Brunch in the Afternoon: Exchange Alley Coffee House (Molito, Alabang)

I love brunch food. The one-two punch of being from the South and a late riser pretty much guaranteed that I would never have my brunch fix, at least not without some planning and effort. This always frustrated me. Fortunately, that’s slowly starting to change, with restaurants of all sorts realizing that there’s a market for food down South. There are now maybe a handful of places I’d hit for brunch. I’ll list those in a future post, but for now, let me tell you about today’s discovery: Exchange Alley Coffee House (EACH) in Molito.

EACH is, first and foremost, a coffee place. It’s from the same guy behind Magnum Opus in BF Parañaque. I don’t drink coffee, so I know nothing about it, but if you’re interested in specialty coffee, that alone might be good enough reason for you to give EACH a try.

The food menu is short but sweet: a few small/medium-plate options (toasts) and a few big-plate options (hearty breakfasts), plus a few cakes and sweets on display. That I was interested in pretty much everything tells you that the food items, though few, were well chosen. [I’m now kicking myself for not having taken a photo of the menu behind the order counter. Noob. But I know I’ll be back at EACH before too long, and I’ll update this post then.]

I had the avo toast with egg, and Roger had the bangers and mash plus a cappuccino.

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Avo toast with egg, Php180

The avo toast is a slice of sourdough bread topped with avocado plus your choice of prosciutto, smoked salmon, or poached egg. I’d normally go for the prosciutto or salmon (I love cured/smoked stuff), but since I had way too much sodium yesterday, I figured I’d cut back a little today. So I went for the egg, and I didn’t regret it. It was perfectly cooked, and once I cut it open, the runny yolk filled the valleys between avocado chunks and spilled over onto the plate, to be mopped up by the sourdough before each bite.

It wasn’t quite perfect. The sourdough was on the hard side, and while some might like it that way, I prefer mine still firm but a tad chewy. The avocado, strangely, didn’t taste as avocado-y as I thought–perhaps it could’ve used a little more seasoning and citrus to bring out its natural flavor. I tried squeezing the lemon wedge onto the toast, but no juice came out, so I guess it was just a garnish. Still, it was pretty good. The flavor and texture of the egg went well with the creamy avocado and hard sourdough, delivering a fresh, wholesome, filling breakfast.

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Bangers and mash, Php 420 // Cappuccino, Php130

The bangers and mash is 4 breakfast sausages and mashed potato with onion gravy. The sausage was beautifully browned and delicious–mildly savory, with the barest tinge of breakfast-syrup sweetness. The onion gravy was likewise mildly flavored, barely salted, tasting of sweet onions, not overpowering. The mashed potato was very smooth and milky. Some might like it that way, but it’s not so much my style. I prefer it a little coarser, with a little less dairy and a little more salt. Overall, it was quite a mild-flavored plate, making for a very filling breakfast without being cloying, salty, or oily.

The cappuccino, according to Roger, was good, less smooth and more bitter than the usual, and came in a small serving. That said, he’s not too particular about coffee, as long as it isn’t cheap bad coffee.

VERDICT: A much-needed quality all-day breakfast/brunch place in Alabang. A little on the pricey side, more for a weekend brunch treat, not so much for everyday. Certainly worth a try if you’re from the South or happen to be in the area, though I wouldn’t make the trip down South just for this and nothing else.

*Some photos by Roger.

Exchange Alley Coffee House (open Mon-Sun; according to Zomato, 9am-11pm; according to the EACH Instagram, 12pm-11pm for soft opening)
Molito, Madrigal cor. Commerce Av., Alabang
Instagram: @eac.h

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