It’s Both Playful and Chill at This Japanese Café-Slash-Sauna
Come for the cool interiors, stay for the great Japanese eats.
Ayo Ayo Cafe
44 Emilio Osmeña Street, Guadalupe, Cebu City
Open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) It's been a long time since most of us have travelled internationally, and you're absolutely not alone if you've been missing Japan in particular. After all, the Land of the Rising Sun is famous for many things—among them their cool cafés, relaxing saunas, and of course, truly amazing food. But if you're in Cebu, you can at the very least head to one cool spot that merges all three elements: Check out Ayo Ayo Cafe in Guadalupe!
Owner Tomohiko Terada shares that he came to Cebu as an English student while doing online work, but had difficulty looking for a place "to stay, to chill, to work, and to eat what I want". This led to the birth of Ayo Ayo Cafe. "Having experienced good vibes in shared living accommodation in Tokyo for couple of years helping my friend to operate a hostel, I was convinced enough that I can established same place on my own in Cebu," Terada explains in an exchange with SPOT.ph.
The café greets you with its one-of-a-kind vibe. On one hand, it's fun and quirky with its pops of yellow, teal, and blue, plus its eye-catching zigzag pattern on the ceiling. At the same time, it's got zen elements to it too, thanks to its wooden fixtures and greenery. These facets make Ayo Ayo Cafe conducive to hanging out in just about any time of day, and you'll be taking photos of every corner, too.
You can fill up on modern Japanese eats (mostly of the yoshoku genre) here, like the Omurice (P200) and Japanese Croquette (P200). They've also got Japanese-style burgers, like the Hambagu Steak Burger (P250) with minced-pork patties and tonkatsu sauce, and the Karaage (P200) with deep-fried chicken patty marinated in ginger, sake, and mirin. It's definitely worth saving room for their big plates that come with a mini salad, miso soup, and egg rolls; options include the Tonkatsu Curry (P300) and Chicken Teriyaki (P200).
Ayo Ayo Cafe is also known for its sauna facility, which they added in light of the pandemic. "Sauna is a very popular bath culture in Japan. We love saunas, because it has numerous benefits, like releasing toxins through sweat and [and being] good for mental health," says Terada. "I really wanted to share our bathe culture to Filipinos." What sets Ayo Ayo Cafe's sauna area from others in Cebu is its cold dipping-pool, where you're meant to cool down after sweating it out. Co-owner and partner Alieth Bontuyan shares that the cold dip is important in that it closes open pores and improves blood circulation, which lets you experience the natural post-sauna high that the Japanese dub totonou.
Ayo Ayo Cafe is at 44 Emilio Osmeña Street, Guadalupe, Cebu City. For more information, check out Ayo Ayo Cafe & Sauna's Facebook page.
We are now on Quento! Download the app and enjoy more articles and videos from SPOT.ph and other Summit Media websites.