RESTAURANT REVIEW: Rendezvous with Quality

Ingrid Chan , Asst. Photo Editor

Located in Chino Hills, Rendezvous Cafe blends two cultures by offering its customers a variety of both French and Chinese pastries, in addition to more typical selections of sandwiches, paninis, coffee, and tea—all of which are within a $3 to $10 price range.

Outfitted with dark wood walls and matching furniture, the cafe has a sleek, polished ambiance. The store’s many glass windows make the interior seem spacious, allowing plenty of natural light to filter in and giving customers an opportunity to enjoy the scenery outside. The secluded corner where the cafe is located gives it a very relaxing quality, making it an ideal spot for customers who want to work or study peacefully. Not only does the cafe possess a calming atmosphere, but it also has great service.

Because my mother and I arrived during the early evening, there were only a few people inside, and we were served quickly after ordering. However, what I appreciated the most was the staff’s friendliness and generosity. They immediately greeted us, asking us to sit wherever we wanted to. One of the owners also personally described a variety of the dishes on the menu and gave us plenty of recommendations.

I ordered a Chicken Pesto Panini Combo with a side of salad for $8.99, while my mother decided on a plate of Liege Belgian Waffles and berries for $5.99. We shared a small Matcha Tea Latte for $3.75. Though the cost was a bit too pricey for me, the quality of the food and the pleasantly tranquil ambiance completely made up for it.  I was even more delighted by the fact that Rendezvous Cafe gives a 10 percent student discount when you show them your school ID card.

The chicken panini provided a generous amount of pesto and chicken, as well as a great deal of savory, melted cheese holding the sandwich together. I was especially happy with how hot the sandwich was served, as it oozed with cheesy goodness. The panini bread not only had the ideal amount of crunch on the outside, but also possessed a deliciously soft interior that gave character to every bite. Complete with a slightly zesty dressing, the side of salad perfectly complemented the hearty chicken dish. The lighter, more refreshing course was a great way to cleanse my palate after chewing through the greasier sandwich

Topped with whipped cream, a variety of berries and a drizzling of chocolate sauce, the Belgian Waffle was also very satisfying.  Though crunchier than I expected, the waffles had a very consistent texture all the way through. I do wish the inside of the waffle was softer in order to better contrast the crunchy exterior, but the taste stood out more than the lack of chewiness. I appreciated how the whipped cream and chocolate sauce weren’t overdone; instead of being completely smothered in cream and other sugary toppings, the dish was just the right amount of sweet.

The Matcha Tea Latte, on the other hand, was a new experience for me. Although I’ve tried a handful of other tea lattes before, this one stood out the most. Instead of the usual, lightly bitter flavor I’ve become accustomed to, this Matcha Tea Latte had a strikingly rich taste. It was a mixture of hot milk, cream and green tea with a dusting of matcha powder on top.

Despite the strong taste of cream, the flavor of green tea still came through nicely with its mildly bitter tang. Served hot in a cute, white-handled cup, I felt the need to order more even after I finished all of it. Regrettably, I had ordered the small instead of the regular.

Rendezvous Cafe is undoubtedly among one of the better cafes I have visited. The prices are reasonable compared to other cafes of the same quality, and I was very pleased by the exceptionally hospitable staff and the quality of their food—both of which warrant a visit from anyone who needs a good place to relax.