In 2013, Louie and I celebrated Valentine’s Day in Lola Café. Seeing our old photos together gave me a chuckle. It’s been over two and a half years. So many things have changed since that day, and Lola Cafe’s menu recently did too. 😉 With Chef Jon Mangibin now taking lead in the kitchen, this restaurant in Tomas Morato, Quezon City goes through a “culinary fixture.” The placement of furniture and fixtures also moved around a bit, making the place more versatile for both groups of friends or family and romantic dates.

Chef Jon

With its fresh menu, Lola Café+Bar decided to focus in serving Filipino Food 2.0 which basically consists of creative riffs on Filipino food classics like chicken tinola, bagoong rice, beef salpicao, sisig, and the like. We had lunch here with the KTG last Saturday to taste its mouth-watering delights and experience gastronomic euphoria, thanks to Richie‘s invitation. 🙂 Target launch date of the new items is on November 23, 2015.

Lola Café Launches New Menu (Tomas Morato, Quezon City)

Small Plates

There may be many excellent dishes for you to dive into on the menu. Quite frankly, there are no wrong answers, but the Wagyu Salpicao (PhP 320) might be more right than the rest. With roasted garlic in olive oil, the Kitayama wagyu beef (raised locally in Bukidnon, Philippines) was boldly flavored and actually portioned to share. The softness of the wagyu beef is exactly like you would hope it is. Get into the fiesta spirit and match it with a great glass of wine.

The Bone Marrow Sisig (PhP 275) was a complete stunner. There’s something about the fatty and buttery bone marrow with kamias jam and garlic crumble flat bread on the side that got it done for us. Each component was strong on its own and equally good smashed together on the plate.

Soup and Salad

Caesar Salad is one of the trendiest salad choices these days, especially for those who are on a diet. If you think salads are boring though, know that serving it in a more exciting and palatable way is possible. How? Grilled. Smoky and with a touch of crunch, hearty Romaine lettuce and bread crisps with bagoong dressing were delightful. Bacon strips mixed in made the Grilled Caesar Salad (PhP 290) a killer dish you would want to nestle alongside your mains.

The Alugbati and Kesong Puti Salad (PhP 310) had a good combination of flavors and textures, featuring charred alugbati, lettuce hearts, roasted carrots, beets and balsamic vinaigrette. As salads go, it sounds pretty decadent—and delicious. I think kesong puti was what brought in new life to the salad; it added a little bit of both saltiness and creaminess to every bite.

Lola Café took no shortcut to deliver a comforting and tasty bowl of Bacon Belly Batchoy (PhP 320). Topped with soft boiled egg, this noodle soup was not just a vehicle for braised bacon slabs and ox tripe, but it was also a celebration of the role of sweet garlic, which for a garlic fan is pretty much heaven.

Pasta and Rice Bowl

The Spicy Tinapa Pasta (PhP 215) had a subtle, oceany richness that’s captivating. It was salty from the smoked fish flakes, luscious and sweet from the fresh heirloom tomatoes, spicy from the dried chili, and quite intoxicating from the scent of the olive oil.

Among the items we tried so far, the Sweet Pork and Bagoong Rice (PhP 295) could be one that’s most recommendable to foreigners who would want to appreciate Filipino food in their first visit here. Made with salted dried shrimp “hibe,” roasted pork belly, and “burong” mangga, the entire dish was slightly overwhelming all at once. It was so wonderfully complex that you just have to surrender to its demands.

Quarter Chicken Confit and Tinola Rice (PhP 280) was another crowd-pleaser. With ginger confit chicken, lemongrass rice pilaf, charred green papaya, and scallion-anchovy vinaigrette, Lola Cafe has constructed a hearty, full-flavored Filipino main dish whose ingredients both harmonize and perform as soloists. The chicken was really tender and I loved that the taste of the ginger and onion-based tinola was evident.

