A few weeks ago, I got a invitation to attend a foodie event at the newly opened MARIQ Cafe + Restaurant at Dragon Street Marikina City. Duh! They got me at the Dragon Street! lol
Raffy, had a Filed Planner Launch at Bonifacio High Street that day, along with the yearly Blogapalooza Event at Novotel Araneta Center Cubao. To cap the day, we headed to MARIQ. I frequent the Gil Fernando Area near San Roque coz my son Jarod has been doing his Speech and Occupational Therapy. MARIQ is a 2 month old cafe + restaurant walking distance from the main road. It is relatively easy to find even if you commute, located behind BDO and DBP Banks.
MARIQ Cafe + Restaurant is a fresh-casual modern Filipino diner that has Markina City`s very best food products as their center pieces. According to its operations manager Cindy Dolera, who grew up in the shoe capital the restaurant`s name came from the old name of Marikina. A bit of trivia Mariquina is also the name of a beautiful, virtuous, polite and intelligent lady named “Maria Cuina” who was savvy business woman, a traveler came to the town and asked for the its name, a resident replied “Maria Cuina” thinking that what was being asked was the name of their admirable lady. Since then, the story spread throughout and the town was known as “Mariquina”.
MARIQ offered delicious Filipino dishes with no additives or ASG. The main features of their menu are dishes originated from Marikina City. Like the Everlasting (Meatloaf or Embotido), Piniñyahang Manok and Hamonado. They also have a great selection Filipino Desserts; cakes and pastries available. Check out the display above! Raffy lingered in front of this display when we first came inside.
The atmosphere is coz, the interior is minimalistic with clean lines, They can accommodate up to 50 people, you will notice that the tables and chairs are movable, they are open for special events. The mezzanine can occupy around 18 people. They also have an Al Fresco Area.
Excited to see what we had for dinner? Read on!
We started with there appetizer, MARIQ`s take on the Salpicao but instead of pork they had prawn. a great starter dish. Raffy was never a fan of Salpicao, but she enjoyed this dish because it was prawn.
The vegetables are fresh, the crunch is still there. I am not a lover of the bitter, but I really enjoyed the Ampalaya Salad, slightly bitter and best paired with their Porchetta.
I remember going to an event where they served Pork Hamonado which tasted a tad too sweet. MARIQ`s Hamonado sweetness comes from their fresh pineapples, which balances the dish.
Their Pinañahang Manok is made creamy and tasty, but instead of the usual milk or cream, MARIQ uses coconut milk. The intensity of the pineapple flavor in the meat is just right.
Special Everlasting – but instead of serving it in the usual oval shaped container or ” lanera”, they prepared it in a deep rectangle pan, hence the rectangle shape. I like the taste but I preferred Everlasting to be very fine with no chunks, but this is just me.
One of my favorites from MARIQ`s menu, their Beef Kare-kare, their banana heart, string beans and round eggplants look so bright and the dish looks so beautiful! My late mother-in-law more often than not prepares her Kare-kare and pinakbet using these eggplants, this reminds me of her, made me feel very sentimental. I also liked that the veggies are not drowned in sauce, although others prefer it with a lot of sauce, I liked that I can actually see the how fresh the veggies.
Raffy loved this pasta, and mind you she is not a vegetable person, she enjoyed the Malunggay Pesto so much, I think she had a repeat serving of this. The chicken is tender and juicy which balances with the sauce.
This is my favorite among the menu. The Porchetta, (porquetta) is savory, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast; crispy on the outside, as it as you bite into it you relish the “crunch” sound, the inside is soft and juicy. My mouth started watering when they bought it out, it was the first dish they took out and was on the table for a longer time, we took a lot of photos of it and still it was as crisp. We got to chat with MARIQ`s Executive Chef, Ericka MARIQ`s and she told us that their Porchetta does not have any additives or “Pampa-lasa”, the delicious as is. I totally agree. Each bite is worth all the calories.
I have died and gone to cake heaven. Sweets are my Kryptonite.
Raffy was thrilled and called dibs on the Sansrival Cake, I had a bite and she ate the entire thing plus the Halo Halo Cake. I love the Quezo De Bola Cake, no wonder Mayor Marcy Teodoro gave 2 whole cakes to VP Leni Robredo.
Raffy requested that we get like two whole cakes for her grandpa, since I am certain my Dad would enjoy the Halo Halo Cake and the beasties would devour their Quezo de Bola Cheesecake. I am glad MARIQ is nearby and easily accessible.
MARIQ is a sister company of the 3 year old, Academy Asia School of Technology Inc and the Arts. Both located in Marikina and are the best at what they both do.
Academy Asia School of Technology and the Arts Culinary Arts Inc is a Culinary School that specialize in Baking & Pastry Arts, Food and Beverage and Bartending. They have catered to a thousand of students since 2013. Located at the 2nd flor of WRCC Bldg still in the San Roque area. Most of the students do they training at MARIQ.
MARIQ is a new restaurant so expect great things from them, We got a sneak peek at their new offerings that they would be be making available before the year ends.
Academy Asia School has a bartending course. So they also serve alcohol in MARIQ.
Raffy and I enjoyed our dinner at MARIQ. The ambiance is very comfortable, laid back and the menu is not complicated and filled with favorite comfort foods that I gravitate to whoever I feel exceptionally down. Plus they have cakes!
MARIQ is not your everyday run of the mill Pinoy restaurant; they specialize in Marikina food and traditional Pinoy dishes but with a delicious twist. Their servings are large, perfect for sharing but very affordable. They also serve rice bowls, pasta and seafood.
If you live in the area of Marikina, Cainta, Antipolo and Pasig MARIQ is a just a few block from the border of all 4 cities in fact just a traffic light away! I know you will discover something that will satisfy your food craving.
Thank you #TeamMARIQ for inviting Raffy and I to this event. We were stuffed and happy. My son Jarod also thanks you for the large soft cookies!
MARIQ Cafe + Restaurant
Corner Gil Fernando and Dragon Street
San Roque, Marikina City
Tuesday-Thursday 11 AM- 10 PM
Friday-Saturday 11 AM – 11 PM
Sunday 11 AM – 9 AM
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Until next time!