Buku Buku Kafe

UG/F SM Southmall, Alabang-Zapote Rd., Almanza Uno, Las Piñas, Metro Manila

Buku Buku Kafe
4.4
4.5 Stars

10 Reviewers

  • 5 stars 4
  • 4 stars 6
  • 3 stars 0
  • 2 stars 0
  • 1 star 0
  • 11 Reviews
  • 20 Recommend
  • 10 Reviewers
Category:
Café
Business Hours
Reopens: 10:00a - 9:00p
Phone
+6328054632

Hours

  • Sunday
    • 10:00a - 9:00p
  • Monday
    • 10:00a - 9:00p
  • Tuesday
    • 10:00a - 9:00p
  • Wednesday
    • 10:00a - 9:00p
  • Thursday
    • 10:00a - 9:00p
  • Friday
    • 10:00a - 10:00p
  • Saturday
    • 10:00a - 10:00p

Payment Options

Cash, MasterCard, Visa

More Business Info

Parking:
Parking Lot
Reservations:
Yes
Menus:
Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert
Waiter Service:
Yes
Attire:
Casual
Good for Groups:
Yes

Most Recent Reviews

Mae A.
4.0 Stars
10

That quote is such a nice reminder to really LIVE. And this cafe was really nice to boot. I have been meaning to visit this but it’s quite a distance from where I live. Since I was in the area that time, I took the chance to drop by. I liked how when I step foot, it seemed that I was transported to a different place. I wish its entrance wasn’t open though. I could still hear the sounds of the mall. Aside from it’s very picturesque book-filled ceiling, there were many books that one could read. They also featured items to sell from local businesses. But for now, it's time for the food!

Fried Fish Sambal (P149) - Opted for a rice dish since I didn’t have my lunch yet. I liked the sauce in this as it did bring in that much needed heat. The fish pieces were fried well. I didn’t get that greasy feel. I wish it had more sauce though.
Kopi Cham (P89) - That drink was a mix of black tea, coffee and sweet milk. To get a full flavor, I had mine served hot. Its taste was okay though I find the tea to be overpowering than the coffee part.

Champorado de Suman (P185) - I had time to spare so I decided to get one of their desserts. Their Champorado de Suman, which was a chocolate version of a suman, piqued me. I was told that the serving was good for one but when it was landed on my table, it’s good for sharing. I didn’t even finish it. Its taste didn’t astound me much. I found the mango to be an odd addition. It came with some coconut sauce but the suman pieces were drizzled with chocolate. It’s something that can be skipped at this cafe.

This cafe reminded me of those neighborhood cafes in Singapore. Those hidden ones that you’d have to search your way to. I wish the location of this was like that. But I guess it was okay to be in a mall. I still had a good me time here for a few hours. Their food was reasonably priced and quite okay. Service was good too. Good for groups or those intimate moments, you could have an okay time too at this cafe.

  • No. of Comments: 2
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Eboy D.
4.0 Stars
3

It was a holiday and even at 1:30pm, the place was packed. A good sign in my opinion. Staff was quick to welcome us when we reached the entrance, there's a Kids play area in front of the restaurant so if you're seated outside, the noise level can get too loud. The place has that outdoor graffiti charm, books and magazines hanging from the ceiling. My initial order of Buku Burger was not available, so i settled for a Chicken Wings Rice Bowl and Pad Thai. The Noodles was savory, filled with Chicken and eggs. There was no shrimps, made me a bit sad. The Chicken Wings was really small but the sauce was flavorful and Spicy. It came with a Light ranch dressing. Service was friendly, nothing out of the extraordinary. Recommended.

  • No. of Comments: 3
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SouthKid o.
5.0 Stars
7

My mom loved the food and my dad loved the interiors 128525 Definitely a must try! Buku buku offers various kinds of food that you cannot resist ordering more and more. We ordered their nachos with sisig (mom was challenged to try this at home 128517), Vegan Quesadillas (dad was reminded of his Middle east days), Espresso Brownie, Ginumis (their own vesion of halo-halo) and Cheerleaders Cocoa (strawberry coffee based drink with whip and cherry on top). Very affordable and cozy place to have merienda after a long walk at #Southmall on a Sunday afternoon 10084

  • No. of Comments: 10
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Vinny L.
5.0 Stars
5

Siblings Nico and Jessica Santiago have a mission: Bring the northern food and pop culture crazes to the south.

