Last weekend, we stayed at a friend’s family rest house in Marikina overnight. For the most part, our bonding activities included playing fun board games such as Jenga, Guesstures, Pictogram, Taboo and Suspend Family Game and food tripping. We had dinner at CafΓ© Lidia, breakfast at Pan de Amerikana and lunch at Rustic Mornings by Isabelo.

Of the three, it was Rustic Mornings by Isabelo which I’ve always wanted to visit. In fact, it’s in my bookmarked list in Zomato. πŸ™‚ I’ve heard lots of great comments on Rustic Mornings’ surroundings and less on its food. Despite the rumored downside, I felt ecstatic when I learned that we’ll be dining in this “hidden gem” in Marikina the next day! Visiting this quaint and beautiful restaurant can be a lifetime’s worth of good memory. You can pretend otherwise, but I’m not going to. πŸ˜›

Review of Rustic Mornings by Isabelo (San Roque, Marikina City)

Ambiance: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

As expected through pictures posted online, the ambiance in Rustic Mornings by Isabelo is just perfect! It’s the perfect setting for a first date, romantic proposals, and any celebratory milestone or event that requires you to leave a nice impression on someone or something. The background music consisted of a playlist of evergreen songs from 70s to 80s. I reckon thus that anyone who’s born in those years would love to linger at Rustic Mornings to enjoy the music and reminisce their good past.

The theme of the restaurant explodes mostly with white and blue, which looked very serene and pleasing to the eyes. The pieces of furniture are unique with a consistent rustic feel.

The dining areas are separated into the outdoor garden and the air-conditioned room that’s best described as homey. Both areas are massively decorated with cute trinkets and interesting displays (china dishes, pretty silverware, vases, jars, etc.).

With chandeliers and lamps that illuminate and make the space more enchanting, you can trick your mind for a moment and feel like you’ve been warped through a downright fairyland-princess-rainbows-and-unicorn inspired extravaganza.

Note: Reservations are a must in Rustic Mornings by Isabelo.

Service: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

The service wasΒ fine but an improvement I can suggest is to make the staff look and present themselves in a more cheerful and welcoming way, to match the ambiance at least. When we first came in, I thought the indoor dining room would be anΒ almost blind spot since most waiters were outside, but there remained one staff who accommodated requests soΒ we did not have to go out or wait long.

Food: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†

We ordered Rustic Mornings’ best-selling Waffles, Buffalo Chicken Strips and Salad Served with Marinara Chipotle (PhP 250). The buffalo chicken strips were disappointing. The pieces tasted almost bland and not at all noteworthy. The greens were fine, but the best was really the waffles which came with the helping of creamy butter. The waffles were plush, soft with a texture closer to pancakes than our traditional crunchy breakfast waffles. They were steamy and served still warm.

Rustic Mornings offers three typesΒ of burritos: beef, chicken and fish. I preferred to order the fish of course but Louie wanted the Crunchy Beef Burrito (PhP 185). He wonβ€”and so two large cuts of beef burritos made into our loop for lunch. He said the burritos were delicious, and I respectfully disagreed. The burrito had rice and crispy beef bits jammed into a fried flour tortilla. I had imagined the flavor to be strong but it was not. The meat was not grilled to the point where you could taste the char; it was rather dry and that’s unacceptable.

As well, the flavor of Cheesy Chicken Fricasee (PhP 300) didn’t quite hit the note for me. With heavy cream, it came out to be literally too cheesyβ€”the type that you’d get easily grow tired of eating. In Filipino, this is what we call nakakaumay. So definitely, the bowl of “nakakaumay na dish” must be eaten with rice and shared by at least three people.

The next dish is a brunch staple: 3-Egg Cheese Omelet (PhP 240). It was made with three kinds of mushrooms (fresh button, portobello, shiitake) served with two slices of crunchy ciabatta bread, herbed butter and fruit jam. The taste wasn’t inventive but was good. I liked that the egg was set on the outside but still fluffy and pillowy on the inside.

