Sunday, October 28, 2012

Designer Blooms Cafe: First Fresh Flower Shop Cafe

It may be a cliche to rede - take time to smell the roses.   This idiom means to take some time to slack of and enjoy the surrounding.   It is just apt to use it here at the newly launched cafe in Molito Mall, Alabang.  It is not your typical cafe or restaurant, in fact it is one the most unique theme ever thought of in this lifetime.   It may seem to look like a typical cafe or shop from the outside, but the moment you step in, a blissful garden scent awakens your soul.   As if a garden was brought in literally.
  It brought me down memory lane.   I remember it was eight years ago at their Glorietta branch, when I had customized (if I'm not mistaken) five flower girls' floral head rings for my sister's wedding in Milan, Italy.  The familiar fragrance unique to Designer Blooms once again captured my dear love for  floral,  artificial, dried or fresh.   I even professed it to Designer Blooms' owners Ting and Rica Garcia, who were present at the event.  I'm pretty sure no mall-goers could have resisted the allure of bunches and bunches of flowers at any of their branches, not even me, for I used to posses a caboodle of different kinds and colors of  artificial flowers, when I only had two kids.   I would even drizzle, on a weekly basis, the aroma oils which they use for their floral arrangements.   Making my wake-up mornings to one lovely-scented start, not minding the full-tasks ahead.
After 20 years , the concept of  linking up a cafe and a flower shop is in full bloom.  Thanks to Marie Garcia and Issa Garcia-Sicam, the sisters who were behind this beauty.  Mrs. Rica Garcia even told me that Designer Blooms started when her daughter Marie was only 8 years old, now that they have different franchisees and branches, they manage to be unrivaled in the floral market here in the Philippines.   So fitting that they have formally launched the cafe on Designer Blooms' 20th Anniversary.   And I love it when they gave the honor back to the one who deserved the glory, to God.
At the launch, celebrity friend, Gary Valenciano, graced the event, with him on this picture are the family owner of Designer Blooms and its baby cafe.
I am steamy right now to share what the cafe offers but let me pave the way first by sharing something on the flowery side.    From radically distinctive artificial and dried flowers they were able to bring in fresh flower arrangements, like the bouquet I have in the picture below.   They were able to bring in more selections and  have been more innovative in serving their customers with designs strong on personal but tastefully unmatched.
The shabby chic look of the interiors make you feel more at-home.  The combined rustic fragrance of the the cafe-flower shop and the appetizing aroma wafting from the viewable kitchen is just so unearthly.  Making this place great for dates on anniversaries, Valentines day, birthdays, to say a few.

 On the menu for the launch are samples from their original menu...
Home-made Potato thins were served in bowls together with buttered popcorn kept all of us busy while they prepared the rest of the menu.  The kitchen is led  by US-trained and CCA Alumni Chef Diana Morales.
We then began the round-up of menu samplers with a cup of Hearty Mushroom Soup with a bread stick. This hot soup instantly takes the care of this world, brimming with  three different mushrooms thickened with cream.
From the hot soup sampler, we get to the cold shooter of Gaspacho.  Known also as Gazpacho, a Spanish dish which is known as a liquid salad.  You slurp up fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, greens, celery, etc. made into a smoothie which is seasoned lightly.  They do live up to their catch-phrase "Freshly picked, freshly prepared," where they boast of using organic vegetables form sustainable farms, having gone the extra mile to look for the freshest ingredients.   I actually sensed the freshness of each shooter with my nose.   Typically eaten with a toast or rustic bread, it is the best comfort health food for summer.
Moving on with the mini bruschetta topped with Tinapa Mousse (the white topping) and tomato arugula.
From the four Salad choices (Under the heading "From the Farm"), two were introduced, the Greek Salad Medley and Mom's Potato Salad.   Intriguingly they serve it with an edible flower petal.
Make sure you visit and order the potato salad.  An heirloom recipe from Marie's Spanish grand-mom.  A creamy rendition of boiled potatoes with minced fresh veggies will surely lift your down-trodden spirit and fill your tummy too.
On the fishy side is a crusty fried Fish Cakes drizzled with Garlic Aioli and Mango Salsa.   Sadly, I wasn't able to taste it, due to my chit-chatting habit at events like this.  That would be one fine reason to get back here.
The Mushroom Truffle Panini, was spot on, not even having it rest on our table.  The musty aroma of the truffles really will pull you towards it and entice you to try not only one.   A panini, coming from the Italians as 'panino' refers to pressed and toasted sandwiches.   Making this cafe hit on the gourmet leverage, the truffle spread gives out a creamy  with a co-mixture of subtle pungent and syrupy-sweet taste.
What soon will be the hottest hamburger in Alabang then came to us in an open-faced Jalapeno Burger Slider presentation.   The bun, layered  with crisp iceberg lettuce, Angus beef burger niblet, cheddar cheese, the slice of jalapeno and topped with cherry tomatoes, is smackingly soo good.   Some of my co-bloggers on the table with me, removed the jalapeno.  For me, its not going to be that note-worthy without the shock of the chili.   Will definitely be back here to give you a full review of what's best to order here.   On the top of my list is the Jalapeno Burger.
Yes, there is a lot more.  How's about some grilled skewers.   And the Mediterraenian Shrimp Skewers  and the Corn on the cob are not exemptions.  Flavorful shelled shrimps are brushed with Aoili and drizzled with pesto sauce.  Waiting for this is worth it.
Just as I was so filled up, I was offered the Mushroom Ravioli, in Marinara sauce.   According to Ms. Marie, even their pasta are freshly made on the day of the serving (somewhat like in Bistro Ravioli), and I have yet to try other pasta creations.   Notice that the ravioli looks like a flower.  Everything were artistically thought of to suit the theme.  Big YEY to them! Clap, clap...
"Wait the dessert is still to come," as what we've told when we readied ourselves for the photo-op.  
The  Mango and Tablea Panna Cotta cups originally Pinoy as compared to the other stuff on the menu leaves   the fact that they can taut about.   Smooth layers of creamy  dark and smokey chocolate Tablea mousse and tarty mango panna cotta is best eaten to end a potent or light meal, sweetely.
 Of course how can I not share how I like the White Chocolate Cheesecake.  Whatever flavor it may come with as long as it's cheesecake, I have to check it out.   And indeed looked and taste as good.
So have I enticed you enough, living you drooling and and screaming for your turn of that wonderful experience? (Sorry about that)   Well they are now ready to serve you.   Come with your coffee and afternoon tea cravings also, for they offer freshly brewed organic teas and imported coffee from San Francisco.  
So, if you're dreaming for more than just food for the bod, how about trying a concept cafe, for a full sensorial feel, having to go home with your favorite choice of flowers or plants while you're at it!

Designer Blooms Cafe
Molito Complex, Alabang
Contact numbers: 02 512 0353
Facebook: DesignerBloomsCafe


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