It seems that the more local Coffee Shops I review, the more find their way into my life. This time, I’ll be talking about Ristretto, a tiny-but-cozy place near the Valley Golf sign in Cainta.
I first heard of this place from my partner who lives nearby and so, we dropped by for a quick weekend lunch. The place is only about a minute’s walk away from the busy Ortigas Avenue Extension. The first thing I noticed when I entered the shop was how clean and comfortable the place was.
It really lives up to its name. In Italian, ristretto is a term for a smaller but even more concentrated shot of coffee compared to an espresso. This is suitable because the actual coffee shop takes up a very small area, but offers a wide range of food & drinks inside.
They had so many items on the menu from coffee and milk tea, to fruit slushies and sandwiches. I didn’t expect this much variety and didn’t know what to order at first. Finally, I settled on an Iced Caramel Latte and some truffle pasta while my companion had a Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Blend Milk Tea and some no-bake macaroni.
While waiting for our orders, I admired the chill setup of the place and how it was just being operated by one person behind the counter. We were fortunate to be the only customers at the time so we were served pretty quickly.
For now, only fully vaccinated people can dine in, but they also serve their menu for to-go and pick-up. Dining in is probably the best way to enjoy this place because of the peaceful ambiance. At noontime, the place was very well-lighted and relaxing.
After some time, our food finally arrived and it looked very appealing indeed.
The No-bake Macaroni was flavorful. The sauce and cheese blended together well. The pasta was a bit soft for my liking, but it’s nothing that can ruin the meal. I have to give props to the garlic bread because it was surprisingly good. Usually the side dish feels like an afterthought, but the bread was oozing with garlic butter with every bite and I can’t not say anything about it.
The crispy crust of the bread balanced out the chewiness of the middle. If I can order an entire plate of just this garlic bread, I would.
I’m a sucker for white-sauce so I ordered the Truffle & Cream pasta. I love the smell of the truffle oil used here, but the cream sauce itself could use a bit more flavor. Again, the pasta was a bit soft which probably means it’s been frozen prior to final cooking. However, the bacon bits and truffle oil contributed to the flavor and made a decent meal. I finished the plate quickly and was satisfied.
But again, the garlic bread far outclassed both pasta dishes in my opinion. Even as I’m typing out this review, I’m reminiscing the bites I took on and how the garlic butter flowed out onto my taste buds.
Now that we’ve finished the food, let’s go to the drinks. The Cookies & Cream Milk Tea was, as expected, quite sweet and definitely not for everyone. Still, for those craving for glucose, this is the drink for you. The crunchy cookies added character to the drink and the cheesecake cream was also delectable. It’s not something for the weight-conscious and calorie-counters, but you can ease your guilt by requesting a lower sugar level.
The Iced Caramel Latte was just right for me. The coffee hit was strong and present but never tasted bitter. It’s a very good mix and I can see myself ordering this again and again. It really woke my body up despite being so full and sleepy beforehand.
Ristretto still has a lot more offerings in their menu so I can’t really judge the entire place right away. But I can say that I had a good time and I enjoyed what we ordered. I’ve yet to try their sandwiches and fruit drinks, but you can bet that I’ll be back here for more.
Thanks to Gab for recommending this place and for the pictures and the company.
Thanks for reading and see you there!