As most of you guys would know, the tiny school in Pearl Drive holds dear to my heart. You will see as we walk around wearing our corporate clothes with a phone in one hand a laptop in another, we are often stressed and swamped with work. May it be academic pandemonium or co-curricular related, we are busy bees. And needless to say, we love coffee (a majority of the population does).
It is both a blessing and a curse to have Where’s Marcel? open in the Pearl Place beside UA&P. Blessing: because UA&P students finally get the hip and cool cafe we deserve. Curse: because I have already graduated from UA&P.
The Australian brand finds itself in the Philippines all thanks to The Cravings Group, A.K.A. the same people who brought to you B&P, Lomabrdi’s, and even culinary school CCA. Needless to say, these people know what they are doing with their food! Nothing less of that experience and quality is sacrificed in this latest addition to their impressive roster of cafes.
Chef Sau Del Rosario (Cafe Fleur in Pampanga) and Chef Christine Paredes (Wicked in Shangri-la East Wing) was in charge of the menu. I would say that the menu is a complete fusion of Filipino cuisine and Australian cuisine to your usual cafe food. I’m talking about Chrorizo Carbonara and some puto-looking muffins. Luckily, I do not see any Vegemite around 😉
Knowing The Cravings Group, expect the menu to change from time to time. This depends on what’s the best produce in-season and whatever the chefs’ imaginations think of in the months to come. I pray, however, that they keep the Butterscotch (P55) as an in house pastry. It pairs so well with the Flat White (P160)! According to one of the baristas I talked to (all of which are so friendly!) the current house blend is Culture. It was rich, creamy and had a very robust chocolatey flavor.
Where’s Marcel? is a Crop-to-Cup type of establishment, that means that there is no middleman between the farmer and the cafe. So yes. The beans you have in your cup is from Australia and they are organically grown!
Since in Manila, it’s never enough to serve the best quality coffee from Australia, or serve food curated by Manila’s best chefs, the interiors also play a big part in Where’s Marcel?. Nix Alañon, My Home’s Editor-In-Chief, took care of making the industrial but still very warm space. I totally think reading your Christian Civilization readings or PhilHist readings will be a blast here! Oh if only it was open when I was still studying those thick, thick,thick IMC packets.
So the big question: WHO IS MARCEL AND WHERE DID SHE GO? First off, Marcel is Marcel Ruggieri, the founder of the cafe. She once got lost in the coffee farm while they were sourcing the beans and everyone started looking for her asking: “Where’s Marcel?” Eventually, the inside joke became the brand. A very catchy one at that.