Friday, February 27, 2015

Eat. Cafe, Comfort Food, Tea, Coffee, and Wine Bar


Just like this new cafe, that I had recently visited and tried, I am about to write my simplest blog. not that I don't want to over sell them, which I would want to, but because of the fact that the whole sense of it should not really be complicated.

Well you see, my life also as it is, is simple just that I complicate things a tad bit more, or let's just say to elaborate on stuff like preparing a simple tuna sandwich or baking brownies.  By the way, will posting really soon my recent addition to my brilliant brownie inventions -Oatmeal Brownies.

By now the lights of the cafe are off and the guards would make sure that the doors of the elevator don't open at the Mezzanine floor.  While I'm still tucking heartily into a heap of Spicy Brownies which I took home from Eat. Cafe at this wee hour with a mug of Chamomile tea to combat the sugar and lull me to sleep.  Sure enough the brownies and some of the food I've tried at Eat made it hard for me to doze off easily.

But what really made a mark on me was the simplest gesture of naming your resto or in this case cafe, with the word E-A-T. (the period sign, a must!).  To me it was brilliant!  With resto names after herbs (Sage, Basil, Silantro, Paprika, etc) and spices, to parents' names or countries, now trending and dominating restaurant business, this idea was a breath of fresh air.  My husband even thought of how stark yet drawing their logo is.  We wondered when something like Onion or Sugar, or how about Nibble or Glutton can come about in the coming days, would you bet on it?

Apparently, I was consumed by the whole idea of their resto - to bring comfort food in the most modern sense of it.  For one, I found their food to be both inventive and hearty, not scrimping on major flavor components.

Before I go on to the very details of their menu, let me first take you on a short photo tour of their cozy cafe.

From outside the building of V Hotel, you can get a glimpse of the cafe on the floor above the hotel's lobby.  Don't get intimidated going up, the doorman will gladly show you to the elevator and tell you to hit the M button, which is the Mezanine.

As the door opens, a huge glass encasement filled with their daily baked goodies beckons and next to it is the long open kitchen counter where you can see some of the kitchen actions.

Shabby chic inspired with alternating hues of gray and white with tables and chairs spread all over the area, and in one corner enclaved a sofa set, perfect for that quiet afternoon tea or coffee paired with their freshly-baked pastries.


Probably was their quote of inspiration.  Drawing motivations from the book of Elizabeth Gilberts or Julia Robert's movie.

We began dinner with this impressive Oats Caldo.  For a while there I thought they highlight on serving an all-day breakfast menu with the savory oatmeal.  Again, they had me at oats, I love eating oatmeal for breakfast, with bananas, sometimes strawberries or dried fruits, without milk but blightly sweetened with raw honey.  However, the radical twist of cooking it like Arroz Caldo, seasoned with chicken stock and topped with pan-fried chicken instead of the usual fruits.   
The serving may be good for two but I think I ate the whole bowl, cause it's that good!

Undoubtedly, this cafe is beginning to make me feel right at home, except, I could not perfect a Croque Madame just as they would.  Aside from, oatmeal, we do gorge a substantial amount of grilled sandwiches at home, mostly on days when it's just me and hubs over brunch.

But unlike their version of Croque, mine does not have the creamy bechamel sauce mantled around it and the egg usually a hit and miss.  The lovely crunch on the supposed croque is there with slightly softened texture on the outside from the bechamel, added with the savory ham inside is enough actually for a hefty meal for either brekkie or lunch.

Like the croque-monsieur or croque madame, the open faced sandwich on the above photo uses their home-made brioche.  Brioche in foodie terms, is the thin line between bread and pastry.  Brioche is, yeah, can be likened to a bread although it's more crumbly and has more flavor because fats and eggs are added to the dough.

I was happy to see how the menu is nicely organized, separating the Grilled Sandwiches from the Brioche Sandwiches.  Though I like 'em both and I can't wait to go back to try their Grilled Sandwiches.  

