As much as I love coffee, I had to lay low on my consumption these days due to hyperacidity. Yes, blame it on Starbucks' planner promo and my stubbornness. Good thing, I'm not just a big fan of hot coffee but also of hot choco. And one hot choco place I've been reading and hearing a lot about is Tsoko Nut Batirol.
Tsoko Nut Batirol is a native tsokolate and coffee shop especially targeted to Filipinos. It was put up in the late 2004 by a group with an already extensive knowledge in the food business, aiming to give Pinoys a comfortable haven where we can unwind and just relax with a warm cup in hand while reliving memories of our happy childhood and the home-made goodies we used to enjoy.
It was a late night in Eastwood when my date and I paid Tsoko Nut Batirol a visit. I think it was already past 9 o'clock but there were still quite a few patrons who were lounging at the simple yet homey space of the café. Although this Tsoko Nut Batirol branch is unlike other international coffee shops with a really big store area, a number of sofas, and have lots of trinkets and decorative pieces to boot, I still like the intimacy and cozy feeling the place exudes.
It didn't take long before my date and I finally decided what to get. We had dinner prior to this visit so I just opted to get Tsoko Nut Batirol's Combo A (P95) which includes a regular serving of Tsokolate Ah Batirol and a piece of the Bacolod delicacy, Napoleones.
Just a single sip of my Tsokolate Ah Batirol and I instantly felt at home. This serving of hot choco which came in a native and homey aged mug was sweet, rich and simply lovely. My Napoleones puff pastry also nicely complemented my hot beverage. This combo is really a good warm and sweet treat for anyone who had a rough day. (Or maybe for someone who suffers from PMS?)
My date also got himself a cup of hot choco, his choice though was a regular Sugar-Free Tsokolate Ah Batirol (P83). He also spotted pasta on the café's posted menu so he also ordered a serving of Tsoko Nut Batirol's famous Creamy Pesto Malunggay with Shrimps Pasta (P115).
The Sugar-Free Tsokolate Ah Batirol also came in a custom-made native Tsoko Nut Batirol mug. Unlike my cup of hot choco though, my date's was a little lighter in color and tasted bitter. Think of unsweetened hot cocoa and it's the exact same taste -- plain and bitter. Good thing he was given a tray of Splenda which he did use to sweeten his hot beverage of choice with. This made my date enjoy his Sugar-Free Tsokolate Ah Batirol, although he would've wanted it a little more thick and creamy if possible.
The Creamy Pesto Malunggay with Shrimps Pasta on the other hand, was a winner. Although we found the spaghetti a little too soggy, the flavor of this pesto dish was just amazing. The herby pesto taste was rich and savory. Every mouthful is an explosion of lovely flavors. My date and I enjoy basil-based pesto, but we never though a malunggay-based one would taste this good. However my date and I both admit that honestly, a cup of hot choco and this pasta dish don't really complement each other that well.
Aside from the lovely hot tsokolate, Tsoko Nut Batirol also offers a few coffee variants such as the Kape Barako, Kape Tisoy, and Tsoko Nut Latte. They also have some cold chocolate and coffee selection, as well as teas even salabat (ginger tea), juices, shakes and rootbeer float.
The café also specializes on Filipino delicacies such as Suman sa Latik, Suman sa Mangga, Bibingka with Kesong Puti and Itlog na Pula, Ensaymada with Quezo de Bola, and some more sweet goodies. Hungry diners should also fret no more because Tsoko Nut Batirol also has rice dishes to offer, along with a pasta selection.
This visit to Tsoko Nut Batirol surely left my date and I a good impression. It also marks the beginning of a seriously good friendship between us and this wonderful café. Although the beverages and food items we tried were simple, they completely satisfied us and made us reminisce some of our happy childhood moments. As of this writing, I am actually craving to go back and get a cup of hot tsokolate, as well as try their other bestselling pasta dish -- Spaghetti Aligue.
Two things to note though that can take Tsoko Nut Batirol a notch higher is making sure the pasta is cooked perfectly and not too mushy, and maybe getting the crew more inspired to show a cheerful and more engaging disposition.
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Tsoko Nut Batirol, Eastwood Excelsior
G/F Eastwood City Cyberpark,
E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. Bagumbayan, Libis
Quezon City, Metro Manila