da.u.de (da-you-deh) tea lounge and secret menu

Update 12/9/14: da.u.de BGC is now closed and moved to SM Aura Food Hall. 

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da.u.de, pronounced as da – you – deh, is the first tea lounge in Manila by Renée Sebastian, the 1st Certified Tea Master™ in the Philippines. The tea lounge gets its name from the frontal cloth of the bahag worn by tribes in the Cordilleras, usually adorned with a tribal mark.

It all started in New York City where Renée was selling in New York’s Upper West Side Sunday Market for 8 years. She decided to go back to Manila and set up shop in Salcedo Market and Mercato Centrale @ BGC as test markets.

Finally, she opened her dream tea lounge and partnered with the talented Chef Ramon Antonio to offer yummy, tea-infused food. 🙂

We tried da.u.de and here’s our experience…

Related blog posts:

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See da.u.de signature teas and da.u.de tea wares

da.u.de is for lovers of tea. Try Renée’s signature tea blends and other different products:

da.u.de tea lounge-41.jpgda.u.de menu
tea master list 
specialty blends  
kids menu 

Being a New Yorker, she likes items that one cannot find on the menu but can be ordered by those in-the-know. I’ll share the secret menu tips in this post. 🙂

secret menu tip #1: tea master service
You can request for a tea master to do your tea service:
  • Korean
  • Chinese Gaiwan
  • Yixing
  • Japanese Cast Iron
  • British 

The tea master will personally control the brew and give the customer a full tea experience from nose to taste buds.

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Oftentimes, people mistake it as just another bubble tea place. Some can’t even believe that a Filipino could create a global brand like da.u.de and be proud to be based in Manila.

You’ve got to try the food at da.u.de — tea lounge soft opening menufood | dessert | drinks

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The best place to reserve is the corner sofa table below these wall piercings. Take the time to read some scribbles on the customer signature wall for fans of da.u.de.

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★ crisp pork banh mi (P340). crispy sisig, tea and sriracha, vegetable slaw, banh mi bun.

The Banh Mi was highly recommended. We loved the roasted taste of the tea-infused pork because it was so soft and tasty. It would make a good lunch meal that can also be eaten on-the-go.

secret menu tip#2: hand-rolled pizzas 
You can also order hand-rolled pizzas upon request (done fresh and upon order; about 30 minutes):
  • roasted vegetable and feta pizza
  • pepperoni and cheese pizza
  • mushroom and cheese pizza
  • breakfast pizza ala eggs benedict

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★ mushroom & mascarpone pasta (P390). wild mushrooms, lemon mascarpone, cream, casarrecce.

One of the best pasta combinations we’ve tasted here in Manila. We particularly liked the lemon mascarpone — good for foodies of all ages!

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★ roast pork pho (P240 for two). spiced tea broth, rice noodles, herbs, roast pork.

This dish uses the same roasted pork but is served with noodles and a spicy, tea-based soup. Order this if you are looking for the best value for money because it’s delicious and priced well.

secret menu tip#3: roast pork with rice

The roast pork was so good! I think it’s best paired with rice instead of noodles or bread. You can order it as a rice topping, upon request.

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We also loved the combination of sauces (hoisin, chili and soy sauce) served on the side.

da.u.de tea lounge-11.jpgbeef rendang  (P350). spiced tea braised beef rendang with jasmine’d jasmine rice.

This is the only item we did not like because the rendang sauce was a bit too tangy, and we were looking for a fuller, more marinated flavor from the beef.

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tea brulee (P150). lemonada-infused creme brulee, fresh seasonal berries, cinnamon cigar.

We tried their tea-infused brulee. It was good, but we couldn’t taste the difference made by the tea.

We recommend ending your meal with da.u.de’s signature teas instead.

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★ lemon thirst quencher (16 oz – P120). lemongrass tea, pandanus jelly.

Bubble tea drinkers would love this cold tea drink with jelly.

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★ nuts for mangga (16 oz. – P120)mangga tea-peanut butter smoothie, chocolate, vanilla ice cream.

Our kids loved the mango-peanut butter-chocolate-vanilla flavor combination. 

Tip: order your drinks in da.u.de’s signature paper cups

One of the interesting things about da.u.de is that they can serve their drinks in their signature paper cup, paper cover and, yes, with paper straws!

The cup comes in a 16 oz.-size only, though (versus the 20 oz.-glass).

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For coffee drinkers, I would recommend their coffee bean-infused tea combination.

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★ macchiato (20 oz.-P160)any couture milk tea, caramel.

