There are tons of cafes in Manila, but this one’s a little different.
Q House, opened by Quirks Novelties & Curiosities gift stores, is a newly-opened all-day cafe situated in front of the chapel in Uptown Mall, Taguig City. Coconuts Manila was invited for a visit last week and left with the impression that it’s a zany spot (in a good way) with tasty snacks that are perfect for those who just want a quick meal.
Quirks Novelties & Curiosities has been present in Philippine malls for about 10 years, but only now has it ventured into food. The cafe opened in mid-March and serves snacks and drinks with a dash of whimsy. And, it also includes a retail space where the novelty items they’ve become known for are being sold.
The cafe is inviting with its minimalistic all-white aesthetic, high-ceiling, and bright green plants. It also has a tropical vibin’ wall that has a “Q House” neon sign.
Co-owner Zerline Chan Ortiz-Luis told Coconuts Manila that they wanted to incorporate the color green because it’s the same color used in their novelty store.
They also wanted to maintain an indoor-outdoor feel. This was done through large glass windows that allowed the sun to light up the room.
The cafe has free WiFi and electrical sockets for people who’d want to work there.
Q House offers a range of food items such as savory and sweet flatbreads, milkshakes, smoothies, frozen yogurt pots, fruit teas, coolers, coffee, and fries.
Just like their novelty store, Ortiz-Luis said that their cafe aims to cater to people’s various preferences.
“For merienda (snack), some people want something sweet, but some people want a full meal, that’s why we have the savory flatbread and the sweet flatbread,” she said.
We tried some of their food, starting with the Sausage and Egg Quizza (PHP215/US$4.12). The nine-inch flatbread is made with parmesan and mozzarella cheese and topped off with bits of sausage, eggs, and tomatoes. It was delicious. We especially appreciated the melt-in-your-mouth cheese. The savoriness was consistent in every bite.
We also tried a froyo pot called the Superbowl (PHP195/US$3.74). It’s a strawberry banana smoothie topped with fat-free frozen yogurt, kiwi, and crunchy cereal.
It was an aesthetic delight built for social media shots. The yogurt was refreshingly tart, and complemented well by tangy kiwi slices. The crunchy cereal flakes add interesting texture to the dessert.
We also tried the Caramelized Banana Fries ala Mode (PHP 95/US$1.82).
This is made with the Filipino street food banana cue (deep-fried banana coated in caramelized brown sugar) that are cut into strips to resemble French fries. Theirs is doused in caramelized brown sugar and served in a cup with yogurt.
It’s served while the banana cue is still warm. Unlike the usual banana cue, the banana fries aren’t at all oily. It’s delightfully sweet on its own, but dipping it in the yogurt is even better because of the contrasting flavors.
These are solid desserts if you’re going solo, but if you’re going with other people, then we’d definitely recommend one of the cafe’s sweet flatbreads. We tried the Mangoes and Cream Quizza (PHP115/US$2.20), a five-inch flatbread base covered in cream cheese and topped with mangoes, streusel, custard, and toasted almonds. We did not think a sweet flatbread would work, but it so does.
Aside from the food, customers can also shop the nifty gift-able items section inside the cafe. Like the Quirks store, they have novelty items like locally-designed notepads (PHP35/US$0.67) and a scratch map for travels (PHP1,550/US$29.70).
Many of the items come in limited quantities, which we told was a conscious decision by the store’s owners to ensure that people are more intrigued by their lifestyle knickknacks.
“Not everyone has it,” Ortiz-Luis said. “That’s what we want, that the customers will be surprised with our offerings. The items are in limited quantities.”
Our takeaway: Q House is a quaint place for a quick lunch or merienda fix, with a side of fun, quirky shopping.
Q House is at 4/F Upper Deck, Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Open: Sun to Thurs: 10am-10pm; Fri & Sat: 10am-11pm
Contact: (632) 960-2231