Hip coffee joint and hang-out Elephant Grounds from Hong Kong is opening in Manila soon. If you’ve visited their other HK branches (they have six already!), a trip to the Manila branch promises to be a totally different experience altogether.
Expect to find tapa and adobo bowls alongside avo toast, pasta dishes, and coffee. “The menu is a mix of Elephant Grounds’ originals and dishes inspired by the Hong Kong menu,” shares chef Nicco Santos (formerly of Hey Handsome and Your Local). Quenee Villar joins Santos in the Manila kitchen and they collaborated with the Hong Kong team to create dishes that would appeal to Pinoy sensibilities.
The Manila outpost is located at One Bonifacio in BGC and the space has everything you could want in a café: lots of light, good coffee, and straightforward comfort food. For people looking to capture the experience on social media, the space is Instagram-ready, too. Elephant Grounds also made sure to work with local suppliers and producers for their dishes and ice cream (they use Holly’s Milk for their ice cream made in-house).
You can find your usual coffee orders at Elephant Grounds but make sure to try out their exclusive concoctions: Black Tie, an iced drink with layers of iced black coffee, condensed milk, and whipping cream; and the Dirty, a serving of double shot of espresso with chilled milk.
Elephant Grounds is also known for their ice cream so don’t leave without trying a scoop. Classic flavors such as Hazelnut, Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, and Rocky Road are available if you’re looking for familiar flavors. Toasted Rice, EG Latte, Mixed Acai, and Earl Grey are also on the menu for more adventurous dessert fans.
“We just want a place for everyone to hang out in with good coffee and food. We have third-wave coffee but we partnered with a local roaster so it’s always fresh. [The menu] is not exactly like Hong Kong’s but it’s still comfort food,” adds Catalina Altomonte, brand manager for the Standard Group. The Standard Group is responsible for introducing other brands such as Yabu, Ippudo, and Mighty Quinn’s to the Philippines.