A small, cozy cafe serving pastries and dishes just as your mother would make them popped up between Ibuna Street and P. Guevarra Street in San Juan last November. CLAN Maison Cafe is definitely a place where you can relax, sip a cup of premium coffee, and eat hearty meals that make you feel right at home. They even serve sweet potato cake – a flavor that you usually won’t find in other cafes.
Charlson Lim with his lovely wife Ilene Tan-Lim behind the counter
Managed by Charlson Lim, he and his business associates jumped into the food business because they wanted to create a restaurant where you won’t have to go to different places to get your different fixes.
Fun fact: CLAN is actually an acronym of the business owners’ names (Charlson, Lucy, Anthony, and Nelson). It is combined with Maison, which means “Family House”. Some local celebrities have also visited this restaurant and they shared their personal favorites with us. Let’s check out what this humble little cafe serves, shall we?
Roasted Squash Soup, Php165
First off is their Roasted Squash Soup, which tastes like autumn in a bowl. It’s made from pureed Rosalinda Squash and is full of flavor. You can’t go wrong with its creamy indulgence.
Aglio E Olio, Php295
Aglio E Olio is one of the simplest pastas to make, but it is also one of the best. CLAN’s noodles come straight from Italy, and this dish is tossed with cherry tomatoes, black olives, and anchovies, and drizzled with the finest olive oil, which gives a nice kick with every bite. According to the owner, this is one of Jake Cuenca’s favorites at the restaurant.
Baby Back Ribs, Php450
Another famous artist, Gerald Anderson, recommends their Baby Back Ribs. It is meaty, smoky, and coated in a sweet and spicy sauce that provides an explosion of flavors on the tongue. It’s tender and comes in a big serving, so you’ll definitely feel full afterwards.
Their ribs are simmered for over 5 hours over low fire, so all of the flavors are absorbed by the meat. They have different kinds of rice to choose from, too, such as Kimchi Rice, Java Rice, and Organic Red Rice for the health-conscious. You may also replace the rice with homemade potato wedges instead if you wish.
Seafood Pizza, Php845
Their Seafood Pizza may be a bit pricey, but it’s worth every penny. Their dough is freshly made upon ordering, and the crust is infused with cheese, making it light and crispy compared to the gummy crust of other pizzas that people usually set aside. (They use imported Australian cheese, as well.) This pizza comes with a medley of seafood toppings such as cream dory, shrimp, and squid.
Latte, Php140 and Sweet Potato Cake, Php155/slice
What better way to end dinner than with a cup of Latte and a slice of their Sweet Potato Cake? The cake tastes like a homespun masterpiece. It’s fluffy as a pillow and goes perfectly with their coffee. They use La Marzocco machines, a double boiler from Italy; and beans from Brazil, Sumatra, and Colombia to make their coffee. This is definitely evident when you taste their blends.
Gerard Anderson posing with the couple
The happy couple with Jake Cuenca
These are just some of the celebrities who have graced their restaurant since it opened (they are the personal friends of the couple).
All their pastries are freshly baked everyday, so you can be assured of their quality and freshness. They have a wide assortment of pastries, such as muffins, ensaymada, and cookies, to name a few. They also have made-to-order cakes, such as Strawberry Cake, Mango Cake, Orange Cake, and the traditional Chocolate Cake, among others.
All their cakes are deliciously soft and moist, but not too sweet, so you can enjoy it without worrying about your waistline. Their cakes are mouthwatering both in photos and in person.
Their original concept was to be a commissary, so they implemented this concept into the cafe. They supply pastries to a number of coffee shops and are open for personal orders, as well. They require a 3-day lead time, though; so make sure you give them a call or message them on Facebook a few days before you need your orders.
If you want a meal that fills both your heart and stomach, CLAN Maison Cafe is the place to go. Don’t forget to try out their pastries, either, which make for perfect gifts for all seasons.
If you’re the type to look for a heavier drink after your meal, don’t hesitate to drop by this Irish pub, which is also situated around the area.
CLAN Maison Cafe
259-B Ibuna st. corner P.Guevarra st. brgy. Little Baguio, San Juan
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 12pm – 9pm