A rainy afternoon in Baguio could not get any better than with a filling food and a perfect view. I have been googling for the best cafes around this beloved city and Arca’s Yard had popped up a few times. For my two-day stay, I listed down four cafes I want to try out and Arca’s Yard is on the top of it.
Located in the more secluded area of Ambuklaw Road, you can either ride a jeepney or taxi, if you don’t have a car to take you there. We are taking the latter because it is more accessible to hail a cab for it is just right outside Palladin Hotel.The winding roads of Baguio still amazes me up to this day. Looking out the window, stretching my arm out, letting the thin, white—almost invisible to the naked eye—mist pass through the gaps of my fingers make me feel like I am in a movie. The tall pine trees that is almost grayish-black in effect add an eerieness to the romantic scenery.
Arca’s Yard resembles its namesake so much—a traditional house with a front yard. It has that very familiar setup to it—tables, chairs and numerous plants cover most of the al fresco area.
I push the door open and walk up to a staff. The floors are wooden and so are the handicrafts hanging from all its corners. A staff ushers us to the basement where there are more seats available.
The basement is filled with books, all stacked up horizontally inside white shelves. Some cooking materials are hanged to the pearly-white concrete, as well. But I guess the thing that has won me over is the view. As you hear the pitter patter of rain outside, the landscape suddenly turns into this magical, mossy meadow. If you listen closely, it’s as if the wind whispers romantic music to your ears.
My Mom sits in a long table at the center portion of the room. I sit in discomfort. I want to sit down, Japanese-style on the table near the shelves but unfortunately a group of teenagers are currently hogging the spot. My mission today is to wait for it to be vacant. I won’t leave until I get to have a decent picture in that famed spot.
The first order is served, but I am still taking my time going around, taking photos and videos, soaking in the astonishing sight.
For starters, we ordered pumpkin soup and ginataang bilu-bilo. These two “merienda” staples are just enough to warm us up in this chilly climate.
The pumpkin soup is sweet and creamy. Its lavish, orange broth oozes with decadence.
Ginataang bilu-bilo on the other hand has a more pastel shade to it. It lets the thinly-sliced langka strips and tapioca pearls outshine it in the colour department. It is also as creamy as the soup, but this one of course, is sweeter. I like how every time I eat this snack, I am almost reminded of my younger years—unproblematic about what will be, just living the moment.
And for our mains, I ordered a carbonara while my Mom got herself a crispy lemon-orange chicken.
These mouth-watering dishes are worth every cent. When the staff told us that these are their best, I guess, they really mean it. The carbonara, although the serving looks a little at first glance, turned out to be just enough for me to finish. While savouring every noodle, every piece of minced bacon, is slowly reminding me of how eerily it resembles my Mom’s cooking—home-made and done with love.
Across me is my Mom who is really digging her crispy lemon-orange chicken. I almost do not want to ask her how it tastes because I can see her enjoying it. She said that the chicken strips are tender and the tugging flavours of sweet and sour has easily gain her approval.
And for our dessert, we ordered their sweet potato fries. A plate-filled with golden cuts of potatoes dripping in some gooey, chocolatey syrup. A few swims of the snack in the pool of chocolate will transcend you to the highest heavens there is. I have honestly forgotten how many of these I munched but it had me busting out of my seams.
And just like that, by the time I quit eating, the once busy shooting area is now clear. There are no more lines for taking photographs. So, my Mom and I took our time exchanging ideas for creative poses.
Arca’s Yard takes me back to early 1990’s. The wooden floor, the wooden displays has a familiarity to it. Like we have seen one home just like this when we were younger.
Arca’s Yard definitely sets the standard for my Baguio food tripping. The ambiance, the view, the food and even the price exceeds my initial perception about it. I love how it stayed true to how a common ancestral home in Baguio looks like. From the warm colours that contrast the cool weather to the pieces of furniture. It is almost like an homage to Baguio’s rich culture. Arca’s yard has surely perfected every single detail in this quaint, memorable cafe.