Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Olivia's Cafe: An Affordable Quezon City Staycation With Delicious Comfort Food

Named after the daughter of one of the hotel's owners, Olivia's Cafe is a full-service restaurant located at the ground floor of Verjandel Hotel along Kalayaan Avenue, Quezon City. The restaurant is still quite new so we did not have very high expectations when it came to the food. 

The menu, at first glance, seemed to be put together not with any particular cuisine in mind, but rather simply a compilation of dishes the owners loved to eat. I didn't mind, because I also loved most of the dishes that we tried, with a lot of dishes far exceeding my expectations.

Olivia's Cafe might be the only hotel restaurant in the area where you can have a quiet lunch meeting or a cozy, sit-down dinner with officemates before heading home. If you love food and are regularly around the area, you have to try Olivia Cafe's Honey Garlic Spareribs, a plate of their tender and delicious Roast Beef, or a flavorful serving of Garlic Ginger Salmon. I can assure you none of these dishes will disappoint.

Let's run through some of my favorites from Olivia Cafe's menu...

Olivia's Cafe, at one glance, looks like a nice, cozy place where you can enjoy good food. I estimate it can fit around 20 people max at the moment, but the hotel also offers function rooms if you have a large celebration, with the food being prepared by Olivia's Cafe. 

The complimentary breakfast for hotel guests are also served here, but more on that later...

Right off the bat, you can try Beef Salpicao (Php 220) to start your meal - with very tender beef served with mushrooms and a lot of fried garlic. To be honest, the dish is a meal on it's own when eaten with rice. It just had the right amount of saltiness and is how salpicao should taste like. Delicious and highly recommended!

If you're a seafood lover, then you can try the cafe's version of Prawns Thermidore (Php 235). I loved how it was very cheese and full of a delicious prawn and garlic kick as well. The shrimps we had were slightly overcooked because it would have been far more delicious if the shrimps were still popping with moisture in your mouth, but the flavor was there and it was a tasty dish regardless.

The Mushroom Cream Soup (Php 85) here was very rich, creamy and full of mushroom goodness, served with some croutons and bacon to compliment the creaminess. Overall, nothing much to say here except that it's a pretty good mushroom soup and that you should try it.

The Meaty Lasagna (Php 190) is the best pasta in their menu. It's their personal lasagna recipe topped with a GENEROUS amount of cheese. I mean, look at all that cheese! The lasagna was indeed very meaty and the dish itself is very rich. To be honest, for the price you really are getting value for your money here.

The Roast Beef (Php 265) is the bestselling dish at Olivia's Cafe and it's not hard to see why. Like the salpicao, the beef was very tender that it takes almost no effort to eat. The beef was also marinated very well that it was very delicious on it's own without adding much of the gravy at all. 

My benchmark for good Roast Beef is the one served a Pancake House, and I would say this version is far better and cheaper. Highly recommended!

The Garlic Ginger Salmon (Php 285) is my favorite dish at Olivia's Cafe, mostly because the salmon was perfectly cooked and moist inside. Salmon is really an amazing dish when it's not dry. As the name suggests, the dish is full of garlic-ginger goodness and served on a bed of mashed potatoes. 

If I can just order one dish from Olivia's Cafe his would be it, because it was both delicious and for the price you really are getting a lot of bang for your buck given how expensive salmon is nowadays.

The Grilled Pork Belly (Php 235) is my third favorite dish, only because the pork belly glaze was so good when paired with garlic rice. I didn't even notice that sauce until there was only one piece left because it was so good, it didn't need the sauce! 

The Honey Garlic Spareribs (Php 235) is another one of the Olivia's Cafe bestsellers, and based on our conversation with the owners it's one of the most requested dishes during their functions at the hotel. It's very sweet and sticky, and the honey garlic glaze makes it very addicting. It's really good, but I only wish there was more of it! 

Verjandel Hotel is still very new, with the hotel opening just this year. So far, the hotel has been having rave reviews in TripAdvisor despite being a new hotel. The rates also very affordable. You can check out their website for the actual rates and from what I hear they are currently offering discounts from actual room rates so that a lot more people can discover the hotel. 

They recently opened their gym and they are also planning to put up a swimming put so that guests can get the full staycation experience. 

Here's a photo of the room. It's simple but elegant in it's own way. We had a very relaxing stay and the room is such a value for the price you're paying. 

Here's a photo of the television, refrigerator, and water heater inside the room. They also have complimentary bottles of water and packs of cheetos! 

Depending on the occupancy of the hotel, you either get a set meal or a buffet breakfast. The buffet is composed of a typical Filipino breakfast, with corned beef, eggs, bangus, and bacon. Don't expect too much from the buffet breakfast in terms of selection but it was nice to have a big breakfast to power through the day.

They also serve set meals for breakfast and the American Bacon 'n Eggs Breakfast Set (Php 180) is one popular way to start the day, packed with loads of protein to get you going.

Food Quality: 4.0
Service Quality: -
Ambiance: 3.5

Overall Quality: 4.0

Verjandel Hotel is a great place to stay in if you have business around the area. It's very close to both UP and Ateneo, and it's walking distance from Quezon City Circle. I'd also stay here for a relaxing staycation weekend, especially that they now have a gym fully operational. 

One of the best things about Verjandel is Olivia's Cafe. Even if you aren't planning an overnight stay, the restaurant is well worth a visit just to have a plate of Garlic Ginger Salmon, Honey Garlic Ribs, Roast Beef, or even the Beef Salpicao. You should definitely try it out!

Further reading you might like:
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Chef Jay

Olivia's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review. The author did not pay for any of the dishes mentioned in this article. This, however, does not impair the unbiased opinion of the reviewer. 

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