STUDIES SUGGEST that the hot weather tends to spoil people’s spirits. So, for this summer, the Flame brings you a list of cafes and restaurants perfect for when you need to cool down. Beat the smoldering heat with creamy milkshakes, try uniquely flavored ice cream, fuel your energy with delectable desserts, fill your stomach with healthy comfort food, and make sure this summer becomes one that your taste buds will remember.
1. Dough-licious cookies made with love: Cookie Mug
For Kath De Ocampo and her family, owners of Cookie Mug, every day is a sweet one when they meet satisfied customers who appreciate the love and hard work that went into establishing their humble business. For almost three years, the dessert establishment has been known for its unique and delicious specialty: Cookie Mugs or Cookie Shots, a classic pairing of cookies and milk with a twist.
The edible cookie dough mixture, shaped like a mug and filled with milk, comes in various flavors: cookies and cream, double choco, mocha, strawberries and cream, and choco chip. The milk is also available in flavors such as chocolate milk, strawberry, caramel, mocha, and plain white. Together, the two create an irresistible combination that provides a whole new dessert experience one cannot get anywhere else.
Cookie Mug also offers frappes to satisfy cold coffee lovers. Its specialties include the Caramel Macchiato Frappe, and the classic Cookie Mug Frappe, both of which are blended to perfection and topped with a hefty amount of whipped cream.
Meanwhile, the Nutella-stuffed Oreo Cookie is the perfect remedy for a sweet tooth. The mouthwatering treat is coated with chocolate, a soft cookie pop that melts in the mouth, and a delectable choco mousse.
De Ocampo and her family take pride in serving delicious treats that do not only look and taste good, but are also prepared with love and care to ensure that their customers leave with happy hearts and full stomachs.
2. Sugar, spice, and everything ice: Sam’s Ice Cream and Shakes
Along the streets of one of the most popular food destinations lies 150 Maginhawa Food Park, which offers a wide range of choices for all kinds of cravings, including those during summer. A family-owned business going strong for two years and counting, Sam’s Ice Cream and Shakes holds the reputation as one of the most sought-after dessert places in the area.
One of its bestsellers that will definitely tingle your taste buds is the Double Trouble Shake. Served with a mini doughnut and topped with whipped cream and sprinkles, the combination of chocolate and milk, and its creamy texture will leave all the chocolate enthusiasts wanting more.
For the berry lovers, the Birthday Shake certainly would not disappoint. The first sip gives off a sweet and irresistible fruity vibe that will surely satiate your sugar cravings. Also topped with whipped cream, strawberry bits, and sprinkles, this heavenly concoction will make you feel like it’s your birthday every day.
On the other hand, those who like their dessert plain might be delighted by the mouthwatering Candy Cane Ice Cream. It is strawberry based and not too sweet, but offers a sensational fusion of berries, and a refreshing minty flavor.
Looking for something a little different from your average ice cream in a cup? The Red Velvet in a Bun ice cream is a creative and savory twist to the classic. The red velvet flavored ice cream, enveloped in a toasted bun and sprinkled with chocolate bits, is the perfect energizer for those who had just gone through a long, tiring day.
Set off to an adventure back to your childhood years with these yummy and sugary snacks. Sit down and relax right in the middle of a lively food park, and take a break from the demands of a busy schedule to enjoy the best that this dessert business has to offer.
3. A sip from the nectar of Il Fiore
In the heat of the season, Il Fiore blooms in the streets of Poblacion, Makati. The selections in the menu, based on its owner Hazel Que’s recipe stash, were made from the best picks of vegetables and fruits.
Though the cafe is mainly a gelateria, it also takes pride in its delectable meals such as the Portobello Mozza Burger, made with stuffed mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and zucchini. The sweet potato fries sprinkled with rosemary and salt also add a fresh taste.
Have a taste of the Kofta Spaghetti Pomodoro, which is crowned with Kofta balls made from a secret combination of seven different vegetables.
Slice through the Spinach and Squash Lasagna, let the mozzarella cheese dribble in your mouth, and smell the flavorful mixture of spinach, squash, and Pomodoro sauce waft through the air.
Savor a piece of Quinoa Chili Shepherd’s Pie—the scrumptious mashed potato balances the strong chili made from broccoli, lentil, corn, sweet potatoes, and Pomodoro sauce seasoned with secret spices.
Awaken the senses with the garden-fresh fragrance of Rose Green Tea or The Sun Moon Lake Black Tea.
On the search for the best gelato? Il Fiore offers its own line of gelato perfect for all seasons. Each flavor is expertly made from a personal recipe that focuses on the strong-tasting essence rather than the sugar content.
