Yesterday was another chance for me to explore obscure but worthwhile food places / cafés, one of which is Kape Bantay. The word, “kape” is both the Filipino and Ilocano (one of many Philippine languages) translation for “coffee.” On the other hand, “bantay” means “guard” in both languages. Coffee Guard. Interesting … Kind of like Coffee Prince? Coffee King? Coffee Queen? Why not Coffee Knight, instead? 😛
Too bad I wasn’t able to ask the café owner, Masako. She was busy preparing food for other patrons so, meh. I’ll do a proper interview for a another blog post on this café. By the way, Masako is my classmate in Master’s class. She’s a Japanese who, surprisingly, knows how to converse in Ilocano, one of the widely-used local languages here in our area.
Getting back to the café, they serve coffee, tea, and a load of vegetarian/healthy dishes and snacks. Compared to other vegetarian cafés and restaurants I’ve been through, their menu items are really affordable! Imagine a healthy muffin for PhP10.00 only! If you buy them at the nearby city, they would go up to at least PhP25.00! What’s more, their lunch specials are really fulfilling for less than PhP65.00. A typical lunch special gets you rice, two viands, and a salad. Their specials change daily. Desserts taste authentically like what they are supposed to, i.e., strawberry mousse, which tastes very naturally strawberry.
The ambience is a mess of novelty items for sale, which we LOVE! Bags made out of newspapers, dyed cloths, pouches, and some carvings at one side. On another, organic soaps, powdered ginger tea, strawberry vinegar, and strawberry wines. All these displays lend a bohemian atmosphere. Coupled with circa 90s and 2000 jazzy muzak, and you’ve hit a jackpot rendezvous!
Drawbacks of this quaint café include:
- the location, which isn’t at visible at all to possible patrons,
- the small space, and consequently,
- the limited number of tables and chairs — only THREE dining sets!
But I guess that’s how it is when you’re just starting small, micro even, in the food business. You rely on word-of-mouth and cater to people within your circles.
More to come on this café!