This QC Café Is The Place to Be for a Laid-Back Al-Fresco Meal

And they serve a mean salmon-adlai dish.

Cafe Guilt

35 Scout Castor Street corner Scout Reyes Street, Quezon City
Contact: 0917-167-6050
Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday to Sunday)

Cafe Guilt
PHOTO BY Kit Singson ILLUSTRATION Warren Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Dine-in is back—which is good news if you've been feeling cooped-up at home. Given these times, most restaurants now have outdoor-dining options, which is ideal if you're in need of a good meal and some fresh air. If you happen to be in Quezon City, we've got just the place: Check out Cafe Guilt, a chill neighborhood café that exudes a totally laid-back, beachy vibe!

Cafe Guilt
Say hello to Cafe Guilt.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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Cafe Guilt delivers on a relaxing ambience, whether you opt to dine indoors or al-fresco. Outside, you're surrounded by greenery and fresh air with rustic woven chairs and tables, some of which have parasols attached.

Cafe Guilt
You're surrounded by lots of greenery at the al-fresco dining area.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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Cafe Guilt
Imagine hanging out here on a lazy afternoon!
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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You get a similar feel indoors, as there are plenty of glass windows to let in natural light, as well as shades of brown and white all around that are especially easy on the eyes.

Cafe Guilt
Check out the chill, beachy vibe inside their premises. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
Cafe Guilt
The shades of white and brown are totally easy on the eyes.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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Cafe Guilt opened their doors in the midst of the nationwide lockdown and pandemic in July 2020. "It was a risky move," shares Chi, Cafe Guilt's chef and co-owner (who prefers to be known only by her first name), in an exchange with SPOT.ph. "We were mostly on the search for a café that could satisfy our cravings [for] both healthy and [comforting] food."

Cafe Guilt
You can order all sorts of drinks from the bar counter.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

"Our food philosophy is to be able to serve everyone, satisfy their cravings while sticking to a particular diet, without sacrificing taste—[and] using the freshest and highest quality organic ingredients as much as possible," says the chef and co-owner. The name came about as they saw the need for balance in people's daily diets. "Some days we all wanna eat healthy, do a detox, [or] try being a pescatarian; on other days we just wanna binge eat and [we] crave super guilt-full grub," she explains. They also took inspiration from their international travels in coming up with the menu. "As we were all stuck in the city during the lockdown, we were all craving a sort of escape, whether through our palates or otherwise."

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Whether you eat to live or live to eat, there's a whole slew of flavor-packed eats to be had at Cafe Guilt. On the lighter end of the spectrum is the Salmon with Truffle Mushroom Adlai Risotto (P675), which ingeniously pairs a tender piece of pan-seared salmon with an adlai risotto spiked with the earthy aroma of truffles.

Cafe Guilt
Though relatively light, the Salmon with Truffle Mushroom Adlai Risotto delivers on plenty of earthy flavor.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

Meanwhile, the Avo Toast (P350) is a treat not just for the eyes, but for the tastebuds as well, as it delivers plenty of (good-for-you!) richness from mashed avocados, organic eggs, and organic butter, plus a hint of what seems to be cumin for a slight curry-like edge. An ingenious seasonal special is the Macopa Salad (P195), which presents the said fruit—sourced right from the tree in their yard—in a savory light by pairing it with a tangy, peppery dressing.

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Cafe Guilt
The Avo Toast is rich with good-for-you fats from avocado and eggs. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
Cafe Guilt
Good ol' macopa makes for a truly ingenious and zesty salad.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

For those days that it's carbs that tickle your fancy (no shame!), try the Smoky Salmon Peacezza (P450)—their take on pizza, with a lox-bagel esque combo of smoked salmon, feta, and capers. Alternatively, there's the classic-but-well made Pasta Vongole (P355) with olive oil, garlic, and white wine on al-dente noodles.

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Cafe Guilt
The Smoky Salmon Peacezza is similar to a lox bagel, in pizza form! 
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Cafe Guilt
Their take on classic vongole pasta is simple but well-executed.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

Feeling meaty? Carnivores will want to try the Grassfed Ribeye Steak Rice (P698), a dish that highlights grass-fed beef and comes with rice that well captures its meaty juices. For an even bigger dose of flavor, try the Javanese Beef Ribs (P458), which has tender meat that's cooked twice and given a slight kick of heat from harang spice.

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Cafe Guilt
Meaty, clean-tasting grass-fed beef is the star of this steak-rice dish.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
Cafe Guilt
Don't miss the flavor-packed Javanese Beef Ribs. 
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

Cafe Guilt also gives plenty of attention to their drinks selection. If you're looking for a vibrant pick-me-up, try the Mamatcha Smoothie (P250), which has a smooth blend of with bananas, matcha, oat "mylk", and coconut water.

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Cafe Guilt
Gotta love the cool banana-leaf wrapped jar, too.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

They've also got coffee drinks made with beans from Bukidnon, Sagada and Batangas (you also have the option to go for beans from Australia). In particular, their Vietnamese Coffee (P198) is worth a try, as their version surprisingly isn't as sweet as others—but if you're up for a one-of-a-kind sip, try the earthy-tasting Beetroot Latte (P175). These drinks are best paired with the creamy-as-can-be Guilt Cheesecake (P250/slice).

Cafe Guilt
Their Vietnamese Coffee is creamy without being saccharine.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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Cafe Guilt
Beets in a latte? You bet!
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

And if you're looking to get happy, they've also got libations to get your spirits up. that include the Turon Cocktail (P495) with sweet bourbon and a burnt-sugar garnish, and the almost-too-pretty-to-drink Blue Pea Sour (P395) that's got a fresh, botanical profile.

Cafe Guilt
The Turon Cocktail tastes just like the classic street snack—but all grown up.
PHOTO BY Kit Singson
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Cafe Guilt
The Blue Pea Sour's got a pretty purple hue!
PHOTO BY Kit Singson

A great atmosphere paired with truly memorable eats and sips is always a winning combination, and Cafe Guilt pretty much nails it. "We would like people to come back for the taste, cozy, homey and safe ambience," says Chi. "[Just like] that feeling of eating over at a friend’s comfy home."

Photos by Kit Singson

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