It’s that time of the year again where clay pots and bamboo steamers line up around churches and markets. The sweet and warm scent of bibingka and puto bumbong are everywhere during -ber months. But at Roast Café in Katipunan, these Christmas favorites are served all year round and can be paired with either freshly brewed coffee or tablea by the pot.
Pia Caluag and Joby Tanjuatco are the partners behind Roast Café which is located at the 2nd floor of Linear Building along 142 Katipunan Avenue in White Plains, Quezon City. The place has a homey and cozy ambiance with wood interior. The smell of coffee soothes your senses as soon as you step inside. You wouldn’t take notice of the time in this place – just you, your food and perhaps, a good book.
Roast Cafe opened in July 2014 and it stemmed from Bibingka Stop – Pia’s kiosk selling bibingka and puto bumbong during the Simbang Gabi at the Church of the Gesu inside the Ateneo campus for about 15 years. Later on, Pia and Joby decided to put up a coffee shop to house their love for coffee and their Christmas delicacies.
But what makes their bibingka and puto bumbong so special? Pia says it’s the laborious old-school cooking method and the use of the right ingredients that make their Pinoy favorites stand out. Their bibingka has kesong puti and is cooked in a clay oven over a live charcoal, while their puto bumbong is made of ground rice instead of rice flour. As for the homegrown coffee, Joby says they source their beans in Kalinga where the climate is much cooler.
Roast Café also serves breakfast food, pasta, sandwiches, handcrafted sausages, and even alcoholic drinks and beer chow for their evening patrons. House specialties include their Crispy Adobo Flakes with Kesong Puti and Pinaputok ng Longganisa – a Bulacan specialty.
There’s a connotation that bibingka and puto bumbong are only available during the holidays. But thanks to Roast Café, everyone can have a taste and feel of Christmas every day.
Roast Café is open from Monday-Saturday, 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM. For more details and inquiries, check out Roast Cafe’s Facebook page.