Marikina is more known as the shoe capital of the Philippines because of it’s continuously growing shoe industry. But aside from being the home of the largest pair of shoes, one of the first thing that comes up to people’s minds when talking about Marikina is the word “food trip”.
The food business in the city, as we can notice, is booming. But what you can see on Facebook and Instagram now is not yet half of their abundance of undiscovered and underrated restaurants, food hubs, and cafes that would definitely make your long drive (and long traffic) worth it!
We think we just discovered another hidden gem in San Roque, Marikina, when we learned about Cafe Amarela. The place is so nice, peaceful, cute, with all these displayed books and magazines and handwritten quotes on the walls. When we we’re dining at Cafe Amarela, the place reminded us of the place where we always want to be – home. And we’re still not talking about the food yet! With a sitting capacity of 70, this place is really a home for everyone who’s seeking for good food and great coffee.
It was just May 2018 when Chef Vergel Barcelon opened the Cafe, with just a normally brewed coffee. He grew up their menu with his own version of recipes inspired by their favorite dishes from around the world.
Team What To Eat has been to many places trying out usual and unique and original food around the Philippines. And we’re talking not just about the local, but foreign cuisines as well. And Cafe Amarela really impressed our sensitive taste buds, and made us love the place even more. Few of the dishes you should definitely try are the following:
Amarela Chicken Tenders (208php*) – served with two sauces, houseblended aioli and honey hickory BBQ sauce, these beer-battered chicken strips and shoestring fries started our dinner right.
Tuscan buttered Salmon (398php*) – a Norwegian salmon fillet, cream sauce with bacon, spinach, tomato, parmesan cheese, served with steamed rice. They have a trusted supplier of their salmon which guarantees it’s freshness. One factor why this dish is one of our most-loved.
Cuban Lechon Asado (258php*) – marinated in 24 hours and then baked for 4 hours, this shredded pork shoulder is a bomb. Sautéd with onions and topped with corn salsa and homemade garlic coriander sauce, served with tomato rice.
Portugese Chicken (258php*) peri-peri grilled quarter leg chicken served on tomato rice, and their house-blended oil based dips: salted egg salad, peri peri and basil sauce. Their sauces/dips are so good, they should bottle them up and offer for a take-away!
Beef Biryani (398php*) – just a new item in the menu. Spiced beef chunks, yogurt, ginger garlic paste, coriander, mint, papadum crackers, served with shallot rice. Among the biryanis we’ve tasted, this one stood out as it perfectly got the authentic flavour we didn’t expect from a Filipino Chef.
New Orleans Oyster Pasta (268php*) – poached oysters, garlic leek confit and spinach in cream sauce topped with tomatoes, parmesan cheese parsley and truffle oil. When you visit Cafe Amarela, do not skip this pasta. This dish gave justice to the words “best seller” and we would also want you to know why.
Vietnamese fried rice and Grilled pork chop (258php*) – saigon rice topped with grilled pork chop, poached egg and daikon. This is the best with their peri-peri sauce.
Pesto Cream Pene (228php*) – homemade pesto and bacon cream sauce topped with Italian meatballs (pork), sprinkled with parmesan cheese and basil oil. Another reason why we love pesto!
We also are thankful for Cafe Amerala for making us try their Isaw fries (128php*). Isaw is one of our favorite bar snacks. And unlike other fried isaw, this one’s perfectly crispy and not so oily. Plus, you don’t have to feel guilty for yourself as Cafe Amarela only use canola oil which is healthier than the ordinary oils we use.
And we will never forget the Choco Lava Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream (148php*). We at What To Eat love sweets and we take desserts very seriously. And when we say you “must try this”, we really think you must try this!
Cafe Amarela also is open for event and private celebration bookings. The whole place can accommodate a large size of 70-100 people.
Cafe Amarela is located at 69 Mayor Gil Fernando Avenue, San Roque, Marikina City, Metro Manila. View their full menu on Zomato (Cafe Amarela), and follow them on IG (@cafeamarela) and Facebook (Pier at Clawdaddy’s) for more details and updates!
This article first appeared on What to Eat Ph.