Magnum Opus, or: the coffee shop that showed me how old I am (restaurant review)

Ending the night with a coffee stop is a pretty common thing for me, my sister, and her husband, but we were raring to try something other than Starbucks, and we wanted to add another fringe hangout to our collection of go-to places, so we did our research and stumbled upon Magnum Opus Fine Coffees.

Magnum Opus is apparently the “it” place for the hip and trendy coffee drinkers of BF Parañaque. Said to offer artisan brews, it seemed like one of those third-wave cafes that only the snootiest of the snooty frequent. It piqued my interest when I saw enough “Top Ten” lists and reviews raving about it. Then, checking out the menu kind of put my brain in a coma; I did not understand half of the things on it. On the other hand, it made me even more curious, so when I finally had time and the place actually had an available table, we nabbed the chance right away.

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The inside of Magnum Opus was very home-like, and when I say home-like, it was like being at someone’s house (I actually lingered at the door because I wasn’t sure if they were open). Normally, you’d want a place that felt like home, but this one kind of felt like the home of a friend’s acquaintance, someone who you encounter sometimes but don’t really know. In short, it felt just a little weird. All over the place were various books, old appliances, and other doodads.

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They have a pretty short menu, which I liked (less time wasted pondering what to order), so we were able to decide right away what we wanted: two lattes and a chilled heartbreak – a cold version of their drink of densely textured milk blended with melted 60% dark Belgian chocolate and espresso. I wanted to try their apple strudel but they were out, so I settled for a slice of NY cheesecake.

Waiting for our orders gave me a chance to really absorb the atmosphere. And what I gathered was, it was definitely for the young crowd, particularly those who like to set themselves apart by liking things that aren’t mainstream. You know, hipsters. Now, I’m not one to hide my age (I have no problem admitting I’m 31), but this place made it more apparent that there are just some places someone like me can’t fully appreciate. I’m not sure if it’s just because the place wasn’t in my realm of interest or it really was my age. But add to the mix that the crowd was of the college-aged, seemingly uppity variety, I definitely felt like a fish out of water. And my companions felt the same way.

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A couple of things I did like about the place were the service and the music. The baristas was very friendly. Plus they were playing The Black Keys, a great band and one you don’t hear a lot in your usual coffee shop.

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Finally, our orders arrived. I thought the latte was just OK, nothing really mind-blowing. My sister wasn’t impressed with her chilled heartbreak, which she likened to drinking Ricoa chocolate. I’m not dissing Ricoa (I cook a mean champorado with the stuff all the time), but if you’re paying for some high-caliber stuff, you expect high-caliber stuff, right?

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I do have to give them props for the cheesecake. It was tightly packed but still soft and fluffy (not jiggly, which I absolutely hate), creamy, and had a nice balance of sweet and tart. Good job on the crust, too.

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So… I’ve crossed Magnum Opus off my list, but I don’t really feel that strong an urge to come back. As edgy and modern as it was, I think I’ll take my old ass somewhere else. On to the next coffee joint.

Overall rating: ★✭☆☆

Magnum Opus Fine Coffees
115 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Paranaque City

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Magnum Opus Fine Coffees Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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