It is best served cold, and you can order additional toppings not included in the menu.

secret menu tip #4: add-ons for teas
cacao cimmaron sago
coconut green tea sago
lavender sago
pandan jelly
almond lychee jelly
skala jelly (this is a berry)
tea foam of the day
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Every aspect of the restaurant was well-conceived, including the bill, which came in a tea book for kids.

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Here’s a souvenir pic of our three makukulit boys with Renée Sebastian, the Philippines’ first Certified Tea Master™, for our photo collection. 🙂

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Overall, we loved the signature tea drink combinations concocted by Renée, and the tea-infused roast pork dishes by Chef Ramon Antonio. We could really tell just how much passion and love went into achieving the tea lounge look and feel — even in the little details, like tea books, secret menu, and all-paper cups/straws.

Budget about P500/head for a complete food and tea experience.

I want to try the Tea Master Service next time. 🙂

da.u.de (da-you-deh) tea lounge
g/f net lima building 4th ave. & 26th st. bgc taguig 1634
web: we.lovedaude.com
like: facebook.com/daudetea
follow: @lovedaude
email: hello@lovedaude.com
telephone:  +632 854-4187 
mobile: +63 922 846-3268

operating hours:
monday to thursday: 8:00 am – 12:00 am
friday to saturday: 8:00 am – 2:00 am

★ – highly recommended

related blog posts:


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Full Disclosure: Our meals were courtesy of our friend Renée Sebastian, an original Mercato Centrale pioneer vendor.

P.S. Check out her signature Herbal Black Gel non-drying Herbal Body Wash from Activated Charcoal used as the soap in the toilet. We want to buy one. 🙂

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P.P.S. They are on soft opening so they only accept cash at the moment.

10 thoughts on “da.u.de (da-you-deh) tea lounge and secret menu

  1. Im a New Yorker and i dont like secret menus. Why is the paper cup and straw part of the secret menu? Secret packaging?? And why is it consided a global brand? Are there store outside the Philippines?

  2. Hi. This is Renee. Thanks for your feedback. The paper cup, straws, and paper lids I designed are not part of my secret menu. da.u.de started with a small shop stall in NYC and the SF Bay company is still in existence today. Thanks.

  3. Wow! Congratulations, da.u.de! Very happy that you have a branch in Manila. Can’t wait to go there!
    P.S. Happy birthday, Anton!

  4. We went Monday and the kitchen staff (which consists of 2 people I think??) were clearly overwhelmed. It took them 1 hour and 15 minutes to serve our food. We actually saw them start cooking our food only about 45 minutes after they took our order. The kitchen is the one cooking the food, preparing the drinks, and I believe dishwashing as well, as they couldn’t get dishes out fast enough. The sad part is that the food may have been good on a slow day but per our experience, it wasn’t. Thus not-so-good food + long wait = don’t think we’ll be back.

  5. I have to agree with “R” regarding the service. I went on Thursday (August 30) at about 12:30pm.
    I sat outside as the inside was packed. I ordered the Pho and a iced matcha green tea. The tea came out about 5-10 minutes after my order (12:40pm).
    At 12:45pm, my server came out to say that my food (pho) would take about 5-10 minutes more. At 1:00pm, still no food (already 30 minutes have passed). I see a table of two inside, who arrived after me by about 10 minutes, already being served their lunch (both had ordered sandwiches).
    The waiter comes back out at 1:05pm to tell me that my food will be ready in another 10 mins…I told him that he informed be 20 minutes ago that my food will be out in 5-10 and now he is telling me I have to wait another 10 minutes?!?!
    1:15pm comes up (10 minutes have passed) and there is still no food. My food finally arrived at 1:25 (arrived at 12:30 so waiting 55 minutes for a bowl of soup). The waiter provides a bowl with the ingredients and the soup/tea is in a tea pot. The server begins to pour the tea into my bowl but he tilts the pot too far and the soup/tea starts pouring out of the top spilling onto the table…
    Even though I did enjoy the soup, the service was terrible. As it is only soft opening, I hope that it picks up soon. There were even people outside with me complaining of not being served and wanting to move to the next restaurant (Wildflour cafe) but it was full.
    Although I am sure a steady flow of customers will go to this restaurant due to its location, I am also positive that there will be people who go there and not return due to the poor service.

  6. wow M you waited for an hour for your food?! i would have walked out. thats one of my pet peeves…slow service. i noticed that in manila people are more patient to wait for their food….noooo stand up and complain!

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