We love trying different cuisines and socializing with friends. Dining out is hence an indulgence and an essential part of our weekend getaway. In Marikina, I’ve observed that there’s no shortage of good restaurants that promise both great ambiance and food. Café Lidia is noted as one of the spotlights for impressive style whether the occasion calls for casual or fine dining.

In this feature, we handpicked Café Lidia in Calumpang for dinner last June 7, 2014. Read through this post to decide if this restaurant is one that you would want to add to your wish list. 🙂

Review of Café Lidia (Calumpang, Marikina City)

Ambiance: ★★★☆

A steward in the local dining scene in Marikina, Café Lidia is like a spacious house affixed with calming vibes of old and wooden furniture. The interior is mixed with modern and traditional touches. Its walls are accented with bricks and horizontal lines, and the color gave a good complement to the patterned floor tiles. There are separate dining areas for those who want to have a family-style or big-group meals and also for those who come in smaller groups or a couple date.

Service: ★★★☆

Service was prompt and we didn’t have to wait long for our dishes to arrive. The waiter was knowledgeable about food offerings and was friendly to talk with. Food was nicely presented and landed on the table. The staff here didn’t disappoint.

Food: ★★★☆

We had gone for almost all Café Lidia’s signatures. As an appetizer, the Buffalo Wings (PhP 180/six pieces) were a classic done well. We enjoyed the savoriness of this simple comfort food. I’d recommend it with some reservations. It’s a nice palatable appetizer that could be better with some spice.

Sufficiently warmed up, we proceeded to the Pasta ala Lidia (PhP 160) with anchovies, salty and distinct olives, capers, tuna and tomatoes in olive oil.  I don’t always applaud pasta, but this platter was pretty solid and tasty. The pasta noodles were light and springy and the ingredients delivered brightness

The House Special Pizza (PhP 230/8 slices) made with pepperoni, ham, bacon, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and pineapples was not something I’d try again. The cheese didn’t taste high quality. 🙁 I consider a pizza really good if it exceeds the sum of its parts, but this one was wee bit tired. Nothing fresh and new about it.

The Seafood Rice (PhP 205) was quite like a typical bowl of paella rice. The green peas and bell peppers brought a tasty, balancing sweetness to the equation, and the egg exhibited a pleasant change to the overwhelming flavor of mixed seafood (shells, shrimps and squid rings).

The Beef Salpicao (PhP 225), served with garlic rice and salad, was not too tender and easy to chew. It’s not to die for, but I can bet that this version of beef salpicao is a dish that will always hit home for Filipinos.

With crackling skin, the Porchetta (PhP 230) is pork covered and wrapped in fatty pork. How awesome is that? 🙂 My friends say you can’t go wrong with this treat. The fatty belly had a portion rich in juices and its connective tissues ostensibly helped to keep the meat moist. It looked good but not enough to tempt me successfully.

The pounded chicken breast pan-fried and then smothered in a rich marsala mushroom pan sauce was wonderful. The dish is called Chicken Marsala (PhP 265), featured with mushroom sun-dried tomato and marsala wine served with mixed vegetables that you would be oohing and ahhing over.

Price for Value: ★★★☆

Prices are friendly on the wallet and overall food tastes are fair, so I see clearly why dining at this restaurant often requires a wait for a table. Still, I hope Café Lidia’s food entrees (at least these ones we’ve tried) would improve more. Having good ambiance and customer service, it has the potential to grow into another great foodie/culinary destination in Marikina.

Calderon Street, Calumpang, Marikina City, Metro Manila
For inquiries, call (02) 6477606
Date Published: 06/21/2014
14 / 20 stars

About 

An IT person by profession; Foodie by nature; Wushu athlete by training; Dancer by heart; Writer by passion; Hasn't met a piece of cake she didn't like 🙂

88 Responses

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I recommend the chicken marsala as it’s the one dish I’ve fallen in love with at Cafe Lidia. Make sure to order it when you’re there. 🙂

      Reply
  1. Franc Ramon

    The place looks really comfortable and refreshing. It would be nice to have your meal with such a refreshing ambiance there.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah the ambiance makes dining here a great deal. The food though was tad far from divine although you can also tell that a good amount of effort and artistry was put in each presented plate.

