We, Filipinos, are very creative when it comes to food. You can easily tell from our dishes like Lechon, Balut, Dinakdakan, and so much more. We are fond of innovating the traditional ingredients and creating a delicacy we call our own. One of which is the Tablea.
Cocoa Beans is not fairly new. However, Cocoa Beans roasted and molded into tablets only to be diluted at the time of consumption, is unique. Yes, you get the traditional hot chocolate…but there’s something more to it: a twist of taste that is utterly Filipino.
Being in Baguio proposes such good opportunity to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. The smooth and rich taste complements the cruel cold really well. Tsokolateria, located at the Igorot Stairs, has taken advantage of this whim. With a trusty batirol to whisk the creaminess out of the chocolate, you can never go wrong in paying this restaurant a visit.
If you think the Tablea is unique, you have got to hear how-rather- how many ways, they serve it! The first night we visited, we ordered the Sili Labuyo Tsoko Blend and Tsoko Barako. The Sili Labuyo Tsoko Blend is Tablea and Siling Labuyo served separately. What you have to do is put the sili (red/green hot chili peppers) in your cup and crush it well with the batirol. After which, you pour the hot choco on the cup and whisk well. This will give your senses a party. Just imagine: sweet, bitter (tablea), and spicy (sili), all present in one impressive concoction! Tsoko Barako is for the more serious people. With Batangas’ commendably strong Kapeng Barako blended well with Tablea, you would have that expectation met on how good a possible local signature espresso would turn out.
After that night, Tsokolateria became our every evening destination.We have tried the Tostadong Yema con Tsokolate which is Tablea with Milk Bud in it. I also fell in love with Tsoko Mallow and how the marshmallow is a solid reminiscent of an exaggerated Swiss Miss. From the Dulce de Leche, up to the Tsokolate Eh! (sweet) and the Tsokolate-ah! (bitter), believe me when I say, we tried all of it!
Although the location is somewhat bordering healthy to health hazard because of the numerous flights of stairs, you can’t help but adore the cafe. The design is well- conceptualized: with the cottages that are all native and elegant with its touch of wood and sheer draperies, making a romantic effect over candlelight–it’s such a sight!
And imagine how fun it is looking at the humongous Igorot statues while you’re having a relaxing time! It’s definitely a wonder!
The staff were all nice and accommodating! There was one point when rain started pouring and we didn’t bring any umbrella with us. We asked if we can borrow theirs and return it the next day. They refused and offered to walk us home instead! What fine gentlemen! If you guys are reading this, or if your managers are, everyone at Tsokolateria deserves a raise!
It is a sad lot that all good things must come to an end and we must go home to Manila. I could only wish that there is a branch of Tsokolateria even as close as Tagaytay. I will definitely go back to Baguio City and when I do, Tsokolateria would be my first destination!
**Tsokolateria is located at Igorot Stairs, Upper Session Rod, Baguio City, Baguio. It is near the foot of SM Baguio and is passable by the Trancoville Jeepney.