Tag Archives: Sunnies Cafe

food + drinks by Alyssa Castillo

The NBHD Round-up: Where to Take Your Mom This Weekend

Just for the most special woman in your life, here’s a list of date-worthy spots in Makati, Manila, The Fort, Mandaluyong, QC, and Alabang.

Mother’s Day is a big deal—you and I both know it. So in celebration of our mothers, The Neighborhood has taken the liberty to show you around the metro with a list of restaurants you can impress your mom with. After all, she freaking deserves it.

MAKATI: Mudpie Heavenmudpie-3I know, it’s summer, and you (and your mom) are probably on some restrictive diet. But we meant it when we said, “save your next cheat meal for Mudpie Heaven” because these made-from-scratch dishes are just too irresistible to pass up on. How do Bone Marrow Steak Pie, Pepperoni Pizza Dip, and Asian Nachos sound to you? The temptation is real, but so worth it. You can also try their mudpie selection, which is all made with gelato, FYI.

MAKATI: Bon Pho & Rollbon-6This quiet hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese house serves up authentic dishes, fresh and handmade daily. Mr. Thao, the man behind the Bon Banhmi sandwich chain, cooks up homemade classics like the Pho Bon Dac Biet (Bon House Special Pho), the spiced up Bun Thit Nuong (noodles with in-house marinated pork BBQ), and the Cha Gio (fried spring rolls). Don’t forget to top off your celebration with traditional Café Sua—Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk.

MANILA: Café AdriaticoScreen Shot 2017-05-11 at 4.57.07 PMThere are currently four Café Adriatico branches, but the best one to go to is still its founding location in Malate. A classic restaurant that serves up affordable dishes from both Filipino and European cuisines, you can never go wrong with a combo of their Beef Salpicao and a slice of their Sansrival.

THE FORT: CargoFishcargofish-3This is especially perfect for deep fryer-loving palates—like that of our NBHD editor, Sam Potenciano. If you and your mom share a fondness for authentic British fish & chips, try the chef’s recommendations: one order of the cod with chips and slaw salad, mushy peas, and chip shop curry; and another order of salmon, cargo rice, and onion rings, honey jalapeño, and lime chili cilantro sauce. Treat your mom to beer on tap or an icy lemonade at this casual, al-fresco dining setup.

MANDALUYONG + PASIG: Sunnies Café sunnies-1Brunch is always a good idea, especially for bright Sunday mornings and conversations with your mom—who, by the way, should be the star of this weekend. Sounds ultra cliché but if you’re planning to post an Instagram greeting, this is where you need to take it. You can’t go wrong with either the sun-dreched Sunnies Café in Bonifacio High Street or the millennial-pink walls of their Megamall branch. Cute milkshakes are optional but highly recommended.

QC: Provenciano


Provenciano serves elevated Filipino cuisine to go with its posh Spanish colonial interiors. It’s also a great option for bigger family gatherings because their servings were made to share. Among the must-haves are their Adobong PusitLaing, and (my personal recommendation) the Kare-Kare with the insane peanut sauce. You know it’s a power mom-approved setting when ladies like VP Leni Robredo are well-known customers.

ALABANG: Another Storyas-6Another Story’s jump-across-styles food menu is only one of the reasons you need to book a reservation this weekend. Try their French Onion Gratinée, Vongole Manila Clams, and All Meat Platter—which is a complete meal in itself with roast pork belly, beef brisket, roast chicken, and corn gratin. It seems that the possibilities are endless here—much like its quirky and eccentric interiors that will give your mom a peek inside the Mad Hatter’s mind.

Mudpie Heaven photo by Shanne Lauron.
Bon Pho & Roll, Sunnies Café photos by Ralph Mendoza.
Café Adriatico photo courtesy of @nielgq from Instagram.
Provenciano photo courtesy of @abettinnacarlos from Instagram.
Another Story photo by Erwin Canlas.

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Alyssa Castillo
Alyssa Castillo is a freelance writer and is concurrently Rogue Media's Editorial Assistant for The NBHD. She reads for fun, writes for a living, and wastes too much time entertaining the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. Find her on Instagram as @alyssakcastillo.
food + drinks by Sam Potenciano

Conversations About Brunch

We sat in on a conversation between two of Sunnies Café’s big girl bosses.

Georgina: To begin with, we didn’t feel like there were enough casual brunch places in Manila. That was the thing that really inspired us, because we love travelling and when we do our day mainly revolves around one thing: where do we have brunch?

