Words by Marga Buenaventura I Photography by Kiko Nunez
60-C Lilac Street, Hacienda Heights, Marikina City
Bask in the clean comforts of Singapore in a restaurant that’s as simple as it is appetizing.
Though it’s the shoe capital of the Philippines, Marikina has definitely stepped up its grub game. With so many cafes and restaurants popping up in the area, it may be hard for one to stand out, but the Singaporean-Western Singlish Cafe manages just fine.
Enjoy a bit of intimacy, not just with your own companions but with the rest of the cafe as well. Bleached wood slats embrace the walls, while oriental curios are displayed alongside minimalist plant pots. Through the cafe’s interiors alone, East meets West without the cheesy trappings that may distract from the delicious fare.
The roti prata with curry sauce is a good place to start and a savory treat on its own. The Hainanese chicken is a crowd favorite, and rightfully so—the dish hits all the right notes, from the chicken to the rice. Perhaps our only quibble is the cafe’s cereal prawns. The richness of the cereal coating may be the reason there are only four pieces in an order.
The bites aren’t the only buzz-worthy thing here what with several coffee beverages served either hot or cold. The drinks guide even illustrates the proportions between coffee, water, and in some cases, condensed milk. Those not keen on ordering a cup of brew will likely be fascinated by it too, perhaps enough to sample a cup. Or even come back for a second visit.
No matter the bilingual leanings of Singlish, its drinks and bites translate to something pretty universal: deliciousness.
SINGLISH CAFE RECOMMENDS: “Crazy Chicken for their wings, Chubbies Qcina for their pasta, and Pink Chiffon next door for their dessert,” shares the staff of Singlish Cafe.