One rainy Wednesday night, I had to pick up my daughter #ExhibitA from school. Feeling a little adventurous, we decided to have dinner at restaurant some small distance away called Santiago’s Cafe.
The cafe is attached to the indie cinema theater Black Maria. I would imagine theater goers would frequent the place before or after movie screenings.
Parking may be an issue, though, as I had to park my car along a driveway of a seemingly abandoned warehouse across the street. There was simply no other parking space nearer to the cafe, even though it was quite late and the cafe was almost empty.
Santiago’s Cafe (named after the first grandson of the family that owns it) is known by its signature flamingo wall and overall playfully pink-colored interiors, seemingly taking its inspiration from hip and Instagrammable coffee joints.
The cafe has a small menu that features rice meals, paninis, pasta, coffees and milkshakes.
For our late-night meal, #ExhibitA had:
Bacon Express Panini (Php165). Slices of thick bacon, arugula, egg, cheddar and mozarella cheese in a toated panini sandwich and served with honey butter chips. I’m not a fan of the chips that accompany the sandwich as I found them too sweet. I prefer my chips to be on the saltier side. My daughter liked them just fine, though.
Binagoongan ni Milagros (Php200). Cubes of pork sauteed in tomato and stewed in shrimp paste, served with on a bed of steamed rice along with strips of fried eggplant, sliced tomato and salted egg. I appreciate the interplay of the tomato and shrimp paste flavors in this dish but the portioning is a little off. There was too much rice and too little pork that I ended up leaving half the rice on the plate.
Bacon Mushroom Truffle Pasta (Php220). This, in my opinion, is the highlight of the meal. Penne pasta is tossed in truffle white sauce along with bacon bits, and parmesan cheese. It is served with two extra (and much-appreciated) slices of bacon along with garlic bread on the side.
Chicken Parmigiana (Php180). Deep-fried and lightly battered chicken breast fillet on top of penne pasta tossed in homemade red sauce with parmesan, mozarella and cheddar. I found the red sauce a little too sweet for my taste.
Sarah’s Milkshake (Php165). This blueberry cheesecake blend of milkshake was my baby girl’s drink of choice.
Strawberry Milkshake (Php150). This was my choice for my milkshake.
My daughter and I appreciated the freshly-made quality of the milkshakes and the fact that the restaurant made use of bamboo straws.
New York Cheesecake. This dessert was a bit of a let-down. The texture and portioning was fine but the taste was lacking the rich, cheesy quality of other cheesecakes we’ve tried.
Still, I wouldn’t mind coming back to this cafe to try out its latte offerings, considering it is a third-wave coffee shop that prides itself on its artisanal coffee selections.
I just wouldn’t bring a car when I return.
Santiago’s Cafe is located at 779 San Rafael Street, Plainview, Mandaluyong City, open Mondays from 3pm to 11pm and Tuesdays to Saturdays from 12 noon to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5320540.
Did you know that if you and a friend dined at Santiago’s Cafe, you can get some dishes free via Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 (Buy 1 Get 1) deals on food or 2+2 (Buy 2 Get 2) deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.
Check out my blog posts on other cafes around the metro:
- Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato
- Sammy’s, Cainta
- Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo
- Burrow Cafe, Antipolo
- Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato
- Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato
- Cafe Tribu, Kamuning
- Cafe Tribu, Gloria Diaz
- Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt
- Little Owl Cafe, New Manila
- Starbucks, Tomas Morato
- Starbucks, SM East Ortigas
- The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Tomas Morato
- The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Venice Piazza
- The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, SM East Ortigas
- White Camp Coffee, Tomas Morato
- UCC Park Cafe, Glorietta