A small, minimalist, Japanese-inspired cafe behind the University of Santo Tomas (UST) has been a go-to food spot, especially for students since it opened its doors to the public.
Many are returning to KohiCo Cafe, located at Trinity Place, Asturias Street, Manila, near UST Dapitan, due to its affordable, simple, yet one-of-a-kind waffle offerings.
Customers described its waffles as “worth dying to taste for.” They said that they like the balance of softness and toastiness of the pastry which melts in their mouth.
“The place is chill…their waffle is beautifully unexplainable for my taste buds,” Ricardo Magpoc, a fourth-year Medical Technology student from UST, who has been a frequent customer of the cafe, said in an interview.
“The waffle is really good for its price, while the place’s vibe is immaculate,” Sharyl Dela Cruz, a third-year Pharmacy student told Interaksyon.
“One of the best waffles I ever tasted,” she added.
“If you took a bite there was a crunch to it on the outside but fluffy on the inside,” Lareeze Galvez, a student-model from Cavite, also said.
“After a long tiring day in school, Kohico’s waffles—cliché as it may sound—taste like home,” Justine Garcia, a third-year Journalism student from UST said in an interview.
“Feeling ko lahat ng stress ko sa academics nawawala every time I get a bite of their warm waffle,” she said “student-friendly din ‘yung price,” she added.
What’s on the menu?
KohiCo’s waffles have seven flavors. These are cheese, chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry, blueberry, hazelnut, and tuna ranch. The prices range from P50 to 60.
The cafe sells around 45 to 60 waffles a day, according to one of the owners of the cafe.
Asked what is special about their waffles, one of the cafe’s owners, Bico Redublo, said that it is about the preparation.
“It’s perhaps on how we just make it…some love our waffles plain,” Rebudlo said.
He also said that they did not expect their waffles to “boom.”
“We just wanted something quick and easy to serve,” Redublo added.
KohiCo’s cafe also offers coffee. The word Kohi literally means “iced coffee” in Japanese. The coffee offerings are served hot or cold, with prices ranging from P100 to 150.
Redublo said that to keep their offerings budget-friendly, they find alternative ingredients which are cheaper. They also use a 16-ounce size cup in their coffee serving to achieve what they describe as a “perfect blend” at a reasonable price.
“We did our own recipes and did research and development,” Redublo told Interaksyon.
“We don’t want to compromise the taste and quality of the drinks just to make it cheaper for the students,” he added.
Opened in August 2022, the owners initially thought of the cafe idea as a “joke” until all of a sudden, they found the former place of a milk tea shop near UST empty.
Despite the inflation which made the prices of food and beverage increase in the country, the cafe maintained its prices since the day its operations started.