And the duo, with the help and support of their parents, has accomplished just that after establishing two book cafés on their turf, the first in Cavite, and, just recently, in SM Southmall in Las Piñas.

“It was a chance to give what we knew the south wanted,” Jessica said. “Not just the food but the indie scene—we wanted to bring what’s monopolized up north down south.”

The southern café prides itself with a menu dominated by Filipino and Southeast Asian fusion dishes. Offering casual dining, it presents comfort food favorites with some ingenious, if not local, twists.

And in a space full of art, books and good food—which doubles as a venue for expression and exploration for creatives—what is there not to love?

Buku-Buku Kafe makes you fall in love at first sight (yes, it exists). Potted plants and geometric displays sit on top of wooden tables accompanied by mismatched metal chairs. It has the typical relaxed chic and comfy look most suburban diners nowadays flaunt.

But what really catches your attention is their book chandelier—the mesmerizing combination of lightbulb fixtures and old textbooks that hang on the café’s ceiling.

Their walls are adorned by different murals as well as black-and-white vintage photographs. Although we feel sorry for the murder of a precious book, my favorite wall was the one plastered with yellowing book pages.

A good number of books, independent zines and comics have also found a home in Buku-Buku Kafe, which means “many, many books” in Bahasa. The name itself serves as an open invitation for bookworms to pick up (or bring) a book and grab a bite.

While the resto-café is known for its book chandelier, its menu has the equally popular Sisig Nachos on it. Those who have tried dining in Buku-Buku would recommend this genius local twist to a usual favorite—and I'm no exception.

Sisig bits replace the traditional ground meat for a more sinful and indulgent start to a meal. The melt-in-your-mouth meat and tortilla chips are enveloped in a creamy blend of cheese and mayonnaise, and drizzled with the zest of calamansi.

If there’s a lesson other restaurants could learn from Buku-Buku, it is this: First impressions count and the first bite often determines the dining experience. The Sisig Nachos immediately leave a good first impression, and an addictive one at that.

If you’re looking for a healthier start to the meal, try the Smokey Caesar. It’s a fresh and simple toss of romaine lettuce, arugula leaves, cherry tomatoes and grated parmesan paired with smoked Chicken Satay and a hefty serving of Caesar dressing. It’s tempting for those on a diet because the salad is a filling meal on its own.

Vegetarians can go for Tofu Sliders.

Don’t leave without trying the Isaw Fries either (“It’s our own version of Potato Corner,” Nico boasted). The street food favorite is deep-fried to a crisp before it’s dusted with cheese, barbecue and sour cream flavors. Its availability is often limited, so order it when you can.

Buku-Buku serves up hawker-style roast chicken with a Filipino twist. The spices and ingredients of the classic adobo are used in innovating on a foolproof Chinese delicacy.

The white meat of the Asian Fried Chicken Adobo has a subtle peppery soy and garlic taste, but what truly makes the dish adobo-inspired is its serving of liver paté. You’d want to smother your chicken in the savory meat paste that has a tarty hint of vinegar similar to adobo sauce.

The meal can be ordered in quarter, half and whole chicken proportions. It even comes with flavorful yang chow fried rice, but we wish it was partnered with the simple sinangag instead, as the carbs tend to steal the show from the dish’s main character.

Everything is simply made better with chocolate.

At Buku-Buku, the Flat Tops S’mores is a dessert no-brainer, and lives up to its name because you’re bound to bring home some more. You just definitely have to save space for it.

This dessert perfection is freshly torched when ordered, with Flat Tops chocolate sitting on melted marshmallow fluff over layers of moist brownie crust and graham crumble.

