glad to know a new store popped up bringing with them a great selling concept, where you can buy pre-loved branded fashion items, get a glimpse of rare collectibles, play or trade collectible cards and have some great grubs and fine coffee concoctions.

 The Appraisery, as the namesake would imply is more than just your friendly "UK" store, or "ukay-ukay" to the "less sosyal."   It is where you can bring your pre-loved or unused branded fashion items to be appraised, then to be sold.  Once appraised, you have two options whether to sell it at the appraiser's determined price or get a voucher in replace for it, the voucher can be used to purchase other items from the collection or to buy coffee.  Nifty, don't you think?  Well that is,  if they can accept your item/s in mint or good selling condition.  The owner, Victor Prieto has all the standards, so don't hesitate to look for him and ask him all about how you can have your items sold.  Victor, though is not the appraiser but he is to count on when you ask for the cafe's lead barista.

Let's talk about their coffee mixes and food, shall we?

Let me start with a non-murk beverage which happens to be one of the most asked in Appraisery.  Tea drinkers would love this.  I used to detest tea and milk when combined but this one made me love the idea.  Of course, the vegetal taste is there and I like that it's not too sugary like other matchas I've tried.  The creaminess from the milk and the comforting frothy matcha tea will play in your palate while the strong tea aroma lingers leaving a note of bitterness at the end of every sip.

If you have been addicted to fraps, well trying something out of your regular franchised coffee fix can be worth the treat.  On that note, you may want to sip in this cold glass of  Mocha Frappe. It's a mix of choco and coffee in ice, adorably topped with a milky foam and cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup..   

Another drink that was served to our group was Michelle.  This is not your typical gal, hehe, hot coffee, it's a Christmas-y taste sans the ambiance in your cup.  Served in Irish coffee glass mug, the hot coffee have hints of pumpkin spice, cinnamon and white chocolate.  But before the splendor of the coffee comes first the ultimate milk froth which has that cinnamon essence.  Since the concoction was mixed with white chocolate the consistency of the hot beverage is tad thick and creamy, the experience of one sip (since the coffee was not mine) comes to a close encounter with a usual eggnog but on a different level.

Another much raved for drink from their regular customers is the drink called Kumbaya.  Named after the song, everyone who have tried it can easily say it's the drink best described as "the camp fire coffee fix."  This is another kitchen testament when one who has the passion in whatever he does, he does it best even when he plays around with ingredients.  Victor, the main Barista slash chef slash owner would seriously attest that his kitchen at times would be his laboratory and art room at the same time.  This espresso-based drink was mixed with graham crackers, and marshmallows.  I only got a sip, though I could not really tell whether bits of smores were dunked in the cup of espresso.  
So, till my return, Kumbaya!

To put this brewer joint to the test I got myself their regular brew, Cafe Americano, in black.  According to Italians this is how foreigners like their caffeine fixed.  It's espresso but diluted in hot water with a ratio of 1:1.  What I like about this shop is that they support local coffee farmers.  This amazing cup of lifeblood actually comes from the Cordillera Mountains, and one that Victor isn't ashamed to tell.  And yes I thought they are using imported coffee beans.  And yeah!  This is one bold yet smooth coffee.  No wonder one of the Italian who last visited them coined the cafe having the best coffee in Manila.

The Appraisery boasts not only of their unique coffee blends, yet can be equaled to expensive franchised coffee shops.  They prioritize quality coffee beans which are brewed within a certain period and make sure that they don't reuse filtered coffee grains.  Victor even asked us if we want to bring home their filtered grounds which can be good as fertilizers or coffee scrubs for the skin.  He also showed us how to check if the coffee maker is doing a fine job with how the filtered grains need to look like after it was used.

I'm sure you would love to pair your coffee with something to munch on.  Here are some food that you would love to have.

This Seattleite, knows his sandwich too well, and let him give the excuse of being lived and studied in Seatlle for coming up with archaic sandwich ideas.  Say for example this Chicken, Avocado, Pesto Triple Decker (P 175).  I have been in love with the scent and explicit taste of creamed basil ever since I first had one as a sauce on my pasta.  Though pesto was used as a sandwich filling (which I have only seen here) it did give a different spin to the usual grilled chicken sandwich.  But wait there's more, there is also guacamole on the sandwich.  I thought it would ruin the taste of the pesto, but it didn't I found the sandwich really refreshing and healthy at that.

So, on the previous sandwich was a blend of Mexican-Italian, how about a Japanese take on a your sandwich.  Now, can you still say humdrum?  These sushi-like sandwich, also called Sushi Sandwich (P 185) is a rolled up sandwich with two kinds of filling, creamed corn with crunchy veggies and avocado, ham.

Oh, let me segue for a bit by introducing their cassava chips, or Namaste, which is served at the side of every sandwiches. Though the Sushi Sandwich plate has something more special with it, the garlic aioli  dip, once you dig in, you might want to dip and dip, my blogger friends thought it was so addicting.  What fancied me though was the different consistency it has.  At first look, it may seem to resemble a white frosting or a merengue.  It did have a sweet note to it, but of course it is also savory due to the garlic infusion.

Pull-pork sandwich had become a craze for a time, in some regions in the US.   I don't know why it didn't get the same welcoming spirit here in Manila.  I can honestly say that I'm not a fan as well, but I find this quite intriguing. It has that Indian spice going on in the sauce atop the pulled pork pieces, with a little spiciness and sourness, plus the fact that the pork meat was slow-cooked to have achieved a tender meat.  I did like though.

For a more adventurous take on your sandwich of choice how about having it with slices of grilled eggplants?   The Grilled Veggie Panini is for every vegetarian and non-vegetarian diners of The Appraisery.  The paninis are spread with a light mayonnaise then filled with grilled eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes and onions.

If you want something sweet for a sandwich, well, they also have some.  We got to try the Sweet Grilled Panini.  It's like a toast sandwich with cookie butter spread, mallows and Nutella. To make it even sinfully sweet, a dollop of cream with caramel syrup and MnM's goes with it.

Cubao x is more than a hang-out, it's a place for everyone, a barista, a vintage collector, a book-lover, for the gamer, for the hard-core artists and those who love inventive meals that's worth trying.  I used to think about the place as "where you can find Bellini Italian Restaurant," but now it is a lot more than that.

Did I also mention that Jericho Rosales would often hangout here for a coffee and chit-chat? He does get a lot of that when the chatterbox of Appraisery is there.  Since Echo, also co-owns the surf shop just in front of the cafe-cum-boutique-cum-gaming station.   Shhh!  That's our little secret.

1109 Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines
Phone (02) 921 2682


  1. Looks like a Warhammer play set I saw there.

    1. Hi! I'm not familiar with war games or the likes of gaming and stuff. Do visit them and check for yourself, plus you get to meet other gamers and collectors as well.

    2. Hi! Yes that IS a Warhammer 40k terrain table. :D

      We have our own little group there. Come by and join us!

  2. You make me wanna go here...! pero ang layo, hahaha

    1. Yeah, medyo malayo nga lang. But when you do, you better allot half the day to around and check each shop for a lot of cool finds!

  3. You don't need to get discount clothing for business purposes; you can get the clothing for your very own utilization. pregnancy shapewear


I would love to hear your thoughts on my post, care for a comment?