When Toffee, my dog and I walk in the wee hours of the morning in Baker Field, UPLB, we always pass by this domed café right beside Animal Husbandry called Ginhawa Craft Studio Cafe. A real mouthful. I always thought it was so cute and quaint and the location was perfect. But we would always be there before opening time so I never got to chance to try it until me and my high school friends met up and saw a brochure of this. We instantly decided to have lunch there.
First, the location and ambiance of the café is really nice. I like how they reused the old tree trunks fallen from the past typhoons. Thumbs up on recycling and making them into pretty designs.
When you go inside, the place is big enough for at least 20 people, perfect for a cozy meal with close friends, and maybe a few more if they stay outside. I like how the feel is very artsy fartsy and in fact, they do hold art lessons, particularly painting, on an advancing session basis. I don’t have the details yet – how much, when etc – but they’ll ask you to leave your contact details and when you are available.
For the food, it’s basically a Chinese menu which took me off guard since the place didn’t quite match the flavors. Think dimsums, noodles, chicken feet in the middle of oil paintings and black and white photographs. Then a fridge of chocolate cake and mousse and other desserts. There’s a disconnect there. I mean, with an artsy fartsy ambiance, you’d think they’ll serve burgers and maybe Western meals.
They did have pastas and sandwiches though, which is what I ordered. I ordered their Spicy Salmon Skin Pasta (Php108), Grilled Kesong Puti Sandwich (Php60) and their large Cucumber Shake (P120). I really, really liked the food I ordered. I found the pasta quite large in serving though it’s really only good for one hungry person. It’s a bit sweet and savory and the Portobello mushrooms and salmon skin are perfect combinations to the sauce. I would go back for this. The kesong puti sandwich though, I found a bit pricey for the taste. It’s normal white bread with cheese in it. It’s good, yes, but maybe it wouldn’t hurt if it was priced at Php40. For the cucumber shake, it was really good (I’m biased with cucumber shakes). A bit pricey again but it was yummy and refreshing.
Overall, I really like the convenience of the location, the ambiance of the place, the very nice staff and quick orders. I think they could lower their prices a bit because I consider them ‘Manila prices’ already but I’d definitely go back (and probably order the same set). Happy to announce that by 2016, they’ll be open everyday including Sundays, 7am-940pm. I really recommend this place if you’d like a getaway from the usual fast food and carinderias of UPLB – good food with a wonderful view.