This Neighborhood Restaurant in Marikina Is Out to Wreck Your Diet
Hint: They're hidden in a subdivision.
The Broken Oven
The Gardens, Soliven II Avenue, Loyola Grand Villas Subdivision, Marikina City
Open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Tuesday), 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Wednesday and Thursday), and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Friday to Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) It all started around Christmas time of 2016. Marco Olives was keen on joining his first bazaar right in the neighborhood. He didn’t think of it as a long-term venture really, more of an experimental raket. After all, he and the family love cooking and they equally love good food. Aptly named Olive Treat, it ought to be just a fun little gimmick for the holidays. But lo and behold, everyone went nuts for their pork belly. Orders were being thrown around like crazy that day, and the rotisserie oven was running the entire time—so much so that it broke down.
Fast forward to 2017, they began brainstorming for a name for their then would-be stall at Industrie Food Loft just by Ortigas CBD, and the name The Broken Oven just sounded too good to pass up. Kyla Olives, Marco’s sister and restaurant co-owner, recalls the insanity that ensued when the whole thing blew up (quite literally): “That was December 24. We consumed around 100 kilos of pork belly that time! When we were thinking of a name for Industrie, we wanted something that was memorable and just something meaningful to us.”
Industrie had since closed but it was inevitable—the legacy of The Broken Oven just had to live on. After all, they got a whole lot of buzz during their food-loft stint alongside bazaar appearances. It was only natural for the stall to make its transformation into a full-fledged restaurant. And here they are now, a quaint and somewhat hidden joint that feels every bit like home. You can even order from them in big batches. Plus, they can make your personal parties all the more colorful by getting them to do a pop-up booth.
Truffle Lechon Kaninballs
Theirs is a variety of elevated comfort meals that goes against traditional recipes and puts them back together again for something even better. “In a way, the dishes are also very sentimental to us. It’s the sort of food we have at home but with a twist,” Kyla shares. An example of this is their kanin balls. The bite-sized Truffle Lechon Kaninballs (P180) are glorious with bursts of succulence from the lechon and a punch of that distinct earthy flavor from the truffle. There’s a beautiful combination of textures and tastes here—packing on crunch on the outside and a delicateness on the inside.
Pulled Lechon with Kesong Puti
Meanwhile, the Pulled Lechon with Kesong Puti (P170) are mini sliders made with pan de sal. Here, you can relish their signature slow-roasted pork belly in its mini-me form. It's a good balance of spicy and garlicky notes—a lip-smacking one, if you ask us.
Crusted Lechon with Kimchi Rice
As for the dishes that bring on the heat, the Crusted Lechon with Kimchi Rice (P260) is not for the faint-hearted. With the lechon as savory as it can be despite its crispy exterior, and the kimchi rice giving off a robust spice that’s hard to ignore, it makes for an addictively sinful dish. It’s also one of Kyla’s personal favorites. “It took us long to develop the dish to get the taste we wanted. But we wanted to do the kimchi rice because in our house, that’s a special recipe for us.” The Gambas Pasta (P240) is a pleasant surprise as well. We’re talking fresh juicy shrimps with a delightful kick of heat in every mouthful.
Chicken and Waffles
For breakfast lovers, you’d be pleased to know that they cater to your cravings all day, every day. We highly recommend their Chicken and Waffles (P270), one of the classic pairings that really works wonders in the comfort-food department, with a sizeable and chewy waffle to contrast the chicken's crunchy spiced skin.
Filipino favorites also make an appearance in The Broken Oven’s menu. For instance, you’ll find the Beef Salpicao (P300) here. Kyla shares that it even took them 10 tries to develop and perfect, so you know you’re in good hands. The result is meat that’s tender and perfectly seasoned. Cloaked in their special salpicao sauce, the dish has that uncanny ability to take you back to weekend lunches your mom whips up at home.
Chocolate S'Mores Milkshake
Finally, don’t forget to honor your sweet tooth with their Cookie Sandwich (P100). Then, live it up a little bit more with their Chocolate S'Mores Milkshake (P120) before you officially sign off for a great day of eats at this cozy diner.
Looking back, Kyla muses even further, “I feel like everything caused something else, which is good. Things do happen for a reason.” And true to form, The Broken Oven is a great example of how nothing is ever really an accident.
Photos by Marikit Singson