One with nature at Abuela’s
It is so easy to fall in love with Abuela’s Coffeeshop, the signature restaurant of Cocoon Boutique Hotel that is tucked in a quiet corner of the urban jungle that is Timog Avenue, six floors above the busy traffic. Easier, still, to forget that you are in Quezon City.
Here, you can close your eyes while waiting for your food, and imagine yourself transported to the probinsya of your childhood. Even at half past noon, you won’t suffer from the scorching heat of the sun, with a vertical spice garden that separates the al fresco dining area from the swimming pool providing a cool shade, and the gentle breeze caressing your face.
There are upcycled pieces of furniture, in keeping with Cocoon’s trademark of being the country’s first Green Hotel. This eco-friendly hotel, which bagged Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice Award for four straight years now, nourishes the well-being of its guests through Abuela’s.
“Our menu may not be that extensive, but the items are carefully chosen. These are all comfort food – the kind that your grandmother would cook for you,” said Chef Cindy Cancio.
There is mongo soup and fried tawilis, bangus a la pobre, pork binagoongan, and pochero for guests looking for Filipino dishes. The restaurant’s Asian menu includes hot and sour soup, spring rolls, bokchoy in oyster sauce, fish fillet with black beans and tofu, and Thai beef strips; while its Western lineup covers cream of pumpkin soup, Caesar salad, chicken cacciatore, fish and chips, barbecued pork steak, and pot roast beef.
For dessert, Abuela’s offers Ghirardelli chocolate decadent cake with strawberry cream, perfect with piping hot coffee to while your hours away, as well as leche flan, turon, and crème brûlée.
“Our menu is as old as the hotel. We are in the process of adding more items in our menu, perhaps Japanese dishes, especially since a lot of guests are returning ones, and some of them have been asking if we have something new to offer,” shared Cancio.
But for guests thirsting for beer-below-zero and great entertainment, Cocoon points them to its sister-hotel, Hive, which is a stone’s throw away and houses the beloved My Bro’s Mustache Folk Bar.
“Hive has a longer drinks list, plus entertainment. Whenever we can, we provide a shuttle for our guests who would go to Hive for a nightcap,” said Cancio.
True to its commitment of being an environmentally responsible hotel with five-star amenities, Cocoon Boutique Hotel does rain and ground water harvesting for plant irrigation and general house cleaning, and uses LED lighting to further lower its carbon footprint. All its 39 rooms—which are very spacious and can house families comfortably—use inverter type air conditioners with non-ozone damaging refrigerants.
“We also have a waste segregation program with separate cans for biodegradable and non-biodegradable trash in all our rooms. Initially, we thought guests wouldn’t appreciate it but we were pleasantly surprised that it was something they noticed and praised,” said Justin De Guzman, Cocoon’s assistant team leader.
Its bathroom amenities are from the Reeco collection, which is certified by the European Union as having organic and natural-harvested ingredients, with no silicones or paraben that are harmful to the environment.
“We also don’t have plastic bottles in our rooms as we use plasticized cornstarch. We also use mason jars for complimentary water, and these are refilled every day,” added De Guzman.
The only “problem” when you are at Cocoon—whether you are eating at Abuela’s or staying for a night or two—is that it is very difficult to leave. But if you want to recharge and feel nourished and escape from the stressors of city life, do yourself a favor and go step inside the elevator and press the button for the sixth floor.
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