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As a student of the University Of The Philippines, stress is a factor for studying, in any college for that matter. Dozens of school works just gives you a swing to the gut and a hit to the head everytime you do something that you think is going to help you pass a certain subject, but with that being said, the time for leisure and enjoyment is becoming thin. The hussle and bussle of the pavements of the streets just adds tensions to the stress of everyday. Inside Café Ella, you can escape from that. The ambience and the surroundings just drifts you off away from the busy street and terrifying bosses or strict professors.
Café Ella is named after the first daughter of Los Banos, Laguna’s Mayor, Mayor Ton Genuino. The conceptualization of the café started because of Ton Genuino’s love for good brewed coffee, and her wife, Racquel Genuino business venture to open up a coffee shop that is different from other coffee shops in the Los Banos area.
Going inside Café Ella, the first thing you’ll notice is the vintage design. From the accessories to the wallpaper, you can feel a certain strike of nostalgia. The ambience of the room screams “home” for it isn’t your day to day coffee shop that’s stiff, busy, and crowded. It’s a laid back environment, suffice for leisurely chats with collegues, friends, and family. Your eyes will glimmer at the authenticity and originality of the designs of the shop,
The food is made by a scientist in the kitchen, Chef Hadjinder Manuel. A tiny interview with him gave us hints on the amazing food that he has concocted for us that day. Every dish is special and every dish had a sprinkle of passion that you know that will get your tongues worked up! The names of the dishes, are named after close relatives of the Genuino Family. Every dish that gets served to you serves as a symbol of love of the people that has been part of the family’s life. To tell you in full honesty, I think this is a nice gesture, for someone to name food in relation to their families is a flattering gesture.
Chef Hadjiner Manuel and myself
My friends and I had a sort of tasting of what Café Ella offered. The ladies ordered pasta as I ordered a sandwich which had the same name as me, it was Roast Beef Alfonso.It’s amazing how it got to our table, one thing that’s so unique about this place is how they serve some of their dishes, for example, my sandwich was served on a wooden board. Yes. Wooden board.When it first got to me, I was “Is this the chopping board?” but no, it was a wooden board, and on it was food art. Mouth watering beef in between layers of lettuce, tomatoes, and other ingredients, all tucked in bread. Just thinking about it made me crave it even more.
From Left to Right: Lava Cake, Brownie Shaker, Roast Beef Alfonso
Roast Beef Alfonso
Cafe Ella’s signature Pasta Ella
My dessert was the Cafe’s Lava cake. I had to share it with my friends to let them appreciate on how marvelous it tastes, and on how elegantly it was served
The plat de résistance of our meal was Chef Hadj’s banana-split. After our meal was done, the chef approached us and told us about this very special dessert that he was very proud of.He explained on how this banana split was concocted. The kitchen wizard told us on how special it was. We gave in and ordered the Banana Split. Chef Hadj gave us a little tip on how we eat the banana split, whip cream first, ice cream second, then the banana third, (note that the banana is rolled up on bread crumbs which made this entire dish unique as well). We couldn’t stop digging in, and I could safely say that it was a piece of heaven on a plate.
Cafe Ella serves a wide variety of dishes can satisfy your cravings, from tea to coffee, cakes, sandwiches, pastas. Enjoy their authentic vibe as you chill with your friends, colleagues, schoolmates, orgmates, and family.
A fellow and I sharing laughs
Cafe Ella is located at Centtro Mall Lopez Avene, Los Banos, Laguna
Reach them through their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cafeellalosbanos?fref=ts
Photos courtesy of Muriel Laisa Dizon, 2013 (@murielaisadizon)