Time spent with pets is never time wasted, which is why we at Coconuts Manila did not think twice about trying out the new Paw Club Philippines with our furry best friends.
The Paw Club Philippines opened late last month as a pet-friendly establishment with a cafe, grooming salon, and pet hotel.
Upon entering, guests are greeted with a small shop that sells toys, treats, and beds for dogs.
There are two areas for the cafe’s diners — on the left, tables for those without pets (sad!), while on the right is an off-leash area where doggos can run around, play, and sniff each other’s butts with absolute freedom.
Out back, there’s an outdoor area for customers who want some fresh air. There’s also a playpen where dogs and their owners can challenge themselves with a mini obstacle course.
The Paw Club’s grooming area is right next to the indoor off-leash area and doubles as a hotel where pets can stay for an extended period while their owners are out-of-town.
Those who plan to leave their pets in the hotel have to “check-in” with packaged food prepared for the days that the dog (or cat!) will be staying here.
This service costs PHP50 (US$0.9) per hour, while an overnight (24-hour) stay is priced at PHP600 (US$11.22) per day.
Apart from checking out the facilities, we also tried some of the cafe’s menu items: The Paw Club Chicken Pops (PHP195/US$3.65), Glazed Pork Ribs (PHP365/US$6.83), Spaghetti Carbonara (PHP245/US$4.58), the Rainbow Fruitshake (PHP185/US$3.46) and for dessert, the Strawberries and Cream Mochi Waffles (PHP275/US$5.15).
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to taste test their Paw Club Cheesecake (PHP 280/US$5.24), the French bulldog-shaped cake that’s recently gotten its fair share of social media spotlight — alas, the cafe only serves limited quantities of it each day, and we were too late to get an order in on our visit.
That might have turned out for the better, though — because we would probably get too emotional cutting through this adorable thing:
We did get to try those Paw Club Chicken Pops, though, which were cooked to a golden brown crisp. It was served with the right blend of salt and pepper, with just a hint of spice. Good, but way too little to sustain our group of four.
The garlic aioli dip was nice — but, it was served in a tiny saucer, and we had to ask the staff to refill it for us twice.
Props to them for making their Spaghetti Carbonara the right way — this one was definitely made with egg yolk and parmesan cheese, rather than the shortcut that many restaurants serving the dish tend to take: using cream (blegh). Even so, we found the pasta to be on the bland side, even with the bits of bacon sprinkled on top. The garlic bread on the side was nice, though — buttery, fragrant, and just slightly sweet.
The Glazed Pork Ribs was the standout of the meal — it was made of honey, ginger, and soy sauce, which created a well-balanced mix of flavors.
On to the Rainbow Fruitshake. It didn’t look anything like a rainbow: The greenness from the avocado prevailed in both look and taste, leaving the purple dragonfruit component almost unnoticeable.
To finish, we had the Strawberries and Cream Mochi Waffles, which was excellent. It had mochi balls inside a warm waffle, and was covered in whipped cream, strawberries, and maple syrup. The combination of flavors had a sweet lingering taste and a chewy consistency thanks to the mochi.
Coconuts Manila spoke with one of the owners (who prefers to keep her identity anonymous), and who explained that her motivation for opening Paw Club Philippines was to create a place for owners to bond with their “furbabies” indoors instead of needing to go to a park anytime they wanted to hang out outside of the home.
She added that though there are some dog cafes in the country, you can’t really connect with your pet there: “There are plenty of dog cafes here [in the Philippines], but you can’t really bring your own pet to those,” she said.
She added that they dedicated a menu specifically for pets that dine with their hoomans, adding that they didn’t limit the selection to dry food as what other pet cafes do.
There are specialty pet-safe cakes (pupcakes; ranging from PHP45-650/US$0.84-12.15), treats and coolers (biscuits and puppuccinos; ranging from PHP65-135/US$1.22-2.53), and pet entrees (ranging from PHP75-295/US$1.40-5.52) where dogs can enjoy some beef meatballs with okra and gravy (PHP150/US$2.80), or a pan-roasted salmon (PHP295/US$5.52), among others.
The food is served to the dogs on a clean white plate (not in a bowl) for a full dining experience.
The owner said that some animals have spent weeks with them since the pet hotel opened, and that staff members take these pets out regularly to give them the opportunity to interact with fellow pets at the off-leash area.
She said that there was once a dog who was hostile whenever it approached fellow canines but eventually learned to interact better. On its third week in the hotel, the dog became more open, started enjoying the off-leash play area, and even made friends with both people and dogs.
Bringing your dog to the cafe is a bit of a daunting experience. We know, because we tried it: We had two pups, and found that it was difficult to clean after them whenever they spilled a bowl full of water or had to go number one or number two.
However, it was all worth it after seeing them play with other dogs and sleeping soundly in the car after a fun night out.
Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City