You know how McDonald branches seem to magically appear because you swear to god you don’t remember it being built, that’s how I see the Bayleaf Hotel. Yes, the big building that it is, didn’t register to my radar until few months ago when after so many years I found myself walking within the walls of Intramuros again. Yes, I just told you the lengthy version of, “I haven’t been to Intramuros for quite a while now,” teehee!
Bayleaf is owned by the Laurels, the same folks who founded my Alma Mater, Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU). Aside from hotel accommodation, it has three food establishments worth checking out: 9 Spoons, Sky Deck View Bar, and Cioccolata Churros Cafe. In this review, let’s focus on Cioccolata.
My friend and I recently went to Cioccolata Churros Cafe. It has two entrances, the one facing Muralla street, and the one from Victoria street. From Muralla entrance, the first thing you will see is the bar, particularly this glass shelves for their pastries.
The picture below shows the view from the Victoria St. entrance. As you can see the place is fairly lit, with dark brown wooden tables and chairs and beige-colored walls.
Some parts of the walls were covered with bricks, adorned by interesting paintings. The picture below shows where they keep their newspapers.
Cioccolata has a wide selection of pastries and bread. This, I think, is their advantage over other coffee shops that I’d been to. They got cinnamon rolls, cakes, danish bread, sandwiches, etc. Indeed, there were a lot to choose from and some of them don’t even cost that much.
First thing I got was the Brazo Cups (PHP 35). I thought it was a cupcake, or that the meringue part would just be on the surface, wrong. It was meringue down to the bottom. It was good, not to mention cute.
For drinks, I had Dulce de Leche (PHP 105.73), which was a bit of a letdown. As my friend puts it, it tasted like instant coffee only it was served cold and had cream on top.
Bon Bon (PHP 30) is three pieces of pandesal shaped like a mushroom. It comes in three flavors; tuna, ham and cheese, and corned beef. It is neither bad nor inexpensive. Taking the words of my friend, “pwede na.”
It’d be a crime if you go to this place without trying their specialty, Churros, a fried-dough pastry that is of Spanish origin. We had their Original flavor (PHP 83.70) with cocoa sauce. Other variations include Dusted (with cinnamon and sugar), Coffee Caramel, and Double Dip (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream).
I give it to Cioccolata for making great-tasting churros. They were soft, not too oily, and tasty even without the chocolate sauce. They were a bit thin, but I didn’t really mind as it made eating easier.
Cioccolata is a good alternative to popular coffee shops. Nice interior, decent food, and it is not too busy with the crowd. WiFi is available for PHP 100 per hour.
I just have a little concern though. See, the baristas call the customers to the bar to get the drinks (just like at Starbucks), but when two foreigners entered the cafe, their drinks were served on their table. I have no problem getting my drinks from the counter, I just wish the system will hold true to all of their customers.
Anyway, I let it pass since overall, the experience at Cioccolata was good. Indeed, it will be one of the good places to visit when you happen to be in Intramuros.
Cioccolata Churros Cafe
Muralla St. corner Victoria St.
Telephone no.: (02) 318-5000
Business Hours: Monday – Friday 6AM – 10PM
Saturday 9AM – 8PM
Sunday 10AM – 8PM