As the climate transforms from warm and summery to cold and rainy, we observe simple changes in our surroundings that we can boast of only experiencing here in Baguio City. The vibrant blue skies are now more often gray and foggy. We giggle a little when we see puffs of our breaths in the air when we exhale. The weather is a lot more accommodating for staying in under the covers.
And just as we have learned to adapt to these seasonal changes, Cafe by the Ruins, too, goes with the flow, and makes changes to their menu to match the mood.
Naturally, when the outside is cold, we would like something warm to fill our insides. So for this season, the Cafe has come up with steaming, brothy dishes to give our cheeks a happy, pinkish glow. Among those dishes is the Batchoy, a Tagalog dish coming from the recipe archives of Pepot Ilagan, this hearty dish is filled with pork tenderloin, spleen, and brain, in soup stock. It’s perfect with bread on the side to eat with soaked up soup.
Mama Jean’s Bamboo Bowl is an interesting take on what we commonly know as labong. Beautifully plated to form a round mound, it has steamed chicken, some bacon, shiitake mushrooms, and of course, bamboo shoots. To give it a burst of flavor, it is best eaten with a bit of the sour-spicy condiment that comes with it.
Pasta lovers will be happy to try a new dish on the pasta section of the menu called Deborah’s Dish. This vegetarian meal is just the right amount of creamy with shiitake mushroom sauce and cheese on top. The pasta is made from spinach which gives it its lovely green hue.
Far from your average sandwich, the Steak Sandwich is composed of Bollilos, a crisp Mexican type bread filled with beef tenderloin and fresh veggies. Instead of mayo or ketchup, it is held together by freshly mixed guacamole, and it comes with soup or salad and fries on the side.
If you love a bowl of oatmeal or champorado on a cold day as much as we do, you might love the Lelot Balatong. It was our first time to try monggo beans in coconnt milk, and we were pleasantly surprised. The langka (jackfruit) on top gave it a hint of fruitiness, complemented by the latik or caramelized coconut
At first glance, the Binakol looks like a noodle soup dish. But those seemingly strands of pasta are actually strips of coconut meat! Along with the chicken, the “meats” are cooked in coconut juice with lemon grass and ginger.
For dessert, the Panna Cotta is a nice, fluffy way to end a meal. Made from fresh carabao’s milk, this treat has notes of lime, for a creamy citrus-y combination. Or if you want a light dose of caffeine, you won’t regret having the Coffee Almond Jelly, swimming in milk froth.
Meanwhile, the Cafe by the Ruins Dua branch also has its own signature dishes exclusive to the branch. For one, the Binagoongan Bagnet is a more extra version of the bagnet we all love. If you were wondering what makes their bagnet so good, it’s because the pork is cooked confit, meaning slow cooked in a low fire for a long period of time.
In contrast to Ruins’ Steak Sandwich, dua offers the Bistek Sandwich, which is composed of beef sirloin and onion rings, also making their home in a Bollilos Bread.
The Duck Cassoulet is a casserole dish which also makes use of the confit technique. This large helping of poultry rests on a bowl of beans.
Pucker up for a taste of Zamboanga. The Sinigang Zamboangeña holds a variety of meats such as chicken wings and oxtail and vegetables like puso ng saging and sigarilyas, swimming in mouthwateringly sour broth.
Some classics never go out of style, such as the Bilo-bilo, one of the colorful sweet meriendas that we pinoys are proud of. And twists on simple ingredients also can make for a delectable meal, which is the case of the savory Spicy Eggplant, topped off with cashew nuts.
The catch of the day comes in the form of Dalagang Bukid (or sometimes Pesang Isda), for those who love a good, hearty helping of fish, swimming with cabbage and saging saba, and served with miso sauce.
While most of the cafes’ drinks are still available, look out for the latest addition called Cordillera Gold, a mixture of yellow fruits and herbs, specifically banana, pineapple, ginger, and turmeric.
There are so many new food items to choose from! So if you’re looking for something to warm you up in this chilly weather, both branches of Cafe by the Ruins have got you covered!