It’s not every day that you get to encounter a cafe or coffee shop with quirk, punch and personality. There’s this little cafe called Subspace that’s been getting much hype lately, simply because it tugs at the heartstrings of every single k-pop (Korean pop culture) lover in town with its drinks and decor straight out of a Korean Drama (‘Coffee Prince’, not that I would know).
It reminds of the this great student-centric cafe in Dumaguete (you will fall in love with Dumaguete), called Noriter that is also decked out in quirky Korean-inspired items. Either way, I’ll never be a fan of k-pop but I do appreciate a casual coffee shop with personality when I see one. Subspace doesn’t scream korean pop culture to the highest octave, but it makes good use of these elements, together with other pieces of vintage graphic art to deliver a look that’s fun without being over the top. And yeah, the place is basically Instagram paradise. Go crazy.
I had the much raved about Purple Potato Latte (140 php cold, 125php hot). There was a debate going on in my head on whether or not purple potato means ‘ube’, but after some research (thank you, Lori), I’m satisfied not to persist on the matter.
Did it taste like melted ube ice cream? Not quite. Did it taste like kamote? (what?), No. It’s strange that I can’t seem to describe it properly, except to say that it’s good, I really did like it. I’m banking on this distinct aftertaste that I got after every sip, which, even after a few days, still lingers in my memory. That has to mean something good.
I know I’m asking for too much but I’d appreciate my Cream Cheese Danish (70php) to have more of a buttery taste. The cream cheese center was a good mix of sweet and slightly tart, and the pastry was really flaky, which is always good. They just need to amp up the butter more.
The Peanut Butter Latte (145php cold, 130php warm), another one of their bestsellers, could probably be an acquired taste. It’s basically peanut butter and coffee, and although it satisfies, it doesn’t have the punch that the Purple Potato Latte has.
The selection’s visual appeal is pretty good, although I’m curious to know if they make the pastries themselves or if it comes from a third-party purveyor. At least there is one more reason for another quick visit.
Fortune was on our side that day because apparently the cafe has a notorious reputation for being packed most of the time. The place is relatively small – I can imagine it accommodating only around 15 – 20 (probably even less) people at one time, so space is a luxury.
The Subspace experience ended on a high note for me and I’m already thinking of my next visit. You don’t have to be a fan of Korean pop culture to appreciate just how artsy subspace can be. You don’t even have to know that it’s Korean-inspired! It was definitely a feast for the eyes. First impressions matter, and Subspace delivered.