Opening Hours: 10:00 A.M. – 9:00 P.M. (Monday – Sunday)
Phone: (02) 843-4125
The other day, we reviewed The Dessert Kitchen, a dessert parlor that puts a healthy spin on otherwise diabetes-inducing dishes. Now, we'll take a look at another "healthy" casual dining establishment that covers a more general range of food, namely Cafe 85˚ (or Cafe 85 degrees, for Google search purposes).
Located in Alphaland Makati Place (the same address as Whisk Asian Bistro Cafe), Cafe 85˚ has only one outlet so far. It offers sandwiches, soups, salads, pastas, beverages and sides — all with a wholesome twist. There aren't too many write-ups of this place to date, so we're covering the gap in this review.
Cafe 85˚ is quite small. If you're going to dine in here, you'd better arrive as early as possible. Otherwise, you'll lose out to a little less than 20 other customers. Clearly, the owners intended this as a cafe from which people could "take out," rather than "dine in."
The interior is pretty quirky, though. On one side, you have a poster on Muhammad Ali's famous bout "Thrilla in Manila." (There's a CCTV camera near the top, if you squint, so think twice before committing anything dastardly within the premises!)
For this review, we ordered one 85 Burger (Php178) and one matcha-flavored snow bubble (Php155). The burger comes in regular and spicy varieties, so be sure to specify which is which before you place your order. Also, it comes with mayonnaise, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and fries.
As for the Snow Bubble, we… have some reservations.
For one, the matcha has a taste that can best be described as "grassy." If there was any hint of sweetness in this particular Snow Bubble, the mostly bitter taste overpowered it. Unless you're a tea enthusiast, this one may take a little while to swallow, so to speak.
When we visited the place at around 2 PM, there were only two personnel, and about a handful of other customers. We can't say for sure how many customers they have every day, but judging by the staff's general attitude, there aren't too many.
Specifically, the servers didn't look enthusiastic enough for their job. It took quite a while for our burger to arrive, and a little longer for the matcha Snow Bubble. The delay would've been understandable if the place was packed, but as we mentioned earlier, we didn't have much competition in the "dining in" department.
Also, at some point, one of the servers asked her colleague loudly (in front of us) what time they will have lunch. While we respect every human's basic right to eat — hey, that's why we were at Cafe 85˚ in the first place! — it would've been better if she asked about it in private. After all, it's awkward for a customer to assume that the owners of a casual dining establishment don't feed their own employees properly.
Overall, we think the place is promising. The food offerings were decent, and the place definitely gives off a vibe of "Healthy Eating is Encouraged Here." However, we think it could be better if (1) the place expanded a bit to accommodate more dine-in customers, and (2) the staff had better training with regards to customer service. We give Cafe 85˚ a rating of 8.0/10.
As we said earlier, there aren't too many write-ups about this place. For other reviews, you can refer to their Zomato page. For more information about the menu (though we can't guarantee the accuracy of the prices), we'd direct you to their Munchpunch entry. And for an in-depth article about the people behind Cafe 85˚, as well as more pictures of their offerings, we recommend When in Manila's piece "Cafe 85 Degrees: An Advocate of Pinoy Products and Healthy Lifestyle!" We hope you'll visit the place and leave reviews of your own, or let us know what you think in the comments!