July 31, 2014

The Nostalgia of 14 Four Cafe Brought Me

It was one Sunday in May, Memorial Day Weekend (yes another late post.. hehe) and as usual those who are working for U.S.-based companies here in the Philippines don't have work and that means a long weekend for us (yes another late post.. hehe). Most often than not when such dates come, We would go for an out-of-town-trip; but this time we didn't have anything planned and driving out of Manila for a weekend trip is not part of the budget. After Sunday church we would usually eat lunch and do what we can squeeze in our short days off from work. Our friends thought of going on a road trip but I suggested that we visit this cafe I saw from a friend's Facebook post and I've been meaning to visit. We would still go out of Metro Manila but the gas that we would spend would be less and minus the expensive toll fees too.




We drove to Taytay, Rizal to check out 14 Four Cafe . Taytay is less than an hour away from Makati but it isn't part of Metro Manila anymore, it is a municipality that is part of Rizal Province. I am familiar to that area but to find  the exact location of 14 Four Cafe  we used Waze to help us out. Thank goodness we didn't get lost and it was so easy to find, it's just a few minutes drive from Junction and Valley Golf which I've been to several times before.





The moment we parked the car, I already knew that this place is owned by someone who's into arts or is an artist; the signage outside and the gate already gave it away. 14 Four Cafe is a cafe/gallery situated in an old town neighborhood, owned by, Chef Niki Sambile, who turned their house into a restaurant/cafe and a part of it, they put up the gallery of her dad's/ family's furniture designs  business named Sticks Showroom.



Sticks Showroom

I have a thing for quirky, kitschy and vintage stuff, and 14 Four Cafe  gave that all to me. And not only that, it gave me an air of nostalgia because it reminded me so much of our ancestral house in Pasig. 14 Four Cafe stands in a large lot where half of it is the house-turned restaurant and the other half of the land is the garden full of plants and trees. 




14 Four Café’s lay out is exactly the same as our old house where I lived for most of my childhood and half of my high school years.  I remember that house so vividly where during Summer afternoons, me, my sister and our playmates would play and run the entire afternoon on and around that 500 square meter house and backyard.




Being in 14 Four Café would make you forget you’re a stone’s throw away from the city; it’s rare nowadays to see places like it. The whole of Metro Manila and parts of its outskirts have rapidly changed to busy cities with high-rise structures and crowded neighborhoods that spotting houses or lots like this is fairly has become unusual because most people are now, more often than not, are confined to small boxes we call condominium units and paved & narrow streets. While spending the afternoon at 14 Four Cafe I found myself daydreaming to own a home like it when I retire.






There are a lot of seating areas in 14 Four Cafe, you can choose to dine inside the main restaurant or al fresco. As for us we decided to stay outside in one area with couches, where we can enjoy the Summer afternoon and lounge as we enjoy the place and the food.





While waiting for our food to be served, we roamed around and  took photos of the place. Anywhere you turn your eyes to, you will find something unique and very artsy. I love the stencils written on the indoor part of restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling glass walls especially the one that said “The World Needs More Love Letters”.






Every décor, wall art and furniture inside will also catch your attention;  I super like the chalkboard wall, the bird-cage like chandeliers, the fit-for-royalty and mixed matched seats. In the future when I am able to buy my own house, I would remember 14 Four Café as an inspiration on how I will decorate my humble abode.




The outside dining area is more on cozy seating which gives this place such a homey atmosphere. But the sweet spot among all the seats in the outdoor part of this restaurant is the ledge built around the big tree at the center. Although we opted not to seat there because we wanted to at least slouched on something softer so we chose the couches near the entrance.




14 Four Café offers simple comfort food menu which is a mix of international and local cuisine. We ordered the following:


Smoked Fish Pate cream cheese, spices, tortilla chips 


Sesame Crusted Dory herb aioli, steamed rice, cucumber salad


Country Fried Chicken creamy mashed potatoes,
rosemary gravy, country biscuit

14 Four Tapa garlic rice, fried egg

Chocolate Marshmallow Cake

Dalandan Juice & Water

Although I need to be honest and confess that the food is just ok and not something to rave about. But I can’t generally conclude that because we have only tried just a couple of items from their menu. My sister Hazel and our sister-from-another-mother Daryl visited it a few weeks back and tried the Aligue and Tuyo  Pasta and other entrees and they said they were great. We also tried the cake and it was good, similar to Stacy’s version.

I think that was the highlight of the visit to 14 Four Café, making the experience of bringing nostalgia of my childhood days; when my sister and I would pick out, play with or eat the fruits of whatever my grandmother planted on the our backyard of our ancestral house.

14 Four Café surely is a quick and great escape from the city, although if you don’t live near the area, I suggest you avoid going there on weekdays and Saturdays since traffic can get a little annoying travelling to Taytay. Also, if you’re planning to have an intimate get-together/event and photo shoots (pre-nup pictorials perhaps?), 14 Four Café is one of those places you should consider.





14 FOUR CAFE
144 Magnolia Lane, Barangay San Isidro,
Gregoria Heights Subdivision,
Taytay, Rizal, Philippines 1920
Contact Nos: 0999-888-0144/ 669-1560 (Reservations/Walk-ins)
Website: www.14fourcafe.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/14FourCafe
Instagram: www.instagram.com/14fourcafe/

For more information and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile:
14 Four Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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