This Southeast Asian-Inspired Café Is For All The Creatives Out There!
Indie musicians and local artists often lack an avenue for their talents but located in the South is a crafty restaurant where these talents can take their own spotlight, the Buku-Buku Kafé.
Buku-Buku Kafé is a restaurant-cafe for bookworms, creatives, artists, and food lovers. It is ran by indie comics writer Jessica Santiago together with her family. “Buku-Buku” directly means ‘many books’ in Malaysia, where Jessica’s dad is currently based.
This also explains the Malaysian-inspired fares on the menu. They offer a variety of flavorful dishes that fuses different Southeast Asian cuisines together—adjusted for the Filipino palate.
One of the must-tries is the Buku-Buku’s Pad Thai (P279). It is a sweet and sour stir-fried noodle topped with a sunny side egg and sautéed seafood and vegetables. The Sisig Nachos (P379) is also a must-try staple that is best-shared with friends and family.
The restaurant-café is all about supporting independent artists and musicians. Buku-Buku Kafé has a mini store on the side where they highlight independently-made comics, postcards, zines and artworks. They also hold open-mic night sessions and workshops on certain occasions that delve on calligraphy, watercolor, writing and comics.
“We really want to be a space where these artists can feel like they can be heard. They want to showcase their works but it’s hard to get an audience or get in that mainstream crowd. So we try to tell the artists that Buku-Buku Kafé is here where they can start,” adds Jessica.
Buku-Buku Kafe’s interiors were crafted by Jessica’s mom who is a design enthusiast. The café features murals and artworks commissioned from local artists, mostly also living in the area. Most of the furniture in the restaurant are made from recycled wood constructed by local artist Joaquin Talan.
“We’re starting grassroots. So it’s not just the food that we’re building here. It’s also the community. We want the people to feel that if they wanna be creative, they can go here, and we can grow together,” concludes Jessica.
Visit Buku-Buku Kafé located at Upper Ground Level SM Southmall, Almanza Uno, Las Pinas. Follow them on Instagram @buku.bukukafe