The entry of British coffee purveyor Costa Coffee in the Philippines some time ago generated much publicity. Filipinos can now enjoy coffee “London-style”, thanks to the efforts of the Gokongwei family. Yes, if you ought to thank someone – thank the ones responsible for Top Gear and FHM Philippines, True Value, Mini Stop, Cebu Pacific, Jack ‘n Jill, and Robinsons Malls. From what I’ve read, Costa Coffee is the Robinsons Group’s first foray into the restaurant sector—and it looks like they are doing a great job so far.
Moving on, this is not my first time to feature a British-themed restaurant here at The Monching’s Guide. I have written about The Eatles along P. Noval Street in Manila, that featured the Fab Four from Liverpool. That was followed by The Royal Piccadilly along Katipunan Avenue beside the La Vista Subdivision entrance, which evoked a country house owned by Her Majesty’s family. However, Costa Coffee’s theme revolves around metropolitan London; a different league from the first two, but still true to its British roots nonetheless.
This branch at Eastwood City Walk is Costa Coffee’s flagship location. As of this typing, it now has other branches in Robinsons Malls such as Metro East, Manila, and Antipolo – and another in SM North EDSA. I find this branch reminiscent of somewhere The Style Council would frequently hang out at, much like their Cafe Bleu album. I can even visualize people in fashionable clothes from either Savile Row or Carnaby Street, having a warm cup of joe whilst talking about issues of the day.
Prepare to be transported to London as soon as you step in. There’s the iconic red telephone booth for photo ops, situated beside an al fresco area for smokers. Pictures of iconic landmarks such as Big Ben and the double-deck buses adorn the walls. The lower level hosts the counter, food preparation area, and a few seats meant for customers with take-away orders. Don’t let the small ground floor area deceive you, however; most of the coffee shop’s seating area is located at the upper level. (Here’s a little tip: the best seats are the couches located near the window, as they provide a good view of Eastwood City Walk—especially at night.)
Ah, speaking of coffee. Costa Coffee has a different approach to the brew – a far cry from how Starbucks does it. I’m not a fan of blended frappes or any beverages related to it, so don’t expect any verdict from me on their Frostinos. Their hot drinks appeal more to me, however; I consistently ordered the Massimo size during all my visits. The Massimo is Costa’s largest size, equivalent to the venti, and is served in a two-handled mug. Costa Coffee has a fair selection of sweets and savories for pairing. Nevertheless, there’s one treat that got my attention. The tiffin is similar to a chocolate icebox cake: biscuit pieces and raisins lay at the bottom, and it’s protected by a layer of chocolate. It is then topped off with cocoa dust, whose bitterness serves to cut the sweet taste of the entire thing.
C2-3B, G/F Eastwood City Walk 1,
Eastwood City, Bagumbayan,
Libis, Quezon City 1110