Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Get your durian fix at Blugre Coffee

Some people don't like the smell of durian. Some also don't like its taste. But in South East Asia, durian is  known as the "King of Fruits", never mind if the stench causes it to be banned from airplanes and hotels. While I don't find durian smell offending, I don't like to eat the fruit raw. Durian candies, cake and yes, coffee(!) are an entirely different story, though, because I absolutely love them! 
That's why when I learned about Blugre Coffee from a friend who is based in Davao, who also told me that this cafe was soon coming to Manila, I got so excited! Blugre, according to my friend, is a popular cafe in Davao that serves coffee, tea and desserts containing durian. The info about a Manila branch was relayed to me sometime in December 2016 and Blugre Coffee indeed opened a branch near Malacanang earlier this year, 2017. Since then, I've visited three times -- twice alone, once with my daughter.  What do I like there? Well, the food and drinks as well as the friendly service and ambiance: wooden tables, cozy couches, no loud music. 
These were what I've (and we've) had so far:

Bangus meal, P150
On my first visit last February, there wasn't any rice meal available yet and I was happy to know on my second visit that it's already on the menu. This bangus meal was what I had as I didn't want meat this particular day. Everything on my plate was good - the garlic rice, fluffy egg, fresh veggies and the perfectly fried but non-greasy milkfish. With all washed down by a perfect cup of latte, it was one 
very satisfying meal that I had.

Carbonara, P185.
My daughter had this, her dinner, as we came one evening after church service. While she loved it for being creamy and delicious, she wasn't very happy over the serving size.  
She wished there was a lot more. Hehe...

Chicken Pesto Panini, P175.
This, in turn, was my dinner then. I loved that the bread was fresh and the chicken pesto filling was really good -- packed with the right amount of flavors from basil, poultry and spices. And then, there were potato chips on the side, most of them going to the daughter. Tee-hee.

Durian Bar, P85.
This small piece of dulcet heaven bawled me over! It was really good! The sweet flavor from durian was present in every bite and morsel - not subtle nor overpowering, just perfectly right. Even the after taste was very pleasant, leaving only good memories after the last bite. Its texture was a toss between pudding and cheesecake - not too soft but a bit firm and a little rough on the tongue. For me this was such an unforgettable piece of dessert - sinful but not causing any regret!

Durian Coffeecinno, P160.
This was my ultimate reason for coming to Blugre because I so love durian coffee. As this is what Blugre is known for, I had high expectations -- which were sadly, not met. There was a lack in durian taste and that was a let down. I could taste chocolate, which I don't really need in my durian coffee. There also was a bitter after taste that lingered 
for some time.

Dutertea, Tall, P160.
This durian tea floored me, though, and redeemed Blugre for me. Strong durian taste 
and just a little sweetness. Loved it!
                                          Cafe Latte, Tall, P110.
I so loved this cup of joe that might as well be the best latte of my life! The coffee packed a lot of punch! It was full-bodied with a clean finish. Unforgettable!

Strawberry and Cream, Tall, P140.
My daughter's drink, which she said was sweet and good and refreshing.

Inside Blugre Coffee
                There's a function room for group gatherings and meetings.

   Blugre Coffee at Malacanang Compound, Jose Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila.

Head over to Blugre Coffee, guys and try their unique offers especially the durian-infused drinks and desserts. Don't take my word for the Durian Coffeecinno - people have different tastes and opinions, anyway. Here in Metro Manila, there are two other stores aside from the one in Malacanang Compound -- at BGC and Club Manila East. Oops, the latter isn't Metro Manila anymore but at least it's closer than Mindanao where there's more Blugre Coffee branches. 
Happy eating!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Today's Word: Romans 8:28

Saddled in problems and feeling like there's no end to your sufferings? Many people are in similar situation, even Christians at some point in their lives. Before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I felt exactly the same way as I was encountering troubles both in my career and personal life. But glory be to God, all changed when I was born again and started hearing and reading His Word. No, not all my problems were solved at once, but the Word filled me with hope and gave me wisdom and guidance on what to do to eventually be able to have those problems resolved. 
One of those first Bible verses that I learned as a baby Christian was Romans 8:28 (And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose) and it instantly became one of my favorites. I remember watching the 700 Club Asia on TV and Pastor Peter Kairuz sharing about this beautiful verse. He said that for a person who loves and worships the Lord, all things - both the good and the bad circumstances in his life - will all end up for his benefit. What words of comfort! I cried with tears of joy as this verse touched my heart and gave me hope that all troubles I was then going through would not compare with the happiness they would result in in God's perfect timing. 
Be encouraged and blessed. 

(Thank you, Digital Bible for this photo)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Cafe Adriatico Express: Goodness that lasts

Last May when I was at SM North Edsa with my two older sisters, we decided to have merienda (snacks) at Cafe Adriatico Express located at The Block.
Cafe Adriatico is an established restaurant in Malate, Manila, where it opened in 1979. It is now called Cafe Adriatico Premiere, maybe to differentiate it from the mall branch, which, I guess, offers a shorter menu. This is just one of a number of similar establishments under the LJC Group of famed restaurateur Larry J. Cruz. The other restaurants owned by the group are Bistro Remedios, Cafe Havana and the more contemporary Fely J's Kitchen, Abe and Lorenzo's Way. Cafe Adriatico 
specializes in Spanish, Filipino, and Italian dishes.
Anyway, when we were at Cafe Adriatico Express, both of my sisters went for palabok while I had the black pasta. We also had pandesal with kesong puti, 
and brewed coffee to wash everything down.

Pancit Palabok, P255.
This, I read somewhere (in the menu, I guess?), was one of the bestsellers at Cafe Adriatico and my sisters really loved it. 

Black Squid Pasta, Regular, P275.
My choice turned out to be wise. This dish, despite not getting a high grade in the looks department, tasted really good! I love squid to start with, and I commend the idea of making it a main ingredient for a pasta dish instead of simply turning it into viand. The flavor of squid is strong without the fishy stench or taste, and adding parmesan cheese 
brought out the best out of this dish.

Kesong Puti with Pandesal, P165
We had two orders of this, which were originally served with hot chocolate. We asked that the drinks be changed into coffee, though. The pandesal was big, fresh and tasty. But I wished the slice of kesong puti was bigger because there wasn't enough to fill up the two pieces of bread. 

Brewed Coffee
I was happy that Cafe Adriatico serves really good coffee. It was aromatic and bold. Also, it's served with milk, which I prefer over non-dairy creamer.

I'd always held an image of Cafe Adriatico as a restaurant for the old rich of Manila. I'm glad the management had decided to open a branch in one of the most patronized malls in the metropolis to reach out to more people of varying social standings. 
Despite the idea of "reaching out", Cafe Adriatico, to my humble opinion, has done well maintaining the high quality of its food. I know because I had dined at the flagship restaurant in Malate many years ago with two of my "bestest" of friends. I don't remember what exactly our orders were but I do recall loving the food and having a great time.