It’s another fresh and new year which means another year of going into restaurants and dining places and trying its food for the first time! The last two months of 2016 have been very generous of giving me the opportunities to try different dining places which, turned out to be mostly positive experiences. That is why I am keen for what this new year has in store for me and my tummy.
For the first month of 2017, I have decided to try two well-known dining places in the metro right now which are Sunnies Café and Kanto Freestyle Breakfast.
If you’re familiar with the sunglasses store, Sunnies, you may have probably heard of its new café called Sunnies Café. To be honest, I wasn’t really excited when I first learned the buzz about this new restaurant but that did not make me close my doors for the idea of trying its food for the first time and find out the reason for the new talk of the town. So, recently, I decided to walk in to its SM Megamall branch and settle things down for myself on whether this place is worth the money or not.
Upon entering the place, I was greeted by a staff member who asked for my name and the number of seats that I needed. It did not take time before they offered and assisted me to my seat and handed me their menu.
The restaurant’s menu is pretty extensive. They offer all-day brunch meals, salads, pastas up to cocktails and wine. As a first timer, this may be a little difficult because you have to read through the entire menu to find the dish that you would like but as someone who checked their menu beforehand, it did not take me a while to decide what I was going to order. So if you’re the one who haven’t been to Sunnies Café yet and want to try it out for the first time, I suggest heading on to their website first and take a look at their menu to avoid being overwhelmed with the variety of food that they offer.
For my first visit, I decided to settle for their Granola Bowl (P190), Creamy Carbonara (P260) and their cookies and cream milkshake, Kimye (P190).
The people behind Sunnies Café were pretty open to admit that they exerted an effort in putting up the interior design of the restaurant so, it’s going to be lame if I am going to say that I did not notice its pastel-themed motif. Personally, I like the idea of using pastel colors for the motif of the place as a pastel-color lover myself. However, I did not find the overall design of the restaurant that appealing because of the design pieces that they used in the place. To be frank, if you’re going to remove the colors of the furniture, it is going to appear how basic the interior design of the restaurant was along with their glassware and silverwares that they used to complete the café’s theme. In addition, I wasn’t really amused with the restaurant’s lighting because, each table has a pendant light hung above it that produces too much light which make the other parts of the restaurant dim when you look at your surroundings. I am also not a fan of the color that they chose for these lights.
On the other hand, with regards to the staff’s service, I was really impressed with the place’s warm accommodation because I really felt like a queen even before I actually received the food that I ordered. I really like the fact that the waiters and waitresses are very conscious to attend to the needs of each diner despite the number of people calling their attention. Their simple way of filling up each customer’s glasses with water from time to time is a big thumbs up for me along with how they communicate with each customer dining. To further add to the list of the place’s good customer service, I would also like to commend the design of the servers’ uniform. I really like how simple it was delivered yet professional at the same time –a huge edge against the other restaurants that I have visited.
My food surprised me when it arrived earlier than my expected time and when they served it in front of me, I was once again impressed. Good food presentation was present in each dish –with an exception to the milkshake (because you know, it was presented in a typical milkshake way)—which were irresistible not to take a snap. And when I was satisfied with the shots that I took, I finally devoured the food that I was adoring only a few minutes ago.
I first took a sip of their Kimye milkshake and instantly felt that feeling of “Best milkshake I’ve ever tasted” (along with Diner on 16th S’mores Milkshake). Similar with the latter, I really like the milky taste of the beverage along with the bits of Oreos that comes with it. It is a very good answer if you have a craving sweet tooth.
I then devoured with the place’s Granola Bowl which was a combination of sweet and sour taste. The dish is composed of, of course, toasted granola, and yogurt topped with chopped mangoes, bananas, strawberries and honey. My first bite of the dish was really satisfying. As a person who haven’t eaten granola before, the dish’s taste was really unique and delicious alongside with the idea that I felt really healthy because I’m actually eating a dish with fruits. However, don’t be fooled with its ‘small servings’ look because in reality it isn’t. As a matter fact, halfway along through eating the dish, I was already feeling full and starting to have that “umay” feeling because of the sweetness that the food offers. Contrary to what I did, I think the dish is better shared with one to two people.
The restaurant’s Creamy Carbonara is as creamy as its name. I wasn’t really expecting the dish to be that creamy but the circumstance proved me wrong, on the other hand. So be prepared to wipe your mouth from time to time when you order this dish.
The taste of the carbonara was not that aligned with what I have expected because I was looking forward for this particular taste that I did not find from the dish. Nevertheless, the food surprised me with the tasty bacon that comes in bits which made its overall taste way better. Similar with their Granola Bowl, don’t be fooled with the dish’s ‘small serving’ look because the serving is actually enough to fill the grumbling stomach of a starving person. Nonetheless, I think the dish is better shared with another person if you are not that hungry.