Our friends had the following drinks, the sugar bombs which I deprive myself of: Vanilla Speculoos, Chocolate Milkshake and Super Sunrise (Pineapple, Orange, Strawberries, Red Grapes).

Price for Value: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†

In the end, based on the food alone, having a meal in Rustic Mornings can be a hit or a miss depending on what you order.Β Food prices were not wallet-busting but were okay considering the taste, presentation and the size of serving. When dining at Rustic Mornings by Isabelo in Marikina, it’s best not to let tight budgets mean tight belts. Think of it as buying the entire experience and you’ll love every mouthful. πŸ˜€

This was Louie’s birthday treat!

11 Isabelo Mendoza Street, San Roque, Marikina City, Metro Manila
For inquiries, call (02) 5106914, +63 9178146824
Date Published: 06/12/2014
15 / 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 πŸ™‚

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66 Responses

  1. Joy Felizardo

    I love, love, Isabelo’s! I’ve been meaning to try them, without any luck. Last time we went there, they weren’t accepting walk ins na kasi it’s past 4 pm for the Rustic Mornings, we weren’t able to call for reservations.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Ah yeah the Italian restaurant does not really accept walk-ins. Reservations are a must. πŸ˜€ We were supposed to have breakfast here actually but we went out late so the earliest time available was 1pm hence the late lunch.

      Reply
  2. stacy | Tsinoyfoodies.com

    Too bad the food failed to impress. Given the price, I thought the food would be extraordinary. So I guess, pan de amerikana is more bang for the buck eh? The ambiance there is competitive to this.

    Reply
  3. mr_jeng

    Hmmm I think its the ambiance that makes the place worth while… Hmmm But I got to agree with Stacy too… Pan De Amerikana is my place of choice if I am sooo out of money hehehe sooo affordable kasi hahahahaha πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh wow, I thought Rustic Mornings would appeal to more people because it’s more recommended by my friends. Pan De Amerikana didn’t ring a bell until that day we had breakfast. πŸ˜€ It’s a fine place as well indeed – great for pictorials!

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Ditto. I want to transform the interior design of our house and copy Rustic Mornings’. The place looks super lovely! It’s a long distance from home.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup. The three stars there should not deter you to visit Rustic Mornings. I still highly recommend this place to everyone. πŸ™‚ Walking in the decor and ambiance was warm and inviting. This carried over with the staff. I love that there are so many delicious menu options and so many of them were refreshing options.

      Reply
  4. Sandy Sandler

    Goodness what a beautiful place and a feast. I love your review and if I ever find my self in that area I will for sure go there. The drinks look refreshing, too!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks, Sandy! You definitely must try the food and drinks in this lovely ground. πŸ˜€ Your meal here hopefully would set the bar for the rest of your restaurant visits while you’re in Marikina.

      Reply
  5. Franc Ramon

    Happy Birthday Roch. I think Rustic Mornings sell more on the refreshing experience of the place though they should improve on the food and service part.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks, Franc! πŸ˜€ You’re right – that’s mostly what’s being said on this restaurant. Food was not entirely bad but it’s not just the main reason why you’ll visit once again.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      If Rustic Mornings would build a rest house across or beside it, I bet that many people would run to stay in and call for reservations quickly. The place is amazing, so why not, right? πŸ˜€

      Reply
  6. Ralff Dizon

    The Food looks delicious, and i think the place is awesome. I want to go there to feel what kind of ambiance is in that place.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      It really is awesome. Make sure to book your reservation before coming here. Expect that breakfast during Sundays would be packed with people because there’s a church nearby and people rush to a meal after the service/mass.

      Reply
  7. Ann BAcciaglia

    I would love to go there! I love the photo of the blue and white pottery. So pretty and I would like every piece.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The displays showcase somewhat a personal touch. There’s also a collection of branded perfume bottles in the kitchen-dining area to the comfort room inside. Quite a unique idea for restaurant decors. πŸ˜€

      Reply
  8. Rebecca Swenor

    The whole trip sounds and looks amazing. The food looks so good you can almost taste it. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks and you’re welcome, Rebecca! πŸ™‚ We had a fun and beautiful trip, thanks to the company of friends we tagged along with. It was a memorable dining experience.

