Thursday, July 21, 2022

Sunset Sessions at The Library Cafe, Gourmet Farms' Newest Dining Concept by the Bay at Ramon Magsaysay Center

You love their coffee. And their salads too. And soon, you'll be enjoying their cocktails at their newest dining concept along the famous boulevard by the bay with its equally famous sunset... 

Gourmet Farms brings its specialty curated coffee blends and a hand-picked menu of all-time comfort food classics to Ramon Magsaysay Center along Manila's iconic boulevard by the bay at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms. A comforting and tasty Panini paired with a soothing cup of coffee becomes a winning game plan to end the day followed by refreshing cocktails just in time for sunset at The Library Cafe. 

The evolving culinary landscape along the famed boulevard by the bay welcomes its newest addition, The Library Café by Gourmet Farms. With a view of the bay and its iconic sunset, the newest concept from Gourmet Farms brings its signature take on freshness with its pioneering bean-to-cup and farm-to-table philosophy to old Manila. The location itself is an apt and fitting stage to showcase the exclusive brews and sumptuous dishes made famous by Gourmet Farms. 

The iconic 18-storey structure designed by Alfredo J. Luz in collaboration with Pietro Belluschi and Alfred Yee was formally inaugurated in 1967 and was then the tallest building in the country from 1967 to 1968. Named after the 7th president of the Philippines, the bold design is given an elegant finish with its travertine marble cladding and remains an enduring landmark along the famous boulevard.  

The country's first president born in the 20th century and the first to be born after the Spanish colonial era, Ramon Magsaysay is best known for being the man of the masses committed to social and agrarian reform, a legacy that still define his presidency to this day. And there are still lessons to be learned from the man in light of today's political landscape. The ideals of Ramon Magsaysay are immortalized in the dramatic structure by the bay, a timeless reminder of the past that still shines in these uncertain times.

And somethin's brewin' at the Ramon Magsaysay Center...

...right beside the library. After feeding your mind with the volumes of knowledge found in the shelves of the library, a freshly brewed cup of coffee lets it all sink in. Welcome to The Library Café by Gourmet Farms

Located at the Ground Floor of Ramon Magsaysay Center facing the iconic bay, The Library Café by Gourmet Farms offers both indoor and al fresco seating for that much needed pause and leisurely coffee break. The fragrant aroma of freshly brewed coffee stimulates the senses while teasing your appetite as the master baristas of The Library Café by Gourmet Farms prepare cup after cup with their exclusive and masterfully roasted coffee blends. One of the country's pioneers in the local coffee culture, The Library Café by Gourmet Farms adds to the growing list of tempting options on the boulevard by the bay. 

The story of Gourmet Farms is inextricably linked to local coffee, from harvesting to roasting and brewing. At The Library Café by Gourmet Farms, this continuing story is highlighted by its wide array of exclusive local brews.

A cup of Café Latte (P 130) hits the palate with its bold, deep nutty hints followed by creamy notes for that perfectly balanced finish. And just like that, your mind and body is rejuvenated by the signature brew from the country's pioneer in the local coffee culture. The inspiring story of Gourmet Farms is retold and re-experienced with each sip from their specialty coffee blends (for more on Gourmet Farms, see my earlier posts, Freshest. Finest. First. A Day at Gourmet Farms...from a memorable farm tour back in 2019, Masterfully Roasted: The Coffee Culture and Gourmet Farms on their specialty brews also from 2019 and Drive South and Savor the New Romana Inspired Menu of The Dining Room at Gourmet Farms on their lavish new menu at The Dining Room from last year). And now you can enjoy your favorite brews at Gourmet Farms' newest concept by the bay in The Library Café by Gourmet Farms.

The Library Café by Gourmet Farms serves a variety of masterfully roasted blends to suit your mood. Other options include the Espresso (P 105), Long Black (P 110) espresso shot over hot water, Cappuccino (P 140) with frothed milk, Mochaccino (P 160) with chocolate, Lunggo (P 120) or long shot with espresso, Ristretto (P 105) or short shot of espresso, Cortado (P 130) with equal parts of espresso and steamed milk, Spanish Latte (P 160) with condensed milk and Iced Coffee (P 110).

At The Library Café by Gourmet Farms, you'll find their other specialty offerings from a variety of salad dressings...

...and pasta sauces and dips made from the freshest ingredients grown in their 12-hectare estate farms. Gourmet Farms is also known as one of the earliest advocates of farm-to-table dining long before the term even became part of the culinary mainstream.  

