Taft always surprises me from that time I ate in Exile in Main St. or 8065 Bagnet there is always something new to try out. Just this afternoon while Tricia and I were looking around for a place to eat, we chanced upon Cafe Laya. An artsy, travel-inspired cafe.
English for “Freedom” Cafe Laya is located inside EGI Tower in Taft Avenue. It looks like a new addition to EGI’s every changing restaurants. With its travel-inspired motif, Tricia and I were drawn to its interior design and its loft. Yes, given the small space accorded to Laya, the cafe was gutsy enough to put a loft and it works really well.
The thing I liked most about Cafe Laya was how beautifully inspiring it is for travelers. Its walls are adorned with paintings from diners, images from travelers, and stunning portraits of different places in Manila. In fact the cafe has a whole wall just for the map of the Philippines reminding visitors to get out of the city once in a while. Up in the loft, we got a better view of the cafe and sat cross-legged pretending to be in some far away place.
Since we came for lunch, I ordered sisig with egg while Tricia had her seafood pasta. Each rice meal came in brown rice and was always topped with egg. From afar my sisig looked very delicious and I was quite excited to try out Laya’s sisig meal. Unfortunately looks can be deceiving since once again I overpaid for a meal that had more rice than the dish itself. Their rice was the main star of the dish, not the sisig nor the egg, in fact the sisig was a mere afterthought when this meal was made. The sisig was so few it looked like pinch and whatever flavor it was supposed to have was sucked by the brown rice and the egg.
Unsatisfied with my meal, I ordered another rice meal, their fried liempo. This time Cafe Laya got its serving proportions right. Unlike the bagnet I had yesterday, Laya’s liempo was very delicious, a bit bland in some parts, but their dipping sauce more than made up for the bland parts.
While Tricia and I waited for our friend Ron, we couldn’t help but enjoy the beautiful layout Cafe Laya set up for its diners. In one part they had this small station set up for diners to do their own artsy stuff to contribute to Laya’s walls. They could get pieces of paper and practice their calligraphy or do a travel-inspired artwork which the cafe would be glad to hang on their growing wall.
The Cafe itself is very inspiring the books in their loft, the art station and just the stunningly beautiful portraits of different places in the country were enough to get me in the mood to travel again. As for their food, better stay away if your appetite is as large as mine but maybe next time I should try out their drinks, it is a cafe after all.
Cafe Laya is located at G/F EGI Taft Tower, Taft Avenue. They are open Monday to Saturdays 10am to 11pm. You can check out their Facebook page here.