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 Café 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. 🙂 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. 😛
Review of Rustic Mornings by Isabelo (San Roque, Marikina City)
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.
The service was 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 an almost blind spot since most waiters were outside, but there remained one staff who accommodated requests so we did not have to go out or wait long.
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 types of burritos: beef, chicken and fish. I preferred to order the fish of course but Louie wanted the Crunchy Beef Burrito (PhP 185). He won—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 cheesy—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: ★★★☆☆
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. 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. 😀
This was Louie’s birthday treat!