At The Library Café by Gourmet Farms, guests and diners can expect the same fresh, clean and hearty comforting flavors straight from the farm. You don't have to drive all the way down south to satisfy your Gourmet Farms cravings of freshly brewed coffee, garden fresh salads and classic comfort food. Just head down to The Library Café by Gourmet Farms along Roxas Boulevard at Ramon Magsaysay Center.

But first, some refreshing libations. The Library Café by Gourmet Farms offers a wide selection of refreshing coffee-based beverages from Espresso Frappe (P 160), Blueberry Cheesecake (P 180), Salted Caramel (P 180), Double Fudge (P 180), Barako Supreme (P 160) and Tiramisu Frappe (P 160) to open up the palate with its ice and slush blend. 

But there's more. Your favorite brew from Gourmet Farms, iced with indulgent hints of hazelnut is a refreshing beverage to cool you down before sunset. The Hazelnut Supreme (P 160) is a hazelnut slush coffee with layers of decadent notes, my personal pick at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms

The Library Café by Gourmet Farms opens daily at 7 am for a satisfying breakfast to start your day. Pair your freshly brewed cup of coffee with their Over Rice selections like the savory Pot Roast Tapa (P 300)...

...and Tagaytay Longanisa served with garlic rice, pickled vegetables and a sunny side-up. The flavors are comforting and homey with the savory richness tempered by the side of pickled vegetables. The garlic rice and sunny side-up completes your perfect breakfast at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms. If you're craving for seafood to start your day, the Spanish Mackerel Over Rice is an excellent alternative. 

Then, there's the classic all-time favorites from Gourmet Farms like the A La Kiev (P 350) with free-range chicken filled with herb cheese butter crusted with crisp breading served with a side of vegetables and choice of rice or mashed potatoes... 

...and the Pot Roast (P 350) with fork-tender and savory slabs of slow-roasted grass-fed beef draped in mushroom herb gravy. The richness of the beef is kicked up by the equally rich gravy for intense and full-on flavors with each bite. The creamy mashed potatoes and side of vegetables complete the dish.

Tender beef slathered with gravy, it's comfort food just the way you like it. Uncomplicated with pure, real and honest flavors, the Pot Roast delivers comforting notes for a relaxed and laid-back dining experience by the bay at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms.

No Gourmet Farms dining experience is complete without their specialty garden-fresh salads harvested from their farms. Crisp with a subtle sweetness, there's just nothing quite like fresh greens for real flavors. Freshness, after all, is flavor. Go for the always popular Caesar's Salad...  

...or the refreshing Mediterranean Salad with olives, carrots, onions and cucumber delivering rich and contrasting layers of tartness and sweetness made even richer with its olive oil dressing adding a flavorful depth to the salad. 

You can also enjoy your Mediterranean Salad in a wrap for a unique salad experience. The medley of textural contrasts from the fresh crisp greens and vegetables combine for fresh flavors rounded out by the olive oil bite after tasty bite. Having your salad of freshly harvested greens and vegetables in a wrap just elevates the farm-to-table concept that made Gourmet Farms a household name. This one is another personal pick at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms.  

Other must-try comfort food staples include the Chili Con Carne (P 250) and Gourmet Pasta (P 280) like Amatriciana, BolognesePesto or Puttanesca.   

Wash it all down with the Signature Cooler (P 160), the original herb-infused lemonade by Gourmet Farms. Sweet with a sharp citrusy finish, the refreshing beverage cleanses the palate with each soothing sip pairing well with the savory selection at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms.

Craving for a light yet satisfying snack? The Library Café by Gourmet Farms offers a tempting variety of sandwiches for a leisurely afternoon snack... the traditional Gourmet Club (P 280), a double-decker sandwich with chicken, ham, egg, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and cheese topped with the specialty Lettuce Chips of Gourmet Farms. The stacked sandwich brings familiar and even nostalgic notes, with the chicken and ham combo delivering pronounced flavors complemented by the rest of the stellar cast of crisp lettuce, egg, tomato, cucumber and cheese.

Light yet surprisingly filling, the Gourmet Club is the ideal snack by the bay with its shifting light as magic hour approaches. The Lettuce Chips are the perfect side to the Gourmet Club. Made from lettuce harvested from the farms, the crisp chips are a tasty and even healthier alternative to the usual chips.

Catching up on international doctrine and the shifting new world order from the countless resources of the Library at the Ramon Magsaysay Center can be draining. The Asian Roast Beef Panini (P 350) fixes that with just one bite.  

