I used to work for the newspaper (I still write in!) from 1996 to 2001 and I still remember the one-storey McDonald’s a few meters away that used to be in this spot. Now it’s being occupied by The Bayleaf, the newest boutique hotel to rise in Manila’s historic district of Intramuros.
I can’t help but wax sentimental, especially since so many places are being torn down in Manila to give way to high-rise condos and the like. But at least, they did a good job with The Bayleaf. Aside from the old McDonald’s, this area used to have only roadside stalls servicing the major universities around (Lyceum, Mapua and the nearby Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila).
I’ve made a mental note to stay in The Bayleaf in 2012 because it looks enticing. I heard that the view from the hotel’s Sky Deck is really good. Their main restaurant, 9 Spoons, also has great ambiance. You can dine here while glancing at Manila’s old landmarks like the National Museum and Manila City Hall with its giant clock.
Cioccolata Churros Cafe is the only food outlet I’ve tried in Bayleaf so far. Even though it is only a small spot in the hotel, I give it high points for its coziness. What to eat here? the churros, of course! This pastry of Spanish origin is simply divine when dipped in rich, hot chocolate. The fare they serve in Cioccolata doesn’t fail me in this regard. Only P75 for an order.
There are four churros variations to choose from in the short menu. There’s double dip (with vanilla ice cream), the dusted (with sugar) and this churros with coffee caramel sauce which was recommended by the server. Somehow, this fails to capture my tastebuds because am biased towards the one with hot choco which they call the “original.” The churros passes the mark for me though because it is tasty and just has the right crunch. I could linger over lazy conversation with friends while munching this and I wouldn’t mind the passing of time at all
Aside from the hot chocolate, the cafe serves an assortment of coffee, tea and cold blended drinks. They also have sandwiches but the quality of the bread in their hamwich (P130) left much to be desired. Let’s just say I’ve had better sandwiches elsewhere.
Having said so, I’d like to try their other offerings like the grilled ensaymada, banana hazelnut croissant, s’mores and cinnamon bread pudding. Since it’s a fairly new establishment,Cioccolata still has room for improvement but I’d like to trim down my expectation especially since their snack items are priced reasonably between P75 and P120.
Mostly, am just happy that there’s finally a quaint coffee shop in one of my favorite parts of Manila. This is the view of the road while am having my coffee.The historic old walls in the background is just precious and makes me think of a time gone by.
Here is where it all happens. Just keep your conversations hushed, the place is quite small 😉
Cioccolata Churros Cafe @ The Bayleaf Intramuros
Muralla corner Victoria Streets, Intramuros Manila
Telephone No: +63 2 3185000