PNKY Travel Cafe

Not having visited PNKY for a long time, my fellow food lover friend,  suggested we go to PNKY on our next meet up.

PNKY is along Leonard Wood Road, right across the white (haunted) house and maybe 200 meters away from the Teacher’s Camp gate.  If you’re coming from down town, you’ll see the PNKY driveway on your left.

PNKY is one of those really pretty places to eat in the city. What’s more is, it’s not that far from town. That day, I actually walked from Engineer’s Hill (Victory Station) to PNKY in less than 10 minutes. It’s not exactly a pretty walk since you have to pass through the Engineer’s Hill talipapa, but a nice walk, nonetheless.

And so, for the first time, I wasn’t the earliest who got there. We picked the same spot we all were in 4 years ago. I must say, this time, it was prettier. They had nice white curtains that hung on the trellis. The wood had aged and the viney plants climbed the posts and together it added to the romantic feel and look of the place.  When it was getting dark, they lit up the string of lights and I felt like a kid on Christmas :).

Our own little trellis under a tree. We chose this one for the back rests. They had tree stumps as seats for the other tables. Not good for my 30 year old back.

These seats for those with strong, steel backs.

Strung hibiscus lights hung from the uhm—ceiling? 🙂

If this reminds you of the set-up in Mother’s Garden in Fairview, well I’ve got some inside information for you. Apparently the owners are (were?) good friends and bounced ideas off each other. Concept for PNKY is a travel cafe.

PNKY Travel Cafe.

True to its travel cafe theme, their menu looked like a travel scrapbook.

The travel themed menu

The menu items take you Spain, France, Italy 🙂

As you can see, prices are upper mid-range (if there’s such a term). But to make the paying process a treat, the bill is “packed” into this tiny cute wooden suitcase.

It’s like those suitcases in “Deal or No Deal”. You find yourself yelling “LOWERR” “LOWERRRR” when it comes to you.

But the thing is, you put cash in. You’d be lucky to have change. 🙂

But enough of the pretty things. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty and see if the food is as good as how the place looks.

I ordered  Pompei Pesto and organic lemongrass tea. It’s the second time I saw carrots on my pesto. First time was at Joey Pepperoni. So, I guess it didn’t surprise me anymore. What did was the cauliflower. Not sure what pesto variety this is but the heart and soul of it all — the pesto mix was just right– it needed a little salt but all in all, the flavors were rich and I knew that the ingredients were fresh. The sauce wasn’t pureed as much as how Volante does theirs.  The serving size was just right. They weren’t stingy on the pasta or with anything else.

Pompei Pasta with a generous helping of carrots, cauliflower, garlic bread, topped with thyme and parmesan cheese.

My frothy organic lemongrass iced tea (the menu said juice but I don’t think it should be called juice. Grass juice, anyone? 😉 ) I love the cinnamon flavor they added to it.

Now, my friend ordered a bajillion, which of course were meant to be shared. Haha. I let her do the ordering. I trust her good taste for food.

So these are the other things we had.

Chicken Spinach

Since this wasn’t my dish, I didn’t get to eat much. :D. But the spinach was fresh!

Pumpkin Soup that came with the Spinach Chicken

We used the soup as dip for the Italiano. It was okay. It was a bit cheesy so it went well with the nachos.

Dam Squares

For appetizers, we had two — dam squares — which was very very filling and very vegetarian friendly. What it is — is fried breaded tofu squared dipped in balsamic vinegar with all those things floating in it. It’s a healthy, filling (more expensive) version of fish ball :).  Gives me an idea of what to serve for a party. This makes good pika pika! They used pretty good tofu here. Not the cheap lasog ones in the public market.

Italiano. Not sure why something with nachos is called Italiano.

For appetizer #2, we had the very uneventful Italiano. It wasn’t even served with a dip. So it’s like chicken quesadillas that’s cut into half and served with nachos but it’s called Italiano? Hmm.. The dressing inside the wrap was a wee bit too sweet for my taste — it tasted like those ready made sandwich spread for kids.  What were we supposed to eat the nachos with? Good thing we had the pumpkin soup. 🙂

And for dessert, we had their signature dish — creme dela crepe

For dessert, we had creme dela crepe which brought us back to this part of the world. The crepe was purple! Too cute. Inside it was the yummy ube jam Baguio is oh so famous for.  Macapuno strips complemented the native version of this foreign invention.

Our total damage for the day plus 10% service charge is 1089. This includes the regular coffee and fruit blend shake my friend ordered plus my hot lemongrass-ginger tea. All in all, it was a good experience. We were there for lunch and afternoon meryenda.  Even with the afternoon’s heavy downpour, our small shelter held up. But with wind, that’d be a different story. We were right smack in the middle of the rain when it was getting dark and the folks at PNKY turned the pretty lights on. It was nice of them to do that. Their unisex restroom though was a wee bit too far from the main dining area. You have to get out, climb a short flight of stairs. If it were raining, I see a problem.

All in all, PNKY is an excellent place for those quiet get togethers with your friends or significant other(s) 😉 . I’ve never been there at night but I hear they have acoustic mini concerts.This place is not just pretty but the food is pretty good too. For a fancy cafe, the price is a bit fancy too. Definitely not the kind of place I’d have everyday lunches or meryendas. It might be that 30% of the food cost is for ambiance 😀 . For this gastronomic and visual wonder, I give 3 out of 4 stars 🙂

Here’s their website: