Monday, February 26, 2007

CONSPIRACY CAFÉ - October 30, 2006

One of the best things about going out in Manila is that there is something for every one. As someone who’s eaten in all kinds of places, from dives to fancies, from holes-in-the-wall to established restaurants, I’m happy for the choices that Manila has to offer.

Recently, my friend the musician Rica Arambulo texted me that she was having a show in Conspiracy Café in Quezon City. On a Monday. So I suggested to Monday Club SecGen Knox Coeli that we try this place out. When I gave the address, I could hear him groan in his faux Chinese accent: madayo yannah! Surpisingly, nine of us went: Knox, Philip Lim, Lawrence See, Stephen Choa, Supremo CJ Tan, Johannson Cheng, Chris Ty, Edison Gong and myself.

Conspiracy Café is about 4 years old, fashioned out of an old house with high ceilings and decorated with empty green wine bottles and art work for sale by artists who are friends of the artists who own the place. Conspiracy has a laid-back ambience and anyone in shorts, sando and slippers will be as welcome as a congresswoman in her shift and scarf. It has a very homey air about it, and patrons appear to know each other and/or the owners. There is no sign to that effect but it seems like everyone checked their insecurities and hang-ups at the door.

Conspiracy is a great venue for musicians of such diverse colors, from Akafellas to Makiling Ensemble, from Rica to Cynthia Alexander. They even have poetry nights, open mike nights and LGTB evenings.

The food isn’t all that bad either. The Indian eggplant salad is a good and refreshing accompaniment to the crispy pata (thoughtfully pre-sliced from the bone) and the chicken curry is both savory and filling one serving can actually be split by two barakos). We also tried the liempo and bangus ala pobre*, which we all liked. Bar chow standards like sisig and 3kinds of fishball in 3 kinds of sawsawan were also devoured with gusto.

The price is fair (add P100/person if dining/drinking/watching in the music room), the men’s room clean, the music fantastic. If you like music, ask the waiter for their selection of CDs for sale that may not be available in Odyssey of M1. Credit cards are accepted. Minus points though for insufficient parking space.

Conspiracy Café, 59 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. Call 4532170 for reservations and show schedule.

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If you like to eat well, live well, listen well and have the patience to go through my kilometric but hopefully entertaining blogs, then this is the page for you. I chose EATERSHIP because it sounds like "leadership," and because if you jumble it up, it could also read "hip eaters." Eat and read on!