Wednesday, December 21, 2016

St. Marc Cafe: My new chill-out place

I'm not sure if there really is a saint named Marc (spelled this way, I mean, because the apostle Mark's name has "k" as the last letter) but I find it a bit odd to name a restaurant after him. Well, you name a school, a funeral parlor or a church after a saint but I think it's not a usual name to call a cafe. But apparently, somebody in Japan thought it was the best name for his (?) business and thus, opened St. Marc Cafe in 1987. It became such a big hit that it now has over 350 branches in Japan alone. In 2014, St. Marc Cafe was brought to the Philippine shore by the Suyen Group and to date, there are already six branches in the country, all in Metro Manila.
I had been passing by St. Marc Cafe at SM North Edsa and Robinsons Place Manila for too long and drooling over the most beautiful display of desserts I've ever seen (I know they're faux food but they look so real and delicious!), before I was finally able to go inside and eat and drink. I'm happy I finally did -- and three times at that in a single week! On Sunday last week, I was with my son and three days later, with my office group of friends so aptly christened "Kain Club". Then that Saturday, 
I went solo after running an errand.
These were my/our orders on those three occasions:

Sepia Nero, P320.
This pasta may look gross for some people, but it tasted really good! Squid gave it it's beautiful black-as-night color but the flavor from the seafood was just an undertone and there was no unpleasant fishy taste. If there was, the zing from chili reduced it to a miniscule. I sprinkled more parmesan cheese into the pasta and mouthed a forkful of it with a piece of the halved baby tomato and my taste buds went partying! I so loved this Sepia Nero because not only was it delicious, it was also a departure from the usual pasta with cream or tomato-based sauce served in many restaurants. And yes, it comes with a piece of a rather rubbery but tasty garlic toast, and is filling enough for lunch or dinner. I've had this pasta dish twice 
and I won't mind having it a third time.

White Fish Katsu Burger, P245.
Want a healthier burger? This one's a perfect choice if you're cutting down on red meat or avoiding it altogether. And there's a lot of shredded cabbage for a bonus of vitamins and fiber. What's more, each bite into this sandwich is a heavenly treat! The fish katsu is perfect - crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, and flavored just right. There's also mayo 
and cheese for added delight.

Carbonara, P300.
Two of my friends ordered this. I asked if it was good and they both nodded in agreement. The dish was topped by a raw egg and one has to break the yolk and mix it into the pasta while it's hot and not yet "cooked". By the looks of it, I know this is one delicious plate of carbonara.  

Bacon Cheese Croissant, P75.
My boy, who loves croissants, ordered this and it's just the way he loves it -- crusty and flaky. 
I loved it too!

Chicken Teriyaki and Vegetables sandwich, P150.
When I was with my friends at St. Marc, I shared this, the Sepia Nero and dessert with my bestie. Not an outstanding sandwich but we were quite happy with it. I never thought chicken teriyaki would make a nice sandwich filling.

Egg and Ham Sandwich, P150.
This was another friend's order together with a plate of Sepia Nero.

Strawberry Heaven, P250.
I planned to skip dessert but my bestie ordered this and insisted that I share it with her. No regrets! This lived up to its name. It was heavenly indeed! First, we loved that it was just a bit sweet and the little sweetness that it had was countered by the sourness of the fresh (frozen?) strawberries. Also, the crunch of the cereals added much delight to eating every spoonful of this dessert that took our taste buds to Cloud 9!
Elvis, P150.
I wanted to say this was like a banana split in a cone but quickly, I realized it couldn't be because there isn't a trio of ice cream flavors. Anyway, my son enjoyed eating this one 
on a hot Sunday afternoon. 

Iced Cafe Mocha, P150. (M) 
A friend paired this one with carbonara and was satisfied with her meal.

Iced Matcha Latte, P130. (S)
I love matcha and this was no exception. It was refreshing and guilt-free for a diabetic like me because there was just a wee bit of sweetness in it.

(L-R) Cappuccino P120 (S); Matcha Latte P120. (S), Cafe Latte, P120. (S)
The cappuccino was my friend's but she wasn't very happy about it. I liked my cafe latte, though, but loved the Matcha Latte which was just a little saccharine and very creamy. I found out from that it landed at #9 in their list of Top 10 Matcha Lattes. 
To me, it's no surprise. This matcha is really good!

Iced Yuzu Tea, P170. (L)
My friend's drink which she loved and described as citrusy and refreshing.

St. Marc Cafe at the ground floor of SM City North Edsa Main Bldg.
Faux food but still drool-worthy!

Thumbs up for St. Marc Cafe! The food and drinks are yummy and out of the ordinary. The servers are friendly and attentive to our needs. The ambiance is very comfy and relaxing and remarkably quiet compared to other coffee shops, allowing good conversations and even reading, working on a laptop or studying. 
To top it all, there's free and fast wi-fi!
Visit the nearest St. Marc Cafe, folks and enjoy a relaxing meal 
whether you're alone or with company. 
Happy eating!

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