Apparently none, as this new Poblacion joint suggests. Owned by former flight attendant Patricia "Papo" Jorolan, the café recreates the relaxing atmosphere and comfy meals you'd want to have after a long, exhausting journey. So far, this is Jorolan's first venture into entrepreneurship, but if our experience is anything to go by, this is one coffee shop that deserves repeat visits and more.
If you know where the Bel-Air Soho Suites are, you can easily find Bean & Yolk. If not, here's how to get there: From Makati Avenue, make a turn on Jupiter Street where Mang Inasal is. Then, turn left at Polaris, where you'll see a large "One Way" sign. Keep walking/driving until you see the Suites. The café should be on the side facing Polaris.
Contrary to what you'd expect, Bean & Yolk is surprisingly small. Even when you count the seats outside, the café can accommodate about 21 people at most. Regardless, it makes the most of its limited space with a quirky yet tasteful interior design, wall paraphernalia that add a homey touch to the place, and a subtle encouragement of social interaction between diners due to the closeness of the tables and chairs.
That said, the background music can be a little out of place at times. When we visited, the café initially played acoustic John Mayer numbers, before segueing into more upbeat Maroon 5 tunes. It'd probably be better if they stuck to relaxing songs all throughout, to fit the whole "cozy café ambience" thing they seem to be going for.
Like the café itself, the menu doesn't look like much at first glance. As you'd expect from a place called "Bean & Yolk," most of their dishes are coffee- and egg-based.
However, as we've seen time and again, having a limited selection doesn't necessarily translate to low-quality offerings. In fact, according to the owners, their coffee is made only from the best Brazilian beans, and their egg dishes were meticulously selected from creations by Chef Ed Bugia.
Out of their offerings, we decided to try their B&Y Mocha and the off-menu Chorizo Eggs Ben.
According to The Booky Report, the B&Y Mocha is made from an espresso mixed with two kinds of chocolate: milk chocolate and Malagos dark. True to this combination, the beverage wasn't overly sweet like most mocha drinks, yet it was rich enough not to tempt you to down it in one gulp. Even when it's cooled off slightly, you'll want to savor it slowly but surely, as you wait for the weather outside to calm down. (Incidentally, it was raining at the time of our visit.)
The Chorizo Eggs Ben didn't disappoint either. Everything from the patty, to the egg, and even the vegetables were cooked just right. The only real complaint we had was that, when the paper underneath got wet, it can be hard to tell it apart from the more edible egg whites. Other than that, we thought the dish was a pleasant surprise. In case you can't down the two Eggs Ben in one go, you can always share the other with your companion.
When it comes to hole-in-the-wall cafés, you tend to expect above-average service. After all, if your place can only make room for a couple dozen people at most, you might as well treat your patrons right, right?
Still, even if Bean & Yolk was bigger, we imagine they'd deliver good service anyway. Their baristas were friendly but not overly so, and they were willing to answer all our questions. (For example, we asked whether the café had Wi-Fi, to which they replied that unfortunately, they don't.) Also, even when you don't ask them to, they refill your glass of water every now and then. You don't get that kind of service from the larger, more popular coffee joints.
Unlike in most cafés, the baristas here don't give you a number/restaurant pager, or even ask for your name. We imagine it has something to do with the café's size (or lack of it). But then, who are we to complain about feeling like the baristas care enough to put names to our faces?
Don't let Bean & Yolk's unassuming façade and small menu fool you. Its basic concept may be simple and straightforward enough, yet it's able to execute that concept beautifully. If you want something other than the usual foodie fare around Poblacion, why not give this café a crack and a sip?
Address: Unit G6, Bel-Air Soho Suites, Polaris St., Barangay Poblacion, 1209 Makati City
Opening Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M. (Monday – Saturday)
Mobile Number(s): (+63) 920-926-7587