There isn’t much in the culinary world that Japanese ingredients and techniques couldn’t be applied to—the Japanese have even perfected the art of taking another culture’s methods and improving them to the point that they become theirs. "Fusion" isn't quite the correct word for this café, but they've unquestionably made that Asian influence known in their dishes.
Verse Café 3:16 in San Juan seems to belong to the latter. It’s another leg of the TOMO Japanese Dining experience in their compound, but the need to separate is justified; Verse is something else altogether.
But that doesn’t mean it’s complete anarchy over there: They know their pour over coffee, or they wouldn’t be much of a café. The Ethiopian Masha (P210/hot, P220/iced) embraces floral and fruity notes (blueberry is one that stands out), but on the other end of the spectrum is the Benguet Atok (P170/hot, P180/cold) reads bittersweet with the notes of dark cacao and caramel towards the end.
Man cannot live on caffeine alone, though, and that’s where the Roasted Pumpkin Soup (P195) comes in, which is served with a side of bacon and a healthy amount of bonito flakes. Looking for more chew? The Corned Beef Hash (P345) from their all-day breakfast menu should do the trick with the accompanying fried potatoes, garlic rice, and quintessential fried egg. Fans of umami-bombs will love this one: The Mentaiko Pasta (P395) is served with shimeji and enoki mushrooms, which bring the saline pollock roe to the forefront without being overpowering. Nori strips add texture and a brininess that you just can’t get from other greens, tying this little adventure of a plate together.
If the scent of good coffee wasn’t enough to draw you in and keep you there, then the food—and the clean, cozy interiors—certainly will.
Verse Café 3:16 is located at 108 P. Burgos Street, Addition Hills, San Juan City. It's open daily from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.
For more information, visit Verse Café 3:16's Facebook page.
*This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.