March 5, 2024

What can be more exciting than having a good meal while enjoying a good view of the city? The place is a 10-minute walk from Session Road and five minutes by car. If one wants a bird’s eye view of the city, drop by ‘That Little Café” at the roof deck of Orchard Hotel along Legarda Road, it’s on the 6th floor. King Chef is on the ground floor.
That Little Café offers Filipino comfort food and Spanish gastronome food selections from yummy and crunchy hogs head bagnet, Twice cooked pork adobo, kare-kare, and bbqbraised beef belly to fabada beansoup or onion soup, to gambas con aligui and beef belly salpicao to sinigang na salmon, to pastas, vegetable salads, desserts, and smoothies.
That Little Café is TLC for short, giving one tender loving care while enjoying the food in scenic Baguio and being served with a smile. Panalo di ba?
Family owned, amiable husband and wife team Hansel David and Hollan Co, have taken steps to ensure the guests are given food that taste like mom’s cooking. Maybe upgraded a little. Oh yes, Hansel’s sister’s name is Gretel. It’s a “home away from home”. It’s far from home and yet its close enough to satisfy one’s cra-vings.
Baguio born Hansel says, “It has been my dream to have a place that will serve as a get together for Baguio folks and old timers similar to Dainty and Star Café. A place to eat good food and to relax.” His father Dionisio and mother Julia Co were former owners of Silvertone Inn located at Malcolm Square, between Plaza Theater and U Need Grocery. “I remember that here in Baguio, old timers used to know one another. A feeling that we are all one.”
The family includes industrial partner and finance director Maria Theresa Martinez who used to be a banker and Tricia Aira from the front office. An exceptional restaurant will not function well without a very good and experienced chef.
The executive chef of Orchard Hotel and That Little Café is Totie Mungcal, who is from Manila. Totie has 27 years of experience as a chef and 17 of those were with international cruise ships. He used to sail the Caribbean, European, Spanish – Mediterranean, and Asian voyages. This chef started as an aeronautic engineer until he made a turn around and became a chef. There is something about food that makes one forget initial goals, right? Or was it because his father used to be in the food business.
The F & B team has two dining supervisors, Thess de Vera and Ronnie Garcia.
TLC had a ‘soft opening” last Valentine’s Day. They now offer breakfast buffet from 6 to 10 a.m. and is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays to Sundays. One may call them for reservations and information about one’s wedding, birthday, debut, corporate events, and seminar needs at 442-4360 and 0917-896-2305.
King Chef started in 2018 before Orchard Hotel was opened in 2019 with 66 rooms. Each room is unique from the other. “The name of the hotel was inspired by Singapore’s Orchard Road and Singapore’s nature theme and also by my father’s Silvertone Inn which he built in the 70s,” added Hansel.
“I was motivated by my father’s effort and service in maintaining the Silvertone Inn. Because of this, I wanted to make something grander, hence my dream to build a hotel that was unique.”
One interesting observation is how Hansel’s father Dionisio welcomes guests to his hotel and restaurants. He sits at the lobby, welcomes you and makes you feel at home with his big smile and greets you. I believe Hansel got this good PR style from his father. He is very keen and observant. Customer service is always a top concern for quantifying “best service” in the tourism, hotel, and hospitality industry. (photos by Ompong Tan)