Native Cakes Over Coffee at Cafe Quezon - Maginhawa

Caramel pilipit.

When the pastries you see in the shelf feel old for you, then it must be time to try something new. Why not go local and have native cakes instead with your coffee? 

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Useful Tidbits:
Location: 179 Maginhawa, Diliman, Lungsod Quezon, Kalakhang Maynila
Budget: PhP 150-200 per head
Ambiance: Filipiniana-ish; a good, quiet spot to pound the keys of your laptop
Business Hours: 0930 am to 0930 pm, Mondays to Saturdays 
Parking: roadside parking

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During one of the recent holidays, one of our good friends called for an emergency lunch hangout since it was already 2:00 in the afternoon and he hasn't eaten lunch!

So we headed on to Maginhawa street, our go-to food strip, with no resto in mind. We were really just like tourists, pointing a dart on the map and heading to where it hits. 

We were basically attracted to Cafe Quezon on face value. Its facade looks quite presentable and from the cars parked outside, a pretty substantial number of people ate there. So we went inside.

The Cafe Quezon Menu
 




What we had:
Iced Chocolate served in a mason jar.



The iced chocolate is neatly poured in a mason jar topped with a straw. It was sugary sweet and at times reminds you of your childhood pacifier - Ovaltine. A treat nevertheless.


Quezon Crispy Tapa.







The Quezon crispy tapa is from their All-day breakfast menu. The tapa itself is deep-fried pork that was true to its namesake - crispy, but flossy and dry. It has a bit of grease when you take a bite at it. A glass of iced tea goes with it, which was thoughtfully home brewed and sweet.


Brewed coffee.

Caramel pilipit.


The caramel pilipit is the cafe's bestseller. Practically tastes like karyoka (cassava with young coconut). It is crunchy in the outside and soft in the inside. Caramel sauce is good but it would have tasted better had they used latik or coconut-and-sugar mixture.


Fried Suman.

Fried suman is like your traditional suman na malagkit (sticky rice pudding) rolled in a lumpia wrapper and deep fried. Chocolate sauce is drizzled in small amounts. This also could use a bit more of the latik or thicker coconut-sugar sauce. Both desserts are nicely plated with fresh banana leaves. 

Fresh off their inventory shelf

They also sell Quezon delicacies here.
They likewise sell native delicacies from Quezon province here - coconut vinegar, coloured nachos, kiping. Worth-noting is the kiping which is actually a rice-based edible wafer shaped like a thin leaf. 

Coloured nachos.

Coconut vinegar.

The kiping of Lucban, Quezon.

The kiping is a festival centerpiece for the locals of Lucban, Quezon during the feast of San Isidro as thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. These are shaped in ornate and colorful chandeliers which they hang outside their houses, like the one below. 

Grabbed from www.tripkolang.com.
The Filipiniana-ish ambiance

The ambiance is quiet and conducive to studying and working on your laptop. Be ready for a laptop power charge of PhP 50 flat rate.
 
They also offer cakes to go with your coffee. Worth trying is the nutella cheesecake!

Noteworthy are the subtle references to old Filipiniana in their interior design. What with stain glasses, wooden tables and benches shaped in antique fashion.

Stained glass wall pieces.



Look at those chairs. Faithful to the antique theme. Earthy yet modern.

Wooden tables and chairs woodcarved to give that old Filipiniana regalia. 


If you've lived away from the Philippines, or if a friend of yours does, and you have been craving for Filipino rice cakes over coffee, it is best to take them here. I was also told you can rent out the whole venue for functions. A pancit habhab (stir-fried noodles) and native rice cakes party, why not?

Eating here celebrates Filipino native food that does not hurt on the pocket. I give my experience here 3 caramel-instead-of-latik drizzled native cakes out of a possible 5. 

Visit Cafe Quezon at 179 Maginhawa, Diliman, Lungsod Quezon, Kalakhang Maynila. You may call them at(02) 928 8534.
 

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