Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Become Part of the Cafe Laya Journey and Be Creatively Inspired While You Dine!

I've read in some articles that people go to coffee shops not really for the coffee but for the ambiance and a place to hangout with friends. But I believe how the coffee tastes is also a big factor why patrons frequent certain establishments.

unwinding with friends at Cafe Laya
Me? I prefer coffee shops that not only serve good coffee but also prepare good food. Right now, Cafe Laya tops my list of favorite coffee shops because, aside from the delicious food and flavorful coffee, the place likewise inspires creativity while also helping local artisans.  

one of the colorful exhibit walls
Cafe Laya is a coffee shop in an art gallery (or vice versa). There, you'll find beverages and food made from local ingredients and homemade sauces. The coffee beans are 100% Arabica sourced from the Benguet Province and used as base for hot and cold, classic and exciting mixes such as Salted Caramel Latte and Mocha, Dark Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, and more.

ice cream and espresso based milk shakes (P165 - P185)
The drinks are perfect for pairing with mains like Tuyo Pesto (served with buttered bread), Flaky Adobo (served with brown rice), Bacon and Keso de Bola Sandwich (served with kamote chips); and desserts including Kesong Puti Cheesecake, Chocnut Cake, and Ube Pandan Cake.

Tuyo Pesto (P200) tastes like gourmet pasta!
I was glad to find out that the place also carries products from social enterprises like First Harvest Peanut Spread made by Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm; Bayani Brew, the all-Filipino iced tea; and Theo and Philo, the first bean to bar artisan chocolate from the Philippines.

Bacon and Keso de Bola sandwich (P155) is highly recommended!
While there, make sure to view the exhibit walls where you can find masterpieces of local artists. Each is featured for a period of six to eight weeks and tells a story, the first theme of which is "freedom." Some of the pieces are available for sale. Guests can also join in the artistic fun by making your own artwork and having it displayed on the freedom walls.

didn't know Pesto Pasta with Bolognese sauce could be this good!
Similarly, the artisan products displayed on the counter plus the furniture by local craftsmen can be taken home, too! The iconic caged lights, chairs, and tables are by Silya, Elektrika, atbp, a group of artists that use reclaimed and repurposed treated wood and steel to masterfully create one-of-a-kind pieces of art. 

materials are available for those itching to sketch or draw
On the other hand, the covers for the floor poufs on the mezzanine are produced by ANTHILL, a cultural and social enterprise that enables Filipino weaving communities to preserve and promote fabric traditions by giving them a contemporary feel and making them accessible to all. Other standout pieces are from Archinections, Junk Not!, recycled steel drums, and small local furniture stores.

local artisan products 
During Saturdays, Cafe Laya encourages everyone to learn something new by hosting regular passion workshops. Complete five out of nine consecutive sessions and get to attend a free one for you and your friend who can also commit to finishing another five workshops. Called #PassionItForward, the activity aims to promote a cycle of discovering and sharing.

yummy desserts (P70 - 170) 
So write, draw, and color the blank canvas that is Cafe Laya. Visit them from Monday to Saturday, 10AM to 11PM, at EGI Taft Tower, Malate, Manila (just beside DLSU). Don't forget to join the social media conversation by liking Cafe Laya on Facebook and following @cafelaya on Twitter and Instagram. For inquiries, call (02) 554.5534.

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