Food & Drink

Last Kiss: 23-Year-Old UP Diliman Institution The Chocolate Kiss Bids Farewell

The UP Diliman favorite was witness to many memories over the years.
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The Chocolate Kiss Café, a casual dining outlet inside the University of the Philippines in Diliman, is closing its doors after 23 years.

In a note on its official website, owner Ina Flores Pahati, the daughter of one of the café's co-founders, said the café has always relied on high volume to sustain operations. And then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“The losses already incurred since the start of ECQ, and the prospect of not being able to operate at full capacity for an indeterminable period, has led to this difficult decision,” she wrote. 

Located at the university's Bahay ng Alumni, The Chocolate Kiss served not just students of the university, but outsiders who were won over by its cakes, pastries and savory treats. It was a popular dating place for many teens and twentysomethings, a barkada hangout, and even family get-togethers.

“It would bustle with activity, holding witness to instructors on their lunch-out, students celebrating milestones, sweaty joggers fresh from a run, workshop and bible study groups, or friends just sipping iced tea all afternoon long,” Pahati write. “Every now and then we’d spot UP’s popular personalities and VIPs, then later, celebrities, government officials and other public figures.

“It always amused us how a couple all tidied-up for a date would be in the same dining room as folks (who just lived around the corner) dressed in their pambahay and tsinelas,” she added. “People felt comfortable to come as they were, and we loved how it was that way.”

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Pahati said the restaurant will continue cooking items on its menu for customer order and pick-up until Sunday, August 23. After that, only its famous cakes, such as Devil’s Food Cake and Dayap Chiffon Cake will be available.

“We are deeply grateful for all the customers who have shown their support for The Chocolate Kiss Café for many years,” Pahati said. “Thank you for trusting us to be part of your lives’ special, as well as everyday moments. Thank you for gifting our cakes to your teacher, best friend, or crush. Thank you for inviting your loved ones over, even if they considered a drive to Quezon City a field trip! You brought our dining room to life. What a blessing indeed to be warmly embraced by the UP community.”

 

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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