(I thought I’d try something different today and give you a video of the photos from the restaurant before I start my review, you know, just to shake things up a bit.)
This visit to Carpe Diem in BF Parañaque stemmed from us wanting to try a new coffee place. Paume’s has kind of been the non-mainstream coffee stop for me and my cohorts for a while (Quick story: We stopped by Paume’s for a night cap after a long absence, and the woman at the cashier said “Haven’t you been here before?” We said yes, and she said, “You haven’t been in for a while.” We made up some story about being on vacation and told her we’d be visiting more often. It’s kind of nice to be recognized as a regular.), but we were still open to adding to our roster of hangouts so we did a quick online search and found the place.
Carpe Diem, compared to the trendier shops that have been popping up lately, has more of a homey feel to it. It’s dimly lit, the music’s soft, and the couches are comfy, so unless you’re there to work or to order something strong, you’d probably be off to dreamland now, not that that’s a bad thing.
For a small cafe, the place is actually pretty spacious, with seating inside and outside the shop. They have board games in the back (you’ll find them on a table on the way to the bathroom.) in case the magazines aren’t interesting enough to pass the time with.
We asked for a latte, a cafe mocha, and a dark choco black forest coffee. We were also feeling a bit down in the sugar department so we asked for a choco caramel cake and an Oreo cheesecake.
The latte was OK, but a little too milky for my taste. The cafe mocha was better, but what knocked points off it was it wasn’t hot enough for me. My sister enjoyed her icy dark choco black forest drink immensely. Not me, unfortunately; the ‘dark’ in dark chocolate couldn’t seem to fight its way through the cloud of cherry flavoring so I stuck with my mocha.
I’m not sure if they bake their own goods or they have a supplier, but that choco caramel cake was sinfully good. It was incredibly moist and not too sweet, and the caramel frosting had this sticky consistency reminiscent of yema, as my sister pointed out. Do not leave Carpe Diem without ordering a slice or two of this stuff. The Oreo cheesecake was so-so. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve had better.
Later on, after loading up on sugar, my sister ordered a three-cheese panini. They ran out of ciabatta bread so they used white sandwich bread, which was a bit of a letdown. On the other hand, the cheese was melty, gooey and delicious, which was enough to satiate the cheese monster in me.
Another great thing about the place was the service. The staff was warm and courteous, and did things we didn’t even ask for, like put napkins under cold cups if they were dripping. We even got a “careful!” when we were horsing around, and a warm “bye!” before we left.
So… the food and drinks we got were a hit and miss, but I do plan on coming back for three reasons (other than the affordable prices): I hear good things about their savory meals, I didn’t quite finish my nap in those comfy seats, and the service was great.
Overall rating: ★★★✭☆
122-B Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque
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