Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hollys Coffee

Koreanovelas, Korean fashion, Korean food are so rampant these days.  That's why they now call it the Korean wave.  Before, we used to see Chinese from every corner of the streets, but now it has changed.  Koreans are everywhere.  Since they love living here in the Philippines and we're so hooked on their culture (yeah, I know, Filipinos doesn't recognize their own culture since they no longer have one), they put up businesses like hair salons, restaurants, ktv/bars, and now a coffee shop--Hollys Coffee that is.

Bf and I went to the very first Hollys Coffee here in the metro.  Its first ever branch is located at One Archer's Place along La Salle Taft Avenue (left side from Buendia-EDSA).
Map from Hollys Coffee Philippines FB acct
It was Thursday afternoon and the place was packed.  So I went straight to the end of the line, which was near the entrance door, and let bf look for our table.  Ten minutes went by when I had reached the counter (maybe the customers ahead of me took time to decide what to get since I was also having a hard time).  The list of drinks were typical aside from the Hollyccinos and other Korean drinks.  I asked the clerk what's their bestseller from their smoothies and he offered the Blueberry Iyote.  I got one and also ordered their Dark Forest Hollycino since I find their photo so creamy and refreshing.  As for the pastries, I ordered their croissants and their waffle since it looks appetizing from the stand because it has berries on top and on the side with a scoop of butter cream or whipped cream.

Our orders took a long while.  As far as I know, food should be served within 7 minutes.  But at Hollys, it took us like 10-15 minutes before we get to taste their drinks and some of their pastries.
photo by bf
As soon as our tray was placed on the table, I quickly got disappointed.  The croissants were too small compared to what we used to have from Saint Honore, our favorite artisan bakery and cafe (you should try eat there.  Really good food).  They were not even warm!  As we cut through the said pastry, we noticed that it's not flaky at all.  The key to a good croissant is that its texture should be flaky.  This was bad.  It's texture was close to a normal bread, which is so wrong.  And again, IT'S NOT HEATED!  A chef friend of mine told me before that croissants shouldn't been eaten cold, but I told him his was good even if it's not heated (honestly!).  But this time, I do think he's right.  It's supposed to be heated at least, with this kind of texture.  Ugh.  Major disappointment here.
photo by thestraydrifter
photo by thestraydrifter
The waffle failed to satisfy me too--BIG TIME!!!  I was surprised that the waffles were not even made there.  I saw waffles placed at the bottom level of their pastry stand, packed in this huge see-through bag.  For me it's okay, but don't ever let your customers see it.  It's a major no-no.  And again, it's not warm!!!  Waffles should be warm and crispy, but this wasn't.  There were no berries too as compared to the one that's displayed on the stand!  I was not informed that there are variety of waffles on the shop since what I only saw on the stand was the very berry waffle (it was only labeled as Waffle Php 90.  Too bad I wasn't able to take a picture of their stand..geeshso I assumed it was the only kind of waffle that is being served.  It wasn't even listed on the menu. If I haven't searched on it on their website (as I'm writing this), I wouldn't have known that there are variations.  Sigh.  It tastes good, though, but the way it was served was a failure.  If I'm going to give a grade on the way they serve their pastries, I'd give an F.  No presentation, no quality.
I tried my best to give this a good eye-candy.  They should've at least placed the waffle in the middle of the plate, put whipped cream at the center of the waffle, and drizzle maple syrup over it.
When it comes to the drinks we've got, it didn't met our expectations as well.  Their Dark Forest Hollyccino literally tastes like cherry-flavored cough syrup.  Remember those liquid meds we took when we were young?  Yeah, this is how it tastes like.  It's a complete blah.  They should train their baristas more!  If they could conduct a weekly quiz/exam on making each drinks for consistency, they should do so.  All I can taste on this drink is the cherry syrup!  I hate cherries.  I don't know why I took this drink anyway.  Good photo on their menu board, but bad drink.  Don't ever get this drink not unless you love cherry-flavored drinks (eeew..haha).
photo by thestraydrifter
Blueberry Iyote didn't surprised me as well.  It's a simple smoothie that tastes like blueberry.  Good thing they didn't use powder in it (you know, Zagoo-like).  I won't be looking for this drink as well.  It's a good try, though.
photo by thestraydrifter
Aside from the drinks and the waffle and croissants, I noticed that their bagel doesn't look appetizing at all.  It's not smooth and looks dry.  Too bad I wasn't able to get a shot of it.  Sigh.

The ambiance of the entire shop is nice.  Its mood is warm and a good place to hang out.  They have computers free to use for a quick browse on the Internet.  But it's not a good place to study on weekdays because it's totally packed.

For Php 445 worth of the said drinks and pastries, my money wasn't well spent.  We're not satisfied.  Maybe I ordered the wrong drinks and the wrong pastries.
photo by thestraydrifter
Don't get me wrong, I will definitely go back to try their other signature drinks, and maybe some more waffles, sandwiches and other pastries.  Maybe they'll get it right next time and I'll update this post asap.

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