      Reply
  2. Jason Panuelos

    I’ve never been to Marikina since it’s so far away. 🙁 But Cafe Lidia looks so cozy and feels like a place that families can have a nice dinner out when they want to! 😀

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah it was actually my first time to dine in a restaurant in Marikina. Glad that it left me quite a good impression naman so I look forward to try out more food in this area.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      It sure does. The restaurant may not stand out on the outside, but once you walk in, you’ll feel quite relaxed and in the mood for some exceptional girl talk plus fine dining. 😛

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The decor and furnishings are elegant and intimate with a touch of minimalist accents. So yes, this place is pretty cool! I suggest you hunt for other pizza flavors because this one we’ve tried was not quite satisfactory.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      If inhaling deliciously Italian-inspired food sound cool to you, this is the place to check out. In the heart of downtown Marikina, Cafe Lidia looks good both inside and outside.

      Reply
  3. papaleng

    cool interior ambiance. The Porchetta is something for me to try. If ever magawi kami ng Marikina, then definitely I’ll visit the place.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Given the chance, I would want to be back and try more of their entrees and the dessert! Last time we were so full and our stomachs could not take in anymore food. No more room for sweets 🙁

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup, it’s a nice place to stop by when you don’t know where to eat in Marikina. For sure you would like at least one or a couple of entrees offered here.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah. Cafe Lidia may not be a good place to get pizza but various items on the menu seem palatable and this is enough reason for people to want to visit Cafe Lidia soon.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I think they will, too. 🙂 Cafe Lidia’s foods are kids-friendly although items are mostly for adults. Pastas and pizzas are among some that they may fancy.

      Reply
  4. Mindy

    Looks like a cozy little place! Thank God i am reading this while feeling nauseated and unwell so i don’t have the strength to drool or feel tempted to stuff my face hahaha

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      This restaurant has enough room for everyone. The dining areas are spacious, but I would still advise that you book for a reservation before going. 😀

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Those buffalo wings are a must-try! They are not hot though, unlike typical buffalo wings served in other restaurants. Adding mayonnaise makes it taste better.

      Reply
  5. Becka

    The atmosphere looks AMAZING I would love to even visit there. The waterfall! I love it. The food looks good too. 🙂

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup, I like the atmosphere here very much. It’s one of those places where you can spend time cherishing a romantic conversation with a special someone or celebrate any occasion with your family.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah, dining in that area in Cafe Lidia seems relaxing. The first floor has an array of cakes displayed at the counter area. You must see them and try a slice or two if you have a sweet tooth. 🙂

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The upshot is that the atmosphere is great, the staff is friendly and if you’re a fan of such foods, you’ll love it here. You’re welcome, Latonya. 😀

      Reply
  6. Maria Oller

    Wow I really want to visit the Philippines we had planned to go 2 years ago but life happens Manila sounds and looks like such a beautiful place

    Reply
  7. Jhady

    Everything looks good in my eyes. It will be better if I can really taste them. If I ever come to Marikina I will check this restaurant out.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Some of the dishes are really tasty, while others are only so-so. Then again, you’re right – everyone has his/her preference when it comes to food tastes. The best way to know if Cafe Lidia is a hit or miss is to check it out yourself. 😀

      Reply
  8. Karen of MrsLookingGood

    Have not heard of this restaurant, maybe because I rarely go to Marikina when I used to live in Manila.

    I agree, out of all the photos, it was the Chicken Marsala that caught my eye and you said it’s the best of all the dishes you ordered.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Cafe Lidia is a good place to have dinner. The first floor dining area was packed with people. I guess it has been long established itself as popular among locals and touring guests.

      Reply
  9. Francis

    The ambience looks more casual than fine dining..
    Which I think would be favorable, it seems that it is also well and well suited for group of people.
    I would want to try this place of course. 🙂

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      There are different areas in Cafe Lidia so the ambiance really depends on where you are seated inside. 🙂 There’s the cafe and the restaurant themes. In any case, both are favorable. 😀

      Reply

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