Sulok Café: A quaint respite in Antipolo

Jace Amodo
PUBLISHED January 29, 2018 02:04 pm
Photos by Mark Renacido and Shara Balce/Inside Manila

(Inside Manila) “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” This is especially true in the case of Sulok Café, a quaint respite in Antipolo that invites guests to own their corners, all while sipping on a good cup of coffee.

Tired of the situation and limited financial freedom the corporate world has given them, Rodrigo Escobar and Andy Wong built a café that is synonymous with their dreams—a baby born after the storm, so to speak. Though it cost them their settlement, the couple saw the price of living in this age and saw just how practical it is to secure the necessities of their married life. And the result didn’t disappoint.

Sulok Café founders Rodrigo Escobar and Andy Riel Wong

Sulok Café springs off a homey vibe as soon as you step inside, much like what most of us feel in our personal and perfect places. The founders, with their notable hospitality and full-time commitment to success, make the small café a spacious comfort zone just by being in it.

Things that you’ll immediately notice are the wooden tables, planks that are decorated on the walls, a “freedom wall” full of chalked statements, and of course, the bar where the magic happens—all lit by orange hanging bulbs. Made possible by what they call “Tipid Design,” this physical manifestation of people’s desire to have their own corners amazingly strike the aesthetics of working millennials and young professionals, as well as our beloved titos and titas.

Café Latte (P110) and Café Antonio (P120)

Hot Chocolate (P115)

The café prides itself on their local beans farmed in Sagada and Benguet and roasted in Baguio. For strong coffee lovers, we recommend trying out their Café Antonio (P120). There’s also the classic Café Latte (P110) and, to treat a sweet tooth, a glass of hot chocolate (P115).

What makes them stand out from the line of cafes in Antipolo, perhaps and rather brilliantly, aside from their interesting and witty human persona online, is their Modern Filipino Fusion Cuisine. A somewhat experimental menu might sound risky to try for entrepreneurs, but that’s exactly the beauty of what Andy and Rods’ offerings. You try a dish, you either love it or hate it, but you’ll come back. The hundreds of reviews acquired by the café just goes to show that there’s plenty to try at Sulok Café.

The bestselling Tuyo Mushroom Pasta (P165)

Red Pepper Pasta (P195)

The bread-and-butter in the menu—made in collaboration with Chef Janine Tolentino—after the wide array of coffee choices are the pasta. According to Rods, their plates of pasta made up roughly about 70% of the reviews online. The must-tries are their bestseller Tuyo Mushroom Pasta (P165), an olive oil-based pasta with tuyo and a mixture of fresh and dried Shiitake mushroom, and the Red Pepper Pasta (P195).

Other dishes embrace Filipino favorites such as a bowl of sweet and savory Adobo Flakes (P110), as well as the spicy and creamy Chili Poppers (P140). Since we’re talking brunch, we’ve also tried their S’mores Pancakes (P155), three fluffy pancakes spread and peppered with chocolates of forms and marshmallows.

The sweet and savory Adobo Flakes (P110)

The spicy and creamy Chili Poppers (P140)

S’mores Pancakes (P155)

With seven tables in total, 22 people can respire the intimacy and openness of Sulok Café. There’s a higher chance of privacy between midday until dusk because it gets crowded thereafter. Regardless, it is a quiet respite for the townsfolk and a sure itinerary for tourists. As Andy and Rods’ favorite reviewer on the café puts it: “I didn’t feel like I was a customer.” Indeed, the founders make do with what they have and succeed at it.

Sulok Café is at 2/F Okinari Arcade, L. Sumulong Memorial Circle, Barangay San Roque, Antipolo City, Rizal, and is open from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day. For more information, visit Sulok Café on Facebook.



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