Mains

Swimming in porcin broth, garlic cream and wild mushrooms, the thinly sliced and slow-braised Truffled Lengua (PhP 495) came out soft, rich, and almost pâté-like. Until now though, lengua (beef tongue) is one of the internal meat organs that I like eating the least because I think it’s formidable. It’s not for the faint of foodie heart but best for the adventurous palate.

Somewhat like Bicol Express, the Gising Express (PhP 140) or “Gising-Gising” was cooked with coconut milk broth, homemade bagoong, sigarilyas (winged beans), French beans, and finger chili. It’s great to be paired with steamed white rice to temper the heat situation.

The Roasted Belly “Tocino” (PhP 490) gave off an oriental taste (think Chinese char siu, as in the regular siopao filling), most probably because of the SSAM-anise glaze. Adding more depth, the salty burong mangga or “pickled mangoes” on the side complemented the savory aspect of the slow-cooked pork liempo nicely.

Desserts

For desserts, we had Baguio Strawberries and Cream Pavlova. It was amazing how the nest remained crisp, light, and crumbly right before we dug in. The billows of whipped cream and juicy fresh strawberries on top were truly delectable. This item is definitely my kind of dessert.

Set in a landmark location in Tomas Morato, Lola Café+Bar boasts a fine ambiance and gracious service to match. There’s more à la carte selections available on the menu than these ones featured in this blog post, so if you want creative, zesty Filipino food or just local comfort food with a flair, go to Lola Café+Bar and make no doubt about it. It’s now open for lunch and dinner! 🙂

99 Scout Lozano Street, Laging Handa, Tomas Morato, Quezon City
For inquiries or reservations, call (02) 5012620 or +639178176045
Date Published: 11/17/2015
4 / 5 stars

About 

Digital marketing strategist. Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

Related Posts

56 Responses

  1. Diana

    Lola cafes new menu looks amazing! I am drooling over your photos and description of the Bacon Belly Batchoy and I love that they source their wagyu beef locally. Thanks for sharing this and waking up my tastebuds this morning!

    Reply
  2. James

    My wife and I would be in heaven at Lola’s. We are big fans of Filipino food so we would come hungry for sure. I would want to order my way through as much of the menu as possible and pack up the rest for leftovers. I take my Filipino food seriously and can tell from the awesome pics just how good it is. Thanks for the share!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      You’re welcome. Come on in and treat your taste buds with these delicious Filipino dishes. These indulgent portions could really stir such passionate opinions. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Elizabeth O.

    It’s nice to see twists on traditional food. The plating is brilliant! I love the ambiance too. Glad the food did not disappoint!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      There’s nothing worse than being hungry and not knowing what you want for a meal. At Lola Cafe, you can take anything on the menu and get pretty satisfied with the taste and quality of food served. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Felicita Moncada

    I have to admit I have never ate Filipino food. Lola Cafe looks like just the place for me to get my first taste! Everything looks amazing and I love the combination of flavors. The dessert looks amazing!

    Reply
  5. Fred

    I first saw this restaurant in a movie. When we went there to eat, it was very full! It was full again when we tried again another day. We should really try to eat here, as the food you showed really look great.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The movies shot here were years ago. “Bakit Di Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo?” and “She’s the One” are some examples. Now you have to come back and see how the environment of the restaurant also improved. 🙂

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I think the prices are fair considering the portion (for sharing) and the unique taste and plating of the food. 🙂 You’ll have a great time here with your family.

      Reply
  6. R U S S

    Ooooh. I’ll take note of this restaurant. I have been having a lot of meetings in QC and the next time I’m there, I’ll make sure to try Lola Cafe. You got me at the Bone Marrow Sisig, Alugbati and Kesong Puti Salad, and the Spicy Tinapa Pasta. They’re not the typical food served in Pinoy restaurants and I think they’re all worth giving a shot.

    Reply
  7. LaShawn

    I love reading your posts! I always learn about something new. I love Filipino food! all of the dishes look so good! I am truly drooling over your photos!

