Cafe Via Mare
December 16, 2011
It’s quite surprising that I haven’t blogged about Cafe Via Mare. It’s a restaurant that I always love to have merienda in. Their bibingka, especially their puto bumbong and palitaw are the best in the Metro. I guess I felt that blogging about Cafe Via Mare’s snack menu wouldn’t be enough for a single blog post.
Luckily, this time around, me and my friends decided to have a full lunch at Cafe Via Mare at our favorite mall, Powerplant in Rockwell. I said to myself, finally, I can blog about the restaurant! I also vowed that in spite of being so full, we will still try out most of their yummy desserts. Via Mare’s desserts are to die for! In spite of having such delicious selections, they are reasonably priced. That is why, I always crave for food in Cafe Via Mare.
The ambiance at Cafe Via Mare’s branch in Powerplant Mall is so nice. Since it’s located beside the back entrance of the mall, it has nice natural lighting brightening up the inside. The seats are pretty comfortable too as most are couches.
Cafe Via Mare has been operating for over 20 years. They are known for their Filipino dishes. As they continue on with their business, Via Mare elevates Filipino cooking to make it at par with the world’s best.
Me and my friends ordered Cafe Via Mare’s bestselling dishes. We ordered a lot hahaha! There were only 4 of us but I think we had enough food for 6 people! Oh well, in spite of that, we still finished every single dish. Doesn’t that prove how good the food in Cafe Via Mare are?
Our Main Meal
- Tiyan ng Bangus Sinigang sa Miso (Php 265)
The best Filipino soup for me is Sinigang. The only thing we thought about was to decide between pork or fish belly. Since we wanted to be healthy, fish was our best bet. The menu says that the dish is good for 2. I’m just glad that the serving was so generous that it was enough for the 4 of us. I love that the sinigang had the right sourness, the fish meat was tender and it didn’t have any bones so it was easy for me to enjoy the dish.
- Kare-Kare (Php 360)
A popular dish in Via Mare that has ox tripe and tail cooked in peanut sauce. For me though, the dish isn’t complete without the bagoong alamang sauce. Via Mare’s bagoong sauce I believe was cooked the traditional way. I’ve always preferred processed bagoong sauce that is sweetened. However, I guess the plain ol’ original bagoong taste suits Cafe Via Mare’s kare-kare much better.
- Sun-dried Crispy Tapa (Php 280)
I admit when I ordered this, I thought it was sun-dried crispy PATA. Apparently, it was sun-dried crispy TAPA. Blame it on me and my failing eyesight hahaha! Oh well, when the dish came, I was surprised but still, I welcomed it as it was a new offering from Cafe Via Mare. I’m all for trying out new dishes.
The dish is basically beef sirloin that is sun-dried. I thought that the dish would come out crispy but apparently for me, I had a hard time eating it. I guess it was too dry for my taste. For beef sirloin, I still prefer it cooked with sauce. My friend disagreed with me though, she liked this dish.
- Rellenong Talong (Php 120)
An old-time Filipino favorite is rellenong talong. It’s broiled eggplant stuffed with ground pork and wrapped in scrambled eggs. No matter how simple the dish is, the taste just lingers in my mouth. The ever-reliable ketchup made the dish more delightful.
- Calcag Rice (Php 135)
Calcag rice is another addition to Cafe Via Mare’s menu. I must say, among the main dishes that we tried out, this was the best. I couldn’t get enough of it. It was too damn tasty! Calcag rice is made with sun-dried shrimps, bagoong and scrambled eggs. The chef hit the jackpot with this recipe! It was perfect for me! I will definitely order this again when I get back to Cafe Via Mare.
Cafe Via Mare’s Popular Desserts
We were already full after finishing our main meal. However, we already agreed from the start that we would be ordering Cafe Via Mare’s desserts. I told my friends that we shouldn’t pass on them, especially the puto bumbong. I think even if they didn’t agree, I will still order hahaha! Cafe Via Mare has the best Filipino desserts and they are pretty affordable. If only they have branches that are more accessible, I could be dining there every afternoon for their Filipino delicacies. It’s that good and I’m not exaggerating.
- Palitaw (Php 45)
I super LOVE palitaw! If only Cafe Via Mare offers eat all you can buffet of their desserts, I will definitely take loads of palitaw. I couldn’t get enough of it. They are poached rice patties covered in grated coconut, sugar and toasted sesame seeds. Hayyy, it’s too damn good! I really didn’t care that I’d be eating so much sugar. Whenever I get the chance to eat Via Mare’s palitaw, I immediately forget my diet.
- Puto Maya (Php 138)
I love suman (sticky rice). I don’t get the chance to eat them at all (the native ones). I know that several Filipino & Thai restaurants serve them. However, they all have the same style in presenting them which is accompanied by sliced mangoes. The mangoes are a nice touch but it was always the sticky rice that I crave for. I really love the consistency of the glutinous rice flavored with coconut cream, every spoonful had so much flavor and it didn’t feel sticky at all inside the mouth. I love the presentation Cafe Via Mare did with this dessert too. I don’t understand why they called it ‘Puto Maya’ though.
- Bibingka with Laguna Cheese and Salted Duck Egg (Php 115)
The most popular menu item in Cafe Via Mare has got to be their Bibingka. Their bibingka are freshly cooked. Looking at the bibingka served to us, it was surprising that we all wanted to dive in ASAP. It certainly was mouth-watering, especially seeing the butter melting in front of our very eyes. How heavenly!
We get to choose which ingredient aside from Laguna cheese to be included in the bread: salted duck egg (Php 115) or quezo de bola (Php 138). I still preferred salted duck egg. Hayyy, so yummy!
- Puto Bumbong (Php 70)
Puto Bumbong is a delicacy everyone loves to eat during Christmas time. I, on the other hand, always crave for it even during summer time. There’s no right time for us to eat appetizing food and that is certainly how I feel with puto bumbong. I have eaten a lot of puto bumbong but I believe that Cafe Via Mare serves the best one! It’s pretty obvious how tasty the dish is by looking at the picture right? Puto bumbong is cooked in bamboo tubes and steamed. Not the simplest way to cook but it’s definitely worth it after eating the dish.
We had a satisfying meal and you don’t have to guess that we were full! hahaha! I think I’ll go back to Via Mare very very soon. This post is making me crave for their desserts again!
Cafe Via Mare
G/F Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Drive cor. Estrella St. and J.P. Rizal Ave., Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines