Baguio will always be one of my favorite destinations for vacation. Even with the outgrowing number of tourists that slightly obstructs its natural beauty, Baguio holds this undisputed charm that won’t dissuade me from visiting it. I know there are still beautiful places, stories, and people to be discovered in the lovely City of Pines — and that was affirmed when I visited a newly-opened restaurant called Plakafé.
Plakafé was recommended by Tim, a good friend of mine whose hometown is Baguio. I was scouting for a unique restaurant that could welcome new ideas for my food blog, and at the same time pave the way for me to enjoy Baguio’s cuisine, though it seemed very familiar already. Every food business has an interesting story and a fresh concept we can all learn from, and Plakafé has both of that.
Plakafé is located on the second floor of the building that is adjacent to Le Fern Hotel. One thing you’d easily notice as you step inside the restaurant is its vintage, colorful and artsy vibe. Most of the materials were refurbished from the previous restaurant of the owner, and were upcycled but to a more elegant finish.
When I visit restaurants with recycled interiors, I normally observe that they are scattered all over the place and aren’t aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. (Sorry for that! 😀 ) But Plakafé is another story – you won’t notice these are re-used materials at all. All the elements are placed harmoniously, collaborating well with each other. The paintings were even made by the owners themselves and their families. You’d see that there is a personal touch in every design of the place.
Plakafé is also known for its old “Plaka” or Vinyl records, hence the name of the restaurant.
Now, let’s go to their food! We ordered set meals, Pancit, coffee, and desserts. I sooo love their version of Pancit. The generous amount of ingredients was mixed in a special sauce that remains a trade secret of the restaurant. It was topped with fresh and crunchy vegetables, quail eggs, meat and sprinkled with garlic bits. The serving comes with two fluffy pieces of pandesal. This is the type of Pancit you can eat at any time of the day and is good for sharing for two.
This was my order: Chicken and Lechon Kawali platter, with vegetables on the side and topped with an egg. There’s nothing too extraordinary about the chicken and the pork, but it was a filling meal. I liked the way the vegetables were done — not too soggy or overcooked. I just forgot to ask if there was a gravy for the chicken.
This was the order of Pheb and Chris: Pork Sisig and Dinakdakan platter. Both the Dinakdakan and Sisig were good. I was particularly hooked with the Dinakdakan (an Ilocano delicacy made with grilled pork parts tossed in Calamansi dressing with onions and chili peppers). It was not as spicy as what we were used to, but it was so delicious I wished it was my order.
For the desserts, we had Bibingka cupcakes. It was moist and sweet, with salted egg toppings. It was the perfect match for the coffee — just not sure if it was Cappuccino or Café Latté that we ordered.
From what I have learned from one of the owners, most of the ingredients were sourced locally. Even with the usual supplementary ingredients like butter and milk, they came from Baguio. The coffee beans are made from various places in the Mountain province. Their craft beers came from Sagada. Plakafé serves traditional Filipino food with a twist, in a hip and artsy setting.
They say that the interiors speak so much about a person’s character. Even without personally meeting the owners, the place mirrors a speck of truth about their passion for arts and good food. With Plakafé, the end of something can be the birth of more beautiful things. Good food, service and all that — plotting the next visit will never be impossible.