Thursday, January 2, 2014

Caffé Pascucci at the New Glorietta (Glorietta 2)


A Revolution of Coffee Shop Culture: Welcome to Caffé Pascucci

by

The moment I stepped into Caffé Pascucci, I was immediately drawn in by the graffiti style wall art and the bold red and black interiors—all of which are not usually found in a coffee shop.

Caffé Pascucci at the New Glorietta (Glorietta 2)

Pastry Chef Bryan Francisco, internationally trained in Bouchon (located in Las Vegas) by the renowned Thomas Keller, has always been passionate with regards to expressing himself creatively. “My position is in product development. Café Pascucci contacted me to help in putting up a branch of the franchise in the Philippines. I went about doing this with the younger crowd in mind. I wanted something sleek and modern.”

Caffé Pascucci is, in actuality, the Italian equivalent of Starbucks. The art on the walls, imported from Italy, was provided by the café’s primary sponsors. According to Francisco, this is all in tune with the look that they wanted to provide for the café. The colours and the ambiance are very attractive to the eyes, which is sure to be a big selling point somewhere down the road.
Chef Francisco’s creative spirit bleeds not just through the interiors, but through the food and drinks as well. “I use local ingredients,” he says proudly. “As a chef, you’ve got to be able to make something out of what is available where you are. If I can’t source an ingredient locally—such as the ricotta cheese—I find ways to be inventive and create it.”
I was able to sample two of their coffees: the bestselling trademark Paspuccio (P125 for 8oz) and the clever Café Confuso (P130 for 8oz). The Paspuccio, a semi-sweet mix of espresso, pas-ciok powder, hot milk and caramel syrup is the perfect dessert coffee. The Café Confuso, a drink reflective of its very original name, toys with temperature. It is actually served lukewarm, which is quite strange and highly intriguing at the same time.
Paspuccio
 
Café Confuso
Nothing could quite prepare me for the wonderfully unique dessert experience brought upon by the chef’s creations. My mouth watered at the mere sight of the Dark Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake (P195), which tastes as decadent as it looks. The consistency of the mix is very creamy and rich, which goes fantastic with the bittersweet chocolatey goodness of it all. The Cannoli de Ricotta (P90), a dish that seems to be quite rare here in the Philippines, is also another highlight thanks to Francisco’s homemade ricotta cheese.
Dark Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake
 

 
Cannoli de Ricotta
 

 
Caffé Pascucci’s cream-filled muffins are delicious treats to watch out for as well. Not only are they flavourful, but they The Hazelnut Truffle Muffin (P100) (which, in my opinion, is the drool-worthiest of the drool-worthy!) is, according to its creator, “Ferrero Rocher in muffin form”. Believe me, hazelnut has never tasted so good. The Edam and Corn Muffin, which leans a bit towards the savoury side, reminds me of the comfort brought upon by the corn muffins of my childhood days. This is, of course, made better by the addition of Edam cheese. The Macadamia Muffin is a shoutout to all coffee lovers out there—a surprise awaits you at the epicenter of this wonderful concoction. Rounding out the plethora of treats are the Sticky Buns (P75), a fun little pastry made out of a combo of soft yeast with brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts. I leave the rest to your imagination.
Hazelnut Truffle Muffin
 

 
Edam and Corn Muffin
 

 
Macadamia Muffin
 
Francisco is set on bringing out only the best of the best with regards to Pascucci’s menu and operations. “My goal is to keep on being better,” he says proudly. “This menu? It might not be the same two or three weeks from now. I want it to be dynamic—something that will always change for the better. Of course, if something sells well, I will surely keep it on.”
So, what else makes Pascucci so special? “It is authentic Italian,” Francisco says candidly. According to their chef consultant, there is a special blend for their coffee. They use ten different roasts from ten different origins, and the special roast used for the coffee is called the Gold Roast. This special roast is perfect for dessert coffee, which is what Pascucci specializes in. There is minimal bitterness in the blend, which would make the coffee experience pleasant for those that favour the more subtle coffee blends. With all this in mind, Pascucci’s entry into the coffee shop niche will surely provide a challenge to the café culture that we have familiarised ourselves with thanks to its nearly revolutionary approach.


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Visit Caffé Pascucci at the ground floor of Glorietta 2 (beside Guess). Students get free refill of coffee by simply presenting their school ID. All baked goods are also half off after 10pm. Both promos are valid until January 31, 2014.
 

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