It’s Christmas every day at Cafe Claus

Ken Chan and business partner Ryan Kolton

It’s not surprising that actor Ken Chan got into the food business. He took up tourism and hotel and restaurant management at De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde before he became a full-time actor.

“It’s a pity because I was a graduating student when I stopped but I really couldn’t continue especially since we needed to go abroad for our practicum,” said Ken, who likes to cook and counts roast chicken and pasta as his specialties.

Ken and his business partner Ryan Kolton recently opened Cafe Claus, the first Christmas-themed restaurant in the Philippines at Tandang Sora in Quezon City.

Kolton, who is Cafe Claus’ CEO, said the conceptualization and planning for Cafe Claus took all of three years.

The first Cafe Claus is located near Ken’s residence. The place may not be on the usual restaurant row in Quezon City but Ken and Ryan chose it because former grew up in the area and wanted to share it with those who have practically seen him grow up.

Kolton said their vision for Cafe Claus is a “home away from home.”

“No matter what happens outside, no matter how down you feel, whenever you come through our doors, you can be comforted by the things that remind you of home.”

At the entrance are garlands and warm lights. On one side of Cafe Claus is a Christmas tree that’s decorated with ornaments, some of which personally belong to Ken and his family. Behind that is a book shelf that’s not just for aesthetics, as the books are for sale. There’s a mock fireplace with stockings, too.

Everything in the cafe—from the green couch seats, plates and décor—is Christmas-inspired.

One of Cafe Claus’ specialties is the roasted chicken—called Roasting on an Open Fire—a recipe Kolton inherited from his grandmother, who inherited it from her grandmother.

Among the dishes we tried and enjoyed are the beef lasagna (Uriel’s Love), chicken pot pie (Gertrude’s Christmas), mushroom soup (Myrrh), shrimp poppers (Pere Noel) and spinach dip with crostini (Sinter Klaas).

We also had the Gingerbread Macadamia Latte, enjoying its sweet, slightly spicy and nutty taste. We were pleasantly surprised that the coffee came in a Cafe Claus-branded plastic cup with drawings of icicles and Christmas trees.

Their cakes and pastries are also worth trying. We loved the bibingka cheesecake.

Ken and Ryan have big plans for Cafe Claus’ future. For one, they’re opening two more branches in the first quarter of 2022 (Eastwood in Libis and Promenade in Greenhills). By the end of the year, if things go according to plan, there will be six Cafe Claus branches including a hotel and café concept in Antipolo and a farm concept in Tagaytay.

Bibingka cheesecake

Image credits: Juliana Maxine Vasquez


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