There’s a new egg drop in town at a newly opened café called the Corner Café and Deli on Sto. Domingo Avenue, Quezon City. It is owned and managed by brothers Yohann, Bryan and Calvin Chua.
The gentlemen are not new to the restaurant business. Their father, Frank, is behind Cornerstone, a company that has been providing quality tableware, food and beverage equipment to resorts, hotels and restaurants since 1971.
Their exposure, coupled with their childhood dream to one day own a café they could operate together, prodded them to look for a nice location, in a place they were familiar with (Banawe), with a menu that deviates from what is served around the area.
The Corner Cafe’s Egg Drop is the Chua boys‘ take on the popular Korean sandwich made with thick buttered toast, light fluffy eggs, a sweet sauce and just about anything you fancy to “sandwich.”
The brothers were roused to make their own rendition of it after seeing an instructional video online.
Watching how it is made and actually making it, they soon learned, were two totally different stories.
What seemed easy visually was actually technique-laden and tricky to replicate. Yohann, the brother with the food tech background, went to work. It took him tray after tray of eggs to achieve the airiness and fluffiness that pleased them.
The right bread
Getting the right kind of brioche again took them months, Calvin said. To make a good egg drop, it was essential that the bread be buttery with the right firmness to hold the filling and the sauce, without turning soggy. It was also equally crucial that the bread be soft to the touch and, of course, to the bite.
To achieve both, their brioche recipe went through a total makeover, particularly to suit the egg drop. Noteworthy is how it gets to you: intact, not soppy, and still so neatly packaged.
The couple of times we ordered, the vegetables were always fresh, the eggs delicate and the sandwich still warm.
My son Diego’s favorite is the Corner Signature Deli Drop with pastrami, forest ham, salami, egg, lettuce, tomato, cheese and their special sauce on brioche. Mine is the simple ham and egg sandwich, double stuffed with ham. There is a Beef Sukiyaki version that I have been wanting to try. There’s also bacon, and the classic egg.
The heart and soul of every café is good coffee, and Bryan is a coffee connoisseur who has set up his own roastery. He is so involved in the whole process that he sources the beans and picks out only the finest to roast himself. This way, their clients are guaranteed a “signature” taste that can only be had at Corner.
Aside from the usual favorites, they have a blended beverage made with coffee and matcha.
Calvin was quick to add that he’s pleased by how favorably their clients have received their drinks. When I asked for his personal recommendation from their coffee roster, he pointed to the Spanish latte for those who want to try something different. It is sweetened with condensed milk and—according to him—travels well, making it the perfect choice for takeaway.
Soy- and oat-based drinks
Aside from coffee, there’s Kinako Latte. It is a Japanese soy-based beverage made with toasted ground soy beans. Though powdered versions of it are available, at Corner Café, they’re proud to make their own from scratch. The beans are toasted and freshly ground.
Kinako Latte tastes like soy milk but with a deeper flavor and a nuttier finish. It makes for a healthy alternative for those who crave for something warm, other than coffee.
It doesn’t end there as the Chuas also make their own oat milk. Oat milk is Yohann’s specialty, a pandemic project that did so well.
It is traditionally made by blending oats in water. While this is perfectly adequate for home consumption, Yohann wanted to make something a bit more unique and special, so the oats are cooked. This additional step develops and deepens the flavor and brings out the natural sweetness of the oats.
I have tried oat milk before, and Corner’s rendition is refined and easy to drink. This is due to the several layers of filtration the liquid goes through to give it a smooth and creamy texture. It comes in classic, honey and chocolate flavors.
Indeed, the Corner Café is not just a beautiful edifice but a wonderful concept altogether. Calvin said they wanted their café at its core to be a place where people enjoy good coffee and good food—these and more, I believe, they’ve achieved!
Congratulations to Frank and his boys!
Follow @corner.cafedeli on Instagram; Corner Cafe + Deli on Facebook; Corner Café on Grab Food.
Follow @iamreggieaspiras on Instagram and Facebook; reggieaspiras.com