manila: breakfast at museum café.

outside m café 2

oh weee remember i had dinner here a few months back? the museum café (m café to one and all), is across the breezeway from the ayala museum in the greenbelt complex, and right smack in the thick of makati traffic, but you'd never know it. ah, how i love urban planning that works. even though it borders a busy avenue, the park beyond is the main focus (although there is a rather lovely view of the museum), and at almost any time of the day, a sort of housey jazz accompanies the breezy atmosphere with bamboo thickets and shady trees filled with capiz lanterns swinging gently around and overhead. i'm completely romanticizing things, i know, but sometimes i am just happy to pretend, and even happier when it's made easy to pretend. so yes, it may be overrated, and expensive, but i like the unobtrusive service, some of the food, and of course, the great location. anyway, how bad could they f**k up a pancake?

illy coffeem brekkiem fruit plate

we sat outside, and started off with a cuppa coffee--which was lovely, smooth, not packing a big punch--then took joey's advice and ordered the m benedict: two poached eggs, chinese ham and grilled fresh asparagus on linseed toast with a hollandaise sauce. i asked the waiter if i should pay the extra and go for the smoked salmon, and he almost immediately said no. i don't know if it wasn't to his taste or if he just didn't think it was worth it, but i was pretty happy with my choice. the eggs were overcooked, the asparagus was not, and although the hollandaise looked oily, it actually wasn't (i think the dish was broiled a bit before serving). linseeds, what are linseeds, i associate them with laxatives and furniture finishing, but the bread was nice--slightly nutty, sweet, and light. overall, it was the lightest benedict i'd ever had, i didn't feel like i needed a nap afterwards. ms. p had the pancakes with fresh mango and maple syrup, and huzzah! they were fluffy, light, and absolutely did not intrude on the mangoliciousness of the fresh fruit. we also split a generous bowl of fresh fruit--local watermelon, bananas, and mango with granny smith apples from...somewhere--which were served on a bed of ice chips that kept the fruit crisp and cool throughout our meal.

overall, i thought it was a success. the atmosphere is so relaxing, and the food tasty enough, without being stodgy or leaden. the menu is rather eclectic--you'll find western standards (eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon), pinoy standards (tocino, longganisa, bangus), some asian specialties (green curry, char siu), and a quite a few interesting combinations: longganisa (sweet, spicy sausage) and quesong puti (native white cheese) omelettes, thai chicken omelettes, peanut butter and banana waffles...okay, that's not interesting, but it's good. satisfying, yet leaves you room to eat more later. sooner than you think.

museum cafe
museum (m) café
ayala museum, greenbelt
makati ave (cor. dela rosa street)


Now that's a lovely breakfast. I love museum cafes; one feels quite civilized when dining.

hello gail! haaaa. if only it actually made one civilized....the museum's a bit odd. it's a gorgeous building, but most of the collections seem to be from ayala family relatives who Know Art. it's a pricy bit of real estate for such average art. but the historical dioramas are kinda great.