Lilac Street is famous for its numerous restaurants lined up along its stretch. While my number one agenda is to go on a photowalk, I cannot deny the fact that this day will not be complete without digging deep into Marikina’s rich, but underrated food scene.
I have been so focused on Bonifacio Global City, Makati and even Kapitolyo that I tend to overlook other cities in the Metro that offer same, if not better, food choices.
At noontime, the temperature hits at 37 degrees Celsius. We are getting so famished and also a bit nauseous from the scorching sun. I have previously heard about Lilac and decided to spend the early afternoon there (Where there’s cold water and air conditioner.)
Even inside the jeepney where the windows are just open, you can feel the humidity in the air. Every breeze feels like a warm kiss from the sun.
We alight at Durawood. The locals have given it this colloquial term because the street has a store named “Durawood” in front. On the opposite side is a 7-Eleven store where the tricycle bay is located. It will take us two rides to reach Forget Me Not Cafe.
The interior has a mix of industrial light fixtures and colorful wall paintings. I am really into eclectic, homey ambiance. I like that it does not try to hard to be like the trend on restaurant interiors. The unique way of having the menu spell out Forget Me Not, to me, is beyond intelligent.
I choose to sit near the tall windows. The way the light pierce through the windows make me think of surreal things. I squint my eyes a few times, reminiscing of those childhood summer days I had.
Forget Me Not Cafe gets a bit full during lunch time. It sets the impression that the food will be good which I hope it does.
From the get-go, I ask the staff to serve me the best off their menu. She prides in telling me that Roast Beef could literally sweep me off my feet.
Half of the pearly-white plate is drenched in creamy, white sauce. A small portion contains a few vegetables while the rest is for the rice. The thinly-sliced beef is so tender. It the exact opposite of the crunchy string beans and carrots on the side. There’s also this tug o’ war between the white sauce’s sweetness and the brackish taste of meat. It is so oddly satisfying to me, that I did not even bother to share my food. That’s how good it is.
On the other hand, Pork Salpicao is bordering more on the salty side. It is still good—with its richly-flavored meat and all that—but the taste is so strong, at times. But that could also be just our tastebuds. Some like it salty, it just so happens that my friend is not. I actually think it is okay. Though incomparable to the superior, Roast Beef, I still like it.
And of course, if you have been reading my past food encounters, you would already know how much I adore desserts. “Adore” does not even describe the magnitude of my liking, maybe I need a stronger adjective like worship. They are truly heaven sent. One of the best gifts the heavenly being has brought us and Forget Me Not Cafe is one of His mediums. Their best-selling Nutella Cheesecake is so decadent. How it tastes is also truly dynamic. While nutella tends to be sweet, the cheesecake’s sour nature pulls it back a bit. I would highly recommend this for anyone who will be visiting this cafe.
And for our thirst-quenching drinks, we got ourselves Vanilla Milkshake and Watermelon Shake. Mine’s a very summery drink. Its taste reminds me of those hot April sun—With me on the beach, reading a book and basking under the unforgiving sun. And when I asked my friend about how his drink tasted, I got a very short answer, “It’s good.”
Forget Me Not Cafe just opened the door for me, in terms of wanting to go back here more. The food, how the staff interacted with me and even how the light cuts through the windows, I am completely head over heels. I’m looking forward to more weekends here and more summer afternoons just eating and relaxing in Marikina’s hidden gems.
Marikina is more than just the peaceful neighborhoods and orderly people. It is so much beyond those. One must try to explore the rich food culture in this laidback city and Lilac Street is honestly a good place to start. The restaurants are just a few walks away from each other. A food crawl won’t be such a bad idea.