Commune Cafe: one of Makati’s best-kept foodie secrets
Tucked away in leafy, trendy Poblacion is a perfect place to scarf down some simple, tasty grub with some delightful gourmet coffee. Commune Cafe, on the corner of Polaris and Durban, is the kind of restaurant we all crave every now and then.
The décor is eclectic and quirky, but inviting. The front door, benches and tables are all made of an unusual vertically-laminated wood that really adds charm to the joint. The floors are a mix of bare concrete and mosaic tile from the 60’s or 70s, likely a holdover from when the establishment was still a private home.
The tables are adorned with plenty of books. Ours had Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and Ambeth Ocampo’s “Rizal’s Teeth and Bonifacio’s Bones” among others. Other bric a bracs and objet d’arts populate the shelves and counters around the place. A plain black wall on one end serves as a blackboard too where the restaurant’s calender is posted using colored chalk.
The chairs are old school steel twine jobs that we might remember seeing in our grandmother’s home once upon a time. The bare concrete beams above plus a longspan steel ceiling, with burn marks from welds, adds an industrial vibe.
Other touches: the menus are clipped on magazines, and the dessert tags use old-school Dymo labels.
But the food is the important thing here, and it doesn’t disappoint. We tried their best-selling tapa and it was classic comfort food, Pinoy-style. The tapa is the tender kind, not crunchy, but it’s ever so slightly sweet. It’s served on a bed of garlic rice and a fried egg.
The club sandwich was also a treat. The bacon was done just right and provided a great counterpoint to the chicken breast. The bread is a yellow color and had green specks in it. The waiter said it’s malunggay bread. Malunggay, or moringa, is a superfood packed with nutrients, so that’s one more reason to choose this item on the menu.
Commune offers two varieties of Benguet coffee, a single origin Arabica and a blend with some robusta. The single origin makes for a righteous cup of earthy, complex brew.
Commune offers an array of desserts, from calamansi muffins, smores cookies, blueberry cake and fudge brownie. We tried the apple pie and it was a classic, with a rich filling and just the right hints of cinnamon.
But the most irresistible of the lot was the cookie shot. It’s a crunchy, crumbly pastry formed in the shape of a shot glass, lined with chocolate syrup. You can ask for it with milk or french vanilla ice cream. Needless to say we went for the ice cream and didn’t regret it one bit. This diabolically sinful delight was worth the calories, even if it all just collapses on your plate and you end up needing two spoons to consume it.
Check out Commune soon. The place also hosts plenty of events. The Silly People’s Improv Theater performs there every other Thursday, and that is one show you must attend at least once.
One tip: parking is always an issue in Poblacion, so best to Uber or Grab it.