Mildly sweet with subtle sour hints, the tender roast beef delivers rich savory notes followed by the distinct flavors of liver pate, pickled vegetables and cilantro between lightly crisp sourdough bread. The multiple layers of flavors weave seamlessly with each bite for another winner at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms. Other sandwich options include the Caprese Melt Panini (P 250) with basil and cheese, Di Tonno (P 250) with tuna dill spread and Blueberry Chicken Panini (P 350) for a sweet and savory combo. 

Don't forget the pasta. The Amatriciana (P 280) hits all the right notes for another comforting meal at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms. One bite takes you back to the early days of Gourmet Farms down south, with their garden fresh salads and sumptuous pasta dishes as the highlight of your dining experience. Now you can enjoy it much closer to home at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms without even leaving the city.

The Library Café by Gourmet Farms also offers a selection of tasty Bar Chow served 5 pm onwards best paired with their cocktails (yes, The Library Café by Gourmet Farms serves cocktails too). The Porchetta Sisig (P 350) with chopped roasted herb pork, onions and chilies brings both textures and flavors capped by a soothing heat to temper the savory richness. 

The mild sweetness of the tender pork infused with herbs and subtle smoky hints is perfectly complemented by the gentle lingering heat from the fresh chilies. It's just what you need to enjoy the famous sunset by the bay paired with cocktails. Other Bar Chow options include the Salpicao (P 350), Kap Fern's Lumpia (P 150), Lettuce Chips Nachos (P 350) and Funghi Chicharon (P 180). 

To complete your sunset sessions at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms, specialty cocktails are in order. The Library Café by Gourmet Farms offers five unique cocktails to suit your mood for magic hour...

...each one offering distinct flavors. The Basil Dark and Stormy (P 350) with 100% 7 year old Don Papa Rum as its base is layered with flavorful notes from the calamansi, ginger beer and fresh muddled basil. The Whisky Lychee Cooler (P 280) is an inventive twist on the classic highball with the distinct sweetness of lychees. The Guava Cosmo (P 280) with its blend of vodka, lime and guava juice is another inspired take on a cocktail classic while the Blueberry Caiprissimo (P 350) with blueberry gin, lime juice, homemade smoked rosemary infused syrup and tonic bitters brings a vibrant and refreshing shot to the palate with a tart and sweet finish. The Flower Blossom Paloma (P 350) with Olmeca Tequila, flower blossom syrup and lemon juice brings a sweet but naughty vibe to your sunset session at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms. The playfully inventive use of fresh herbs, fruits, berries and even flowers add that Gourmet Farms touch to the specialty libations.

Libations at sunset are always special, more so along the iconic boulevard. And The Library Café by Gourmet Farms has the right cocktail for your sunset session.

After a round of cocktails with the sun slowly setting on the horizon, cap your dining experience at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms with their indulgent selection of desserts. A slice of Chocolate Truffle (P 235) usually does the trick for chocoholics like me with its dense and moist texture filled with smooth chocolate ganache...

...while the Pistachio Sans Rival (P 295) with its decadent layers of soft meringue filled with rich buttercream and covered in pistachios is another excellent choice at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms.

Revisit countless carefree childhood summers with the Brownie A La Mode (P 180), a nostalgic treat with coffee-infused brownie topped with a scoop of silky smooth vanilla ice cream for that perfect sweet ending at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms.

Other sinful temptations at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms include Apple Pie (P 250) with a scoop of ice cream, Cheesecake (P 250) in blueberry, white chocolate or mocha variants, Red Velvet (P 220), Mango Sans Rival (P 295), Carrot Cheesecake (P 235), Cafe Mocha (P 235) and Turtle Pie (P 260) with caramel and pecans. 

And what's best paired with dessert? Why, coffee of course. The Spanish Latte (P 160) with condensed milk completes your lavish sweet ending at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms.

Bean-to-cup and farm-to-table, The Library Café by Gourmet Farms showcases the bountiful harvests of fresh produce and clean flavors along the famous boulevard by the bay. As the skyline of the iconic boulevard continues to evolve, more dining options are added to your list reflecting the richness and diversity of old Manila. The city's definitely back, re-emerging from the long days of the quarantine experience. It's also fitting that the country's pioneering advocate in farm-fresh produce is part of the city's culinary transformation. 

The Library Café by Gourmet Farms is open Mondays to Thursdays from 7 am to 8 pm, Fridays to Saturdays from 7 am to 10 pm and Sundays from 7 am to 8 pm. Meet me for coffee or better yet, cocktails at sunset at The Library Café by Gourmet Farms...

The Library Café by Gourmet Farms is located at the Ground Floor of Ramon Magsaysay Center, Roxas Boulevard corner Quintos Street, Malate, Manila or call 0917 539 8414 for inquiries. You can also visit their FB Pages at and  for updates.

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