      Reply
  9. sherlane

    I never been to Rustic Mornings by Isabelo. The ambiance is great if i will base it on your picture and the food looks delicious too. If i will go here, i wll keep in mind not to order Cheesy Chicken Fricasee because i also do not want “nakakaumay” foods.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Great thought. πŸ˜€ The menu has food pictures which may work up your appetite, but they should not be the sole basis on which to order. Probably what’s best is to ask the servers for the specialties or signature dishes. πŸ˜€

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks, Jhady. πŸ˜€ Go check this place out and don’t forget to bring a good camera to capture some mouth-watering food and rustic ambiance that’s very well-kept.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Wow! I think you’re the only one who mentioned about the plants. Yes, the plants here are groomed and maintained well. They make the outdoors look like a “secret” garden for lovers to enjoy. πŸ˜›

      Reply
  10. Francis Balgos

    Interesting.. I wonder if this place can accomodate a rowdy team.. I think I’ll bring my team here on the next available weekend.. Honestly, I hope you could include diving tip or map aside from the address. well, never mind, the openstreetmap would surely have this marked.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Rowdy? Haha check it out and feel free to tell me about your experience. Thanks for the suggestion but yeah, it only takes seconds to copy and paste the address to the maps browser to see the directions. πŸ˜€

      Reply
  11. Jonas Labagala

    Hmmm… The place is indeed homey but thinking twice about the food. It seemed unimpressive and failed to meet the expectations. I’ll take note of this. Thanks! πŸ˜€

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks and you’re welcome, Jonas. πŸ˜€ The ingredients of the food were of good quality. It’s just that the overall taste did not come out to be as delicious as we expected.

      Reply
  12. papaleng

    Kapag ganyan ba naman ang ambiance ng place eh ang sarap kumain. Ang cute ng sabit-sabit ng place. The 3 egg cheese omelet is something to try.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Hehe yup. I sometimes wonder which I’d go for: a restaurant with poor foor but very good ambiance or one that server very good ambiance but poor food. Oh well, until now I can’t decide. πŸ˜› Rustic Mornings naman has very good ambiance and fair food so okay pa rin to go here with your family. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  13. cococute life

    First of all I love how the place looks, it is really like having your breakfast at your own patio or outdoor ledge and the idea of using or recycling old things to decorate the whole place really made it look very unique, those wares are also very asian looking, maybe like china wares or porcelain wares. I can not tell much about the food until I tried them myself and all your photos are so great. THANK YOU FOR SHARING

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks for your comment, Nicole! The pieces of decorations were creatively assembled together from everywhere and I really commend the designer for such a fantastic job. πŸ˜€ It’s good to celebrate some special event here. You’re welcome!

      Reply
  14. Jason Panuelos

    I’ve never been to Marikina before but this place looks absolutely great! It looks almost like a beautiful place somewhere in Tagaytay! πŸ˜€

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh yeah. Marikina is very hot so I don’t know how people dining outside could stand the heat of the sun in this summer-y weather. When you plan to go, call first and make sure to ask for a table inside. πŸ˜€

      Reply
  15. Karen of MrsLookingGood

    What a gorgeous place! Would love to check this out next time I come to Manila. Thank you for the detailed review on the food so that I can set my expectations properly. Hope they read this so that they can improve their flavors.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      You’re welcome, Karen. I’m glad to share the nitty-gritty details because I also search for the same when I’m researching for restaurants to eat at. πŸ˜€ Yes, I hope that the management gets to read blogger reviews so they’ll know which to improve.

      Reply
  16. Mindy

    Wow, i really like this place’s ambiance and decor! I’m a very visual person and even though the food’s not anything special, i would definitely want to visit this place for the experience. And, ugh.. to cam-who :p

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yes, you did. πŸ™‚ I hope to visit this place again to take wonderful photos because all corners and the food are too beautiful not to capture on cam.

      Reply
  17. Clarissa

    I like this place, cozy & nostalgic. Great place to spend great times with family or friends or loved ones.

    Reply

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