Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pour Over Coffee at The Cake Club by Diamond Hotel

There used to be a time where I couldn't get enough of coffee. It got me up in the morning, kept me going through the day, and when I had to stay up late to work on projects, it kept me lucid enough to finish whatever it was I needed to do and then up for the rest of the next day. I didn't appreciate coffee as much then as I do now.

Back in the day, it was an energy booster, almost a need to get me going. I didn't care what kind of coffee it was - Starbucks, gourmet, or instant - as long as it wasn't decaf. Nowadays, I've learned to enjoy my coffee - taking in the aroma of the beans, appreciating the deep, dark hue of the liquid gold, and savoring each sip, allowing the flavors to swirl in my mouth before letting it slide down my throat, appreciating the sweet, tart, fruity, chocolate-y, or nutty notes that each blend presents.

So you could imagine my delight when the lovely ladies of Diamond Hotel invited me and the rest of the KTG to sample their newest coffee blends at The Cake Club over in Bonifacio High Street.

The Summer Solstice blend has very citrus-y tones, and I personally found this to be a bit too sour and light for my taste. This would go well with something equally sour, like say, Keylime pie.

The El Diablo Dark Roast is my favorite. The chocolate notes really come true, giving it a nice, rich taste with a caramel aftertaste. This goes really well with any kind of rich, dark chocolate, and surprisingly, chicken dishes.

An incredibly fruity blend, the Matalapa El Salvador blend was nice and fruity, with aftertaste notes of tart apples. This is also the creamiest of all the coffees we tasted. This would be perfect with a slice of warm apple pie a la mode or a light strawberry shortcake.

Bella Donovan is also quite fruity, but with a slightly sour aftertaste. I prefer the El Salvador blend over this, but this is also the most ordinary tasting coffee of the lot. If you're a creature of habit and want to seek out the familiar, this is for you. Pair it with anything you fancy, really.

The one I liked the least was Decaf Noir because, well, it was decaf. Drinking decaf is like smoking with a vaporizer. What's the fucking point?

We were shown how a pot of coffee is made using the pour-over method. This is the simplest and cleanest way to draw out the coffee's best qualities. After wetting the coffee filter to get rid of the filter's taste, pour boiled water over high-grade coffee beans placed within the filter and wait for your perfect cup while enjoying the beautiful aroma each blend makes. It takes around 10 to 15 minutes to make a cup, and it's worth it.

If you can't wait, The Cake Club also carries the Malagos Coffee brand in Grand Reserve, Brazil Sul De Minas, Colombie Supremo, Ethiopian Moka, La Tierra, and Deca Aqua (P120), in case you an't wait that long for a cup o' Joe.

Of course, a trip to The Cake CLub at Bonifacio High Street wouldn't be complete without trying out a few favorites on the menu and their actual cakes. The first must-have on the menu: Truffle Fries (P195). These babies are sinfully good. If fries were ever Pokémon they would start off as the skinny yet addictive Frenchies of Mickey D's, and evolve into these thick, perfectly deep-fried cuts of potatoes sprinkled with just the right pinch of sea salt.

A friend of mine ordered a plate of Mentaiko Spaghetti (P370) which really didn't look like much at first glance, but the spicy cod roe in a light cream sauce topped with dried seaweed was as addicting as the Truffle Fries! With a love for anything with chili, the heat in this pasta was different - it hovered on your tongue, eventually settling in your mouth letting off a warm, radiant heat.

I didn't get to try the Slow-Roasted Beef Belly (P415) that came with vegetables on brown rice, but with two of my friends ordering this for themselves and wiping their plate clean, this must be good.

I opted for something light and had the Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli (P435). I was wrong to think ordering something vegetarian would be light on the stomach. The guys at The Cake Club offset the vegetarian dish with a heavy tomato cream sauce.

If you don't like taking your coffee black, then try their creamier counterparts. There's the Roast Mocha that uses El Diablo Dark Roast coffee, steamed milk, and a shot of cocoa syrup topped with whipped cream.

For those who like it white, there's the White Chocolate Mocha that uses the  Munga Maitu Kenya coffee, steamed milk, and a shot of white chocolate syrup topped with whipped cream.

My favorite is the Hazelnut Latte made with Bella Donovan coffee, steamed milk and hazelnut syrup topped with whipped cream. It's like drinking Nutella... with coffee!

And of course, when at The Cake Club, you'd be crazy to go there and not try dessert.

If all you want to do is dip your big toe in the smorgasbord of delights The Cake Club has in store at Bonifacio High Street, their Baked Cheesecake is a must-try. This is The Cake Club's signature cheesecake known for it's rich, cheesy goodness.

The Wild Pistacio Dome got me curious. This is Chef Paul Gardin's signature cake made with pistachio cream and a raspberry jelly center.

My absolute, absolute favorite is the Delice Chocolate. This reminded me of the chocolate cake at Lady M's in New York - rich, decadent, with layers of what I think are hazelnut crispys in between.

I don't know what this is called, but fruits with cream and ladyfingers are a winner in my book!

And of course, I had to get my grubby hands on their wonderful macarons. I got a taste of the sea salted caramel, lemon, and olive oil flavors, my favorite being the olive oil, since it's just really unique.

When mucking around Bonicafio High Street, have a spot of pour-over coffee at The Cake Club by Diamond Hotel and try their food and decadent desserts while you're there!

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The Cake Club by Diamond Hotel
+63 2 621 3176
UG/F Bonifacio High Street Central,
East Superblock, 7th Ave cor 29th St.
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Open Daily: 10am - 10pm