restaurants in Metro Manila

Rise and shine! Trying Elephant Grounds’ new Asian-inspired breakfast menu at Podium

Cheska Lingad

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Rise and shine! Trying Elephant Grounds’ new Asian-inspired breakfast menu at Podium
The Hong Kong-based café serves brunch favorites with an Asian twist, like the Ricotta Peach Mango Toast and Strawberry Yuzu Waffle

MANILA, Philippines – I’m not a morning person, so I usually don’t have breakfast on most days. However, I’m glad I didn’t sleep in on the day I tried the new breakfast menu of Elephant Grounds – with the three new dishes I tried, breakfast or brunch now seemed like a good idea.

Hong Kong-based café Elephant Grounds now serves up three different types of breakfast meals – eggs bennys, toasts, and waffles – which are available daily from 7 am until 11 am at their Bonifacio Global City and Podium Mall branches.

The brunch-friendly dishes range from savory classics such as Salmon Eggs Benny (P510), Bacon-Steak and Eggs Waffle (P590), and Avocado Pesto Toast (P350), to meals on the sweeter side like Wild Berry Hokkaido Toast (P295), and Waffle À La Mode served with an ice cream scoop of your choice (P350). 


Elephant Grounds is a specialty coffee shop from Hong Kong, first brought to the Philippines in 2019 by The Standard Group (responsible for Yabu, Ippudo Ramen, Kiwami Hall). They mainly serve comfort food meals with Asian-inspired flavors, ice cream, and coffee.

Most important meal of the day

At the Podium branch (which has both an indoor and al fresco dining space), I ordered three dishes fit for breakfast or brunch – the bestsellers from each category of the breakfast meals they offer. I waited for about 20 minutes in total for all of my orders to arrive, including a cup of my go-to flat white coffee.

FLAT WHITE COFFEE. Photo by Cheska Lingad/Rappler

The flat white coffee is on the bitter side, which I like, but you can always ask for sugar.

I first had a bite of the Ricotta Peach Mango Toast (P295). It’s a huge slice of soft homemade brioche, with a generous spread of crumbly homemade Yuzu (Japanese citrus) ricotta, mango jam, peach brûlée, and hints of candied lemon and ginger.

RICOTTA PEACH MANNGO TOAST. Photo by Cheska Lingad/Rappler

It has a good balance of flavors: the rich and creamy ricotta blends well with the tanginess of the fruits. If you’re looking for something that’s simple and fresh on the palate yet still filling, this is a good option. This toast is also priced reasonably for its fairly big size, but it’s probably best not to share if this is all you’re having.

Next I had the Strawberry Yuzu Waffle (P350). The homemade Belgian waffle has a crisp surface but a soft center. It’s topped with a strawberry compote and sourdough streusel, with Hokkaido cream and maple syrup served on the side.

STRAWBERRY WAFFLE. Photo by Cheska Lingad/Rappler

The waffle has a neutral taste, which helps to highlight the slight sourness of the strawberry compote, and the sourdough streusel reminds me of cheesecake crumbs, adding layers of sweetness to the dish together with the Hokkaido cream and syrup. It feels like having dessert for breakfast, so it’s great if you prefer to have a sweet bite to eat in the morning like me.

The Crab Croquette Eggs Benny (P550) was the last dish I tried. It consists of a crunchy-on-the-outside yet creamy-on-the-inside crab cake, with perfectly runny poached eggs and a smooth hollandaise sauce seasoned with paprika and Furikake on top of a toasted english muffin.

CRAB CROQUETTE EGGS BENNY. Photo by Cheska Lingad/Rappler

This was a combination that I’ve never tried before, but I grew to like the varying flavors and textures from every component. They all combine well together to create a savory breakfast.

Note that the servings per order are only good for one person, so it’s best to visit when you have the budget to spare for a light breakfast. You might want to order two dishes if you’re used to heavy breakfasts. Overall, with the reasonable waiting time and welcoming ambiance, I’d happily get up early every once in a while to make it to enjoy a tasty breakfast.

Elephant Grounds is open on Mondays to Sundays at Lower Ground, One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (7 am-10 pm), and at G/F, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City (8 am-10 pm). –

Cheska Lingad is a Rappler intern.

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