Bicester - Weekend

Bicester

By Michael Karlo Lim

IT’S /’bister/, by the way. New on neon serving coffee, cocktails, pastries, and brunch, Bicester Café is eponymously named after the historic market center in Oxfordshire, England. The historic shopping streets are mainly known for a broad range of local and international brand names together with cafés, pubs, and restaurants.

Born out of great affection for that place, Bicester attempts to amalgamate the town’s feel with much success in what is best described as New Hipster — polished concrete floor, tile detail, wood composite wall cladding, prismatics and neon tube lighting detail. Setting themselves apart from many a new bells-and-whistles operation, their attention to their aesthetics extends and translates to their menu items, as well.

Solids are served up straightforward and simply good with an all-day breakfast menu, pastas, sandwiches and a good number of sweet bites. One would know a Classic Tomato Pasta is done right and from real tomatoes when it registers a savory tang versus the sweet of your run-of-the-mill from-package sauces in most other cafes. Bicester’s own tics off that box with the bonus of substantially-portioned meatballs on an equally sizeable serving. Aglio Olio is always deceptively simple with the apparent lack of color. It makes up for its austerity with the surprising depth of flavor in the oils which also allow the appreciation of the often masked base pasta. Still, on the same straightforward and good shelf, the sandwiches reveal themselves also generous in serving and packed to the edges with filling. Pancakes are as you would have these at home along with their credo of homey comfort. Waffles, too.

Indoor neon sign

This writer loves the flavor of matcha and coffee and loves the fusion of both. Enter Bicester’s Matcha-Coffee Latte. Here the Twin-tailed Siren has finally met her, er, matcha with Bicester’s pure matcha, espresso, and fresh milk for a balanced drink. While latte art has absolutely no bearing on the drink’s taste, the visual novelty elevates the experience, and theirs showcases their baristas’ exceptional skills. Their take on the more usual cappuccinos and mixes make a turn for the unusual in, yet again, perfectly balanced preparations in their most basic, no sugar added regularity. Sweeteners to taste are, of course, available upon request.

Specialty coffee
Chorizo and Ham Omelettes

Soft sunlight streams through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls as a good number of crowds stream in and out. For some, the sunlight gives way to the warm downlighting and the red glow from their instantly iconic indoor neon signage as time is lost into seconds and thirds from the menu. This combination of cool and comfy really doesn’t beg much explanation why Bicester is an almost instant crowd draw. All these make this corner, as their official hashtag goes, #MyFavoriteCorner. Maybe it could be yours, too.

Bicester Café is located at Mahogany Place, Pope John Paul II Avenue, Mabolo,Cebu City.

Images: Michael Karlo, Nina Alcoseba and Jean Yu

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