During my trip to Cebu a few months back, I did a little bit of research of the new places for me to try. I asked a few friends, and even reached out to the Cebu based blogger, "Babe for Food" for some suggestions. Little did I know, all I need to do was ask my brother's best friend since childhood, Shem, for the best places to eat at.
He asked me where I had eaten already, and rattled off some names of places at a rapid pace and their specialty dishes without batting an eyelash. I was just listening to the places and dishes he was saying, but then I heard him say something that made me yell out "STOP!".
"Go back to that one again, please?", I asked. "Oh that one's my all time favorite.", Shem explained. "You can't leave Cebu without trying the Biscuits with Gravy of A Cafe."
That next morning, Rina, my brother Ryan and I were on our way to pick up Shem for Brunch at A Cafe.
A Cafe is a part of the Abaca Group, which owns the popular Abaca Restaurant, Maya Mexican Restaurant, Italian restaurant, "Tavolata" and Abaca Boutique Resort.
Although we got there roughly around 11 in the morning, the dining area inside was already quite full, reaffirming what Shem had been telling us, about their breakfast menu being very popular in Cebu.
Design-wise, they kept it rather minimalist, yet the place exuded elegance and class. Wooden flooring against white walls, with a few accents here and there made A Cafe an ideal place to spend your morning.
Rina ordered the Eggs Benedict (P335), which was a little bit surprising because she normally needs rice in her breakfast meals. I think she was anticipating that i'd be stopping by other places on our way home (*Cough Cough* Harbor City *Cough Cough*), in an effort to make the most of my time at Cebu.
The Eggs Benedict came on top of a crostini (which I'm suspecting was sourdough), which gave it a new dimension of crispiness as opposed to the the traditional English muffin. The savoriness of the shaved ham was complimented by the delicious hollandaise sauce, which gave it the slights tinge of tartness.
Cutting the Eggs Benedict right through the middle, It was clear that the poached egg was cooked to perfection. The yolk simply gushed out of the egg and gave the dish a nice creaminess as well.
Plain and simply, this was fantastic.
(I have no idea whose hand that was. But let's just say, Rina was not pleased)
My brother ordered the Angus Beef and Roasted Onion Home Style Meat Pie (P475). I was a little bit worried when I first saw it, because the pie crust seemed a little thick. It made me wonder if it was dry as well.
When Ryan cut through the pie, all those fears were dispelled. The crust may have looked rather thick, it was actually quite flakey and buttery. The Angus Beef was tender and moist, with the onion bringing out the flavor of the meat. The pie crust made it heavy enough to not eat with rice. Though it came with the a side of gravy, the few bites that I had (Ryan shelled out P475 for this, so he was understandably quite stingy with it)
Then came the moment I had been waiting for.. The Biscuits and Gravy (P395). Shem told me that if I wanted him to order something else so I could feature more dishes in my blog... FAT CHANCE.
He had taken his Canada based sister her a few weeks back, and made the ultimate sacrifice of ordering something else, just so they would have more variety.. Something he's still bitter about till this very day. And though he's a resident of Cebu and can pretty come here whenever he wants, Shem didn't care. He would not be denied of his Biscuits and Gravy once again.
You may wonder what attracted me to this dish. which admittedly sounds so simple. Yes, the biscuit itself is heavenly. It's soft, and had a gorgeous fluffy texture to it.
But what brought this dish to a new level of awesomeness, was the gravy. The creamy white herb gravy could have stood on its own, but A Cafe decided to throw a little twist to the dish.
It added crumbled country sausage. And the rest was history.
The sausage gave the gravy a meaty flavor and had a little bit of heat to it that rounded the dish out.
Knowing full well that I'd be going back to Manila the following day, I knew I had to savor every last morsel of this dish. It was phenomenal. Oh I left the green leafy thing though.
For Dessert, we had the Bread and Butter Pudding, which was served with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on top. This had bits of cranberry melded into the hot bread pudding.
The steaming pudding melded with the sweetness of the fruit and was blanketed by the creaminess of the ice cream.. You had yourself one incredible way to finish your meal.
Me and my Biscuits & Sausage.. During happier times
A Cafe is pricey, even for Manila standards, so the mere fact that it's thriving in Cebu is a testament to the quality of food that it serves. One doesn't think money will go to waste for as long as they are satisfied with their meal.. Which we all were. DEFINITELY something I'd SWIM to Cebu for.
Al Fresco area for smokers
Eye Catching Chandelier
My brother Ryan, our Host Shem, and me.
A Cafe is located at:
Crossroads, Banilad Cebu City 6000, Philippines
For more info on A Cafe and The Abaca Group,
Check out there website: www.theabacagroup.com