Cozy Lunch at Cafe 1771

After enjoying a fun evening at our company's GLEEteriffic Christmas Party, this was followed by a relaxing lunch at Cafe 1771 the next day.

I've been wanting to try Cafe 1771 and I was very excited after learning that we will be having our annual Christmas lunch there. I found out that Cafe 1771 in El Pueblo is divided into three sections. First is Whimsy, entering the main door you'll be greeted by bright pink and blue chairs. I love the happy and light ambiance and immediately chose a tall chair to sit on. However, this section was too small for our group of 16 so we were given a choice to either dine at The Lounge which is a private dining section that looks like a library with big heavy books as decor or the Wine Bar located at the second floor which was, in contrast to Whimsy, dark and interiors are majority made of wood and big black couches -- we settled to stay at The Wine Bar. Personally, I love the Whimsy section the most and will make sure we get a table here the next time I visit Cafe 1771 with Paul. This section somehow reminds me of Alice in Wonderland... I really do not know why. :)

For starters, we were given a bowl of complimentary Buttered Popcorn to munch on. Leave a bowl of junk food in front of me and we're doomed. I can just keep on munching and munching. This was proven during our Christmas party where I ended up finishing the bowl of chips left by my colleagues in front of me. Oops!

A feast was prepared for us by Cafe 1771 and I will be sharing a couple of dishes that instantly became my favorite for this particular meal:

First was the Mushroom and Smoked Salmon Pizza (Php. 440). Delicious homemade pizza topped with mushroom, lots of smoked salmon, mozzarella cheese and sour cream. I love smoked salmon and this was the first thing that caught my attention the moment I sat down. I love the sweet fresh tomatoes with chopped basil too.

Another pizza that I liked was the Holy Cow Pizza (Php. 300). I love arugula and I love white cheese, put them together and this pizza is an instant winner. If you're into light, delicious pizza over the hard core meaty ones then this is a perfect choice. It's drizzled with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) too. A gourmet pizza at its finest.

This is one pasta dish that really caught me by surprise -- Spaghetti with Sardines and Fried Capers (Php 290). Al dente pasta tossed with garlic sardines and topped with fried capers and breadcrumbs. I love the crunchy capers and I was really trying to figure out how to replicate this at home. I had two servings of this pasta and I find it so light and healthy. Will definitely go back for more of this.

Prior to this lunch, my colleague T has been telling us that we should not miss the Lemon Chicken (Php 390) which is a signature dish of all Chateau restaurants. Since this was not part of our lunch menu, T took the extra step to order this to let us try it ourselves. She was right, I love the sweet-sour deep fried chicken slices served with garlic rice. In my opinion, it makes a perfect breakfast choice and I hope Cafe 1771 serves this also in the morning.

For dessert, we had the ever-famous Coffee Pie (Php. 185). Note that I am not fond of creamy desserts but I couldn't stop myself the moment I had my first bite of this delicious coffee-flavored cake. Make sure to get a full slice of the coffee filling with the chocolate-cashew crust and toffee drizzle. Nothing beats combining coffee, chocolate and caramel all in one delicious bite. What a perfect way to end our meal.

Will definitely be back with Paul to enjoy the Spaghetti with Sardines while trying out more of what Cafe 1771 can offer.

Cafe 1771 is located at El Pueblo Real de Manila, Julia Vargas cor ADB avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. For reservations, call them at 631-7340 / 470-6559.

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