What's Brewing: Caffe Pascucci

Another coffee chain has come to Manila -- another name, another game. Caffe Pascucci, said to be the Italian version of Starbucks, opened in Glorietta 2 late last year and quickly followed up with a second branch in Robinson’s Galleria. The question is: what can Caffe Pascucci bring to the table that we already don’t have? In a city teeming with coffee shops and faithful campers, do we really need another one?

Other posts in the What's Brewing? series:


Situated in the new Glorietta, Caffe Pascucci prides itself for its trademark blends, dessert drinks, and luscious desserts. A crystal display of yummy-looking pastries greets you as you enter. To the right, muffins, sandwiches and cakes are lined up in the chiller, attempting to lure you further.

What’s unique about this café—which is evident at first glance—is its bold and rebellious interiors. The order area maintains the classic look prevalent among all coffee shops: wooden panels, menu boards, a glass chiller, coffee canisters on the black countertop. But stepping away from the counter and starting towards the stairs—that’s when Pascucci reveals its real self. Or, let’s just say, its fun and more exciting alter ego.

Vibrant wall art is everywhere—swirls of reds, blues, and yellows, like graffiti. “Peace of Mind in an Unstable World” is repeated all over the café’s second floor, as if a mantra. Same with a hand drawing bearing names of countries—probably ones from which the shop's ingredients are sourced.

Red and black shades compose the furniture: on one side, stools and couches are lined up against the wall while on the window side, round tables and chairs dominate. The proper word is not cute. Edgy might be a better way to describe it.

The interiors are hypnotizing—cheerful and inviting, not boring and sleep-inducing. I could visualize myself staying for hours, doing some work there while nibbling on something sweet, and having several coffee refills. If there was anything I particularly dislike, however, it’s that the rounded chairs with backs were pretty uncomfortable. I would think someone more than chubby would be squished in it. There wasn’t enough leg space under the round tables either.

Caffe Pascucci has a flagship product, as all coffee shops do, and it came in the form of the Pascuccio. I usually go for dark brews but this one just looked too beautiful to resist. The Pascuccio is essentially an espresso, mixed with pas-ciok powder, then topped with foamed milk and caramel syrup, which was drizzled on top like a web. Most latte art bear shapes like hearts and animals, but this one begs to differ.

Pascuccio, P125
Unsurprisingly, the blend was light and sweet—more milky than bitter—but in an unexpectedly pleasant way. The caramel-drizzled cup, so generous that it appears cloying, isn’t. Don’t reach for those colorful sugar packets—you won’t need them.

The Pascuccio is a perfect match for any dessert.
The Gianduio is made of gold espresso, hot foamed milk, whipped cream, and Gianduia, an Italian hazelnut spread. Think of espresso frappe, except that it's hot and not ice-blended, and with Nutella. Again, I loved the fact that it wasn’t too sweet albeit the extra hazelnut flavoring. I hate drinks that are so sugary that I have to reach for a bag of Chippy and a glass of water.

Gianduio, P135
Our host* got herself a Caffe Latte, perfect for those who are looking just for something simple and familiar.

Caffe Latte, P115
My friend and I came a little before lunch so we opted for some heavy snacks. Caffe Pascucci’s Roast Beef and Triple Cheese Panini is an ideal choice: tender slices of beef au jus, layered with cheddar, mozzarella and Italian cheese. I loved how the beef’s juices cut through the creaminess of the cheeses; otherwise this sandwich would’ve been too rich for my taste.

Roast Beef and Triple Cheese Panini, P195
To end our meal, we shared a Dark Belgian Cheesecake. If these three words fail to excite the hell out of you, get out of my way. The cake came with cute edible decors, like something you would find in Tous Les Jours.

But while the cake was indeed delicious, it lacked the “darkness” I crave for in Belgian chocolate. Maybe it’s just me—I love really dark chocolate, the bitterer, the better. In addition, I like my cheesecake rich, sour, and with a hint of texture—not smooth and creamy like a flan. In any case, I think this dessert would be a perfect match for some plain filter coffee, preferably unsweetened.
Dark Belgian Cheesecake, P195
I was afraid Pascucci’s interiors would outshine its products, but I was happy to report that it didn’t. If anything, it complemented the overall experience. Caffe Pascucci’s food, while certainly not perfect, is distinctive—much like its design. The coffees are fine and subtle, but always injecting a bit of surprise. I especially loved the Pascuccio and wished it was served on a bigger cup—perhaps a tub would do? LOL!

Definitely, Caffe Pascucci has brewed something new, and it's a welcome addition to our coffee culture.

*Special thanks to CT for having us!

Caffe Pascucci
G/F Glorietta 2, Glorietta Complex, Ayala Center, Makati City
(02) 955-1556
Operating Hours: 10:00am – 11:00pm
Facebook: CaffePascucciPH
Menu: click here
Budget: PhP200-PhP250/head for a snack and a coffee

What do you think about Caffe Pascucci? Are the bold interiors attractive, or is the design too loud for you? Do you think Caffe Pascucci is a nice place to hang out? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! You can use your Facebook account to log in!

pepe samson

About Pepe Samson

This is a short description in the author block about the author. You edit it by entering text in the "Biographical Info" field in the user admin panel.
    Disqus Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment

Let me know what you think!