I must say the breadth of A.S. Fortuna Street has become a wonderful place. You can find so many great Japanese and Korean restaurants in just a few steps. Recently, a lot of cute cafes have sprouted, too!
My friend, Arcel, and I found ourselves in one of these cafes one afternoon. It is called Balai – Cafe Plus (Cafe+) and it is really a cool place to hang out. It is located very near AA’s restaurant. Just look for the sign.
Just as its name suggests, it is a residential property turned coffee shop. Balai is a play on “balay”, which is Cebuano word for “house”. The property is sizable and had lots of trees. Since they had alfresco seating, one can really just go there, enjoy nature and a great cup of coffee without leaving the city!
Because it was a sunny afternoon, we thought we’d order frappe drinks and enjoy the veranda seats. I got the Black Forest frappe while Arcel got a drink called Vanilla Rose. We shared a slice of Chocolate Moist cake, too.
The drinks were delicious and on the sweeter side. The cake was great, definitely moist. I also appreciated that the barista decided to upgrade my order. Initially, I ordered a Tall drink, but he gave me a Grande without extra charge. Thanks!
Balai’s ambiance was really relaxing. Love the trees and the variety of seating options. Coffee tables had tire bases, too, which I thought is a great idea. Some tables were recycled barrels. They really had a great recycle and save the earth theme going on. Oh, and they also serve rice meals just in case you want something heavier to eat.
The indoor part of this coffee place is airconditioned, perfect for those who can’t stand the heat. The lighting there is on the dim side, helping patrons relax and have intimate conversations.
Balai also has function rooms. One is now usable for 1,500 php per hour and that’s consumable. The other two function rooms are still under construction and will be available soon. There is also a parking lot for those with cars.
According to the barista, the place opened in January 2017. Fairly new. I used to work in Oakridge area but that was last year. Would have loved to hang out at this place then. But that’s ok, I know now that this place exists and will definitely be coming back.
For those of you looking for a relaxing place to have coffee or eat rice meals in A.S. Frotuna, do give this place a try! We enjoyed our afternoon there and were pleased with the ambiance and service.