An alcoholic Bad Cafe

Published May 28, 2022, 7:51 PM

by Philip Cu Unjieng

It’s an unassuming little coffee shop on Legazpi St., Legazpi Village, found at the Windsor Tower, but if word of mouth is anything to go by, the Bad Cafe is anything but what it’s name suggests. Besides, BAD stands for Brian and Diane, the couple who own and run this quaint Tokyo-inspired cafe.

Diane and Brian at their Bad Cafe.

Bad Cafe first opened its doors in September of 2019, which means a scant five months later, it was facing the COVID-19 pandemic along with all of us. For many, that would be a far from auspicious start to a business that relied on walk-in’s and Makati office workers. But made of sterner stuff, the couple weathered this COVID-crisis with deliveries and take out; and when prodded, Diane and Brian were happy to say that their March 2022 business shot up, and it’s been steadily increasing since then.

Bad Cafe’s single Calamansi Pie and Apple Pie.

During the height of the pandemic, I dropped by Bad Cafe to take home their Calamansi Pie, a delightful creation of Brian. I confess I’m not a coffee drinker, so I won’t put out an opinion on their Java, but those who are into coffee are enthusiastic about what they serve. Doughnuts are another specialty of the couple, and they really wanted to emulate the Tokyo cafes where they first met, so you’ll find set lunches, savories, and a host of diverse food items on their menu.

Their sampler of bar chow from salmon croquettes to spicy chicken, patatas bravas, enoki mushroom, and spam fries.

And in line with their Tokyo experiences, they’ve now added cocktails into the mix, taking on a renowned consultant to train their staff on the mixing of out of this world cocktails. Hence, the mini-media event that had us being introduced to the cocktail list, being asked to mix them ourselves, and even concocting a personalized cocktail, based on the limited knowledge we acquired in the course of the early evening.

Our bartending instructor.

Most cocktails follow a basic formula of an alcohol base‚choose gin, whiskey, rum, or vodka, then you add something sweet, and either something sour or bitter. Beyond that, it’s a matter of complementing the cocktail with something herbal or spicy, and letting your imagination take its course. During the little bartending session we enjoyed, we concocted a gin & tonic, a whiskey sour, and a negroni, plus the one we invented on our own.

My attempt at a negroni.

These cocktails will surely be a welcome addition to the Bad Cafe repertoire, and it’s definitely another step being taken by Diane and Brian to make Bad Cafe a neighborhood favorite from morning breakfast enthusiasts, to snack seekers at odd hours, to lunch patrons and now, happy-hour seekers, and those looking for a hearty dinner before heading home after work.

Bad Cafe is so B-A-D, Brian and Diane, it’s downright good… even great. Check them out on their Facebook and Instagram pages to learn more, or just visit them at Windsor Tower.