Fun dining

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Friday, May 23, 2014

WHEN it comes to good combinations, elements like “fun” and “food” usually make up for a good mix.

For Sprockets Cafe, the fun part is relatively easy. The place is most popular among young customers, who seek a good hangout that also serves great food and drinks.

Evidence of its success can be seen with its growth in the past couple of years.


Sprockets has three branches here in Metro Cebu. The main outlet, located along Apitong St., Escario, Cebu City, was launched in April 2012. A year after, a branch in Talamban was opened in July 2013. Recently this year, the brand introduced its third branch located at the ground floor of the Baseline residences.

When she started the business, proprietor Rachel Arandilla had it in mind to open a venue where people can just chill and hangout. So from the start, Sprockets was known for its milk teas. But over time, the cafe reinvented itself as a player in the city’s food scene as well. Their dishes are as just as creative and tasty as the place’s snazzy interior suggests.

“We wanted to go beyond just being a milk tea place. We wanted to be more like a creative café or hub that offers milk tea, coffee and casual or comfort food,” shares Rachel.

Indeed, the cafe capitalized on the opportunity for the business to flourish. Now, its patrons—usually consisting of young people, who are unofficial christened by Rachel as “Sprocketeers”—flock to their favorite Sprockets branches anywhere in the city to chill, hang out and grab a bite or two.

“Our pizzas are the bestsellers, topped with alfalfa and arugula. Quesadillas and our fettupasta are also popular for snacks. For main dishes, we have unique selections such us our Keanu Ribs and Pan-Seared Salmon—these are also our bestsellers,” Rachel enumerates. For the adventurous, the grilled ostrich steak should be worth a try.

Of course, this is not to say that the quality drinks have been abandoned all together.

Milk teas, coffee drinks, frosts, fresh fruit shakes, frappes and Italian sodas—the brand continues to whip up the popular favorites. The regular milk tea fares such as wintermelon, honeydew and taro are available. For its frost series, the “Taro Frost” and “Oreo Chip Frost” are hits.

If you don’t know what to try out, here’s a recommendation from the boss herself.

“I recommend the ‘Chocolate Milk Tea with Cheese Sauce’; it has a unique and different kind of taste,” Rachel shares.

For its desserts, the café serves Oreo-chilled cheesecakes, red or blue velvet cupcakes topped in cream cheese, and its classic “Molten Choco Lava.” Its “Team Brownie” cakes are also very popular among students as they come in several flavors—smores, red velvet, salted caramel, dark fudge, choco mint and cookie butter.

Besides good taste and affordable prices, Rachel is quick to point out another element which sets her cafe’s food apart from the rest.

“We serve great comfort food. It’s like the girlfriend who cheers you up after a bad break-up, or the one that laughs at your corny jokes. We serve the types of food that I like to describe as, ‘warm and friendly.’”

The food and drinks should pair well for the events that happen on a weekly basis for its main branch in Escario. On Mondays, Tabletop Nights are held when patrons play new and modern board games; the event hosted by Ballista Games. On Wednesdays, Slogos Nights are on. It’s a fun quiz night of logos, slogans, pop culture and trivia where you can come as a team and win Sprockets gift certificates and bragging rights.

Now that’s a place that encourages some fun dining. All three branches of Sprockets are open every day from 11 a.m. - 12 midnight.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 24, 2014.


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