The Beef with Fried Egg and Mushroom (open-faced sandwiches) is a sight to behold.  Such a comforting dish in itself bringing back childhood memories, especially those times when all was left is one slice of bread, haha.  Kidding aside, the generous serving of sauteed mushrooms towering over tender beef slices and fried, sans the oil, became a tough one to deconstruct, looking awfully gorgeous. 

Ahhhck!  Another reason why Bhogs and I were glad, though we ditched our initial plan to eat at a fancy Japanese restaurant for our anniversary are these.  Never, ever miss out the Mushroom Fritters, just  one among an array of vegetarian dishes they have on the menu.  The crackling texture of biting a huge fried to crisp Shitake mushroom dipped is aoili is superb.

When you happen to find yourself trying to fill up without the guilt, case in point, with vegetarian meals, just look for those with a leaf symbol.

Comfort food may mean differently to other people.  If with me, it's dessert or gourmet sandwiches, with Bhogs, it's soups.  So a fraction of their soup pot was a simple bowl of happiness for my man.  Too bad I wasn't able to sip a few from the Potato Leek Soup he was delightfully scooping.  According to him, the thickness and creaminess of the soup is a pleasure and a heavy on the tummy at that.

For my kids, it always is pasta that defines comfort on their plate.  Pasta in all forms, thickness, flavor and spiciness.  They're used to Arrabiata and Puttanesca so I bet this Spicy Tuna, Tomato and Olives Pasta can make up for m times of leave in the kitchen.  One thing that definitely will not go unnoticed when you dine here is the use of fresh ingredients and no skimping on ingredients.

The owner, Chef Claudette Dy and Eat. Cafe Kitchen Manager, Chef Erik see to it that they serve up healthy yet sumptuous meals, whether you're a vegetarian or a typical foodie, they want you to, what else, e-a-t, and be merry...

Thus, glorify on a plate of Pesto Cream with Grilled Chicken - pasta version. 

Another pesto variation is the Grilled Chicken Pesto - Rice bowl version.  If you are like me who loves pesto and makes it even at home, you ought to know what a good pesto is.  According to Chef Erik, when making a favorable batch of pesto, using nuts with richer fat(oil) content is the way to go. In most cases and traditionally, pines nuts are used, but can be substituted with macadamia or cashew, but in their recipe, they used walnuts.  I find it intriguing since I always use cashew when purchasing pine nuts can be inevitable.  

Walnuts has a woody, tangy, bitter aftertaste compared to other nuts, but glad to note that I didn't taste the bitterness on the pesto dishes.  

 Both the pasta and rice bowl were aromatic with less the sharp herb taste, are delish, with the added spunk factor of the grilled chicken also smothered with the same pesto.

Another pasta dish to go for is the Chicken Parmigiana.  It's a tamed pasta dish that would be great for kids, with the chicken fillet battered and crisp fried.

Now I beg you, if you were not blown away enough with all that I recommended, then make sure to never leave the cafe without reveling in their desserts and pastries.  Partner it with their local blend of freshly brewed coffee concoctions and a good selection of gourmet teas.

This slice of Chocnut Cheesecake is telling you, "Eat me!"  A heavenly layer of chocolate cookie crumb, baked cheesecake, chocolate ganache and crowned with bits of Choc-Nuts.  

You can also go simply with their best-selling brownies, Chili Brownies and Walnut Brownies.

The night ended splendidly with Chocnut Cheesecake Cup on one hand and Chili Brownie on the other, with a pot filled with Lychee with rose and almond tea.  Such a celebration indeed for us, Bhogs and I, on our 19th wedding anniversary, together with other foodies.

You can always go ala carte or check out their daily meal packages which are , might I say very affordable.

They can also be a venue for parties with a maximum of 60 pax, and they would love to work with you on a catering package.  

How can I forgot, how can a party or celebration be complete without wines?  Fine European wines  are sold per bottles at minimum of P 500.  

Eat. Cafe is also the service resto of V Hotel.  Bhogs and I, together with the whole family is now planning to stay at the hotel soon, so do watch out for our hotel review on them too.

Cheers to us!


Address:  Mezzanine Level, V Hotel, 
                1766 M. Adriatico Street, 
                Malate, Manila
Contact Details: (+632)3285553
                            (+63) 9176229707


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