If you’re a fan of unique interiors and delicious coffee, the Ruined Project in Tagaytay should definitely be on your radar. This flagship store for The Coffee Project – a popular homegrown coffee chain in the Philippines located in the Crosswinds luxury development. The Ruined Project might not look like your typical coffee shop at first glance but trust me, it’s worth checking out.
Why the Unconventional Name?
You might be wondering where the name “Ruined Project” comes from. The team behind this café initially believed that their project would be ruined due to the challenges of the pandemic. However, they decided to persevere and eventually opened the doors to this one-of-a-kind café. The café is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the potential to find beauty in even the darkest of times.
Ruined Project: Embracing the Chaos
The Ruined Project was inspired by Manuel Villar Jr., the owner of The Coffee Project and a self-made businessman. He challenged his team to be creative and innovative and to find beauty in ruin. At first glance, this café appears unfinished with exposed ceilings, rough walls, and missing windows.
View this post on Instagram
But as you explore the space, you’ll start to notice the little details that make it special. Live plants decorate the ceiling and unfinished murals and stamps add to the shop’s mysterious atmosphere. Wide windows offer breathtaking views of 35,000 pine trees. Plus, the open doorway invites you in with the naturally nippy breeze of Tagaytay. It’s a chaotic vibe with so much beauty in it.
Café Fare with a Twist
This café is not just a visually appealing location. It’s a fully functional coffee shop with a menu that offers a twist on classic café fare. You can enjoy brick-oven pizzas, jalapeno burgers, and desserts served on skillets. And for those perfect Tagaytay moments, you can warm up with a Ghirardelli Carmelo hot chocolate or go for a healthier option with Yoga Yogurt drinks.
But sadly, I wasn’t able to personally taste the dishes on the Ruined Project menu at this location that day. Before sharing my experience, I want to emphasize that this review is not a paid advertisement. It is based on my own opinions and experiences from my visits last December 2022 and early January 2023. This review belongs to Kat&Beyond and has not been influenced (n0r paid) by anyone.
What time does the Ruined Project Open?
The Ruined Project is open from 7:00am – 9:00pm Monday to Thursday (weekdays). 7:00am – 10:00pm Friday to Sunday (weekends). Pets, solicitation and outside and drinks are not allowed. Wi-Fi is FREE!
My Experience at the Ruined Project in Tagaytay
Back in December 2022 my friends and I decided to take a road trip to Tagaytay for a small get-together to enjoy the cold weather and scenery. Along Aguinaldo Highway, the traffic was already horrible. There were just way too many cars but, it was the holidays so we expected it.
Earlier that day, everyone agreed to just go to Crosswinds. In spite of the traffic, we headed there. The first restaurant café that caught my attention is the Ruined Project. It is absolutely gorgeous! and their concept is perfect for the weather in Tagaytay.
View this post on Instagram
We arrived around 8:00am. There weren’t really much people so we took some time to walk around, take pictures and enjoy the scenery. But the moment we got hungry and decided to go back to eat, the place was packed in span for 30 mins! good thing, we still managed to find a table.
Their breakfast menu includes typical items with a unique twist (i think). We selected what we wanted to eat and waited in the cashier’s line for about 15 minutes just for her to tell us that the dishes we wanted to order were not available. Plus, the wait time for food and coffee was at least 45 minutes!
I was shattered! (if only you can see the dismay on my face) haha and told myself, I ain’t gonna pay this much for this type of dish and for this amount of wait time. Then, I decided to ask “what about coffee?” oof… same thing! I saw the lots of cups lined up myself. We just silently walked away and left Ruined Project.
Sorry for the photo quality. I never planned to post their menu. Since I refuse to wear my glasses outside, I just had to take a photo that day so I can read it clearly on my phone. Yes, that’s how long the line was! 🤪
I couldn’t move of from the fact that I wasn’t able to sit down and actually eat in this really nice restaurant café. So, we went back January 2023 thinking that the holiday is over there shouldn’t be much people yes? We headed there, no traffic, the trip was pleasant and all. But when we arrived – it’s flocked! again! and that’s strike 2!
We didn’t even bother to go down. We just turned our cars around and headed to the exit. Mind you, you need to have your parking ticket validated by any restaurants inside Crosswinds. If not, you have to pay a flat fee of 100.00Php. I simply told kuya guard that we didn’t go down because it was just way too many people and that convinced him not to charge us the parking fee. Hey! we were literally, less than 5 mins.
A Friendly Tip Before Visiting Ruined Project in Tagaytay
If you don’t mind dining in an extremely crowded place, then this tip may not apply to you. But for me and in my opinion, the ambiance of this restaurant is enchanting and I prefer dining in with fewer people so I can fully enjoy the scenery while eating. I feel more relaxed while sipping my coffee in a less crowded and quieter setting.
View this post on Instagram
However, I think it’s unlikely to be less crowded on weekends and during holidays as it’s a popular spot and many people would want to spend their time there. If you prefer a more relaxed dining experience like I do, I recommend visiting during weekdays. I understand that this may not be possible for everyone due to work schedules, but I am fortunate that mine is flexible.
I plan to visit The Ruined Project for a third time to finally be able to sit eat and enjoy my coffee in peace. They say third time’s the charm, right?
Uncovering the Truth: Will the Food Live Up to the Stunning Ambiance?
I am marking this blog as incomplete! I’ll have to swing by again to check if the food is as good as the place looks. Maybe it’s all just a big hype? We’ll see soon enough.