Last Sunday, Louie and I went to SM Aura (Skypark) and Serendra to practice taking shots using my new DSLR. He brought his flash kit along and we experimented on ISO, aperture and shutter speed. As a newbie photographer, I set the camera on Manual mode and tried adjusting these settings to achieve the right exposure.
Basically, as my subject, he posed on different backgrounds under different lighting with the same smile plastered on his face, so it was very difficult for me to see if he was enjoying or just faking a happy countenance. (Thank You, God, for giving me a supportive boyfriend.) 😀
After our two-hour photography session, we visited the ECHOstore at Serendra, BGC where we amusingly found eco-friendly items on display.
Some of the products I’ve been searching for such a long time now are found there: coconut flour, cocoa powder from Malagos Resort, wild honey, vegetable chips, organic detergent, shampoo and conditioner, lotion and everything else made from plants.
What’s even greater was that there’s a café inside serving delicious and healthy food from pastas and sandwiches to soups and desserts made from fresh and organic ingredients. Wow! This is what I call my ideal place: store, deli and café in one! Dinner, here we go.
Review of ECHOcafé (Serendra, Bonifacio Global City)
ECHO stands for “Environment & Community Hope Organization.” As described in their website, “It’s about conscious and caring consumerism that chooses fair trade and green products to help drive livelihood to the marginalized while helping our planet (ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle), eating and drinking healthy (ECHOcafé: Culture, Coffee, Community) supporting locavorism or buying food grown locally (ECHOmarket Sustainable Farms).”
Organic local delicatessen products, teas and bags from recycled materials are placed on shelves of this store-deli-café. In the limited space, a counter for ordering is placed at the back and dining sets are arranged neatly for customer accommodation. The walls are painted light-celery green, a backdrop which perfectly complemented the theme and concept of the establishment.
Service was fine. The gentleman who served our table was attentive and dedicated in his efforts to explain and introduce the dishes on the menu. Enough said.
Following the server’s recommendation, we ordered the Pasta a la Trio (PHp 250) which is ECHOcafé’s signature pasta. The pasta was cooked al dente, making it chewy and bouncy. I could taste the beautifully synchronized flavors in one mouthful; it was “party in your mouth” kind of dish — spicy, sweet, salty and sour. This could be one of the most delectable pastas I’ve ever eaten. Even if finishing a plate would mean exceeding my caloric allotment for a week, there’s no way I’d let this Pasta a la Trio pass by uneaten next time. 🙂
Satisfying and straightforward, the Chicken Longganisa (PHp 225) was agreeably cooked but didn’t score as high as the former in my palate. Small slices of longganisa were overpowered by the taste of the cream sauce that wrapped itself around the fettuccine pasta.
If you like spinach, then you’ll like the purity of the Spinach and Cheese Tortilla-wich (PHp 175, four pie slices). It consisted of crepe-like outer covering with spinach as stuffing, layered with three kinds of cheese: cheddar, white and cream cheese.
The delicate balance of sweetness and sourness struck rightly without missing the point of the dish—the spinach leaves themselves. The Spinach and Cheese Tortilla-wiches tasted clean and fresh and would be perfect for ladies and gents alike in need of detoxification. It would have been better though, if there was a more generous serving of walnuts as toppings.
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
ECHOcafé’s relaxed setting, gentle prices, gracious service and wholesome, “sustainable” food offerings sound like a recipe for long-lasting success in these recessionary times. Theirs is a menu that’s not about wowing customers with big flavors and over-complicated presentation; it is about providing simple, comforting food. Mission accomplished. 😛
Operating hours: 9AM-9PM
First Floor, Eton Centris Walk, EDSA Corner Quezon Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
Contact number: 02 7097800
Operating hours: 10AM-10:45PM