If you’re in the Fort often, the CBTL 26th St. Bistro really is hard to miss when you’re driving along 5th Avenue. It’s huge, the place is well-lit and finely furnished behind floor to ceiling glass windows. Carina and I headed there earlier today to go on a work date expecting it to be a bigger version of the coffee shop with more kinds of food. We were wrong.
The first thing I asked when we entered was where the nearest outlets were. We were armed with our laptops set to get work done and to our horror, the waitress said there were no exposed outlets near tables at all. That’s weird. I guess, I won’t be getting any work done there. It is a bistro after all and people don’t really expect to plug their gear in when they set foot at a restaurant. I wish this place could’ve been both though. I think it’s also important to note though that they had a free internet connection up but it didn’t seem to work.
We were presented with the menu which really had a wide selection of yummy looking dishes. The front page boasted all-day breakfast choices with interesting variations of pancakes, I remember Carina pointed to a Chocolate x Sea Salt & Caramel variation. I also made a mental note to try their US Angus Beef Tapa some time else. Flipping through the menu, I thought the meals were on the pricey side but still relatively fair.
I ended up getting the Herb Crusted Salmon with Lemon Rissotto and Hollandaise Sauce (Php 495). I was in the mood for something that tasted fresh and light but needed it to fill me up because I was starved. This did just that. The serving size was just right and both the salmon and risotto were perfectly cooked with flavors that balanced each other out. The herbed salmon crust and the slightly sour lemon risotto also worked well with the creamy Hollandaise.
Carina ordered the Portabello Mushroom Ciabatta (Php 395) sandwich which she enjoyed completely. This was a sizable sandwich filled with fat portabello mushrooms, feta cheese and zucchini. The waitress also mentioned that all sandwich orders come with fries. She wiped out this entire plate so I’m assuming there was nothing to complain about.
When we were done feasting, Carina had the African Sunrise Tea Latte (Php 165) for dessert. This is a drink she typically orders at CBTL and I don’t understand why. In my opinion it tasted like a bunch of flowers.
We also ordered the Pannacotta Sampler (Php 235), which we shared just because something this decadent can’t be good for solo consumption. Among everything we ordered here, this had the best value for money. An order came with three flavors of pannacotta; classic vanilla, Earl Grey and espresso, and two chewy chocolate chip cookies. We loved the silky texture of the pannacotta. I get really OC about this because I seriously hate when noticing the gelatin. This was straight up creamy and as rich as it should be. It was nice that CBTL decided to go a tad experimental on this because the Earl Grey pannacotta was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. So, so good. We tried to ask if we could order just the Earl Grey but they said it only came in this set. It’s so worth it though. I wish they’d give one more cookie though or at least make the cookies bigger to even it all out.
Overall, at its Soft Opening stages. I think CBTL’s Bistro is right on track with what it has to offer. It would’ve been better for them to still keep a part of the place like the coffee shops just cause it would’ve been a nice place to get some work done as well. Maybe that’s something they’ll consider in the future.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf 26th St. Bistro
(Same building as Wildflour)
G/F Net Lima Bldg., 5th Ave cor 26th St
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig