Friday, March 7, 2014

Kat's Café Shares the Love of Baking in Las Piñas

It's refreshing to meet young business owners who aren't in it for the money, but instead use the business as a jumping off point for their passions in life, like Kat. I met the shy, soft-spoken owner of Kat's Café one afternoon while trying out some of the items off her menu. I appreciate how she treats her space like a food playground of sorts, experimenting with flavors and techniques, coming up with delicious discoveries, and making almost everything from scratch - right down to the bread for her sandwiches.

Jericho discovered this super cute place, and it was only a few blocks away from my building. Usually I'd expect to travel to Makati or BGC for a decent sandwich that uses artisan bread. Whoever would've thought I could have that in my own backyard and in Las Piñas, of all places?

Located along Abel Nosce street in BF Resort Village, you can't miss this cute, kitschy cafe. The set up is a bit weird, with the drinks like coffee and tea being made on one side of the building, while the rest of the food and cupcakes being made on the other end. Their next door neighbors weren't going anywhere, so they just made do with the only available space left.

Inside is super kitschy, with knickknacks Kat has found from all over. I love the hidden toilets, one hidden behind a bookshelf, and the other behind a red telephone box. Even the reading material is interesting. I found a pop-up book of my favorite children's book author of all time, Roald Dahl, and couldn't stop flipping though it again, and again, and again, marveling at Quentin Blake's original illustrations of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The menu at Kat's Café is pretty concise and straightforward as everything is made using only the freshest ingredients. Kat's Aglio Olio (P170) was a simple olive-oil based pasta made with Capellini and  topped with Spanish sardines, kesong puti, and cherry tomatoes. Spritz a little bit of lemon to cut through the spicy sardine oil and you're in business! Jericho liked this a lot and polished most of the dish off.

I was leaning more towards the Pancetta Cabornara (P170). The rustic linguine pasta was topped with smoked pancetta and an egg yolk for that creamy consistency. This is so old school, harking back to the Italian shepherds who invented this dish, where they would leave for the mountains with some pasta and pancetta packed with them, asking for an egg if they were lucky enough to pass by a generous farmer.

We fought over the Rustic Salsiccia (P180) -Trivelli pasta tossed in with sun-dried tomatoes and Italian sausages along with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan. This, like most of the dishes you will find at Kat's Café, was simply put together yet very satisfying. And mind you, they do not skimp on the quality or portioning out of the ingredients!

I tried the Tuscan Chicken Sandwich (P180), and although I found the filling itself to be good but forgettable, I have to say the star of this sammie is the homemade Anadama bread. Made with a molasses base, this isn't as sweet at the popular Gardenia variety and is usually made with wheat or corn flour, making it, erm, morning-friendly. I could just eat the bread all day long, to be quite honest. It was really good!

Nevertheless, the bread had a tomato spread on both ends, before piling on the lettuce, chicken slice, alfalfa sprouts, and Parmesan cheese. If I had my way,I'd swap the deli chicken slice out for chunks of chicken breast with a yogurt-based spread.

Jericho couldn't get enough of the Roast Beef Sandwich (P180). It was like a mini Sunday mothership - roast beef and potatoes. The gravy was thick and creamy and I could taste bits of roast beef and mushrooms in the mix. The bread sopped everything up and if that wasn't filling enough, it also came with a side of marble potatoes for good measure. All that's missing is a dollop of horseradish and I'd be golden!

We thought we were winding down our meal when we got ourselves a few of Kat's cupcakes. All their cupcakes are P65 each, but if you get a box of 6 they come down to P60 each. It's a steal, I tell you! A steal! I almost didn't want to write about this so people don't find out and I can be greedy and keep Kat and her marvelous cupcakes all to myself!

I didn't get to try the Oreo Cheesecake, but it looked lovely! Even the way they sprinkled the crushed Oreo crumbs on the frosting was done with just love, I'll probably head back to try this in a week or two.

When I saw the Death by Chocolate my eyes lit up and that was the end of that. I just had to have it! A moist dark chocolate cupcake base is topped with luscious dark chocolate frosting, and topped of with generous shavings of melt-in-your-mouth Belgian chocolate. This was so utterly divine I swear, I almost forgot to swallow.

Kat's Café's Red Velvet Cupcake is a beauty, sacrificing the deep red hue for an even more chocolate-y base before being topped with a rich, Philadelphia cream cheese frosting and edible gold balls to give it a bit of personality. I was supposed to share this with my dog - he goes barking mad for cream cheese frosting - but after taking a bite, decided to have it all to myself. Sorry, Mr. Wiggles.

The Midnight cupcake gets is name from the dark chocolate cupcake base, the dark chocolate frosting with white chocolate nibs, and the soft chocolate ganache ball on top - like a moon on a dark night with only the stars being visible. Do I really need to tell you it tastes as good as it looks? Kat takes pride in only using the best ingredients, so you always know you're in for a treat. No cheap tasting chocolate here!

I wasn't expecting much of the Cheesecake Crumble after going through the chocolate-based cupcakes, but I was oh so wrong! This unassuming little beauty is like an upside down cheesecake with the crumble on top. The cupcake seemed to be made of a light chiffon and the cream cheese frosting and strawberry topping was light with just the right amount of sweetness.

If cupcakes aren't your thing, there is the deliriously delicious Molten Soufflé (P120). Breaking through the crust of almond slivers, cream cheese and the giant strawberry slice gives way to a dark chocolate mousse that is positively addicting. You have everything you want in one dessert: sweet chocolate, nuts, salty cream cheese, and sweet strawberry. I ended up licking every bit off my spoon and the bottom of the cup.

Prying myself away from the cupcakes, we turned our attention to their actual desserts, like this Banana Walnut Crêpe (P180). The portions were pretty big, and the crêpe was made with dark chocolate, which put a smile on my face. Everything about this was stupendously good - the rich chocolate crêpe, the equal parts banana slices and walnuts, the scoop of ice cream, and the caramel drizzle that just tied everything together beautifully.

Jericho was more drawn towards the Apple Biscoff French Toast (P150). What I initially thought was briche was actually homemade Challah bread, which also works perfect with French toast as it just sucks everything up. Spread the Biscoff butter and almond slivers around and enjoy each bite with an apple slice.

Overall, I was very happy to discover this place, as the food is everything I look for in a quaint café - simple yet filling, made with the finest ingredients, with a lot of love at an affordable price point. They also have a wide array of hot and cold drinks to choose from, and their barista does not disappoint. Their cold chai latte is the bomb!

When mucking around Las Piñas, check out Kat's Café and try their filling pastas, homemade sandwiches, and generous desserts, and go home with a box or three of their amazing cupcakes. These are one of the best I have tried in a long time, I almost didn't want to share them!

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Kat's Café
+63 2 872 0263
+63 915 362 7582
DJMA Commercial Center,
Abel Nosce st., BF Resort Village,
Las Piñas
Open Daily: 10am - 10pm