Marikina is gaining more and more notoriety as a hotspot for hole-in-the-wall restos that serve delicious and affordable fare. My recent visit brought me to the fairly hidden Qizia Cafe located in SDS Medical Center Compound, Katipunan Extension corner Pio Del Pilar Street, Concepcion Dos. Why fairly hidden? It’s in the parking lot of a medical center, so it’s easy to drive past it and not know that it’s been there all along. If you ARE aware that it exists, you’re likely to marvel at how it always seems to be full, complete with wait list.
Qizia Cafe, Marikina
Packed on a Saturday night
In the last ten days, I’ve probably visited three times. Instead of boring you with a story, however, I’ll show you photos of all the things we’ve ordered instead:
Pumpkin Soup = I’ve ordered this the most, and I notice that it’s heavy on the nutmeg sometimes. Otherwise, it’s well-seasoned and yummy. Less than PHP 100, if I remember correctly.
Seafood Chowder = The typical Pinoy version of bouillabaisse
Carbonara = Tasty because it was flavored with a little wine. Carbonara in Philippine restaurants are hit or miss, and this is a hit.
Creamy Cheese Pasta = White Sauce, red sauce, sausage slices (the real deal), garlic, and plenty of cheese. Dee-licious. I’ve ordered this about four times.
Salpicao = Viand-to-rice-ratio is fair, and the beef is acceptably tender.
Crispy Bacon Pizza = Crispy BACON. ‘Nuff said.
Grilled Chicken Pizza = If you like your corn and carrots and you want something with a light flavor, order this.
Pepperoni Pizza = The pepperoni is the generic type. Don’t expect something from a deli.
Cheese Pizza = It’s cheese on cheese on cheese.
Hawaiian Pizza = Loved this because of the healthy scattering of ham and pineapple.
Please note that the pizzas have a tortilla-like crust rather the authentic Italian paper-thin crust, so don’t expect to be transported to Naples.
Pork Belly = Not a fan, so I’m not going to say too much. Tenderness was so-so, but flavor was good.
Banana Cream Pie and Brazo de Mercedes = Love the crust on the banana cream pie. The cream used was lightly flavored, so it wasn’t vomit-inducingly rich. The brazo is defined by its yema, and I have to say that the yema on this one doesn’t disappoint.
The best part? Each dish is priced less than PHP 200! I consider the serving sizes to be generous, since one plate of anything is legitimately a full-meal. Go grab your favorite comfort food from Qizia Cafe, but you gotta be willing to wait in line to get a table.