'Third Wave' and 'UCC' may seem uppity or pricey at first, but give this new all-day cafe in Blue Bay Walk a visit to discover reasonably priced food, flavored beer and cocktails, and a smattering of coffee concoctions to deliciously educate your palate.
UCC Clockwork. wants to reawaken our senses to the beauty of coffee, and this UCC concept is named after something that reminds us of ticking time, cogs, and machinery as the inner workings of an excellent cup of coffee indeed requires precision. 'Clockwork.', with a period in its name, punctuates their aim to seamlessly work together the creating of a perfect cup of coffee (its aroma, flavor, roast, etc.), combined with a welcoming ambiance (rather than being an intimidating third wave cafe with a case of 'hipsteria'), and armed with an arsenal of delicious food to feast or snack on.
When you say UCC (that's Ueshima Coffee Company), it is already associated with a good quality coffee; we've many cafes and UCC concepts in the metro, even in stores and supermarkets being sold as retail products. UCC Philippines' Hubert Young explains that Clockwork. is their avenue to showcase a different kind of third wave, where those who want to appreciate coffee in another level can feel at home--and that they can bring along others that either love coffee, or just simply love good food and drink. Here, you have the staple UCC Cafe coffee products, as well as the coffee made available in Mentore (like Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia, Blue Mountain), UCC's restaurant wherein you get to choose among five different methods for them to prepare your coffee. In addition, Clockwork. will continuously roll out limited batches of roasts and brews, single origin (pour over method) and Philippine origins. Fret not if you wish to know more about their coffee, as their coffee masters are friendly and are willing to assist you in ordering a cup that suits your preference. Also, every serving of single origin comes with a detailed notecard about the coffee's taste notes, variety, processing method, location, and growing elevation.
Clockwork. gets playful with coffee with their Caffeine + Concoctions line, where they create iced and hot coffee mixes such as 'Judy on The Rocks' (P150 hot, P170 ice), a best-seller which is a charcoal roasted coffee with 'on the rocks' cream, which is then rimmed with salted honey. Another popular hot coffee concoction is the Bulletproof (P150), a power drink for the brave that is made creamy with butter (yes, butter). Skipping coffee at a third wave cafe? Yes, you can, at Clockwork. For a fruity and healthy perk-me-up, they have cold-pressed juices; there's tea, matcha, and Davao chocolate as well. They also offer single malt whiskey, sake, wine, and other alcoholic staples, but most recommended are their house made Flavored Beer (P185) in variants like apple (Eve's Desire), peach (Son of a Peach!), and Salted Caramel. There's just so much to sip on at Clockwork. to keep any kind of thirst satisfied.
It's a delight for the hungry coffee lover to see such a wide variety of food to choose from at the cafe--Clockwork. does not limit itself to typical cafe food of just lighter meals, but has a full spread of appetizers, soups, salads, hearty entrees, sandwiches, and pastas. To start, order their two most popular appetizers, Four Cheese Quesadilla (P220) and Chili Fries (P180), that make for a good afternoon snack or bar chow (since they have boozy drinks at the cafe as well). Their Quinoa, Grilled Chicken and Mandarin Orange (P320) salad is as delicious as it looks, a colorful mix of greens, quinoa, chicken, and orange that is drizzled with honey sesame vinaigrette.
Among the entreees, the brunch type of meals garner the most attention, and it's not a surprise as breakfast food is best enjoyed from day to night, comforting especially with some coffee. Popular are the Beef Hash Benedict (P320), Fresh Corned Beef with Kimchi Rice (P350), and U.S. Angus Rib Eye Steak (P850 for 350g/Clockwork Standard, P1,500 for 700g/Lumberjack). A good surprise is their Milkfish Belly Paksiw (P300) as the bangus belly swims in coconut vinegar and coconut milk that gives the flavor some depth, and instead of the sliced eggplants sharing space in the bowl with the fish, it's served on the plate beside the rice and soft scrambled tamago, and it's deep fried into a katsu. Another one I personally recommend is their not-quite-photogenic but sensational Indian Curry Pasta (P270), rich in flavors and spice, with a tomato-curry sauce with bacon pieces coating a mound of spaghetti. Try it if you want something different but delicious.
Hopefully, after your coffee and main course, you still have some room for dessert, as UCC is well known for their sweet endings. At Clockwork., they have freshly baked pastries and cakes every day, and the selection varies so you can check out their display cases and see what looks good for your particular sugary craving. As Yamato Bakery Cafe is its sister establishment, you can cross-order baked goods from the Japanese bakery next door, and they will allow you to enjoy the food inside Clockwork.
If you want to go classic, Mango Crepe Samurai (P220) satisfies in its creamy custardy sweetness. If you are a serious matcha monster, however, do not miss out on their stellar Thick Toast Green Tea Nutella (P340), a glorious block of matcha toast smothered in nutella, warm chocolate sauce, and served a la mode. The pillowy soft, warrm bread seeps in the flavors of the ice cream and chocolate sauce that every messy forkful is just a flavor bomb. Don't forget to share this dessert, and to tame the sweetness, there's always a good cup of black coffee to be had in this new third wave cafe.
UCC Clockwork. is located at Blue Bay Walk (beside Yamato and Mitsuyado Sei Men), Macapagal Avenue corner EDSA. Open weeknights from 7am-12mn, weekends 7am till late. Follow on Instagram (@UCCclockwork) and Like on Facebook (/UCCclockwork).