    Reply
  8. Raymond

    Wwwaaaaah! Pinoy food! Sisig please! haha Tomas Morato! HEre I come. hehe I’ve just heard about Lola cafe, and it’s interesting. Such a fan of our local cuisine. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Melissa

    The Lola cafes new menu looks delicious! I am literally drooling over your pictures and description of the menu options! I love that they source their food locally for some of the menu options and I now I am seriously hungry! I have added this to my bucket list when I visit Quezon City.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Sure! I think it’s a must for restaurants to keep rolling on being creative and “in trend” with the dishes they offer to customers. Lola Cafe has done a good job in improving their menu and delight patrons in a nice way. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Michelle

    I love the eclectic look to the cafe and the food looks phenomenal. Is the Tocino, spicy? It looks delicious as does the Chicken Confit. I have to try those.

    Reply
  11. Tami

    They definitely have a variety of dinner choices to choose from. My husband likes to try new dishes, so he’d be in heaven. I, on the other hand, would probably stick to the salad.

    Reply
  12. Emma Spellman

    I just love the look of the restaurant and how the front looks like grass is growing. Each plate looks beautiful and delicious on their own. I can’t stop staring at the dessert and I wish I could take a bite through my screen!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah, it’s great that Lola Cafe has realized that customers appreciate something new on the menu every so often. 3 years is a good time for them to introduce a new twist to our palate.

      Reply
  13. Tiffany Yong

    The Bacon Belly Batchoy and the Baguio Strawberries and Cream Pavlova looks like two things I don’t mind trying~ Maybe the pasta too… Is this a franchise cafe?

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      No, it’s not. It only has one branch although the management will be opening up a new restaurant (with a different name) soon in Eastwood, Libis, Quezon City. 🙂

      Reply
  14. Katrina Centeno

    So many dishes I wanted to try. That bone marrow, batchoy, lengue and pork belly look delish. Oh, the pavlova, too! You are lucky to get to try them all!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      For sure, you will be delighted with those two. Maybe order a bowl of white rice, too, if you find the bone marrow sisig to be sooo packed with flavor. Yum! 😛

      Reply
  15. Pooja Kawatra

    All the dishes are looking quite fresh and yummy. Their presentation and quantity looks good too.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I always appreciate and acknowledge the elements of design and plating because it increases the wow factor of food. 😀 I think Lola Cafe’s kitchen has done a good job in tempting us to eat first with our eyes.

      Reply
  16. phyliciamarie

    That bone marrow is super putok batok!!! EEP! I love how there are a lot more components than the buttery fat of the marrow, it’s a dish I’ll look forward to ordering the next time I drop by.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha right. I’ll take those two again in our next visit here. Pavlova makes an easy, elegant dessert that’s perfect for an entertaining or a special meal. 😀

      Reply
  17. Jeypi Kyu

    it’s nice to see traditional food in restos. The plating is brilliant! The dishes are looking quite fresh and yummy.I think i’ll definitely gain wait if i’m near this place haha

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      It’s a good place for a casual meetup with friends but not really one that you’d want to hit up regularly–unless you want to get fat. 😛 The food can be a lot to take in so do share it with others.

      Reply
  18. lovemindanao

    I have the obvious feeling that the owner has deep admiration to his grandmother. How i wish i could taste those delicious meals… the belly batchoy interests me….

    Reply
  19. Franc Ramon

    The place looks really spacious, which makes it a lot more comfortable and relaxing. I would love to try the wagyu salpicao, which is among my favorites.

    Reply
  20. Deshawn Keiner

    The bone marrow sisig would be the thing I would want the most. It looks very delicious and tender. The overall look of the restaurant seems very laid back and I love places like that.

    Reply
  21. Redj

    Hi, Ive been looking for a ‘homey’ type of resto where i can bring my mom and daughter for a Valentine’s Day celebration and reading your review about Lola Cafe was of perfect timing! We’ll get to check out this beautiful place tonight. Looking forward to a great family time at Lola Cafe. 😀

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.