Where Is The Love?

Raintree, Raintree, Raintree Mall,
How I love your being small…

So goes an early 2000 radio jingle for this pocket mall complex housing an assortment of establishments that mostly die out soon after they pick up some steam. I just welcome the change.

What caught my eye on many a Sunday drive-through on the way to church was yet another Korean “platform-seating” café going by the name of K-pop Star Psy’s last chart topper, Gentleman. From the glass storefront, it looked like it had everything going on for it: bright lights, bold colors, pillows and giant stuffed toys, a chalkboard menu and high school kids taking selfies over a single order of frappuccino. The more quiet joint right next door gave a shy wave with its cool blue signage simply saying Butter + Love and the promise of some Paula Deen.

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Always wanting to try the bestsellers, my inquiry was met with no recommendations and I was just directed to the overhead menu board and the display. The counterperson confused me if they were fresh out of cupcakes or no longer carry the items. The rice meal sets seemed a little lost there in what looked like an effort to capture the college-student lunch market.

The other waitperson was slightly more useful in her assistance with the breads packed a few pieces too many on the tiny glass display. “Lami ni, sir. Kani lami. Kani sad lami ni. Kani pud lami. Kani lami ni.”, indicating that each one was delicious. That really helped me make up my mind.

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Looking a lot like Kate’s Chococcino Bun baked in a mold, their Choco Chip Bread boasted a good crown of chocolate chips on its fancy finish akin to merengue. I went at it with a fork expecting a buttery softness but had some difficulty even with a knife. It was dry, tough and chewy like stale bread. The chocolate sauce filling was too modest to save even itself.

The Cheese Melt also had the same merengue-like crust but quashed my expectations of molten cheese oozing from the core when it was served lukewarm, also, dry, tough and chewy. Microwave heating on high for a minute would have done a better job than their toaster. Not that it would work on that strip of ordinary block cheddar innard.

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Terribly unhappy, I looked at cakes banking on more sugar to do the trick. They told me their best-seller, Red Velvet Cake, was no longer on their menu. All the cakes looked strangely sweaty in the chiller. Amiga, confirmed what I thought was a S’mores cake by detailing that it was “chocolate cake nga naay marsmalo nya naay kanang kuan…biskwit-biskwit.”

Graham Crackers na’, ‘Miga.

The torched marshmallow topping gave no semblance to its campfire-roasted visual with its cold, gummy texture. The cake base tasted like a boxed, no-bake chocolate fudge mix with its grainy sugar, “chocolate” frosting. I finished it only in consideration of all the hungry kids in Somalia.

Coffee came cheap with their Americano at only P50. Filter-brewed from the dregs that settled at the bottom of the cup. Robusta by my best guess. You could consider this café on that note.

Relatively new and, as I have overheard, already had a change in management, Butter + Love still has a long way to go in coming up to their brand name. I didn’t taste the butter and I didn’t feel the love. As one begets the same, this one gets none from me for now.

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