Lola Cafe + Bar in Sct Lozano, Quezon City
During our recent ninja-like visit to Manila, Paul and I agreed that we will try to spend every meal with our families. So, aside from celebrating Papa's birthday and being E's "accomplices" to Pan's surprise engagement, Paul also wanted to treat both families out for an advance blow-out for his upcoming birthday! Of course, he left the responsibility of choosing the restaurants on my hands. No complains here! I happily took out my growing Evernote list and went through it to choose which restaurant would best suit my family's discerning taste.
I chose Lola Cafe + Bar in Quezon City. I've been hearing quite a lot of raves from fellow bloggers and friends about this homey cafe-bar located within the maze-like Scout area and luckily, Kuya M has such amazing sense of direction that he quickly found the restaurant with ease.
Mommy helped us in ordering and since we were feeling quite hungry already, our meal began with a huge platter of Veggie Hummus (Php. 150). Served with a generous amount of crunchy pita bread (or I'd call it pita chips), this is a cool twist to the traditional hummus as this has a stronger eggplant taste and the pita bread has a very familiar taste which we're all dying to identify. Pretty good and it surely passed my healthy-eating Mommy's taste.
I also got the Camembert Cheese (Php. 350) which is deep-fried and topped with caramelized onions and crostini bread. It was just a-okay as I would have preferred the cheese to be baked instead and to have more caramelized onions which will surely give the dish a nice sweet flavor in contrast to the salty cheese. I honestly was expecting more from this dish given the expensive price tag.
As for our soup, we all had the Pumpkin Soup (Php. 90) which was good! Creamy pumpkin soup topped with bacon. I guess I've mentioned it before how picky I can be with pumpkin soup as not a lot were good enough to rival my #1 favorite at C. Recently I had a good one here in Singapore and I'm happy to share that Lola Cafe's version was also pretty good. Creamy and rich, just the way I love it.
We went there for lunch so the place was quite empty making it so easy for us to secure a long table for our party of 8. How I wish though that the long table was at the ground floor as it was quite a challenge for my grandparents to go up and down.
Moving on to our mains, we ordered quite a lot for several reasons: we're starving, Paul and I missed a lot of Pinoy food, we're starving, the dishes listed on the menu sounded oh-so-good, we're really starving. Haha! Well folks, you all know what happens when one is starving and is tasked to do the ordering right? No regrets though as our plates were pretty much emptied out at the end of the meal.
Here's what we got:
Home made longganisa rice wrapped in omelette topped with aioli sauce and onion gravy
This got everyone's thumbs-up simply because we didn't expect the longganisa rice to be so flavorful and the addition of the sliced salted egg and tomatoes was really a nice touch. I liked this very much!
Spicy and creamy dish of taro leaves, ground pork cooked in coconut milk
This was obviously Pan's request as she loves laing very much. What made this different from all the hundred laings that my family has tried in the past is that this one had a good mix of veggie and meat. The slight spicy kick made this dish even more interesting.
Fish, shrimp, squid and mussels slow cooked in basil tomato sauce
Another one of Mommy's choice! We all enjoyed the comforting taste of fresh seafood cooked in rich tomato sauce. Since we are all not fond of mussels, we asked that they remove this and replace it with something else. I'm glad that Lola was flexible enough to accommodate our request and instead we got more fish and shrimps which were really yummy.
Mixed Filipino vegetable dish, topped with crispy chicharon
This is probably the only this that I didn't like. Sadly, we chose this because both Paul and I were craving for good ol' Pinakbet but this one was so bland and boring that it paled miserably compared to all the other rich-flavored dishes that were on the table. The chicharon was too big to be enjoyed that we wondered if the chef just threw this in at the last minute. Skipping this next time.
Traditional savory Filipino chicken adobo, cooked with Balsamic Vinegar
Flavor-wise, this dish was okay. While I would have preferred to have more sauce enough for me to drizzle onto my rice, the taste was spot on which was good. However, wish they gave us better chicken pieces or made the cut smaller. Majority of the pieces were white meat which would have been perfect for white meat lovers but our family prefers chicken thighs and drumstick any given day. I'm glad though that the chicken meat was tender making it quite enjoyable nonetheless.
Pan-seared chicken half, coated in rosemary herbs, served with rice.
Quite similar to our adobo where it was predominantly white meat. I wasn't able to try this anymore as I was so full after trying all the dishes mentioned above.
Over-all our dining experience at Lola was good, with a few hits and misses, I wouldn't mind a 2nd visit in the near future. For one thing, I'll go back for the Omurice and the Mixed Seafood Stew as well! Yum!
Lola Cafe + Bar is located at 99 Scout Lozano street, Quezon City. Call them at 501-2620.