A scoop of the luscious Fior De Latte will entice your taste buds. The flavor is purely milk, which is the base for other mouthwatering flavors like dark chocolate ganache, pistachio, cashew, matcha, black sesame, melon, guava, and mint.
A serving of Dark Chocolate Ganache is best paired with Mascarpone. The blend of ganache and cream cheese leaves a delectable taste.
Try a mishmash of Pistachio and Fior De Latte for another flavorsome duo. The fusion of pistachio nuts and milk leaves one craving for more. Or mix and match other servings to find the ultimate pair that will satisfy your summer craving.
Find your next vegetarian haven at the garden of Il Fiore, and indulge in their wonderful collection of dishes and gelato!
4. Sunny with a chance of milky: Milky & Sunny
Milky & Sunny—the name itself leaves a pleasant taste in the mouth. But more than that, this cafe in Makati could uplift anyone’s mood with its lovely interior, accommodating staff, stress-relieving all-day breakfast meals, and other comfort food made with the finest ingredients.
Breakfast knows no time when you consider it as comfort food, so the owners established Milky & Sunny—one of the first cafes to serve all-day breakfast meals—with hopes that people who have untimely cravings would have a place to go to.
“One reason we put ourselves up is because we want to feed people good food. So, we hope we’re able to do that,” says Pia Magalona, one of the owners. “You can eat it every day but it’s still, for sure, made fresh and healthy with the best ingredients possible.”
Over the years, its menu has expanded to include other tasty dishes and treats besides its signature continental breakfasts. For example, a section of their menu is dedicated to food made with everyone’s all-time-favorite: bacon. Another section, under the line of Yellow Halo, offers healthy selections with under 500 calories. And just in time for the summer, Filipinos’ best friends Halo-halo and Mais con Hielo—have also been made into menu regulars.
Other summer delights include the strawberry milkshake and vanilla Oreo milkshake, which offer the perfect level of enjoyable sweetness. The cafe also takes pride in its Custaroons French Toast—soft brioche bread enveloping scrumptious caramelized macaroons, topped with whipped cream, and drizzled with chocolate and maple syrup. The citrus salad is also a must-try; the combination of the crunchy lettuce, flavorful pomelo, orange, and pear, is completed with the kick of Balsamic vinegar.
The blue-and-white themed cafe—decorated with dainty tea cups in cupboards, tiny plants in shelves, and patterned pillows sitting in teal-colored cushioned seats—also exudes a calming ambiance that proves that Milky & Sunny looks just as good as it sounds and tastes.
5. Let’s talk about desserts at Dialogue Café
The hottest days of the year are fast approaching and the perfect go-to place is one where cold desserts are simply the best. Dialogue Café presents the definition of great-tasting summer goodies with its rare ice cream flavors and Instagram-worthy frappes to freshen up a humid day.
Dialogue Café offers unique and delightful treats for those looking for a new taste, such as Riesling Wine Ice Cream and Peach Zinfandel Wine Ice Cream—vanilla ice cream with five percent alcohol content, and Strawberry Sparkling Wine Ice Cream, a perfect combination of strong strawberry flavor and wine. Craving for familiar ice cream flavors will not be a problem either with Soy Mint Chip, a mint-flavored ice cream topped with tiny pieces of chocolate mint.
Pastas in Dialogue Café make conversations with friends better. Cheesy Bacon is pasta with cream sauce topped with bacon strips, and partnered with crispy garlic bread. For red-sauce lovers, Spaghetti Bolognese is made of soft pasta, smothered with delicious Bolognese sauce, and also paired with garlic bread.
Lower down the temperature outside by ordering cold frappes that both appeal to the eyes and the tongue.
Choco S’mores lulls the taste buds with its strong chocolate flavor and tinge of s’mores goodness. The drink is also topped with whipped cream, marshmallows, and pretzels to make the drink more exciting to savor. Cookie Dough, the signature drink of Dialogue Café, can also satisfy chocolatey cravings. The dark chocolate drink is balanced with the sweetness of whipped cream.
You can also never go wrong with Green Tea Frappe, the cafe’s newest flavor, or Strawberries and Cream, the carnation pink drink topped with whipped cream and strawberry wafer that tastes as delicious as it looks.
For dessert, the must-try Mangoes and Cream is a sweet waffle course. The waffle envelopes whipped cream, fresh mango cuts, and mango ice cream mixed into one masterpiece.
Summer season is not all about going to beaches and taking vacations, especially for students who have school works to prioritize. But at Dialogue Café, warm days are easy to bear through light chitchats over cold desserts. F AARON THOMAS L. DE GUIA, ALISHA DANIELLE M. GREGORIO, and JULIENNE MAUI C. MANGAWANG