Artsy Café is a lovely nook situated in the heart of the Maginhawa food district. Lavishly decorated in vintage pieces, it gives off a very retro-vibe to anyone who comes in and while themed cafés are common, especially in the stretch of Maginhawa, what sets Artsy Café apart from others is their menu and affordability.
These are the dishes that we were able to sample when we visited:
We were first served with Kani Salad, which costs only 195php. It may sound a common starter but it is actually pretty innovative. On top of the bed of fresh greens, mangoes, and nori is the deep-fried, shredded crabsticks drizzled with a sesame cream dressing.
Next was the Lengua, which costs 200php. Served in a pretty platter with a creamy mushroom sauce, it was, by far, one of the best Lengua’s I’ve had. I really appreciate the fact that it was not too oily compared to the usual Lengua we are used to.
Then came my favorite part of the food sampling… The Bangus Belly—fresh from Dagupan! I was surprised when they set the platter on our table, revealing a Bangus belly wrapped in banana leaves topped with wansoy, bell pepper strips, and drenched in a refreshing lemony-garlic-like mix. The best part? It feels like it was hugging your tongue—I may be exaggerating but it was that good.
Came next was the Kare-Kare which was only 290php. I had to ask for rice for this particular dish, cause what good is Kare-Kare without rice, right? Though a common dish, Artsy Café’s version was able to present it in such a way that it reminds you of when your mom used to cook it for you. (Yes, I need to visit my mom. LOL) But kidding aside, their version of Kare-Kare may not be too different, but its nutty creamy sauce and generous amount of vegetable and pork hocks just makes it as satisfying.
Afterwards, we were served a t-bone steak in a generous amount of gravy with buttered vegetables on the side. Their t-bone steak is for only 290php but it is juicy, tender and can be shared by two people. Would probably go well with a glass of a youthful wine to bring its taste to its peak.
To cap off the amazing experience in Artsy Café, they served us two desserts. One was a Layered Heaven(ly) Cake which is only 195php a slice. It’s a triple-decker chocolate cake that simply makes the word heaven a tangible term. Yes, I’m exaggerating again, but top it with a vanilla ice cream (like we did) you’ll see what I mean.
Personally, though, my favorite dessert would be the second one which was a Cheese Cake Crumble, priced only at 185php, this blueberry cheesecake paradise in a bowl will surely make you want to ask for more.
Aside from the Instagram-able retro vibe, and coziness of the place, I really think that what would make me go back is their amazing set of menu, especially their dessert… It’s the best place to be. I can just imagine myself sitting outside on their veranda on a lazy Sunday morning sipping a cold mug of their Macadamia coffee blend…