Where to Eat in Maginhawa Street: Indon-Yaki and The Sweet Spot Cafe

A trip to Maginhawa without a specific plan on where to eat is a surefire way to subject yourself into confusion and indecision—you’ll know what I mean when you get to the famed food street and find yourself overwhelmed with the abundance of choices. It’s not the same Maginhawa (and Teacher's Village, for that matter) I knew before: where it was mostly associated with barbecue, home-cooked meals, -silogs, and bakeries. Now, you can rack your brain and come up with a random type of cuisine, and you can be sure, Maginhawa offers something that has it.

another food hub within Teacher's Village: The Zone Compound
This blog post is not a by-product of the recent QC Food Fest. In fact, I’m sad to announce that the festival failed to feed me anything (OK, I’m exaggerating, we ended up dining at Pino Restobar, because it was the only place with available seats and without ridiculously long queues, but hello? There’s Pino in Jupiter Street! Why would I go all the way to QC when I can get the same food in Makati?). But before you all go wild and throw me apples or rocks or whatever, here’s what happened: we arrived around 9PM, the concert was in full swing, but almost every restaurant and stall has been sold out of food. The restos didn’t anticipate the crowd that would flock the event. Literally, the only choices we had left were: (1) line up for 2 hours for ice cream; and (2) subsist on popcorn, siomai, or breads from Mona’s Bakeshop. Apparently, even my friends who came earlier than I did had nothing to eat as well. What time did they run out of food, 5PM?!

The #QCGutomFest. LOL. Read an interesting (and agreeable) analysis at www.conconsanantonio.net.
Photo credit: www.conconsanantonio.net
OK, now that my minor rant is out of the way, let me go back to the gist. Where was I? Oh, okay. My point? Maginhawa is a food mecca but you have to have some sort of plan or idea where you want to go before you assail the area, or else each restaurant will try to lure you with its luscious offerings and affordable prices and you would want to eat in each of them—but you only have one stomach (obviously) and an inch-thick wallet so you must choose carefully where to stay and settle for the hopeful thought that you can come back soon to try other places. Get my point?

But worry not because in today’s blog post, I have chosen to feature two restaurants in Maginhawa which I found totally awesome. Two spots which, in my opinion and experience, I think you should visit first in case you are planning to attack and have no idea where to go first. So yeah, I’ll spare you the agony of more ranting because I don’t want to keep you hungry, here you go:


Indon-Yaki

I don’t know how anyone can go wrong with Indon-Yaki. With its incredible food and cheap prices, I wouldn’t be surprised if people are eager to line up for an available table right there at the sidewalk and watch enviously as other diners feast on yummy Indonesian fare, and wait patiently for them to finish. Calling the place “small” is an understatement—there are only about 4 tables which can accommodate 16, and they are all on the sidewalk. Not that I’m complaining—their food is absurdly good!

I instantly fell in love with the Ayam Goreng, the Indonesian fried chicken (P120 half/P220 whole). The formula was like Max’s chicken—deep-fried and no breading—but the meat is thoroughly flavorful, with the spicy sambal sauce giving it a kick that further makes it exciting. The crispy flakes toppings add an interesting texture to the dish as well.

Indon-Yaki also serves Indonesian curries. We tried the chicken variant but sorry, it was no match against the Ayam Goreng, which was simply fabulous. My suggestion when you visit Indon-Yaki is that you try the other dishes first before the Ayam Goreng, or else they will all go untouched.


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Indon-Yaki
54 Maginhawa Street, UP Teachers' Village, Quezon City
02.560.8521
Operating Hours: 11:00AM - 11:00PM
Facebook: /Indon-Yaki
Budget: around PhP100-150/head, more if you’re an absolute glutton


The Sweet Spot Café

After a hearty dinner at Indon-Yaki, head over to The Sweet Spot Café for some desserts and coffee.

I couldn’t think of a better concept that establishing a library café in Maginhawa—after all, the brilliant students of UP are just nearby (ehem, ehem), looking for a place where they can satisfy both their lust for books and good food. I always found curling up with a great read and a hot mug sooooo cozy—now, I don’t have to do it at home, and the best part is, I don’t have to carry that thick paperback. (I've heard of another place called Cool Beans Cafe; planning to visit soon!)

HEAVEN.
The Sweet Spot has a mini-library where diners can borrow books as they slice on their cakes and sip on their coffees. I was incredibly impressed with their selections: Bret Easton Ellis, Cormac McCarthy, Chuck Palahniuk … I even spotted a copy of The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis. Whoever put up those books had great taste in literature!

And their food wasn’t bad either. Take the Carrot Cake, whose chiffon-like base was so fluffy and perfect with the copious cream. It was perfect with the Toffeenut Latte (P90)—both saccharine, yes, but who cares right?

The Key Lime Pie was my favorite: a sweet-and-sour pie which was heaven for people who love desserts that are not-too-sweet. The tartness of the pie just explodes inside the mouth with each bite. I loved every morsel of this.

I paired it with the Green Tea Latte (P90), which was simply divine. Others might find it weird-tasting but ever since I tried Lucca’s version, I made it a point to order a similar beverage in places that offer it.

I’ve heard that The Sweet Spot also offers great savory items so maybe I’ll come back soon for some pork chops and stuff. I believe I spotted a porchetta sandwich in their menu—maybe it’s time to raid Maginhawa again soon?

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The Sweet Spot Cafe
Unit 6 G/F, #189 Maginhawa St. cor. Makadios St.,
Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
02.435.3045
Operating Hours: 8:00AM - 10:00PM
Facebook: /SweetSpotPH
Twitter: @thesweetspotph
Instagram: @thesweetspotcafe
Budget: around PhP200 for cake and coffee

There you have it, my two picks from Maginhawa. Consider it an itinerary: have a quick, satisfying dinner at Indon-Yaki then indulge afterwards at The Sweet Spot, where you can lounge for hours and catch up with your friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, food buddy, or whoever’s with you. Who knows, when you swing by, maybe you’ll catch me there stuffing myself crazy with Key Lime Pies while reading gory stuff by Bret Easton Ellis and you can invite me over for some beer at Sarah’s—your treat? :p

What's your favorite restaurant in Maginhawa?

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5 comments :

  1. Great finds =) I also suggest chili and ink!

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  2. Hahaha! Wag ka matrauma may mga worth it naman puntahan don. Sarap ng fried chicken, fuck diets. Hahaha

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  3. Hi Pepe! It's Adz. OMG haggard yung food fest. Maginhawa is my tambayan as a lot of my friends live nearby but that weekend it was nothing like the chill vibe we know. Ended up having dinner in Eastwood at 10 pm! Took us hours to get out lang. Great idea, but poorly executed jusme. Naging ala-lantern parade instead of mercato. Okay end of rant. HAHA Back to your reviews. I haven't tried Indonyaki but I love Sweet Spot. Their playlists are well curated just like the library. The porchetta sandwich is great! Also the walnut pie. Also try Cafe Quezon for Filipino comfort food, Snack Shack for freshly made burgers, and The Breakfast Table. Food is great but my personal favorite is their create-your-own breakfast. Enjoy! :)

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  4. Hey Adz! Target ko yang Breakfast Table and Snack Shack. Next time. Ayan sayo pala ko dapat magtanong ng mga maginhawa places. :)

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