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Tsokolate: Zamboanga’s Coolest Cafe Experience




I was running on tour at the facade historical site of Zamboanga when my legs cramped due to almost 2 hours of nonstop walking . I looked for a unique place where I can take a rest and satisfy my hunger for a bit of snack. Walking along  Valderosa Street not far from the famous Lantaka Hotel, I saw an establishment named TSOKOLATE. Though I don’t have that much for a sweet tooth, the place intrigued me to check it out.
Some of the affordable tasty pastries sold in the store




The place was a cozy small resto for pastries and cakes and projecting like an owner’s personal museum. Tables were made of old sewing machines and dozens of antique memorabilia like old guitars, posters, old vinyl records etc. were displayed magnificently on the orange bricked walls. Even the telephone was primordial compared to the techy designs we have in our current generation.  I was thinking that the owner has a sense of craftsmanship and creativity, recycling his old stuffs into some kind of a money maker.

On the side of the counter, I noticed a performance stage, and I bet live music gigs are played here every night. I approached the counter and scanned on the menu they have. I was awed by the simplicity of the prices, half cheaper than a regular food chain and  yet the pastries look delicious and more affordable than they look like. The food selection is not limited to pastries as they also offer  merienda and full type meals including combo meal.
Special palabok (Php 55.00)  and hot choco (Php30.00) served indiferrently
I asked the food attendant for the house specialty and their best seller. She directed me to a mouth watering chocolate cake displayed on the glass counter. But I wasn’t craving for chocolate and thought I should try something other than cake. I ordered their special Palabok and house specialty Tablea hot choco---for others this is a bad combination but not to me. Automatically the cashier gave me the password for their Wi-Fi connection seeing that I was carrying a laptop and must have known I was a first timer in their store. FANTASTIC! I sit on one corner of the resto and munch on the food I ordered while listening to a  soft recorded music .

Coffee on a warmer (Php30.00)
I stayed for awhile and took advantage of the free Wi-Fi service.  Looking around, I observed that the place is a common meeting place for hippies and group of people from different walks of life-travelers, businessmen, students, young professionals, LGU employees, etc. If you want to check your email or update your status on your social network, there are laptops set on one side of the resto that you can rent for a minimal fee.

To my shame of staying for almost an hour, I decided to order brewed coffee and some pastries on my desk. I was amused on the way the coffee was served. It was placed in a warming container and the brown sugar and milk were placed separately.  After a few minutes, somebody stepped on the stage and started singing live jazz music.

Take out counter
Outside of the store, the management put up a pastries’ takeout counter, especially made for customers that couldn’t be accommodated inside the crowded resto.

With this revelation, I no longer wonder why the place was a jam-packed. It was the coolest “tambayan” in the city and I recommend this to travelers who love chocolates, pastries, music and a little entertainment for a break from touring around. 




Other pics:



Free Wi-Fi connection

Table made out from old flatform of sewing machines
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6 comments :

  1. Great find! I would have loved that place since I'm a sweet tooth and I also know this type of food chain served the personalized type of food and not the commercially made ones.

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  2. Too bad, no pics of the chocolate cake! But your description already made me crave for it. :) It's good that they offer other options aside from sweets. And I like it that they have a coffee warmer, I know most people like their coffee steaming hot... coffee quickly turns to a cold beverage when the place is airconditioned. And according to my Dad, if it's not hot, it's not yummy!

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  3. btw, am curious about the prices... I think it's really a cool place...but I wonder when I'll be able to visit Zamboanga. lol.

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  4. very nice comment carmel..i appreciate it... during that time they dont have menu board. but for the brewed coffee it cost me 30 pesos and for the pie 10 pesos, the special palabok, 55 pesos and the hot chocolate 30 pesos...price list is comparable to buying bread from a regular bakery, only tastes and made better:D

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  5. the palabok, hay, kakamiss. yeah ,how's the price ,you should have mentioned here and the taste of the food you ate .the place looks cool though.

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  6. wow my favorite palabok! at ang mura nya! the ambiance is perfect looks so cozy.

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