Snacks & Ladders is a board game restaurant, the first of its kind to open on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City.
The concept: ditch smartphones and WiFi, and bring out the good ol' fashion board games. For P150, you can play anything in the restaurant, which has over 350 board games that range from nostalgic (Monopoly) to modern era (Games of Thrones). They were carefully chosen by the 23-year-old owner, Louie Lao. He says some of them were even bought abroad.
"Back in October 2015, we only had a few board games available in the restaurant. After a few months, I went to States and purchased more there. Some of them are personal collections of my family," says Lao.
"I also regularly check the Top 100 [board] games list online. When I find something interesting, we try the game. When we enjoy it, we buy one for Snacks & Ladders."
Here are two of their most recommended games:
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
You will need strategic planning and tactical use of cards to win. Alliances are crucial, so is knowing when to break them. Your closest allies often can be your worst enemies. You’ll need two to five other players to play the game.
Lay out an array of numbered cards on the table then distribute a second set of matching cards face down among the players. Pick one of the cards on the table that doesn’t match a card in your hand. The player who has this card in hand must discreetly wink at you in order to let you know. Get caught and you'll lose a point.
They have staff, called "Game Guides," who will teach and explain to you the mechanics of the games in case you find yourself lost. You can easily identify them: They're the ones wearing an S&L jacket.
If you find yourself bored with the board games, you can rent their karaoke spot (it's in the cupboard under the stairs—Harry Potter fans will like that reference.) For only P100 per hour, you can enjoy a great song selection.
And because it's a restaurant, there's no way that the place is all about games. They also have an extensive menu of food and drinks prepared by Chef Marge Soliman.
"Marge [has been] my best friend since high school. She took up Culinary Arts in De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. I came up to her and discussed my ideas about the restaurant. Before we opened, we had taste tests so we'll be able to serve the best dishes to our customers. Now she’s in charge of the kitchen and the menu," Lao said.
Here are some must-tries when you visit the café:
Jenga Cheesesticks (P129)
Buster's Hotdog Poppers (P100)
Chix It Poppers (P100)
Twisturon Con Chocolate (P159)
Tocinoko Torpedo (P169)
Arroz Ala Coupbana (P149)
Crispy Pork Takaidobo (P149)
Your meal wouldn't be complete without a drink. Pair it with a Strawberry Banana Ice Scrabble (P110), Gotcha Mocha Hansel (P115), Banana Bohnanza Chocnut (P115), or Rack-offee Sago't Gulaman (P110).
Snacks & Ladders is located in 188 Maginhawa, Quezon City. For more information, message them on Facebook.
Photography Mark Jesalva