On my last night in Manila, N’s sister brought us out to 75 Lilac Cafe + Kitchen in Marikina for dinner (thank you for the meal, ate!).
Specialising in Western and Filipino fusion cuisine, expect dishes the likes of Wagyu Salpicado with Tofu and Carne Asada Tacos as well as more traditional takes of pasta, pizza and Crispy Pata.
The resto is located within a commercial block facing the street, so parking is rather limited.
The place exudes homely vibes, with warm ambient lights, assorted frames, brick walls and unfinished concrete flanking colourful chairs and diner-style couches. Guests will also find various posters and decorative quotes/pictures hanging from the wall.
We kicked off the meal with an appetiser of salted egg chicken lollipops (PHP200 – RM15). The portions were generous, but the chicken was rather bland despite its creamy disposition. After the excellent experience(s) at Frankie’s, this was quite meh on my list.
I’ve had traditional sinigang at N’s house, but I’ve never tried Sizzling Sinigang (PHP380 – RM29), which is one of 75 Lilac’s specialties. Served on a hotplate with the sauce still bubbling, thick cuts of tender beef short ribs are stewed with French beans, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, bokchoy and sinigang gravy. The tangy sourness of the gravy, with strong tamarind overtones, whets the appetite and is the ultimate companion for rice.
Our second main was the Sigarilyas Sa Gata with pork belly (PHP380 – RM29): essentially crispy pork belly on a bed of sigarilyas (winged beans) cooked in coconut milk, cherry tomatoes and chilli oil. The crunchy winged beans are the perfect complement to the soft, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of the pork belly with a crispy crust, bathed in fragrant coconut milk. I couldn’t get enough of the sauce, I was still sopping it up even when the rice had run out 😀
Awesome layer of fatty goodness.
Verdict: 75 Lilac delivered on 2/3 of the dishes we ordered, and for such a setting, was reasonably priced.
- Food: 7.5/10
- Ambience: 8/10
- Service: 8/10
75 LILAC CAFE + KITCHEN
75 Lilac St, Marikina, 1800 Metro Manila, Philippines
Opening hours: 9AM – 10PM (weekdays), 7AM – 11PM (Sat-Sun)