My usual Sunday lunch with the family was unusually good today. We went to this restaurant called “Coconut House” inside Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC). I wasn’t expecting much, since my childhood memories of QMC is jejemon at best (my family used to go biking there back when my parents were still young parents with not much money). But the restaurant turned out to be one of the best.
Here are the things I liked about the place:
1) It proudly serves Filipino food, from breakfast to dinner. They had “binalot” meals on the menu. We had kalderetang dagat, gising-gising with squid, and pork liempo—all served with brown rice and beautifully wrapped in banana leaves. For appetizer, we had ukoy and fresh lumpia–all made from coconut meat! AND (and I mean AND!), I finally got to taste “pansit buko”, a kind of noodle dish that makes use of coconut meat strips instead of flour or egg noodles. I thought I’d only get to taste this when I go to the province (I forgot which one). We had fresh coconut juice, which was still on its shell, to wash it all down. But that’s not the end of it! For dessert, we had coconut ice cream topped with chocolate and coconut munchies. Very delightfully dee-lish coconut overload!
2) Everything’s organic, and most importantly, affordable. Perhaps because of its QMC location, which consequently tells a lot about the kinds of customers in the vicinity, the prices of foods served here are super affordable. The pansit buko, for example, was just PHP75–and the serving was generous, too! The “binalot” meals were just PHP125–and each was served with organic rice! The ice cream was just PHP25. And the buko juice was just PHP35. You can actually afford to splurge here even if you’re broke! And best of all, you also ate healthy. =)
3) There’s a space for coconut products like oils, soaps and accessories. I saw organic VCO soaps there sold for just PHP70. Gugo shampoos in 250ml bottles were priced at just PHP130. There were also bottles of coconut oil, coconut sugar, and coconut munchies. Accessories and home decor were also sold. Too bad I didn’t have much money with me. But I vow to give the bath products a try when I get back!
4) The wait staff were smiley. You’d think, that just because the restaurant is located in QMC, that customer service would be sacrificed. But no. The wait staff were surprisingly nice, especially to kids. They can give Jollibee and McDonald’s a run for their “service with a smile” philosophy, simply because I felt that the kind of service and smile the Coconut House staff gave customers was a lot more sincere. It reminded me of those good guy underdogs in the Japanese dramas I watch, such as Vito, the Jap-Fil character that Matsu Jun played in “Smile”.
I hope we go back there next Sunday.