Quite a number of people possess a certain obsession when it comes to food. For some, it may be bread, potatoes, a type of meat, but for me, it’s cheese and chocolate. You can use it as a topping, a dip, a filling, and it absolutely makes everything better. I got my fix when I visited an adorable little spot in Mabolo.
Café de Genève’s focal point is Swiss cuisine – a food culture that is influenced by a lot of its neighboring countries such as France, Germany and Northern Italy. The variation of dishes increases when we talk about different dishes from different regions, but the components and structure is what holds them under one category. The dishes are comforting and surprisingly well-thought of; from flavours to texture, they have every single plate constructed properly. My dining experience was beyond compare. Seeing that chef and owner, Windy Gancayo did not hold back when it came to serving the best ingredients made the whole affair very authentic and intimate, and she almost had me convinced that I boarded a plane and flew directly to Switzerland.
Composed of lettuce, bacon, eggs, Gruyère cheese and homemade croutons drizzled with classic French vinaigrette, this dish has the potential to become a full meal by itself. The bacon and egg pairing is already – without a doubt – a winning combination, but the homemade croutons took this salad on a whole different level. The croutons were packed with flavour and the Gruyère sealed the deal. It was like eating a deconstructed bacon sandwich without the guilt.
Zürich Chicken with Rösti
Let me start by talking about the Rösti or Röschti. It is a flat, hot cake made of grated, cooked jacket potatoes and fried. This golden wonder is beyond the bounds of your regular potato pancake – crispy on the outside and extremely soft on the inside. It is a remarkable sidepiece and has quite a lot of dishes built around it. In this case, it was the Zürich Chicken. The sauce, made up of white wine, cream and mushrooms, was light and velvety in contrast to the fulfilling, crispy sidedish. It was a delightful play of textures and flavours.
Cheese Fondue served with bread
A very interactive dish that can make those who dream of cheese shed tears of joy. It is a combination of different kinds of cheese melted together in a traditional ceramic fondue pot called ‘caquelon’ over a réchaud (portable stove). The bread cubes are picked up on fondue forks (a long-stemmed fork) and dipped into the glorious cheese mixture where you can drown and cover the entire piece as you please. This is a good dish to have with friends and family on a rainy day.
Named after the little wooden spoon you see on the side, this simple dish is packed with flavour. The cheese is melted and poured over the potato. The cheese has a nice kick to it and the cocktail gherkins and onion that is served on the side cuts through the ever-so-pleasing, but strong, pungent flavour of the cheese.
A Swiss take on the French mille-feuille, this delicate dessert is perfect for those craving for something sweet, but don’t want to kill their palate with too much sugar. Instead of puff pastry layers, like its French counterpart, this one is a stack of tender layered crepes filled with vanilla cream, served with a mango coulis. The taste is delicate and refreshing. If you want to try something new, this is the dish that should be in front of you.
Moitié-Moitié and Chocolate Truffle Cake
These two go together like Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. You may have one without the other, but it is totally pointless to separate such a good pairing. The Moitié-Moitié is a typical digestive drink from Geneva made of two kinds of pear-flavoured liqueur. The smell is quite strong and might scare off a few people from taking a sip, but the flavour is far from that. It is fruity and light, and goes absolutely well with the dense chocolate truffle cake. It is a match made in heaven and a new experience that I encourage you to try.
If you want to pass the time and wait for the traffic to die down, stop by Café de Genève at Congressman Noel Street near President Roxas Street in Kasambagan, Mabolo (a five-minute drive from Ayala) – a little piece of Europe in the heart of Cebu City.
Available for private parties, take-out, cake and pastry orders.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM