Manila has a growing coffee house scene – and each new one is trying to out-do the last one! The latest addition to our list of breakfast places is Martin Place Social at the Arya Plaza in BGC, Manila. The chef is bringing more than 20 years of experience in London and Australia to the (coffee) table and his concept focuses on great food in a casual setting – and it works!
Martin Place Social takes advantage of the plaza setting at the area, removed from the traffic, with a view of the trees and fountains. There is booth seating outside and it’s covered so you can enjoy it in any weather. Inside, you’ll find a small bar and stylish lounge seating. The leather-topped tables and comfy chairs and sofas make for a much more stylish environment than your regular coffee house!
We grabbed seats inside and were eager to check out their breakfast menu! The dishes reminded us of our favorite brekkie place in Sydney – they have an Australian touch in more than name! Staff was relaxed, friendly and attentive, taking orders quickly and always being in reach. Our visit was prior to the formal opening and they were eager to hear our feedback on the experience. Despite being all-new, they were coming together as a team remarkably well and we didn’t have any of the typical “soft opening” issues.
Our cappuccinos came quickly and staff checked in with us, how we like them – dry or wet, how hot, etc – a nice touch! They came with big hearts – I’m a sucker for coffee that doesn’t only taste good, but looks good on delivery.
For my meal, I picked the Pavlova Pancakes on my first visit (yes, I admit I have a sweet tooth) and like them so much that I recommended them to my friend on our return! The pancakes are fluffy and the huge pile of fresh, healthy fruit (from strawberries to kiwis) calmed by conscience. The warm, sweet sauce worked perfectly with it and the mint leaves added a nice contrast. The portion size was perfect – I was full without feeling stuffed (or guilty)!
On our return, I went with a savoury dish instead and had the Aussie Aussie Aussie – a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, with toasted bread, mushrooms and tomatoes (I skipped the beans due to my allergies). All of it not only tasted good individually, but came together very well as a full meal. This portion was even bigger than the pancakes and I couldn’t finish it all!
Bottomline: Martin Place Social is a great, new place for breakfast, with a welcoming ambiance that is stylish, yet still casual and relaxed. The menu is great for a full breakfast and I’m looking forward to trying their lunch or dinner menu, once they are fully open in early October! If you want more than a coffee and pastry, give it a try!