Just exactly when I heard one of the famous food parks in Marikina is about to bid farewell, Lamp Quarters emerged. I’m not really a fan of this kind of setup because of some lame reasons, but that doesn’t really stop me from being me, and ‘being me’ means on the look out for anything that makes ME and my tummy happy. However, I thought I had already forsaken food after getting my dental braces. Little did I know, I am a tenacious human being who can’t be easily pulled apart from eating whatever pleases my appetite. LOL. 😀
Lamp Quarters is not a regular food park/hub and it actually sets itself apart from the rest. How? In what way? Well, I came up with 3 reasons: (1) It’s not crowded and filled with hundreds of tables and chairs unlike your typical food park, (2) The setup is pretty much like a restaurant, even the interiors of each, though it has a common area where friends can huddle up if they opt to try different grubs, (3) The food they offer is a whole lot different!
1. Chives Bistro
Our food crawl started off with a good one. Chives Bistro is not your typical find in a food park and just by the looks of their aesthetics, you’d already wonder what varieties are they offering. For me, the vibes inside give me the type of feeling I am getting when I’m at a cafe by the beach. I don’t know, but it’s probably because of the rustic interior.
The Grilled Chicken Pesto is my favourite among the three simply because I love anything that has to do with Pesto. Though need I mention that the penne was a bit chewy and probably undercooked, nevertheless the grilled chicken thigh fillet, cashew, and parmesan really worked together with the pasta. The Truffled Egg Sandwich is a little more sophisticated version of egg sandwich on a homemade sesame bun paired with the glorious hand-cut fries. The Baked Pork Schnitzel is an oven finished breaded pork chop basted in a spinach cream sauce with torched mixed cheese and mozzarella on top.
Ahlee’s has the simplest interior amongst its peers at the Lamp Quarters. They have these murals which gave us a quick hint of what type of food they are offering and we were not wrong with our guesses.
Speaking of lunch specials, Ahlee’s offers some of our Filipino favourites and these are definitely safe choices to help us get through the day. The dishes, which are mostly grilled, are paired with rice and dipping sauces just the way we like it and from 11 AM to 2 PM, they give free drinks to their lunch customers.
3. Mehana by Yordanovi
I didn’t have expectations when I entered Mehana because I’ve never tried Bulgarian cuisine and with them being the first in the country, I was kind of just really looking forward to it. The interior is on point I must say, though they honestly need good air-conditioning or was it really a part of the whole Bulgarian experience? LOL
The Sausage Panini Sandwich is a good steal just by seeing its serving, but it’s also noticeable that the veggies are overpowering the homemade Bulgarian Sausage. Still worth the try because you don’t get to eat anything like this often. The Moussaka is layers of potatoes and minced meat, topped with Beschamel sauce. The Wine Kebab is new and not yet on the menu. As per the owner, it’s like the counterpart of Adobo in Bulgaria in terms of popularity and is cooked exactly how the owner’s grandma prepared it — INTERESTING!
4. Dong Juan
More than our own pride which is Filipino cuisine, Dong Juan also serves burgers, pizza, and pasta. I love it when restaurants give us more options, especially when you are with family/friends that have different preferences. This cozy restaurant will surely bring your appetite to its maximum capacity as it feels just like home.
These are some of the lunch box deals from Dong Juan that comes with rice and iced tea. We pretty much enjoyed every single dish they served, but one things for sure — that we all SUPER LOVED their Sizzling Burger Steak! The creamy mushroom sauce itself makes a good viand for the rice. Holy cow! I heard their Crispy Pata is a MUST TRY too and so I’m already excited to schedule my return!
5. Tongara Ramen
Tongara Ramen just opened last April 6 and probably the most interesting place in Lamp Quarters. Well, for me. It is a franchise of Mententen, a local ramen restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo, that was established by Makoto Okazaki. The name Tongara encapsulates Okazaki’s broth as a combination of Tonkotsu (Pork Broth) and Torigara (Chicken Broth), developed over the time that is truly one of a kind broth, that is Tongara.
Shoyu Ramen may seem like a light simple soup but its flavour is very distinct. Topped with Chashu , Negi, Menma, Moyashi, and Ajitama. Tongara Ramen uses its original, rich, organic, and flavorful broth. The Ebi Miso Ramen (MY FAV!) is made even more special with fermented soybean and shrimps. Tsukemen is a cold ramen noodles served with a hot and perfectly balanced dipping sauce. Not sure if you can finish a big bowl? Fret not because they have junior bowls for you!
6. Wingfather Wings & Booze
I was already late for my sister’s surprise birthday dinner at home, but, still, I made sure to squeeze in a little more time for Wingfather Wings & Booze. Sad because it was our last stop and happy at the same time because it didn’t disappoint. Here at Wingfather, you’ll have the best of both worlds. I mean, chicken wings are perfect appetizers/snacks paired with alcohol, yes? 🙂
I tried the Capone Wings, soaked in aligue with kesong puti aioli, and Flamingo Wings, which is a maple buffalo wings with blue cheese aioli and can be ordered in extra hot flavour. They also have Bonnie & Clyde wings wrapped in bacon with condensada mayo. Wingfather’s lunch specials for individuals range from Php 150 to Php 160 — 3 pieces of wings with rice and iced tea. For bundles, they have Wings Bundle and Baked Mac Bundle that you can get for Php 295 and is good for 2 persons. I wasn’t able to try the rest and some booze but at least I have a valid reason to take my friends here, next time.
One of the reasons I hate going to food parks is that you’ll find nothing but almost exactly what is being sold from the other food parks and that doesn’t really bring excitement and interest to customers, correct? That’s why at first glance Lamp Quarters may seem like same old same old, but after being there and trying 6 different restaurants it made me realise that this one’s a better catch.
Let me know your thoughts once you tried any of the restaurants in Lamp Quarters! Happy and hungry reading!
Lamp Quarters Gil Fernando St., Centro De Buenviaje Sto. Nino, Marikina City Mon - Thurs, Sun 10 AM to 10 PM Fri - Sat 10 AM to 12 MN FB: https://www.facebook.com/LampQuarters/ IG: https://www.instagram.com/lampquarters/