Little Owl will be your new brunch spot in Quezon City
The café is perfect if you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of, well, everything.
65 Broadway Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City
Contact: 501-2036, 0917-818-1468
Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday to Saturday) and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) Generally, Quezon City is relentlessly busy, which is why Little Owl along Broadway Avenue in New Manila, feels like a quiet refuge even with a busy thoroughfare just a few meters away. With its decidedly minimalist look, the café feels like a homey escape with its bright, airy interiors, natural lighting, and high ceilings, which would no doubt tempt you to just spend an afternoon here, enjoying a cup or two of coffee, and maybe even a hefty meal.
Little Owl opened only in October 2016, beginning with a small selection of food, which they’ve been building up gradually over the past few months. It’s the third venture opened by the Lola Group of Restaurants, which already has Lola Café + Bar and Liberty Kitchen + Brew among its slate of offerings. Little Owl is their renewed attempt to bring the all-day brunch—among many others—to Quezon City.
Toby’s Estate fans in this part of Metro Manila will be overjoyed to find that Little Owl carries a special blend of their coffee; they won’t need to travel too far anymore for a sip of their favorite brew. Even if you’re not much of a coffee drinker, though, the food should convince you to hang around. Cafés these days have to offer things other than hot beverages, and Little Owl is much more than a coffee hub; its growing menu contains everything from sandwiches to pasta to pancakes and main dishes. The prices may seem a little steep at first glance, but that’s only because each item is meant to be shared—we wouldn't blame you if you want a whole plateful to yourself, though.
Arugula and Beet Salad
An item that has recently made its way to the menu is the Arugula and Beet Salad (P210), which features greens with a sprinkling of feta cheese. The earthy flavor of the salad is nicely counterbalanced by the mixture of orange segments and balsamic dressing, and candied walnuts add an extra crunch.
You’ll also find that breakfast can double as dessert with the Chocolate Waffles (P270). You won’t need butter or syrup here; the waffles are served with cappuccino cream and a spoonful of syrupy, stewed raspberries and strawberries.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Mushroom Tomato and Truffle Pasta
Roasted Half Chicken
The Grilled Cheese Sandwich (P220) is undeniably one of the stars of Little Owl. Mozzarella, gruyère, and cheddar cheese, as well as caramelized onions are packed in between large slices of crusty, buttery batard, and the pleasant surprise here is that despite the overload of cheese, you won’t find it overwhelming. It’s currently served with a heap of shoestring potatoes, but they’ll soon be making the switch to a salad on the side.
The flavor of truffles is typically combined with a cream sauce in many other restaurants, but Little Owl lends its taste instead to their Mushroom Tomato and Truffle Pasta (P295), which looks deceptively small, but once you dig in, you’ll find that there’s a whole lot of pasta to sift through. Chunks of shiitake and button mushrooms add heft to the dish, and the aroma of truffle oil simply wafts.
A dish that you will definitely have to share is the Roasted Half Chicken (P450), which is served on a bed of vegetables and comes with chimichurri sauce and a big bowl of rice. Little Owl takes its time marinating and roasting the chicken to lock in the flavor. It’s only one of two main dishes that Little Owl offers in the meantime, but they’re set to add eight more choices to satisfy the lunch and dinner crowds.
Only a handful of desserts are available for now, like the Chocolate Tart (P210) which is made in-house and features a rich, dark chocolate ganache in a flaky crust.
Fresh fruit juices and smoothies are also available here. But if you want something with a bit more kick to go with brunch, they also have cocktails, such as the Pink Owl (P150) with watermelon and lychee mixed with vodka, mint leaves, and soda; and the fruity Green Sangria (P150) with green apple, cucumber, calamansi, vodka, wine, and soda. You can even ask them to leave out the alcohol.
Little Owl is still refining their menu, and they may soon provide much more adventurous choices. Nothing too outrageous, though; basically, their goal is to keep things as simple as possible while making sure that they’re serving well-made food. Sounds about right for a cozy neighborhood café that feels a lot like home.
Photos by Hans Fausto