It’s a mud pie and revel bar hybrid embellished with childhood treats—marshmallow and Flat Tops—that bring back sweet memories.

There’s a macaroon cake as well, nicknamed “couple cake,” which is dense and heavy yet decadently moist. It has a buttery flavor, and laced with a generous amount of desiccated coconut.

Layered and enveloped in cream cheese frosting, the dessert reminds us of the British teatime sponge cake called lamington; it even has the signature lemony aroma.

Don’t forget to pair your sweet treats with a cup of joe—because what’s a café visit without taking in some caffeine, right? Buku-Buku offers Barako Mocha, a barako blend made sweeter with tablea chocolate.

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AAA M.
5.0 Stars
7

Instagram and calorie worthy! This place is much better of as a restau and not to be considered "just a cafe"! Everything was good and I enjoyed what we had. Love the batchoy the most! A little strong on sodium or msg though so ready your h2o haha definitely a good choice when in southmall!

  • No. of Comments: 4
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Ivy R.
4.0 Stars

This Southeast Asian fusion restaurant is lost among the bigger and more renowned restaurants in SM Southmall's restaurant row, but this is really worth a visit. They have a well thought out menu and for dinner, I tried their all-day breakfast offering, Big Man's breakfast, which is a big serving of favorites. It was a good plate of food, and my only complaint is that it is a tad bit on the sweet side. The Hungarian Sausage, which is supposed to be spicy, is on the sweet side, and their toast is also sweet. Despite of that, it was a satisfying meal all around. The Barako coffee is the perfect pairing to this meal.

  • No. of Comments: 2
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Steff S.
5.0 Stars

Been craving for Buku-Buku's Flat Tops Bar for quite some time now, it's driving me crazy! Who would've thought a simple local chocolate candy can be made into this delicious masterpiece?! It's a lovely fusion of s'mores and your homemade brownie. Highly recommended for all dessert-lovers! 10084

  • No. of Comments: 4
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Alija Fideli Mae S.
4.0 Stars

Tried pesto bicolano and its worth a try! 128536128076🏻 and their lychee mint juice is very refreshing.

  • No. of Comments: 3
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Steff S.
5.0 Stars
3

This cafe is a hidden gem inside the ever-crowded Southmall.10024 I forgot to take a photo of the Flat Tops bar (ate it as appetizer haha) but it's definitely a must-try! And the Coconut Cake, so heavenly! So for the rest of what we ordered:

Double Stuffed Omelette - 11088110881108811088
Soft and yummy! The parmesan gave the omelette a nice salty flavor.

Sisig Nachos - 110881108811088
My mom and brother loved this one but I can't appreciate it that much because it's meat and the cheese wasn't as cheesy as I wanted (tasted more like cream)

Pad Thai - 11088110881108811088
The noodles lack the distinct pad thai flavor I was looking for and I found it a little dry. The topping made up for it though, complete with the fried egg. I love that it was also spicy. 🌶

  • No. of Comments: 1
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Madz P.
4.0 Stars

Loved Buku-Buku Kafe's Irish Coffee, and... their table mats! Great idea to recycle old magazines. 128077🏼

  • No. of Comments: 0
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Just H.
4.0 Stars
4

Who doesn't love Free Food? 128517

Buku Buku Kafe is a mix of Asian cuisine serving Sisig, Nasi Goreng, Pad Thai, etc, etc... They also have local books for reading (naman!) and a few selection of board games like a Chess and a French trivia game, looks fun kung marunong lang kami mag-French, LOL.

Moving on to chibog...

Triple Cooked Chicken Wings: chicken wings blanched, baked and fried to a crisp and served with creamy Sriracha dip. We liked it! Not salty, a bit spicy, sakto lang sa panlasa (imo). Did not checked kung may beer sila. 127866

Pad Thai: Sweet and spicy noodles with a mix of, veggies, mushroom, shrimp, and a whole lot more. Not a fan, so I'm not going to comment on this one.

Price: could be reasonable, only if the service is better. Wait staffs are all hiding in the back or out in front. But I like the ambiance, will definitely give it a second chance! 128521

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