Martine: Specifically for me, because I grew up here in LA, brunch was something that I looked forward to every weekend. Brunch for me is about the experience. It’s about creating memories over great food with people that you love. Food is so experiential and subjective. It’s such an emotional experience, which was why we wanted to use it to bring the Sunnies brand to life in different way. We wanted to create a space that really embodied the brand in a way that people could experience and enjoy every day, every meal.

G: Some people thought it was weird. They couldn’t understand the jump that we made, but it was so funny because it was always so straightforward and natural in our heads. To us it was, like, ‘Duh, a café,’ but to everyone else it was like, ‘But you sell sunglasses…’ Sunnies was always a lifestyle brand. We never thought of it as just sunglasses. We wanted to create a tangible hub of the Sunnies culture through each Sunnies Café. We want each café to feel distinct from one another, but still on-brand. It’s a challenge.

M: But a fun challenge! For us, we didn’t want to just have Sunnies Café be this franchise that we keep ripping-off and duplicating. We want each space to feel special and unique and designed for that specific location. In BGC it’s all high ceilings and really airy, but in our new Megamall branch, for example, there’s no natural light, so we really wanted to play around with a more minimal, clean design and really maximize that space.

G: We want the Insta-hoes to visit every branch.

M: Basically! We want people to have a new profile photo with every branch.


G: I feel like a lot of people were pleasantly surprised with the food, too, because they thought that being Sunnies, we might just focus on the interiors and the aesthetic and the hype, but I like to think that we focused just as much on the menu.

M: We wanted the menu to be a good mix of comfort foods that we loved and recreated. Brunches that we’ve tried everywhere from LA to Melbourne to Tokyo.

G: We’ve never paraded as chefs. We just love good food. So it’s just taking everything that we love from around the world and making it our perfect little hub. It’s also really important for us to still keep things at a price point that’s accessible.

M: We didn’t want it to be somewhere that you only go for a special occasion.

G: And I think that that really ties in with the Sunnies brand. We never wanted to create something just for one demographic. We always want anything Sunnies-related to be inclusive. Like, I want the young millennial to tell their lola, “Let’s eat at Sunnies Café” and she’s cool with it because she enjoys the food. The lola might not understand why there are so many people standing on the couches taking photos of tacos, but she gets that the food tastes good.

M: Menu-wise, a lot of the dishes have so many eggs in them because I love eggs. I eat eggs every day. I attribute eggs to everything good in my life… I think they’re the perfect nutrient-dense meal encapsulated in these little things. My perfect brunch will always have an egg somewhere in the mix.

G: I always find a way to have something sweet for brunch, too. It’s like having an alcoholic drink. I’m like “It’s 11am—is it okay if I get a milkshake now?” We weren’t sure how it was going to click with the Filipino crowd, but every Insta-post has a milkshake, and—this might make us sounds super lame—but we check every hashtag! It’s embarrassing, but that’s how we see which dishes people are feeling. It’s how we stay in touch with our customers.

M: I always said food is so emotional because when you go out to eat you’re at a very vulnerable state. If you give someone the best meal of their life they will forever have this great, personal connection with your brand, but if you serve them a meal that they’re not blown away by, it’s just as damaging. That was a huge risk for us.

G: Do we hate ourselves?

M: It’s funny because now when people tell me, ‘You know, I’m thinking of opening a Café…’, I’m, like, don’t. Do not do it!

G: On a positive note, to see people enjoy it gives us a different sense of fulfillment. It’s almost more fulfilling than a retail store.

M: One of our favorite things to do is just sitting at the café and people watching and talking to them. Everybody has a different taste palate and raves about something else, and it’s really exciting because it’s like, wow, we’ve seen that dish from it’s infancy, from taste-testing thirty different options of it to picking the one that works, and now someone is sharing how much they love it. Even the space itself, seeing it from its dusty, rubbly mess to what it is right now is crazy.

G: It’s longer than being pregnant. It took way longer than creating a life. It took us 18 months for us to get our whole Sunnies Café act together—but I think the waiting was important. We could have opened a lot quicker, but because we were all so scared and excited, and it just meant so much to us, we wanted to make sure we got everything right. And hopefully with this new branch, we did.

Photography by Ralph Mendoza

Sam Potenciano
Sam Potenciano
Sam is the digital editor of L’Officiel Manila. Formerly the founding editor of The Neighborhood and the editor-in-chief of Candy magazine, she is also a columnist for The Philippine Star's Young Star section. Follow her on Instagram at @sampotenciano.