For someone who used to live in Makati, visiting the city
can be a surreal experience. You pass by familiar streets and establishments,
only to discover they aren’t the same anymore: a quaint café you’ve grown to
love in the past has lost its charm by becoming overly crowded; a favorite
restaurant has shut down its doors; and of course, new doors have opened.
Walking around feels so familiar yet at the same time, you feel so out of
place—like a fish out of water.
On a recent visit to Manila, I made sure to try out new
restaurants as well as go back to old favorites. With such a limited amount of
time, I had to make wise decisions on where to dine with a few of my favorite
people in the world. Even if I would have wanted to make time to visit my old
hangout spots: Tutto Domani, Chihuahua in Makati Ave., Recipes, New Bombay, and many more; there was too many places to visit yet I
only had a few days to spare. If I had more time and budget on my plate, I
would definitely pay a visit to my old favorite spots.
Having been mesmerized by the new developments in Manila,
particularly in Taguig, I made my friends and older brother pick out where we
would be eating. But I just had one simple request—to visit Magnum Café. Since I missed its
opening, I made sure to visit this restaurant. Especially since they were only
planning to open a year, I knew I just had to visit. Number one reason: It’s
Magnum Ice Cream! Number two reason: You choose your toppings!
My two girl friends agreed to meet me in the restaurant
after I went to Church with my older brother and his family. Carrying my
backpack with me (I was leaving for Cebu early the next day), I hurried through
the massive and stylish SM Aura mall to meet with my famished friends. Because
I was running late, my friends decided to order dinner at Magnum Café instead
of going to Todd English Food Hall.
And yes, Magnum Café serves dinner. For dinner, my friends
picked out the Cajun Spiced Chicken
Poppers (P180), Spinach Cannelloni (P350),
and the Braised US Short Ribs (P550).
They were too hungry so they weren’t able to take pictures of the food anymore.
But among the savory dishes, I liked the Braised US Short Ribs best because of
its tender meat. The Spinach Cannelloni was good too but I didn’t enjoy it
since I’m not a pasta person.
The Poppers were delicious but I was the unlucky one who bit
into a whole popper where all the Cajun spice was sprinkled over! My friends
(who have a lower tolerance for spicy dishes than me) did not think it was
spicy at all. While eating dinner, we kept looking forward to dessert.
Considering we were all Ilonggos, it was part of our blood to crave for
something sweet to end the night.
For dessert, you had two options—pick up the menu and choose
from one of their ready-made dessert combinations OR line up at the counter and
choose your toppings. With such a long crowd already lined up for the Make Your
Own option, we feared it would take us a while to get our orders ready. But
because it was our first time to be there, we decided to go for the latter
Since we already had a table inside the restaurant, we
wondered how we would be able to line up. Our ‘Pleasure Maker’ informed us that
we would have to line up while someone stayed at the table. Sam decided to stay
behind while Angel and I picked out our toppings.
Fortunately, It didn’t take us too long to reach the
counter. The Pleasure Makers were trained to work fast and graceful—their
actions rhythmic and almost robotic. Behind a glass surface, there were a
selection of toppings that presented itself to me: Chopped Pistachios, Yoghurt
Nibs, Crushed Oreos, Quezo de Bola shavings, Chili Flakes, and plenty more.
Ever since the café opened, I have always wondered how they would serve the ice
cream without the toppings falling off of them. My confusion was finally given
an answer when we were given a chance to make our own Magnum ice cream.
The first thing you do is to choose between a vanilla or
chocolate Magnum ice cream. Then you pick out three toppings from the options
available, while the Pleasure Maker will put the topping into a small drink mixer.
After mixing, you will be asked to choose your preferred coating: Dark
Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, or the Limited Edition Magnum Gold.
The magic then starts when the Pleasure Maker dips your ice
cream into your selected coating, place it on the cardboard dish and pour out
the contents of the drink mixer on top of the ice cream. Lastly, he will
drizzle the top with a different colored chocolate coating. The chocolate coating
will harden and the topping will affix themselves to the coating too. This way,
every bite off the ice cream will have the flavors you preferred.
Angel’s Pick: Vanilla Ice Cream, Quezo de Bola Shavings, Double Speculoos Cookies, Freeze Dried Raspberries, White Chocolate coating
My Choice: Chocolate Ice Cream, Sea Salt Flakes, Quezo de
Bola Shavings, Chopped Pistachios + Chocolate Crunch Balls (free), Milk
Chocolate coating = Salty Perfection!
Overall, the food in Magnum Café is delicious and the ice
cream is worth the experience! At only P100 per stick, you get to enjoy ice
cream with all the flavors you love. I look forward to my next Magnum Café experience
when I return in November with my lablab and siblings in tow!
More Manila restaurants to be uploaded soon!
Magnum Café is located
at the SkyPark Dining area (top floor) of SM Aura, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.