New Restaurant Alert: Catabolic Cafe at Teachers Village, Quezon City
Come for the chicken and waffles, stay for the coffee.
22 Malingap Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) It's not easy being a restaurant in the Maginhawa-Malingap area, where every nook and cranny is filled with creative and delicious dining places. The competition is fierce, and yet, (relatively) new kid on the block Catabolic Café manages to stand out, with clean and simple interiors (by Nix Alañon) that hit the right notes of modern and vintage (we adore the mint-hued lamps), great food, and even greater coffee.
Let's get the curiosity about the name out of the way first. It is not at all related to cats (like we initially hoped); if you remember your science lessons, catabolism refers to the breaking down of molecules to release energy. “We want our food and coffee to energize you and to provide comfort,” says co-owner Dylan Avila.
Interiors by Nix Alañon
Catabolic Café operates with a sparse menu—a carefully curated list of tried-and-tested favorites that Dylan and co-owners JV (head chef) and JR Reyes have personally fine-tuned to perfection. They are four partners in total, with one serving as an industry partner; the day-to-day operations are handled by the threesome.
The coffee is made of quality beans from EDSA BDG
It runs as a third-wave coffee shop, so don't expect anything ice-blended with fancy-schmancy flavors and a smothering of cream. You won't need it though; their coffee, which sources beans from EDSA BDG, is delicious on its own. We couldn't get enough of the Iced Mocha (P140), which they make with their own chocolate syrup blend.
Catabolic Café’s menu was inspired by food the three have tried and loved while traveling, along with some homegrown favorites.
Sardines with Truffle Pasta
The Sardines with Truffle Pasta (P310) was a kitchen experiment that yielded yummy results, proof that anything truffle is a winner. The addition of truffle to the healthy and hearty pasta dish added a richer flavor while still keeping things light.
Pares Rice with Crispy Tadyang
We couldn't get enough of the Pares Rice with Crispy Tadyang (P350), it's the perfect dish to chow down when you're hitting the books—did we mention how cozy their seats are and how they have free WiFi and are generous with their electrical outlets? Claim one of the corner tables and just keep the coffee coming. They also have a steady supply of pastries. Sweetleaf provides them cookies so don't miss the chocolate sea salt and the black sesame with white chocolate chunks.
Huge, chunky cookies!
The one dish that deserves its own paragraph (or article, if we could get away with typing nom nom nom nom x infinity) is their Chicken and Waffles (P330).
Catabolic Café’s Chicken & Waffles is served on a metal plate with two fluffy, golden waffles, which you can ask to be cooked well-done for added crunch. The waffles are paired with a scoop of strawberry butter—whipped butter with real strawberries blended in, while the accompanying syrup is meant for the chicken, a spicy-sweet blend of maple syrup with a dash of hot sauce. Don't worry, the strawberry butter is more than enough to give you that satisfying salty-sweet flavor that is a must with waffles. You can also use the syrup if you're so inclined; the hot sauce isn't too overpowering. Their fried chicken was the result of plenty of testing, research, and crowdsourcing, and it shows.
Chicken and Waffles
If someone were to hold a beauty pageant for fried chicken here we’d nominate it as Ms. Fried Chicken Malingap—it's that good. It takes 20 minutes to cook the dish, they only fry upon order, but it's worth the wait. It's even worth the hour’s drive if you're coming from the South, and if you live near the area, you're so lucky, we envy the fact that you can just pop in anytime for chicken and waffles.
Photos by Hans Fausto