223 – On Japan Movement Coffee: UCC Clockwork, Vertis North

The phrase “made in Japan” connotes utmost quality—whether it’s consumer goods or gadgets. Not surprising then, that UCC (Ueshima Coffee Company) is synonymous with coffee of superior quality and taste. The coffee company is very much known for its Sumiyaki (charcoal roast), Blue Mountain (Jamaica) and Kona (Hawaii) coffee blends, and has pioneered canned coffee in its home country. Both my dad and I acknowledge that UCC brand coffee is delicious; forget Starbucks and its overly commercial coffee!

You might have noticed that this is my second time to feature UCC Coffee here in the blog. I previously wrote about their kori kohi – frozen coffee cubes served with hot milk and sugar syrup – in a triptych some time ago. Businessman Hubert Young of CoCo Ichibanya fame was responsible for bringing the brand here, years before he made the Japanese curry chain’s Philippine entry possible. Cafes under the UCC aegis include Cafe Terrace, Park Cafe, and Cafe Vienna, while the higher-end establishments such as Mentore, Eight by UCC, and Clockwork have a more distinct menu compared to the former.

I usually frequent the UCC Clockwork at Estancia Mall in Pasig and, with its recent opening, the one at Ayala Malls The 30th a few meters away. However, both are located far from where I live. Good thing a new UCC Clockwork branch opened at Vertis North—right beside Trinoma! Despite the fact that this is a franchised branch (or so the servers say), I’m pleasantly surprised that it reflected the consistent quality UCC Coffee is known for. The interiors of UCC Clockwork take inspiration from structures re-purposed into third-wave coffee shops in other countries: gray unfinished walls, bare ceilings with visible plumbing, and wood floors. This is in stark contrast to the main UCC cafes that tend to be more furnished and upscale.

I’ll stop at this point to present you some of their specialties. No pictures of the interiors, as I wanted to be discreet and I had no idea if they permitted photography. Click on each picture to see more information and my opinion on each dish.

I hope I whetted your appetite and convinced you to visit this UCC cafe. Until the next post, bon appetit.

UCC Clockwork
L1-054, Ayala Malls Vertis North
Brgy. Bagong Pag-Asa
Quezon City 1005


8 thoughts on “223 – On Japan Movement Coffee: UCC Clockwork, Vertis North

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  2. I say, the egg on that omurice looks absolutely scrumptious. I’d skip this particular version due to the inclusion of crab – I loathe seafood, haha – but that glistening golden robe would be an absolute treat around meat or chicken fried rice.

    Incidentally, your post dragged something up from the dark depths of my wave-tossed mind re: Japanese coffee. Despite being heavily reliant on the beverage, I think I’ve only ever bothered to walk into a proper café ONCE across 20 visits to Japan – and it wasn’t even on the mainland!


    Tea houses, sure, but not cafés for some reason (not entirely sure why). More often than not, in that corner of the world my doses of caffeine come out of a tin … and my favourite brand comes in a plastic bottle. 😉

    • Before I begin my reply, two things first:

      1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving this well-formulated comment! 🙂 I really appreciate insights like yours – and I personally hope that more people take their time to write meaningful comments.

      2. Apologies if it took me two days to reply; I still don’t have a laptop, and replying to long comments is a pain on mobile (it’s best to use a desktop for that!)

      I definitely agree with you on the omurice! A question, however: do you fancy omurice with curry? I can definitely recommend UCC’s sister restaurant CoCo Ichibanya for that. Their omurice curry (which is mildly flavored for palates that don’t like heat) is a very good option. 🙂

      Hmm…about the coffee, do permit me to share my stance on it (I’ve been thinking about that topic over the weekend haha!)

      Methinks the Japanese approach to coffee stems from the brew being a Western introduction? From what I’ve read in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_in_Japan), the Japanese market coffee as a sort of a foreign beverage – denoting modernity. This is an antithesis to Japanese tea, which denotes the country’s traditional roots. Further reading shows that Japan banned coffee importation a number of times, further delaying the drink’s penetration into Japanese culture.

      • I’d say the fault isn’t entirely theirs; at least, not from a lack of options. There are cafés aplenty in that corner of the world – it’s just that I choose not to darken their doors, horribly lazy bloke that I am. 🙂

        Speaking of coffee in Japan, one blog I dip into from time to time has a rather extensive list of cafés in different parts of the country. Nice snapshot of the state of non-megachain coffee culture in that corner of the world.


        I actually resolved at one point to use her list and try out a few places. I’d keep telling myself “okay, this time you’re going to a proper café and you are going to enjoy it” … but then I succumb to laziness and raid the nearest konbini for a 150-yen tin of questionable brew.

        That is, unless we’re talking about a plastic bottle filled with Boss Torokeru Cafe Au Lait – my all-time favourite brand of chilled coffee. Silky smooth and full-bodied flavour. Smacking my lips now even just thinking about the stuff, haha.


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