MANILA -- Sourdough bread seems to be all the rage in Manila's trendy food scene these days, thanks perhaps to its return to tradition and probiotic features. But tasty sourdough bread is not all there is at its newly opened namesake restaurant.
Sourdough Cafe & Deli sits conveniently at the corner of the busy Tomas Morato and Scout Delgado. Its gigantic arched windows and the neat lines of its bright interiors are reminiscent of upscale coffee shops that you'd find abroad. It has two separate areas: a bright café downstairs for casual diners and coffee drinkers, and an intimate lounge upstairs for fine dining, complete with a walk-in chiller filled with bottles of choice wine.
The café’s main offering is, of course, sourdough bread which you can purchase from its artisanal bakery as is, or as a prepared sandwich. The loaves come in tradition French bread shapes, boule and batard. A crisscross mark distinguishes the loaves that went through twelve-hour fermentation, while a leaf score is reserved for the more sour tasting bread that spent 40 hours fermenting.
For prepared sandwiches, diners can choose from three versions: croque monsieur, pastrami sandwich and grilled cheese. All are classic sandwich types that are instead made with the crusty, chewy and mildly tangy bread.
For something much lighter, one can also opt for sliced bread with butter and strawberry jam, paired with coffee.
If you are looking for something else, the European-inspired café offers other dishes like pasta, osso buco and the indulgent, dry aged rib eye.
I should also mention that wine is very much an important piece in the café’s menu. The owners, after all, are self-confessed wine connoisseurs who wanted to bring their love for wine into the restaurant.
Aside from a fine selection of bottles, the restaurant also offers dishes cooked with wine like osso buco, 40-cloves chicken, and beef bourguignon.
Did someone say dessert? Don’t ever leave this café without trying its Basque Burnt Cheesecake. The unassuming cake seems overly simplistic at first look but it is its plainness that makes it stand out from the rest. Soft and dreamy, this classic dessert tells everyone what a cheesecake should taste like.