Address: 109 Don Carlos Palanca, Legazpi Village, Makati, Manila; Lobby, High Street South Corporate Plaza, 26th Street, corner 9th Ave, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
Opening Hours: Daily 7:00am – 12:00am
Official Website: the-coffeeacademics.com
Coffee Academics, Legazpi Village, Makati, Manila
After a streak of terrible restaurant experiences around the metro recently (Punctuated by Omotesando Coffee. Made bearable by the recent opening of Randy’s Donuts), I wasn’t too sanguine about The Coffee Academics in Manila. This coffee purveyor hailing from Hong Kong wasn’t my go-to coffee shop in Singapore. Even its Hong Kong flagship didn’t make it in my list of recommended coffee shops. I found their coffee watered down, milky, leaving me wondering what made it so popular in top cities. But still, I decided to stop by their Makati restaurant, because I wished Manila would progress economically.
The Legazpi Village store wasn’t as expansive as the Singapore ones. The intent of the bare bones ceiling to give an industrial feel was lost in the limited space the old building provided. (This type of architecture is always better suited for high ceilings.) The result was a cramp space with poor ventilation.
But then who cares about architecture when you visited for a cup of coffee? The Long Black, as expected, was diluted. The Mocha was fair, but I found myself drinking hot chocolate instead of an afternoon jolt of caffeine.
The Coffee Academics menu was, of course, infused with Filipino dishes. Here, you’ll find local delicacies for brunch. Miso Salmon in Sarciado. Bibingka. And even Tocino Egg bennies, which was cute and creative. Some light snacks like Kouign Amann, Beef Tapa Puff and Ube Cheese Ensaymada for the less hungry.
We ordered the popular Prawn and Aligue Pasta to share. Buckwheat pasta tossed with chili and coconut cream sauce with seared prawns. It was passable, to my relief, but I didn’t taste the aligue in it. It tasted like some sticky laksa pasta.
For the sweet tooth, you’ll find familiar cakes like Opera Slice and Brownie Chocolate Mousse. Pain Au Chocolat sells for P110, but the quality is something Coffee Academics needs to improve. (My ultimate favorite is Petit Pain’s Pain Au Chocolat.)
Perhaps, there is hope for Manila’s dining scene. But it’s going to take more than one restaurant to change the perception.