Vertis North is turning out to be a really interesting foodie favorite! One of its latest offerings is Zoo Coffee, a Korean-style cafe that focuses on — you guessed it — an animal theme.
Now, this isn’t anywhere near the cat or dog cafe you’ve been used to. For one, there are no live animals. There are plushies and animal prints all around, but the real star here is the laid-back environment and of course, the treats! The owners had mentioned that they wanted a setup where guests could simply and freely relax in a nature ambience. Hence, Zoo Coffee was born.
First, the Coffee
Well, this is primarily a cafe so they should serve good coffee, right? In fact, their Korean coffee and tea are fairly unique. They also have the more recognizable varieties such as Americano, Latte, Cappuccino, and the like.
I fell in love with their flavorful mocha frappe, and I also found various unusual offerings in their menu. Items such as Hot Ginseng Honey Tea aren’t among those you’d see any usual day, and it definitely screams out the Korean origin of the place. Cold drinks are also present, such as the Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie (Php 170). If you’re coming in from the heat of the streets, maybe you could use a Salted Caramel or Strawberry Gelato, too.
If you’d like to check out the other Korean beverages the place has to offer, you could check out their “I’m Korean” menu. Surely the Hallyu wave has brought its interesting mix of hot and cold drinks!
… and then the Treats!
But what I’m particularly interested in during my visit were the treats. And there were lots of them! When I came, they were introducing the Mango Waffle (Php 190) which quickly became my favorite. The churro-style waffle was awesome, and they were very generous with the servings! It’s like a meal on its own. There were four really big chunks that my sweet tooth would just love to sink in. It didn’t hurt that the ice cream lavished on the waffle was a sinful delight. If you’re not into mangoes, there are also various waffles such as the classic Chocolate (Php 190) and the luscious Berry Berry (Php 190).
There was also a wide array of sandwiches to choose from. There was Chicken Ham Teriyaki (Php 170) and Beef Pastrami Sandwich (Php 180). There was also Barbecue Hotdog (Php 165), whose smoky savory flavor is something I’m really digging! I’m a big fan of barbecue, but if you’re more into the cheesier side of hotdogs they also have the Cheesy Hotdog (Php 170) on the menu.
Zoo Coffee also has a couple of delicious bread offerings, the Caramel Honey Bread (Php 225) and the Ice Honey Bread. The first one became my immediate second favorite, though the bread may be a little to big and thick for others’ tastes. As for the latter, it’s a nice little way of taking in sweets and healthy fruits at once!
Of course, what good will a Korean cafe be without the famous Korean shaved ice dessert — bingsu! There’s Mango Bingsu (Php 270) and Double Berry Bingsu (Php 285). Both come in huge servings which are definitely for sharing.
If you’re coming here for a full meal, you might want to check out their pasta offerings. I loved both their Chicken Penne in Tomato Sauce and their Bacon Carbonara (Php 145).
You don’t need to be a lover of the Korean culture to enjoy Zoo Coffee. The brand has gone places, and has opened up shop not just in Korea but also in various cities in China. Taiwan also has their own branch. In all these places (more than 100 in all!), Zoo Coffee is banking on more than the Hallyu wave. Their major come-on is the great quality of their coffee and treats!
Besides, where else could you go to enjoy safari-themed environs while enjoying an after-work dessert? Zoo Coffee lets you dine with the lions, pandas, and giraffes (albeit their cuter, stuffed counterparts) without having to buy a plane ticket. Even their staff come in fully decked in explorer garb, complete with the friendliness and know-how that you would expect from such a guide. I’m pretty sure that their really unique offering would score them more branches here in the Philippines.
For now, though, head over to the concrete jungles of Makati and map your way towards Vertis North. Here, a really exciting time awaits for your eyes and palate at Zoo Coffee!
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