There is joy to be found in food and in the expanse of the archipelago, most can find them pretty much anywhere. This month, we take in the sights and organic tastes of Negros Island in a festival hinged on sustainability, the reopening of a buffet outpost from a Parañaque hotel institution, and the atmospheric Japanese joint that just opened in Salcedo Village. We reckon, you’ll frequent these places every chance you get.—Eric Nicole Salta

Omotesando Koffee opens new Salcedo branch

The new Omotesando Koffee branch in Salcedo Village retains its iconic cube bar
The new Omotesando Koffee branch in Salcedo Village retains its iconic cube bar

The minimalist coffee shop from Japan expands in Manila with a new outpost in Salcedo Village, Makati. This time, it taps Hong Kong-based designer Studio Adjective to design the space and give the branch a moodier look with darker wood.

Award-winning Ishinomaki Laboratory Tripodal Stools (also designed by Studio Adjective) are paired with tables with a cubic base, mimicking the coffee brand’s iconic kiosk bar shaped like a cube. One area flanked by wooden lattice work has a slanted metal ceiling and chairs upholstered with Kvadrat textile.

An Omotesando Koffee barista back into the grind
A barista back into the grind

Expect the same, detailed approach to brewing specialty beans in every cup and small bites such as their egg sando and their cubed kashi dessert. The outpost is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, a stylish option for the discerning coffee drinker. Omotesando Koffee managing director Russell Stradmoor says the store will feel familiar. “Each shop should have its own identity but still work within the brand identity and the brand ethos. While this shop looks very different to the first one, it’s very recognizable once you enter. You know right away it’s an Omotesando Koffee shop,” he says.—Jar Concengco

At the reopened The Cafe, enjoy your buffet journey

If there’s one piece of advice for anyone heading to City of Dreams’ interactive show-kitchen restaurant, it’s to go with the flow.

The Cafe at Hyatt Regency Manila, City of Dreams
The Cafe at Hyatt Regency Manila, City of Dreams

Serving up global flavors since its reopening in August, the well-loved buffet outpost is welcoming guests once again for lunch and dinner buffet experiences at affordable prices—P1,150 for breakfast, P1,250 for lunch, and P2,350 for dinner—and guides you on the right track to help yourself to an array of delicious cuisine.

Inside the 345-seat modern restaurant, you’ll rethink your view of a buffet into one that sounds more like “This is the most important meal of the day,” thanks to buffet stations that perk up the palates—from Western favorites Asian comfort fare to Filipino and Southeast Asian dishes, and even a dinner-exclusive Carving of the Day. Charcuteries, cheeses, breads, a variety of noodles and rice, and healthy choices round out the spread.

We’re calling it: A visit to The Cafe is a regular ritual to start or end the day.

Plus, it’s festival season in Negros in November

Negros in November? Make a stop at the Organic Farmers Festival or the first-ever Terra Madre Visayas from Nov. 15 to 19 in Bacolod City.

The longest-running organic festival in the country opens its 16th edition with the theme “Regeneration for Future Generations,” which intends to highlight the importance of eco-friendly farming practice and emphasize the concept of sustainable regenerative farming.

The 16th Organic Farmers Festival
The 16th Organic Farmers Festival

Explore the organic fair and exhibit, sample the island’s organic offerings, and warm up next to guests over cook fests and conventions that cover topics like sustainable regenerative farming and fishing then hop over to Terra Madre Visayas.

Located conveniently in the same venues, Terra Madre Visayas (with its theme “Visayas: Food and Culture Biodiversity”) is a partnership between the Slow Food Community of Negros, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Slow Food International, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Department of Tourism, and the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental.

“The Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival and Terra Madre Visayas will serve as catalysts for change, uniting individuals and communities in the pursuit of a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future, ensuring a legacy of regeneration for generations to come,” Slow Food international councilor for Southeast Asia Ramon “Chinchin” Uy Jr. said.