HAPPY PLACE: EMPIRE FASHION CAFE

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A fashion store and a cafe in one place. Empire Fashion Cafe has gathered those famous instagram retail stores in one place for a more convenient and smoother shopping experience.

THE FASHION STORE

First thing’s first: The First Impression. 

What I like about this cafe and what made me fall in love with it is the sheer size of it. If you don’t know about it yet, lemme tell you now. I’m a total fan of physical instagram shops and one similarity I noticed with each and every one I went to is how small and crowded their places are. Rentals are expensive, I understand this perfectly well, that’s why I was so awed to see how adequate the size of the Empire fashion cafe is. For people who hate small spaces like me, this is just terrific!

There are plenty of items you can find here. Make-up, shoes, clothes – name it, they got it! Since I prefer physical stores over online shopping, it was very convenient to have all those famous instagram shops in one place. Imagine the array of selections in your hands! You’re free to check the quality and even ask for a new stock. I can also attest to the quality and uniqueness of the available fashion items as I was unable to find to find the same designs in the two other stores I visited the same day.

Another bonus point: the staffs are well-mannered and very accommodating!

I saw some good DIY hair dyes here so I’m probably coming back to purchase one after I get the approval of my old man. That, and I’m eyeing that Kylie lippie. But the shade I want isn’t available pa. Hmm.

THE CAFE

Since we were already there, I decided to try out their cafe instead of hopping over and coming back to The Lost Bread. The cafe part of the store is a bit quaint – it’s on the left side of the store – but we were fortunate enough to find a good spot for us inside. There are also tables outside for those peeps who want to enjoy the breeze.

We ordered Choco Coffee Kiss (135), Frappe De Kitkat (155), Nachos (135) and Buffalo Wings (180).

The frappes are good! We were supposed to order the freak shakes because of how grammable and blog-worthy they look, but experience-wise, we decided against it. They’re almost the same with The Lost Bread’s four signature shakes and I knew from that experience how sweet (albeit yummy) they could be! So frappe is it!

I made a good decision because as it turned out, the frappes are helluva good! The taste and blending are just right. Not too sweet, not too bland – just right. And it’s affordable, too, so I’m definitely going back to try the other flavors as well.

As for the Buffalo Wings and mojos, they definitely taste good but I’ve had better. I am a true fan of Snack & Ladder’s Buffalo Wings ergo this review but you will still surely enjoy this anyway so you might want to give it a go.

Can’t say the same for the nachos, though. It’s too salty for my liking. Are nachos supposed to taste this way? I can’t be so sure so yeah. We couldn’t  even finish the entire snack because on top of them being salty, we were already full from the frappe and buffalo wings (not that it’s a bad or anything).

Still worth a try, though. It’s not the best out there but we all have different preferences anyway!

The over-all feel of the place is good despite how bustling it is (signs of a successful store!). The restroom is clean, the walls are properly and artfully decorated, and the set-up of the stalls aren’t suffocating. Sakto lang.

And look! They even have a play room for the kids! How convenient, right? If they just add a bookshelf here or a corner for bookworms like me, this place is totally going to my number one happy place!

Ratings: 4/5

Am I going back? Yes, as in super duper mega yes!

Will I recommend it? Of course, especially to those millenials who are after good fashion and cosmetic gems.

Empire is located at 143 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City. 

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Maginhawa | Snacks & Ladders


Yet another unexpected and unplanned cafe adventure. To be honest, I don’t know Snacks & Ladders until my friend brought it up. Since it sounded cool and intriguing to me, we decided to visit it that very day.

Before anything else, Snacks & Ladders is a board game cafe located in Maginhawa. You will see them quickly because there are life size chess board pieces and chess-themed tables just outside their cafe. I like that the staffs were very accommodating. We were listed to their waiting list and was guided to one of the tables. One of the staffs even brought out two electric fans which gave them plus points from me!

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One check at their menu and I knew I’d be staying for a while. Their prices are very affordable and reasonable! We ended up buying the two shakes (109), the Buffalo wings (159), Oreo cheese cake (95) and Jenga cheese sticks (129), which by the way we loved to death! I thought the shakes would taste so-so but they blew me away. They weren’t that sweet nor bland. Just right. We could taste the Hansel and Chocnut, which combined with the oreo cheese cake, were rockets! Plus, the Buffalo wings are to die for! They are delicious and spicy, coming with two dips that made the taste even stand out!  I’d be coming back here for them. Deffo!

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Snacks & Ladders has two floors. The first floor is filled with tables that can accommodate small and large groups, plus there were plenty of bookshelves filled with board games lined against the walls. I liked the cozy and homey interior. In fact, when we went there, there were so many families and kids playing about inside, and it’s refreshing to see them bond over food and games! And did I mention they have foosball, karaoke, table tennis and billiards there?

The second floor is even better! It’s the highlight for me! It’s carpeted and you’re required to leave your shoes in their shoe racks/stairs. The floor is big enough to accommodate at least six to seven groups. I love that we get to sit on the floor. They have low tables, bean bags and cute pillows ready there, along with the collections of board games stacked onto the shelves. Their walls were decorated with post-it notes and a massive snake & ladder game which you can play or use as a background for photo ops!

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I love their board games. They have a lot, catering from children to young adults! Of all the games, we enjoyed Jenga the most (because I suck at it. Ha!)

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I give this place a 5/5 rating. Why? We got to stay here for three hours, spending all that time playing board games. It was so cozy and we enjoyed every second. It’s really a perfect place for friends to hang out in! I’m sure the other groups with us would agree, since all those hours we were there, I heard nothing but laughter and cheers.

My tip is if you’re going, you have to be at least four to ten to fully enjoy the ambiance of the place. I came there with only two friends with me, and boy was I jealous of the fun the other people there were having!

All in all, it’s a great barkada hot spot!

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If you want to visit,

Snacks & Ladders is located at 188 Maginhawa St. Quezon City


 

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