If you are not convinced of Maginhawa Street’s credentials as a fully realized foodie village, then this cafe I’m featuring in this article will go some way to changing your opinion. Right in the middle of the street, Galli Village Cafe in Quezon City opened just two months ago (since May 2013), clearly targeting passing traffic of food lovers who want to stay in a quiet place whilst enjoying delicious food. This is actually its second branch, while the first one has been open to the public since last year.
Galli Village Cafe seems to be set up for success as it possesses the crucial combination of Spanish and Filipino-inspired cuisines with the theme of the Mediterranean, ready to pique the taste buds of patrons.
The business started when husband and wife tandem (the Villongcos) thought of establishing a restaurant where they can eat after church service every weekend. This couple goes to National Shrine of Sacred Heart Church, where nearby restaurants serving decent food are almost nowhere to be found. Thus, in God’s stamp of approval, everything came in proper order and timing. The ground floor of YMCA Hotel across the church had an open space. So like an answered prayer, this spot became perfect fit and hence where the first branch of Galli Cafe now stands.
Galli Village Cafe has been featured several times on TV shows and popular blogs, but it was only yesterday when I had the chance to dine in its QC branch.
Review of Galli Village Cafe (Maginhawa Street, Quezon City)
Galli Village Cafe posits itself as a “refreshing dining place from the hustle and bustle of Makati and Quezon City.” At least in its QC branch, I totally vouch for that. Galli is a rustic and cozy restaurant where everyone feels relaxed. The area may be small when compared to regular dine-in restaurants, as it can accommodate only about 25 people. The space is tiny, yes, but it can pose as a perfect place for sharing plates and making some new friends in the process. Also, this can be a plus for dining customers who value intimacy and privacy.
I find interior design quite alluring as there’s obvious creativity shown throughout this cafe. Since the owners are fond of traveling, they collect souvenirs and take pictures to form the concept of Galli Village Cafe. Bursting with originality, the walls are filled up with framed collages and keepsakes from European, Asian (including the PH) and American countries. The vibrant colors and the upbeat music playing on the background cater to the younger and modern generation whose personalities are more on the chic, artistic and bohemian type.
Despite the limited number of staff, Galli serves customers responsively both in the indoor and al fresco setting. As guests, we were entertained and satisfied not only with the food but also with the knowledge on their dishes. The staffs were friendly and thoughtful to balance being accommodating while allowing us to engage in a wonderful conversation.
Galli Village Cafe is not what you can call a “fast food” restaurant because admittedly, waiting time is quite long. To give consideration, this is understandable as they make food upon order and not just heat them few seconds before serving. For cooking their specialty paella, for example, customers must be willing to wait 40 minutes for the food to arrive.
It’s recommended to call first and order in advance to save time. They also do catering and accept reservations so make sure to find their contact numbers at the end of this post! 😀
We had a great lineup of food that consisted of their specialties and wholesome dishes: Beef Salpicao (PHp 195), Paella Valenciana (good for 4-5; PHp 495), Angus Beef Tapa (PHp 170) and Shrimp Gambas (PHp 195).
The paella was especially sumptuous, with a very good selection of toppings: chicken, pork, eggs, chorizo and some vegetables. I have the habit of smelling food first before eating every spoonful of it. This one smelled really delicious. 😀 I would raise my two thumbs up also for their shrimp gambas.
Christine was kind to offer tuna salpicao when she learned two of us bloggers are pescetarians. Tuna Salpicao is not even existing on the menu yet, and together with Grilled Tuna Belly, it will probably be released in the next two months. In addition, she asked the cook staff to bring us Chorizo Rice that complemented the taste of the salpicaos.
For the drinks, I had Hot Chocolate (PHp 35) which tasted like pure chocolate with a tinge of sweetness, to wash out the astonishingly strong flavors swimming in my buds. Two other bloggers had the Sparkling Lemonade (PHp 39) and Four Seasons (PHp 39). For our desserts, we had Leche Flan that was creamy but not too sweet.
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
Food prices are accessible, considering that the quality is high. Budget per person is less than PHp 300 and you can get fulfillment from this restaurant that not only gives customers a taste of what they can get but is as well given enough of a local touch that people in the city can recognize in terms of taste. One promising thing to note is that things will surely get better, as Galli still is in the process of improving and expanding their menu.
Boo, it’s too far from home! 😯 There were no regrets though, because I had fun eating and chatting with Christine Arriola-Villongco and the bloggers. I almost felt like carrying my stomach with two hands after pigging out in this cozy resto. Exaggerated much? Yeah, I know. Nyahaha.
G/F YMCA Hotel, 7 Sacred Heart St San Antonio, Makati
Open daily, 7AM-8:30PM
Contact number: 0927 3914655