Friday, September 20, 2013

Cute, Cozy, Cool Cafe

A splitting headache, a previous plan, and some errands found me exiting my usual Friday routine. Although the sky was a bit cloudy, I managed to go out to relax. After all, this week had been very hectic at work, and I needed a break.

Maybe some coffee can ease my mind...oops, is coffee even good for a headache? I know the effects of coffee to the blood vessels, but I really don't care. I'd think of it as a treat and a stress-reliever, and thinking that way will, yeah, relieve stress. So, I'd go for coffee.

I always pass by Cafe Maru because there is no other choice but to pass by when going to the heart of the city. Where else would I go when the route is the only route? I had always been curious as to what Cafe Maru was about, and why they sometimes hold promos and such. This time, there was no turning back. And to Cafe Maru I went.

Cafe Maru is located at Ethan House Ladies' Dormitory, which is situated in front of Sto. Nino Village. If people are still not familiar where it is, other famous landmarks near the area are Jollibee, Bright Academy, and Woodridge International School. From the outside, Cafe Maru looks like a glass house with a cute white fence and some signs for customers. According to their Facebook page, Cafe Maru is a Korean-style coffee house serving coffee choices well-loved in Korea, as well as other tasty treats like waffles.

The first thing I noticed when I entered the premises was the welcoming aroma of coffee. Yeah... a coffee shop. The smell of coffee suddenly had me remember CN Blue's "Coffee Shop" from their RE:Blue album. The staff that accommodated me was very friendly, and he handed me the menu. In the main area, there were the usual tables and chairs, so I sat near the door. I usually like sitting near the door with my back facing the street because I want to see the entire place, especially if pleasant to the senses.

Choices that customers can select from ranged from different types of coffee to fruit shakes, from tea to waffles. I will always love chocolate mint but I was curious as to what green tea latte tastes like. Although the weather was very cool, I did not want a hot drink, so I ordered iced green tea latte.

iced green tea latte ♥♥♥♥
너무 너무 맛있습니다! ㅇㅅㅇ

I asked permission from the staff to take pictures of the ambiance, especially the cozy lounge near the bookshelf. They allowed me to, and I was able to take pictures. If I have a criterion to love a place, it is to have a bookshelf filled with lots of books. And you know what? This cafe passed my standards... No, scratch that. It exceeded my expectations! From the outside, it can't be seen, but once you get in, you will find a bookshelf staring back at you. Lovely!

While I was there, there was a Korean high school student loitering in the area. I knew where she attends high school, though I will not divulge where, even if we don't know each other. I had not heard her speak English quite well because she was talking discreetly to the barista, but when her mother called, she began speaking in Korean. The words I recognized from the conversation were "hakgyo (school)," "ne (yes)," and "Chosun Chicken," a Korean chicken restaurant nearby. I could not help but muse, it seemed like I was watching a shooting of a K-drama with young idols like Bae Suzy (Miss A) or Shin Hye Jung (AOA) in it. It was so cool!

Anyway, after she left, I wandered around the premises, especially the lounge near the bookshelf. On top of the bookshelf were lots of toys and games and puzzles, it would be fun to hang out and play scrabble while enjoying your fruit shake. Unlike the table-and-chair combo in the main area, the cozy lounge had low tables and pillows to sit upon. Ooooh! I even recognized a Rilakkuma pillow! If you want that authentic feeling of enjoying your coffee and tea as if you're in South Korea, you can sit on the floor by the low table and do what you want, drink coffee or toy around with puzzles. I saw a deck of cards and tried playing solitaire, but I was not able to continue playing because I still had some errands to do. What the heck? If I get back, I have to get my hands on those cards again!

Hi Rilakkuma!!! ^_^ Where are Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori?
릴라쿠마씨, 안녕하세요? 코릴라쿠마과 키로이토리가 어디예요?

Just like in my other favorite Korean restaurant, there was an area which I called the "memory lane." It's where pictures of customers who had visited the place were hung. Ain't it cute?

Walk down Memory Lane at Cafe Maru

The place was awesome and comfortable, the staff were hospitable, and my iced green tea latte was luscious. What can I say? This is one place where I want to go back to. This is one place that I can recommend to my friends. And this is one place that I want to go and chill on some stressful Friday afternoon.

Okey, so this is my personal blog, and I am not connected with any advertisers or big businessmen, all right. I just want to share my experiences here so that those who want to have a change of coffee shop can try Cafe Maru. And hey, I still believe in the word of mouth...but in this case, the word ^_^

Here are the address and contact details of Cafe Maru if you are interested to go:

Ground Floor, Ethan's House
Gov. M. Cuenco Street, Banilad
6000 Cebu City, Philippines 
(032) 239-7909 / 0922-772-8924

They are open from Mondays to Sundays, as follows:
Monday to Saturday: 10 AM - 12 AM
Sunday: 10 AM - 11 PM

Back to my grievances above, did my splitting headache disappear? Kinda. Was I able to run my errands? Of course I had (but after the latte treat)! Was I able to do a previous plan? Of course I had! And had my stress levels declined? Well, yeah! Sure, this day is totally not my usual Friday!

좋은 하루 되세요!