One of the usual appeals of Antipolo restaurants is the view they offer of the Metro Manila skyline.
For many of us denizens of the metro, the city is full of smoke, traffic and stress. From afar, especially after sundown, it’s awash with color, lights and wonder. For me, it’s the kind of sight that helps you find comfort and meaning for all the hard work that we do.
This is the reason I asked two of my former bosses for a sunset meetup at Cafe Agusta in Antipolo. Not only will this be the first time we would be together for the first time since the pandemic, this tete-a-tete will also celebrate my 15 years in the company which they have been so instrumental in shaping.
Amazing views for al fresco diners
Diners who prefer to stay indoors can lounge inside the cafe where its nice and cozy.
However, let’s face it: the real draw for this place has got to be its amazing view.
With its location high up the mountain and facing west, it provides the ideal vantage point with which to gaze at the metro’s cityscape as the sun sets.
The buildings’ white walls and cobblestone lined exterior floors are complemented by tables clothed in light blue to give off that Santorini vibe as diners enjoy the cool mountain breeze and the awesome sunset view.
For guests who are in the mood for some drinks, they can get their cocktails and mixes from Agusta bar right across the cafe and enjoy their drinks in a separate deck.
Comfort food that’s good to share
Cafe Agusta serves up filling comfort food that can be enjoyed as guests soak in the view. During our foray here, my friends and I shared:
Panini Chicken Crunch (Php260). Crispy chicken fillet loaded with cheese and the resto’s special sauce.
Creamy Pesto with Grilled Chicken (Php350). Al dente noodles tossed in flavorful pesto sauce with bits of juicy grilled chicken.
Pasta di Vongole (Php300). Al dente noodles tossed with Manila clams, garlic and parsley in olive oil and spiced up with pepper flakes.
Blueberry Cheesecake (Php185). Proving that there’s always room for dessert, we capped our meal with this sweet treat.
We washed our light meal down with Raspberry and Cuban Mint Agusta Coolers (Php140 each) and an Ice Blended Mocha (Php160).
Some kinks in the system
While Cafe Agusta’s awesome view may have been worth the trip, there are some areas for improvement which, when addressed, can make the entire dining experience here absolutely phenomenal.
Here are some of my observations:
- The restaurant understandably does not accept reservations, and given its popularity, some walk-in diners should expect to wait before being allowed to enter the sunset viewing deck at around 5.30pm. A notice outside of the number of guests waiting in queue would be helpful for other diners to gauge their waiting time and decide if they want to stay so they can catch the sunset.
- Stray cats more or less have free rein in the al fresco dining area. While they don’t jump on the tables, steal food nor attack diners, they do go underneath the tables and would sometimes slink against the legs of the guests. Aside from concerns for those with cat allergies, these stray animals roaming about in a dining environment can be considered a bit unsanitary.
- Some orders, as well as the bill preparation, took quite some time. Some efficiencies in order taking and bill processing would go a long way towards improving the customer experience.
I found the overall experience at Cafe Agusta to be quite good, thanks to the delicious pasta dishes, the friendly wait staff (one even gamely took several pictures of me and my companions), and, of course, its much lauded view.
Hopefully, with a few slight adjustments in its operations, the restaurant will be known and appreciated for more than just its view.
Cafe Agusta is located along Grand Heights Road, Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo City, Rizal, open Mondays to Thursdays from 12 noon to 9pm and Fridays to Sundays from 11am to 11pm.