Team Red Horse was starting to feel lazy (thanks to our lovely staycation at Le Monet Hotel, their good food and the endless videoke and beer nights) that we needed some alternate plans to get us all out of the hotel and explore. We were at Camp John Hay and never left the hotel for almost two days. And then someone mentioned Choco-Late de Batirol just a few minutes away from our refuge, everybody started to strip off their jammies.
It was late afternoon in Baguio and everyone seemed to be on their minutes-after-waking moods and someone perked us up by mentioning a quick visit to a happy chocolate place nearby. It will be my first time.
Traversing the winding road inside the Camp John Hay on Le Monet Hotel’s Electronic Jeep, we found this chill place tucked in the middle of nowhere, this unassuming café was loaded with tourists and locals having their afternoon tsokolate break. We queued for some time before settling ourselves into one of the cabana-type native huts at back of the café.
The place felt like your own little backyard; the trellis, hardwood benches and tables, the overgrown plants that embraced the café and the knickknacks here and there. It was rustic and cozy at the same time.
Everyone’s excited for their hot chocolates but me. I love caffeine more than cocoa.
And then the madness started as soon as the hot tsokolates arrived (Traditional Blend - 90 Pesos). I tried it and realized that it wasn’t the hot chocolate I was thinking. It was thick, not that sweet and very satisfying (my happy hormones were starting to kick in). And then the owner’s daughter-in-law noticed how everyone was raving about it. She silently went to our hut and offered to show us how the tsokolate is prepared.
First important lesson was that their version is made from cocoa paste, not tablea, which makes it thicker than the usual hot chocolates (leaving some remnants in your cups afterwards).
The batirol was used in stirring the tsokolate and milk in a jar (using her palms). We got to try that one; it was hard work. She then poured the steaming hot chocolate in a cup and offered the freshly stirred tsokolate; it tasted even better.
The hot drinks were complemented by bibingka (105 Pesos), turon de langka (85 Pesos) and suman sa lihia (64 pesos). It was a feast.
I ditched my caffeine that afternoon and gave cocoa with love a try, not a bad decision after all.
Choco-Late de Batirol
Igorot Park, Camp John Hay, Baguio City
Contact Numbers: (+63) 916.375.6510 | (+63) 915.933.3474
Open Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays | 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekends