Friday, March 16, 2018

First Bite: Harlan + Holden

Harlan + Holden instantly charmed me when I saw photos of its picturesque cafe in Rockwell. Call me sucker for Instagram-worthy places but I did my research and read great reviews of this place prompting me to ask R and his parents to a trip here one afternoon.

Hello, Harlan + Holden
Located at the old spot of Rockwell Tent, you could easily find this posh spot with its glasshouse structure. 
I was surprised that the place was super packed even at what I thought was a non-peak hour. I was greeted by one of the staff who asked if I placed a reservation. Sadly, I didn't know that I could actually reserve a table in advance. And after a few seconds, I was told that they didn't have an available table for us and if we would like to be put in the wait list. 
Heartbroken, I asked R's parents if they would like to have an afternoon snack elsewhere. But R's dad asked the staff again and pointed an empty table by the full-length window. And it turned out that it was available after all. I am still unsure if they accommodated us because I was with senior citizens but I was glad that they didn't make us wait anymore.
For this visit, we ordered Slow Cooked Bolognese Pasta (PHP340), Homemade Corned Beef Rice Bowl (PHP390), Parma Ham & Emmental Sandwich (PHP490), Salted Caramel Eclair XL (PHP320), New York Cheesecake (PHP295), Matcha Green Tea Latte (PHP175) and Hot Chocolate (PHP130).
While waiting for our food, I took it as an opportunity to bask in the beauty of the place. True to the word greenhouse, Harlan + Holden is adorned with plants and flowers with its moss colored seats and wooden furniture complementing it. 
One can't deny that Harlan + Holden's Rockwell Glasshouse is well-designed. Even its plates and cutleries have the perfect hues to match its interiors. And check out those place mats with gold foil stamp!
First served was our slice of New York Cheesecake. Though small, its thick and tall serving size somehow justified its price. Taste-wise, it had that nice level of acidity making it a lovely snack to be paired with coffee or tea. However, it failed to make me utter wow to convince me to go for seconds. 
My Parma Ham & Emmental Sandwich was served next in a rather quirky way. Instead of having it on the plate, my sandwich was stuffed inside a cup on a plate with sweet potato chips. I was looking forward to this dish the most as it was my late lunch and I was starving!
However, I found it mediocre at most. It was rather oily and too salty for my liking. I had to munch on the bland chips to counter the saltiness of the parma ham
The Homemade Corned Beef Rice Bowl was pretty good. But it was nothing extraordinary and is something I think I could easily cook at home with the help of some good corned beef brand.  
Harlan + Holden took 'slow cooked' to a whole new level when it took them over an hour to serve our bolognese pasta. We had to follow it up three times before it was served. And when it finally reached our table, we were underwhelmed with its appearance. It looked pale and bland. And true enough, it was. The pasta too didn't fall under the "al dente" category. To be fair though, the server did mention that it will take a while to prepare this dish but we were not expecting it to be that long and we were expecting something more than what was served to us.
I was hoping that the Matcha Green Tea Latte will help save the day but it didn't. It was too milky to be even called matcha. It was definitely lacking green tea flavor. 
At least I was told that Auntie's Hot Chocolate was decent. 
Our Salted Caramel Eclair XL took over an hour and a half to be served. So Auntie thought of ordering an Americano to go with the sweet treat. However, it took them half an hour to serve it after the eclair. 

Without a doubt, Harlan + Holden offers superb ambiance perfect for that lovely afternoon tea or brunch. However, it failed in delivering mouthwatering food (or at least food to match the price they're charging). One thing I loved about Harlan + Holden though is that they are very open to feedback. I'll probably wait for a few months before I visit again. 

Harlan + Holden is located at Ground Floor, Powerplant Mall, Plaza corner Hidalgo Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City.

Harlan+Holden Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments or other recommendations? :)