Trust us, you'll need to save room for the mango cake

UCC has a new menu, but they saved the best for last.

UCC
Click here for a list of UCC branches. 

 

 

 

(SPOT.ph) There’s something about UCC that keeps it low-key. Perhaps it’s because the café has been around for a while. Perhaps it’s because there are so many new restaurants popping up. Still, the Ueshima Coffee Company endures. It’s been 15 years and while it might not always be top of mind (except for the Kori Kohi coffee), UCC is always a reliable retreat.

 

Kori Kohi

 

They’ve even updated the menu—not that the old one really lacked anything. It has, however, come to our attention that, until recently, the café didn’t offer soup. The new Cream of Mushroom (P180) is like a pair of black boots you never knew you needed. They’re a dime a dozen in the restaurant world, but this one is a chunky, earthy number. There’s more mushroom than cream so you really get that natural flavor.

 

Tomato Soup

 

 

Cream of Mushroom

 

The Tomato Soup (P200) is a cup of solace, the type that’s more tangy than rich, with delicious, roughly cut tomatoes that make it feel comfortingly home-style.

 

UCC, like most other restaurants that have withstood the test of “trendiness,” create habits—from the aforementioned coffee to the exciting boldness of the Garlic Seafood Spaghetti (P479) to the sweet twists of the Hokkaido French Toast (P229). Still, there’s a lot more to look forward to.

 

Tuna Cranberry Croissant

 

UCC has always been good with pastries (it’s owned by the same group as Yamato Bakery) so their croissant was textbook, fresh, flaky, and messy in all the right ways. In the Tuna Cranberry Croissant (P260), every element connects together seamlessly: the crispness of the bun to the crunch of the fresh red apples, the sweetness from the red apples to the sweetness of the cranberries. Everything works to lavish attention on the zesty tuna.

 

Cheese Sausage Curry

 

UCC Philippines also shares owners with the local franchise of CoCo Ichibanya, so it's interesting to see how well they play out their curry. The Cheese Sausage Curry (P390) is remarkably comforting. If you must compare it to CoCo's, this is a much larger undertaking—from the bangers stuffed with cheese for a saltier disposition to the bigger chunks of pickled daikon. The curry is fragrant, mild but distinct in that Japanese way. 

 

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

 

If vegetables are what you’re after, there’s a rather interesting Roasted Vegetable Pasta (P280). We admit that it might not garner as many fans next to items like Bacon Sausage Mushroom (P419) and Indian Curry (P399), but the zucchinis and eggplants pad on some friendly flavor. It’s definitely a gateway dish.

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Coco Mango

 

You could probably get some coffee and call it a day, but then someone brought out the cake. It’s a small thing, about as wide as a saucer and about three inches tall. The pristine white cream frosting is speckled in yellow while the top layer is crowned with sweet mangoes. It’s called Coco Mango Cake (P185). Tropical but overly eager, the coconut doesn’t show up instantly; it makes itself known in sweet little cubes in every forkful.

 

Salted Caramel Latte

 

There’s a lot of cream in every layer, but it comes out wonderfully light. It’s as effervescent as its creator, UCC’s marketing gal, Judy Ang (who used to bake the ensaymadas for Hey Gourmet). The sweetness is a tease, the mangoes being the most dominant flavor in the entire display.

 

Another cup of coffee, another round of cake, and we’re done. Until our next visit, that is.

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