There's a quaint little cafe in Marikina called Qizia (pronounced ki-zha). The strange thing about it isn't its name, but its location.
The first time I was brought there by my friend Jessica a couple of years ago, my jaw dropped. You see, she was building up my expectation about the food all day long, but she didn't warn me about the location. We took a cab and got dropped off in front of SDS Hospital. After all the talk about this cool cafe, I couldn't believe she was making me eat in a hospital. I wanted to strangle her. I was close to tears. She was laughing her ass off at my reaction.
Turns out, the cafe wasn't inside the hospital - you'll find it in an obscure corner behind it, in the parking lot. Whew. I was relieved I wasn't going to be fed hospital food. Hehe. And I am thankful to Jessica for introducing me to what has become one of my favorite places for comfort food.
|Beef tapa served with egg, garlic rice, and iced tea - Php135|
The only meal I ever order there is their beef tapa with egg and garlic rice (Php 135). The beef is sweet and tender, and you dip it in spiced vinegar. I am writing this at 12:30am, and just thinking about it makes my mouth water. This is what I order all the time.
|Cheese sticks (Php95)|
Their cheese sticks are sought after. The first few times I visited Qizia, these intriguing appetizers eluded me - they were always sold out! Finally, I got to try them in their Antipolo branch (which is now unfortunately defunct). I imagined the usual cheese slices in lumpia wrapper, but I was so wrong. These are 6 fat fingers of mozzarella cheese rolled in flour and bread crumbs, with a sweet tomato dip. The cheese oozes out ever so slightly as you bite into the crunchy stick. Oh my gosh.
The last time we ate there was just last Saturday, and we took home one order of cheese sticks. After sitting in the fridge for three days, they were still surprisingly good. I just popped them in the turbo broiler for a few minutes (sorry, we don't have a toaster!). The breading wasn't as crunchy as when ordered fresh, but the cheese sticks were still yummy!
Qizia also serves pizza, pasta, coffee, and dessert. We tried a slice of their banana caramel cake, and it looks and tastes a lot like Banapple's! I'm thinking they're the same thing! (Is that possible?)
If Qizia wasn't so far from where we live, I'd probably be there every week. Be sure to try this hidden gem in Marikina, you won't be disappointed!
Katipunan Ext Concepcion II, Marikina