Palladin Hotel, where we are currently staying at, is near Cafe by the Ruins. My Mom and I go out at 8PM and it’s our last night here in Baguio.
We walk out of the hotel and the coldness in the air makes me feel things. Its presence makes me feel like I am in an Adele music video—walking slowly on the sidewalk, tugging the fur coat closer to my chest, reminiscing of an unrequited love.
Cafe by the Ruins is a popular go-to place in Baguio City. Its quaint design and the fact that it is hidden behind a luscious trellis of vines make it look like a venue for a rendezvous. The soft lighting also adds a more romantic feel contrasting its masculine, industrial interior.
I enter the steel gate and I am welcomed by a few blocks of boulders that I need to hopscotch my way to until I reach the cafe’s door. My Mom settles herself in the second table on the left side, while I go directly upstairs to take a photo of the ground floor.
After a while, I got exhausted finding spots to photograph. I decided to seat against the window—I don’t want the view outside to take away my attention too much.
The staff lights up our table’s candle then hands us the menu. My Mom breezes through it. She acts like she knows what’s written in it—acts like she knows it like the back of her hand. Then there’s me, a perpetually indecisive boy who doesn’t know what he actually wants. Life decisions, included.
My Mom orders herself a hot mint chocolate as refreshment while I am getting a hot tsokolate. Guess nothing is better than chugging down a warm drink to get our chilling bodies some heat. There’s something about drinking hot beverages. I almost feel like its a drink that my soul needs. Somehow it’s rejuvenating me.
Pasta a la Carbonara is what I chose as dinner for tonight. What can ever go wrong to ordering this staple dish, right? It has been my favourite, even more so, than our usual Pinoy-style spaghetti. The creaminess is so rich that even the photo tells it. Crunchy bacon strips add more texture, contrary to the smooth and delicate pasta. I can’t get over how generous Cafe by the Ruins is when it comes to flavor. They gave me salty and sweet and minty all in one dish. I am over the moon just hitting the right order tonight.
My Mom, sitting opposite to me, is having Tia Olympia’s fresh lumpia. They served it in a white plate with the wrap going from one end to the other. It’s like a bridge over a moat. She slices it in half and the vegetables inside are revealed. It tastes “saccharine-y” which I am all for because I am a sweet tooth.
This night couldn’t get any more lovelier. The vibe is chill, the air is cold but our laughter is enough to keep us warm all throughout our stay. Cafe by the Ruins deserves the recognition it gets from tourists and surprisingly, locals, as well. I am quite sure that after this night, it has ticked all of my “what-a-great-restaurant-should-be” boxes.