Nespresso opens first boutique in the Philippines
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I’m not a coffee drinker but when I first saw the Nespresso boutique at the IFC in Hong Kong in 2011, I really wish I did.
Last September, Nespresso Philippines gifted me with my own machine, which I opened very recently. It makes me happy to have one in the house for my friends.
I quickly bought a transparent case shaped like a Nespresso capsule because presentation is everything.


When Nespresso formally opened its first legit boutique at the Power Plant Mall this month, what my friend Grace and I wanted to know was whether Nespresso global ambassador George Clooney would make an appearance.
Well, not exactly, but he at least appears on the store front.

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

The opening of the boutique in the Philippines is the latest of its new openings in Asia, which now has a total of nine markets.
Occupying a 140 square-meter space, the new Nespresso boutique highlights a wide range of coffee beans from around the world.

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

“We are delighted to expand and reinforce our partnership with Novateur (the company that brought Nespresso to our shores) in B2C (Business to Consumer), while accelerating the existing OOH(Out of Home) business. We look forward to sharing more inspiring Nespresso coffee moments with coffee enthusiasts in Philippines in home and out of home,” said Renaud Tinel, Nespresso-Head of Asia, during his welcoming remarks.

Nespresso Head of Asia Renaud Tinel
Nespresso Head of Asia Renaud Tinel

The boutique has dark wood interiors. There are separate Tasting Area, Machine Gallery and Accessories Collection. The colorful Coffee Wall of boxed capsules—a global design feature—is very Instagrammable.

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

“Nespresso speaks of passion, premium quality and innovation, and is a highly regarded global brand. In the past, Filipinos could only enjoy Nespresso on their trips abroad. But now we bring your favorite coffee closer to you,” said Patrick Pesengco, Managing Director of Novateur Coffee Concepts Inc. “Through this boutique, we hope to introduce you to a world of unique coffee experiences.”

L-R: Power Plant Mall Senior Leasing Manager Tin Coqueiro, Novateur Coffee Concepts Managing Director Patrick Pesengco, Nespresso Head of Asia Renaud Tinel, Nestle Philippines CEO Jacque Reber and Swiss Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Mathias Domenig

Aside from Nespresso’s top-of-the line coffee machines and premium coffee collection, coffee drinkers and Nespresso fans can go to the Tasting Bar where they can try the different Nespresso coffee varieties and recipes. There are baristas to help shoppers choose which among the 24 Nespresso Grand Crus to get.
“There’s a whole range of options for different preferences, moods and tastes,” said Tinel.

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

Also present during the launch were Nespresso officials, including Regional Head of B2C Commercial Lai Ching Kok, Asia E-Commerce Director Aurelie Batmalle, Regional Marketing Manager Eliz Tan, Regional Sales and Marketing Executive Pei Hua Koh and Regional TQM Manager Simon Gigandet.
They were joined by media guests and Nespresso lovers, like actress Angel Aquino

Angel Aquino

Jonty Cruz, Chief Editor of Rogue Magazine

Jonty Cruz

Novateur Coffee Concepts Marketing Head Melissa Valdez and Nespresso fan, celebrity Marc Nelson

Novateur Coffee Concepts Marketing Head Melissa Valdez and Marc Nelson

If you’re wondering what happens to the aluminum Nespresso capsules, they are recycled. Nespresso’s global program encourages customers to return used capsules to the boutique. The coffee grounds are reused for fertilizer while the old capsules smelted and repackaged.
The Nespresso Boutique is located at R1, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City.
You may also order your capsules online from with free delivery when you spend Php3,000 or more.

VATOS Korean/Mexican-American restaurant opens in BGC
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When Vatos Urban Tacos first opened in Seoul in 2011, the lines were so long that the wait sometimes lasted for three hours.
Even CNN called Vatos “a near miracle” in Seoul because of the perfect combination of Korean and Mexican cuisine. The restaurant has three locations in Korea now and two in Singapore.
Vatos finally opened last January 2018 in the Philippines, at the Net Park Building, 5th Avenue in BGC.

Vatos BGC

My sister Diday is the Philippine business partner of Vatos. She and her husband Leo discovered the restaurant in Singapore, where two of their children live.
We sat down with Shinhan Sid Kim, one of three Korean-American co-founders of Vatos, who explained how Korean-Mexican fusion isn’t actually strange and how the two cuisines are similar.

Vatos BGC

“I grew up in California where my father owned an appliance store and he had some Mexican employees. My father would bring his Korean lunch prepared by my mother and the employees would bring their lunch, too. They’d share their lunches. I grew up eating kimchi with almost anything, including tacos, burritos and other Mexican food.”

Copy of Vatos food table

Koreans and Mexicans both like wrapping their food. Koreans eat meat wrapped in vegetable leaves while Mexicans have their tortillas and taco shells. Both nationalities love chilies.

Lunch Set table

Vatos’ first location was a dilapidated building in Itaewon, Seoul. The interiors were hip and trendy, with lighting coming from different angles—but nothing too bright or too white. The walls are red bricks that seem to be falling apart. The tables have reworked faucets on the side where you can also hang your bags.

Vatos BGC

“Vatos has been designed as a place where people can eat, drink and chill. The interior have to be awesome but the food has to be even more so, because people won’t come back if the place is cool but the food is bad,” said Sid.
The look for Vatos’ interiors is the same, whether you’re in Seoul, Singapore or Manila.

Vatos BGC

Among their bestsellers are Carnitas Kimchi Fries, or fries covered with braised pork carnitas, sautéed kimchi and melted cheese with sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro and onions as toppings.
Sid said the dish was inspired by two Korean dishes—Gamja-tang or pork spine stew, which is cooked with potatoes, and samgyeopsal or grilled pork belly, which is enjoyed with kimchi.

kimchi carnitas fries

The Honey Tequila Chicken Wings is Vatos’ version of the popular Korean fried chicken. Chicken wings are coated in sweet and spicy tequila sauce and served with battered jalapenos and blue cheese dipping sauce.

Copy of honey tequila chicken wings

The Wagyu Galbi Short Rib Tacos are marinated short ribs, ssamjang aioli, Asian slaw, cilantro, chopped onions and roasted sesame seeds.
Vatos has a full menu that includes tacos, quesadillas, salads, burritos and burrito bowls. They even have a dessert of Nutella Tacos topped with vanilla ice cream.


Definitely worth mentioning are the drinks and cocktails at Vatos.
There are Vatos’ Ritas (they’re served with an inverted beer bottle), Authentic Margaritas, Frozen Margaritas, Makgeolitas (tequila with makgeolli, a rice wine) and local and imported beers.

Vatos drinks

Vatos is not a bar nor is it only a restaurant.
“One thing about Vatos is that it caters to all kinds of people. We get young people, families with children and even grandparents,” said Sid.

Vatos Urban Tacos is at Net Park Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
For more information, call 246-9069 local 186 or follow them on Instagram @vatosphilippines.