When in Manila and tired of the usual cafes which offer the same old blends and treats, allow me to share to you a new spot which I found right at the heart of Metro Manila. We don’t even have to go far nor explore its innermost streets. It’s located at a very wholesome place… at SM Megamall! weeeee!! And the place, the 1st Japanese Café in the country – Akiba Café!
I’m no different than you my friend, I’m a proud regular worker myself. My daily routine includes a 1-hour bus ride from Fairview to Megamall. I often leave the house early so I can have extra time to wander around the mall in the hope to find something out of the ordinary. I’m aware (since I’m a food critic, I believe I should be) of the newly opened expensive in-your-dreams restaurants with lavish seats and fancy dinnerwares yet still serve the usual mediocre stuff. OMG! It seems that everybody is leaning on the “safe zone” (boring!) nowadays. Rarely do I see people who take the risk in venturing onto something new and exciting! I almost lost hope in my quest to find a fine spot in this overly crowded mall until I came across the Akiba Café! The first of its kind in Manila! A café inspired by the land of the rising sun! Hmmmm Got really curious with the menu, curious on how “Japanese” it really was. I couldn’t take my eyes off their Green Tea Cheesecake! FYI— I’m a sucker for green tea and cheesecakes! Cheesecake is my kryptonite so I said to myself, “this, I gotta try!”
I invited my fellow wheninmanila.com writer and tea addict Paula delos Reyes to critic with me this week! We also had the chance to meet Akiba Cafe’s very young owners Kenn and Wesley Ong. The 23 yr-old Kenn and the 20 yr-old Wesley! OMG again! They’re the youngest food business owners I’ve met so far and I just couldn’t wait to know more about them and on how they came up with this concept! (curiosity meter rising even more).
fellow writer Paula with the young owners of Akiba Cafe namely Kenn and Wesley
Without further adieu, here are some of their treats as well as our personal picks!
WARNING: The following photos will make you drool!
I was impressed on how they were neatly served so I thought of making my photos look as though they’re pieces of art! Think of it as my mini cake exhibit! hihihihihihi
Trifle Jasmine Tea (85php L, 95php Huge) – Super light and refreshing cool jasmine tea topped with exquisite smooth, sweet and creamy trifle cream! It was not good…….. IT WAS GREAT!!!!!!! Blew me away! This drink is surely a must try!! Oh, it’s best tasted when sipped rather than using a straw! YOU JUST GOTTA TRY THIS!!! Waaaaaaahhhhh!
love! love and more love!
Coffee Jelly (125php L, 140php Huge) – Their version is said to be a certified hit with the kids! I sure agree!! Ideal for coffee addicts!
a sure hit with both the young and young at heart
Chocolate Yogurt Chiru (120php L, 130php Huge) – This I may say is another perfect example of something that is very delicious yet very healthy! I really hope that Filipinos would start a healthier lifestyle and include yogurt in their regular diet!
left to right : Chocolate Yogurt Chiru, Coffee Jelly & Trifle Jasmine Tea
Azuki Bean Chiru (120php L, 130php Huge) – I’m so glad they introduced this to the Philippine market! This is something that’s really new to me. hmmmm it has a very distinct Japanese taste!
Matcha Latte (80php L, 90php Huge) – I got only 1 word for this drink…. SERENITY! Serenity with each sip! I love everything about it! Definitely a new favorite of mine! A sure stress reliever!
absolute serenity in a cup
Brace yourself with these heavenly cakes….
Ginza Premium Choco Cake (130/slice) – I’m very hard to please when it comes to chocolate cakes! In fact, I rarely order chocolate cake ‘coz I usually find it too common and too sweet! I was actually a little nervous when they served it for I thought it was just gonna taste like the others. I was totally amazed! I kept on digging in with my dessert fork for a least 8 times yet I didn’t ask for water! It’s a miracle! I have met my match! The frosting was very rich and the sponge cake was moist and heavy! It reminded me about my photo-buddy Frank! He’ll definitely love this!
so far the best chocolate cake I’ve tasted!
Almond Craze (140/slice) – This dessert is also a fine one I may say, for those mocha lovers out there! One thing I noticed about their cakes is that, their very heavy… in Filipino, very “siksik!” They don’t taste like the usual commercial cakes being supplied by independent bakeries to other cafes. The Akiba Cafe has their own bakery. I believe this is best partnered with a hot beverage of your choice!
Paula enjoying her cake
Green Tea Cheesecake (130/slice) – As I said a while ago… cheesecake is my weakness! I’m a certified cheesecake addict so I was really thrilled to see this on their menu! It had a really nice thick and rich texture! I can definitely taste the green tea! Very chunky! yum! It’s very sweet but I don’t really mind it…. I appreciate it very much! I was on a high (the whole weekend!) !!
look at that beauty!
=P this is the life!
Wesley’s Favorite Ensaymada – Warm, buttery and cheesy homestyle ensaymada! No wonder this is Wesley’s favorite! He actually said “Favorite ko yan!” more than 5 times! hmmm Very convincing! hahahahha He was very confident about their ensaymada! It was very very good! I wish it would be served warmer next time, or probably with a little more butter! oooooohhh!!!!!
“Favorite ko yan!” ~~ Wesley Ong
Wesley with his favorite Ensaymada!
But wait! There’s more!!
the divine trinity
so many treats to choose from!
My personal picks…
Trifle Jasmine Tea
Green Tea Cheesecake
I must admit, the Akiba Cafe is now on the list of my top favorite cafes! I’m glad that the place is very accessible for everyone to enjoy!
I’m turning Japanese… I really think so!
A few days before I was supposed to meet the owners, I did a sort of surprise visit just to check out their service on a typical day. I was very impressed with their crew named Christian! Too bad he wasn’t on-duty during my official visit. He was very polite and knew about their menu very well! 2 thumbs up to you! =) The whole staff was actually very friendly so expect service deluxe with each visit!
One great thing about being a food critic is that aside from tasting all sorts of good eats, you also get to meet amazing people overflowing with positive vibes! I really love it!
meet the warm and friendly staff!
At last! Something new to look forward to in crowded Megamall! So shake off those stresses and reward yourself with cups filled with love at the Akiba Cafe! Definitely something worth experiencing when in Manila! I can’t wait to visit again with my best buds!!
Share the love!
Thank You Kenn and Wesley Ong and to the whole staff for that fun and wonderful time! It was really a pleasure!! See you guys soon!
Building A, 2nd floor hallway
Contact no: +63947-344-10-25
Akiba Cafe: The First Japanese Cafe in Manila! Must Try Their GreenTea Cheesecake!!