Greetings from the underworld!
As is evident, “I” has been the only one breathing life into this blog from time to time (law school and a wee fraction of her attention goes to helping rehabilitate my mangled writing ego). Yes, years have passed and that self-limitation still holds me by the collar. I try to shake loose, you see; so I go around, see and try things thinking that by putting myself out there, I might regain what was lost to me. But one crucial act that I have not been keen to commit to is to sit down with self-discipline.
With small steps, I clamber out of the abyss, yet again endeavoring to woo the muse that has eluded me for my complacence.
I am eyeing Marikina as an inspiration to an idea that I intend to birth in time. Since my boyfriend “J” and I were meeting last Saturday with no clear destination, I suggested that we explore the city’s food haunts and take an insight or two. After an exemplary display of my direction noob-ility that took a good half of our day, we managed to find the J.P. Rizal Street of Marikina.
Tucked in a small street across the Our Lady of the Abandoned Church (which locals refer to as “OLA”), CAFE KAPITAN is a two-story heritage house that consists of adobe walls, capis windows, glass-paneled doors, wooden frame and furniture. The ceiling of the main dining room is adorned with orbs of light cupped by paelleras or pans used to cook the famed Spanish dish, paella. I am a sucker for old houses and this, without a fail, popped my eyes with utter wonder.
We sneaked around while waiting for the food to arrive and saw a closed room which a female attendant graciously opened for us to poke our noses into. The small room, called Museo ng Musika, is reserved for special functions and meetings. Dangling from its ceiling are decades-old wind instruments used by students of the first public elementary school in Marikina housed in the same building, which was first the residence of Don Laureano Guevara (father of the Marikina shoe industry). According to Mr. John Lim, a third-generation Chinese restaurateur, the local government of Marikina gave him the opportunity to develop the Spanish structure into a melting pot of culture and cuisine. Since Cafe Kapitan’s opening in 1995, Mr. Lim has been hands-on; even incorporating family recipes in the menu.
On the suggestion of the attendant with a pleasant smile, we ordered BLUE MARLIN A LA POBRE (P179), slices of blue marlin fillet in thin soy-based sauce generously topped with mushrooms, with corn and carrots as side dish; The marlin was a little on the tough chew but the succulent mushrooms and the well-seasoned sauce made for the dish. While the picture does not do justice, the CRAB OMELETTE (P135) was soft and fluffy and palatable enough without condiment. We paired these viands with GARLIC RICE (P31) and downed with LEMON ICED TEA (P45) and FRESH CALAMANSI JUICE (P48).
When we arrived and started snooping around instead of securing a table, a baptismal reception was being prepared upstairs. The second level is a spacious room for special occasions and in-house catering. Mr. Lim explained that they do not venture into outdoor catering for fear of food contamination and to assure safety of personnel and facilities.
The travel time (with all the loops and turns) was a fiasco, good thing the man behind the wheels urged me that we do not just leave Marikina without finding what we went there for. With the ambiance, service, price, and dedication of the owner in preserving and communicating his hometown’s history, I can say that the whole trip was worthwhile.
:O (gasp! that’s just horrible!)
:( (sappy and crappy)
:| (meh. next please!)
:) (yay! on your way to awesomeness!)
:D (expect more of me soon!)
- FOOD – :)
- SERVICE – :)
- AMBIANCE – :D
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