New chain chaikofi has got to have the best decorated interiors of a dining/coffee place in Manila today. Their just-opened express outlet at Robinsons Ermita stands out from the crowd because of its yellow motif and brightly-lit contemporary design. The back-to-back lounge seating evokes an American diner feel infused with the European touch (and rightly so, because one of the owners is Dutch).
If you’re looking for an alternative to good ol’ Starbucks or Figaro, this is the place to go. At least you can hang out sipping your 100 peso designer coffees while admiring the view and relishing some good company. That’s right: hang out here holding a cup of coffee for a couple of hours and get your money’s worth because everything else about Chaikofi is overpriced.
Or maybe it was just a big mistake on my part to go and check out this new place just when I was very hungry? In Robinsons, it is located beside the delectable Razon’s where a yummy meal of palabok and halo-halo will set you off at less than a hundred bucks. Compare this with chaikofi which has a number of paninis, sandwiches, pastas and even rice toppings on the menu. The total for my F & B order ran up to P224 which I found to be quite too much for a meal for one in a fastfood establishment. The quality of the food doesn’t do the price justice either: my bavette al pesto (P135, exclusive of VAT) was some sorry-looking pasta which was more cream than pesto. Heck, they don’t even know how to cook the pasta because it was soggy, not al dente. It was topped by little slivers of tenderloin chicken and focaccia. The fruitea to go with my meal was also the cheapest in the house, at P65.
It seems obvious from this chaikofi experience that there’s a price to pay for all the tasteful ambiance and interiors.
Though it would have been better if the food had more generous servings and a little more tasteful too.