Overall, my first dining experience at Sunnies Café was good. Though it can be on the pricey side, I think the restaurant is a good place to go if you want to try different kinds of food that isn’t typically present in the Filipino culture or if you want a place where you and your friends can have a chitchat and catch up on each other’s lives (the place also serves coffee and tea too!). In addition, I think the restaurant is also “loner-friendly” as I would like to call it if you want to try its food for the first time but would rather go on the venture on your own. Just make sure you visit the place on a weekday or during its non-peak hours otherwise you may feel left out.
If you want to experience and taste the other dishes available in their menu, Sunnies Café is located at the 2nd floor of SM Megamall and at B3 Unit 748 Bonifacio High Street.
Kanto Freestyle Breakfast
Next stop on our list is another place that I have finally ticked off in my list of places to try and it is none other than, Kanto Freestyle Breakfast. I’ve heard and read a lot of buzz about this place so I was keen to experience the same things that its diners felt and tasted when they visited this establishment. Hence, I decided to choose the place when my friend and I were deciding where to eat in Pasig with a limited budget.
If you’re going to walk along 1st Street in Kapitolyo in the night, you’ll immediately spot Kanto Freestyle Breakfast because of the light emerging from inside the gates in one of the establishments found along the street and when you go near it, you’ll find people seated in front of tables under several incandescent bulbs.
The place is a definition of warm ambiance thanks to the orange light from these incandescent bulbs. The establishment isn’t well-ventilated which add to the literal warm ambiance of the place. Most furniture are made out of wood and one side of the place is decorated with faux capiz windows partnered with some quotations hanged on the wall. Opposite this is a kitchen’s window where the servers get the diners’ food.
When we entered the place, we weren’t immediately given seats since all tables were occupied so we were given a temporary one where we can wait until one of the tables are already available which did not take long. When we were finally secured with a table, the server immediately gave us their menu which is a definition of food variety.
Kanto’s menu is divided into different segments which features their crafted dishes, signatures ones and different kinds of beverages. We learned from the server that the place is known for its Honey Garlic Chicken (P95) and Pork Belly (P95) so we decided to settle for both dishes until I changed my mind and ordered their New Zealand Beef Tapa (P110) instead since their Pork Belly was sold out during that time. We partnered these with their Oreo Cookie Butter Pancakes (P95) and Mocha Frappe (P65).
Among the restaurants that I have visited, Kanto is probably the one who took the most time to serve our food that my friend even finished her frappe before the food arrived. We may have waited for at least 25 minutes before our food was served. In addition, another downside of the place is the dim lighting. I did had a hard time taking shots of the food in the place since there isn’t enough light hitting it to make the perfect shot.
When our food were served, I have to say that I was pleased with the presentation of the Beef Tapa most especially with what they did with the tomato which tasted unique and really good (I have no idea with what they done to make the tomato taste like that). Nonetheless, with regards to the beef itself, there was nothing special about the taste of the tapa which was partnered with a greasy scrambled egg at the side which did not please me since I am not a fan of greasy food. As a matter of fact, I find the tapa greasy as well.
The place’s Mocha Frappe was nothing special except for the strong taste of the coffee used in it which I am uncertain whether is the same coffee that they use in their coffees or not. Either way this did not change my taste buds’ decision that I’m not pleased with the place’s frappe. Their Oreo Cookie Butter Pancakes was another disappointment for me. Honestly, I was really looking forward for this dish when we ordered it but was instantly disappointed with its presentation and serving upon seeing it. There was nothing really special with the dish’s taste and I think one can easily recreate this one in their home.
The place’s bestseller Honey Garlic Chicken was the one who saved me from my dissatisfaction from the food we’ve ordered. Its taste is really unique and delicious and can be a forerunner in the best signature dish in town. One can easily taste the garlic in the chicken and the unique flavour that they used to make this dish a delicious one. I can say that this food really deserve its title as Kanto’s bestseller.
Generally, my experience at Kanto Freestyle Breakfast was good but not as well as my experience at Sunnies Café. However, when it comes to talking about which restaurant was more worth it, I have to say that Kanto got my side on this. For an amount of P110, a person can easily fulfil his grumbling stomach with food whose taste isn’t that bad. In addition, what can a kanto-inspired dining place have to prove against a pricey restaurant?
If you find yourself in Kapitolyo one of these days, you can find Kanto Freestyle Breakfast at 6A 1st Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Aside from their Kapitolyo branch, Kanto Freestyle Breakfast also have branches in Marikina, Makati, Mandaluyong and Eastwood.