The Newest Milk Tea Place in Maginhawa: Sakura Hanami

You know you’ll find me in pink-themed places. So when I saw this new milk tea shop in Maginhawa on Facebook and I happened to go somewhere near there, I called for backup.

How to Go to Sakura Hanami

I’m not sure of the easiest way to go there, but I found two options (besides booking a Grab) if you’re coming from Cainta, Taytay, or Antipolo:

  • Crossing
    1. Ride a jeep going to Crossing Ilalim.
    2. Tell the driver to drop you off at Shangri La Plaza (or Crossing).
    3. Walk toward the correct loading bay and ride a bus going to SM Fairview.
    4. Tell the driver to drop you off at Philcoa.
    5. Walk a bit toward the tricycle terminal.
    6. Ride a red tricycle (Php 25) and tell the driver to drop you off at 168 Maginhawa.
  • Marcos Highway
    1. Ride a jeep going to Cubao.
    2. Tell the driver to drop you off at Katipunan (landmark is Petron).
    3. Ride a UP Campus jeep (minimum fare).
    4. Go down at Shopping Center.
    5. Ride an Ikot jeep (minimum fare) and tell the driver to drop you off at Krus na Ligas.
    6. .Ride a tricycle and tell the driver to drop you off at 168 Maginhawa.

What to Expect in Sakura Hanami

Sakura Hanami just opened last June 28, so it’s relatively new. Outside, you’ll immediately be greeted by an imitation of a cherry blossom tree. So if you’re looking for another instagrammable place for your feed, then try Sakura Hanami (it’s a bonus if you’re a milk tea lover).

Their wall and ceiling are filled with paper flowers, their seats decorated with pink. A huge mirror on the other side of their aesthetic wall gives off an illusion of space.

I don’t usually take pictures of comfort rooms, but I made an exception for this. They have bidet, by the way.

What to Drink in Sakura Hanami

Bad news is . . . they don’t have food yet; they only serve milk tea. I went for their red velvet cheesecake milk tea (Php 140) just to be safe, and I regretted that I didn’t order one of their bestsellers as I’ve heard good reviews about them. Mine was an 8/10.

They don’t have small and medium sizes. Note that their extra-large is one liter, so if you’re coming with a full stomach, reconsider your choices.

Click here for their menu.

Favorite Picture


Sakura Hanami
10:00–12:00 a.m.
168 Maginhawa, Diliman, Quezon City
https://www.facebook.com/sakurahanamiph/

The Cafe that Must Be Named: The Nook Cafe

According to Merriam-Webster, the term nook means “a small often recessed section of a larger room,” “a secluded or sheltered place or part,” and “an interior angle formed by two meeting walls.” Could you imagine what the Nook Cafe looks like based on this definition?

Directions

For the east people, ride a Cubao jeep and tell the driver to drop you at Katipunan. From Katipunan, ride a UP jeep (minimum fare). Go down at Shopping Center and ride another Philcoa jeep (minimum fare). The driver will drop you at an area with Jollibee, Red Ribbon, KFC, and McDonald’s. Walk toward McDonald’s until you see Ministop.

Turn left along Masaya Street until you see a line of tricycles. You could ride the red one (special), but if you’re on a budget, ride the green one. Tell the driver to drop you at 164-A Maginhawa, or the Nook Cafe.

Place

The place, like a nook, was small. It has two tables outside, three tables on the first floor, and three tables on the second floor. All tables can only accommodate two. So if you’re going with a group, you have to be early so you can occupy more than one table.

The place is filled with Harry Potter items: figurines, a broomstick, James and Lily’s picture, wands, and Harry Potter’s eyeglasses. You can even wear the robes! (I brought my time turner just for this occasion because why not?)

They only have one socket to accommodate one gadget though, and they also do not have a WiFi connection. I’m not sure if they have a comfort room.

Food

We tried many of their best sellers just to stay a bit until a seat upstairs is vacant. My favorite was the Hagrid-sized butterbeer, which is worth Php 150. It tastes like my childhood (Peter’s Butter Ball) mixed with sprite. Definitely a 10/10. Must try!

Pray for your internal organs before you taste their sinful and flavorful bacon-wrapped chicken (Php 160) that exhibits a good combination of sweetness and saltiness. Must try, best with water (lol). A 9.5/10.

Their beef and mushroom pasta (Php 150) was fine, a go-to and affordable pasta if you’re craving for one. Their cheesy spicy chicken wings (Php 180) meal is true to its name: cheesy and spicy. Both are an 8.5/10.

Their caffe latte with vanilla (Php 120) was a bit bitter (but at least you know it’s real coffee). An 8/10.

For more of their food, check their menu here.

Favorite Picture


The Nook Cafe
1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
164-A Maginhawa, Diliman, Quezon City
https://www.facebook.com/TheNookCafe/

Cafe and Gift Shop in One at Gift Avenue Cafe

Typo, Papelmeroti, and Tickles are some of my favorite gift shops, all known for their beautifully crafted items. Gift Avenue falls in the same category, but what sets it apart is its charming cafe.

Directions

For people from the east, ride the LRT 2 and go down at Araneta Center Cubao Station. Walk toward Gateway’s ground floor and look for Gift Avenue Cafe. It’s along General Malvar Avenue, the one near Adidas and Nike.

Place

Upon entering the cafe, you will immediately see the shelves featuring various products that, I think, are handmade and local, including keychains, dreamcatchers, dolls, glass coasters, bookmarks, bags, and cans of pomade (hair wax).

These shelves, along with the ones with colorful, artsy ornaments, added to the ambiance of the cafe. My favorite part is their blue-green wall with a bike and a tree drawn on it. There’s also a wall with the quote “Nothing is impossible as long as you believe in what you do and what you can do.” Pretty motivating, right?

Near the shelves is a small conference room where around eight people can fit. Simple but charming.

They have sockets where you can plug your devices and a comfort room nearby. You may access their internet, but you can only use it for a  limited time.

Food

How can you get wrong with anything sans rival? Gift Avenue Cafe serves various modifications of sans rival (I think I saw matcha, this one is salted caramel worth Php 179, a 9.5/10 for me). They also serve sans rival pops (not in the picture), which is convenient for people who crave sans rival but would not like to order one whole piece.

They could improve on their almond macadamia frappe (Php 159) though, a 7/10.

For more of their food, click here.

Favorite Picture


Gift Avenue Cafe
10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Ground Floor, Gateway Mall, Cubao, Quezon City