Happy New Year! 🙂
We’re well into the middle of January and it is just now that I got to sit and write my first post for this year. It’s been quite busy during the holidays and I have enjoyed spending time with the family. And if only I have the opportunity to spend the rest of the month on vacation, I would have done so. But then, you know, reality comes knocking and it was time to come back to the big metro and start with a revised routine for this year.
We spent New Year at home along with some of my cousins and their families. It was the first time in a long time that we got together to greet the New Year together. We had bonfire in front of the house, too, which we haven’t done for almost twenty years. It was indeed fun! And since everybody was tired from all the midnight festivities, each of us spent January first in our own way. For me and my family, it was just spent chilling at home. It was too hot during the day but got a lot cooler late in the afternoon. Everybody was just too lazy to go out.
But being cooped in the house for several days prior to New Year’s day, my Mom and I decided to go out on the second day and enjoy the afternoon watching the little boy run around in the park which he truly enjoyed. It was an impromptu decision to have either coffee or dinner to which my youngest brother suggested a few places. And since Olive Cafe is something new to me (well, I haven’t tried the place yet), I opted that we get coffee there instead because nobody was really that hungry for a heavy evening dinner.
Olive Cafe is the restaurant of Venus Parkview Hotel in Baguio City. It is along Kisad Road, fronting the Burnham Children’s Park. It’s got a cozy ambiance, perfect for relaxed dinner with family and friends. It’s got a veranda as well for those wanting an alfresco type dining experience. I was not able to take a photo of the place but this is how the inside of the cafe looks like. Those are actually glass doors leading to the veranda.
While waiting for our order, we were given a complimentary basket of assorted breads with balsamic vinegar and blueberry jam.
My Mom ordered pancit canton for her and the little boy. It was only at Php165 and is already good for 2-3 persons. It was a little bit salty for me but could be remedied with calamansi. Apart from that, this tasted good. The little boy ate a lot, too.
My brother ordered the mushroom burger and beer. I forgot to take a photo of it before it got eaten but was lucky enough to remember to take a photo before my brother finished everything off. LOL! I forgot how much this one was, though, but it was big. My brother said it was yummy and I trust his judgement there. 🙂
My Mom, sister and I ordered coffee, too. And it was really cute that they have coffee art for every cup they serve. Here’s my Mom’s cappuccino:
We also ordered pizza – a 16″ margherita pizza which I forgot to take a photo of (again) because when it was served, we were well into a discussion with our cousin who worked at the hotel. 🙂
I was supposed to order cakes after the little boy finished eating but then our cousin gave us 2 complimentary, yummy cakes: the blueberry cheesecake is so delicious, it is such a match for a strong brewed coffee.
I also loved this choco moist cake because it was indeed very moist, light and it wasn’t sweet. This is another great pair of coffee.
It was below 20 degrees Celsius that evening but I opted to be seated at the veranda. The cold was actually tolerable since it wasn’t a windy night. It was pleasant. 🙂 According to my cousin, the veranda has a great view of all the fireworks display during major events. You could see SM City Baguio on the right side and the City Hall was on the left. In the middle was the Melvin Jones Ground. So when there are synchronized fireworks display (as what has been done before), you could see all of it light up the sky while sitting there and enjoying your cup of coffee. 🙂 Too bad there wasn’t any fireworks display that night though. 😀
So, here’s what I like about Olive Cafe:
- The location is accessible. Since we were at the park prior to dinner time, we need not take a cab to get there. It only took us a few minutes to walk the distance. A lot of taxis pass by the area as well so, on off-peak normal Baguio days, it is easy to take a cab from there.
- I like the ambiance of the place. It has a simple elegance to it but not in an intimidating way. I love the veranda, too. I love the table, by the way. LOL! It sort of gives a warm feeling even if the evening was cold because it was clean and, so far, I haven’t seen any cracks or scratches on it. They also have wicker chairs for their outdoor seating which were really comfortable.
- I love the cakes! Those are actually big ones and it is good for sharing. One cake could be for 2-4 persons, depending on how fond of cakes you are. 😛
- Their food servings are generous. And the prices are very reasonable, too. It was actually surprising because they don’t have overpriced food unlike other hotels. You could actually go on a date there with only Php500 to spend. For 5 cups of coffee, 1 bottle of beer, 16″ pizza, pancit canton, and the mushroom burger, I only paid about Php900. I kid you not on this one.
- Their staff were very polite, too. But more on that in a while.
Of course, if there were things that I liked, there were also things that I think would need improvement.
- Service. We called one of the staff so we could place our order. We mentioned coffee first then she suddenly turned around to get it. We still had a few things to order so I had to call her back so I could give it to her. It would have been nice if she introduced herself, greeted customers good evening (or morning or day, for that matter), took our orders then asked if it would be all prior to verifying our order placed before leaving our table. Basic table service, to say the least. She was polite and smiling though. The other staff, when we called him to place another order, wrote down our orders on his palm! I’m serious! He came by our table without his order sheet (is this what it’s called?). But again, he was polite.
- Lack of pizza platters. When we ordered our pizza, they had to cut two large pieces of wax paper and placed it on the table and used that to serve the pizza. I was really surprised when they did that. From what I gather, they didn’t have any pizza platters yet and are still deciding which to purchase. So hopefully, the next time we go there, the pizza would be on a pizza platter already. 🙂
- Time. Given that there not much customers around that night (about 3-4 tables occupied including ours), the time it took for our order to arrive was longer than usual that we had to make a few follow ups before it arrived. I remember there was an event that night as well at the grand ballroom so I didn’t know if that had any impact on this one. We were almost done eating the complimentary breads before pancit canton arrived and we even took our time eating it. My cousin even had to help follow up some of our orders! Yikes!
All in all, it was a fun, relaxed night spent with the family (albeit missing one brother since he was busy). I enjoyed catching up with our cousin, too. He is a cousin on the side of my Dad which we rarely spend time with (unlike with my cousins on my mother’s side). Will I go back to this place? Well, their coffee is decent, I love their cakes, they have a veranda perfect for watching fireworks display – what more could I ask for? Of course, I will go back to this place and hopefully, their service will improve by then. 🙂
Thank you, Billy, for the cakes! I really enjoyed them. 🙂
Since Olive Cafe is located inside the Venus Parkview Hotel and you want to try checking in at this hotel whenever you get to Baguio, you may check for more information at their website: http://www.venusparkviewhotel.com/
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.