Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Going ala-La Peral at Edsa Shangri-La Cafe

Lately, my bestfriend and I have been frequenting The Edsa Shangri-La Cafe right beside the world-renowned hotel which is situated, respectfully, right inside Fully Booked. I have been enjoying my visits for the past 3 weeks because of the accomodating staff they have, whether you buy a drink or just simply spend the whole afternoon surfing the internet through your mini lappy at no extra cost. Yes, my dear lambs. They have unlimited wifi and it's as fast as what Starbucks probably has to offer (I think Starbucks charges P100 or something like that for an hour of wifi). What a rip-off when wifi is supposedly free of charge (just buy a drink or two and you've got an instant excuse).

I love their iced tea (well ok, 'coz it's only P90). Every order is served with a generous portion of real orange slice in your glass to keep that lime twist. Plus, it's not your everyday iced tea. It tastes real to me. You may also customize your drink, mixing it with different flavors, according to your heart's desire. Just make sure to ask the pretty baristas if the mix you want is possible (no coffee plus lime juice please). We also love pairing it with the cafe's Traditional Black Forest mini cakes (P150 each). Overflowing and walled with dark, bittersweet belgian chocolate all around, one would think it's death by chocolate. But wait 'till you crack the chocolate wall apart. Rich, moist and soft chocolate cake layered with whipped cream will truly tickle your tastebuds, leaving you asking for more.

This is no Starbucks, Gloria Jeans, Bo's Coffee or Figaro. It's not crowded. Mostly class A crowds frequent the place. I see a lot of people from the hotel coming in for a cup of coffee to go or just for a quick bite to keep them full for the next 2 hours. Middle-aged foreign men (and sometimes those at their prime) would come in just to catch a glimpse of the cafe's pretty baristas, armed with their outdated pick-up lines from the 80's. Of course, this not something new to the staff. So the minute the men has stepped out of the cafe, the ladies burst out in laughter with the other staff, sharing the cheesy lines used on them . But these ladies, with their rosy-white complexions and inviting smiles, speak their native visayan dialect when no customers are at sight. They shift personalities instantly. From slang american accent to their native tongue and so on. They seem to enjoy their jobs since they really don't get exhausted, given the foot traffic at this side of the hotel isn't that much as compared to the main lobby part. The manager himself seems to be a light-hearted individual, given that the place promotes relaxation and sophistication. I have, no doubt, grown to love the place in less than a month and definitely, I will be coming over more often with my bestfriend.

The only con about this whole place is the slight humidity (which most tropical countries have) of their Al Fresco. There are several sets of comfy chairs and good tables outside. But if one tries to spend sunny afternoons here, you can expect that the sun sets right before your eyes. In fact, you can forget looking for a shaded spot to avoid the furious rays of the taming sun. The glare and the scorching heat will be all over you as it reflects by the glass windows right behind you. It's a microwave experience for real. By the way, the best time to visit the place is after sunset. That is why we have been staying inside the cafe lately, even if it means occupying the one and only set of chairs and table inside the cafe. Yes, lambs. We don't give a frog if it takes us 5 hours to sip off our iced tea as long as we are assured of excellent wifi connection, airconditioned "workplace", our one & only and very own corner right inside the posh Edsa Shangri-La Cafe.
Overall, with the staff being the most accomodating (in my entire cafe experience), I give the Edsa Shangri-La cafe a perfect 10. I won't even give them a score lesser. I would recommend it to everyone and I mean every single person in the never ending coffee shop search. Best and lasting cafe experience ever.