New Restaurant Alert: DiCofi at Salcedo Village, Makati
Have a cup of Vietnam.
Valero Plaza, San Agustin Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) When you’re walking around the neighborhood, your eyes are naturally—curiously—drawn to the coffee shops and neighborhood restaurants that line the streets. In recent years, our gastronomic adventures have often included the "indie" ones, meaning non-mainstream venues because not only do they give us that sense of discovery, but also a more diversified viewpoint of what good food means.
Look for it.
Enter DiCofi, a new Vietnamese spot just off Valero in Salcedo Village, Makati. It sits inconspicuously on the ground floor, barely calling any attention to itself and quick to overlook if you aren’t really searching for it. But that easy-to-miss quality adds to the novelty of the place. DiCofi, for the people in this area, is where you can just come in and ring up "the usual." And for "outsiders" like us to be intrigued.
The cafe is cozy, which is real estate-speak for small. Only five tables fill the space and you can quickly get a feel of the restaurant's no-fuss vibe. The menu is a well-curated page of Vietnamese cafe must-tries.
The Vietnamese Iced Coffee (P95) is so smooth and rich, with just the right amount of bitterness (Vietnamese coffee primarily uses robusta beans) to keep your caffeine-loving heart content. They have an Avocado Shake (P100) that's pretty straightforward, but impressively doesn't use ice as a buffer for the amount of fruit they put in a shake. Kudos!
A fried egg atop the rice makes the brawny Grilled Porkchop (P170) a bit more loving. The pork is barbecued with a sweet marinade which pairs well with the Vietnamese fish sauce it comes with. The Banh Mi Vietnamese Baguette (P95), a Vietnamese classic, is chock-full of fried eggs, pork floss, ham, pate, and topped with a good amount of hot sauce to give it a kick. There's no word for the bread counterpart of "al dente" in pasta, but this baguette is an example. It's crispy—but not the kind that scratches the roof of your mouth—with a soft interior that cushions the hard-hitting filling.
DiCofi may be a tiny little spectacle, but in Vietnam, it's these kinds of eateries that carry the biggest (pleasant) surprises.