We’re always excited to find new restaurants tucked away in some quiet street or neighborhood, so getting ourselves down to Felicity Resto-Café, formerly Felicity Patisserie, was a real treat for us. Located along Holy Spirit Drive in Quezon City at the side of the building in front of Cake to Go, Felicity is the kind of place you’d go to for a bite of dessert, a quiet afternoon by yourself, a meal with good friends, or a simple gathering with the family.
Felicity Resto-Café is owned by Carol and Jasper de Leon, a married couple ably juggling the restaurant and their day jobs (Carol works at Del Monte while Jasper teaches at Ateneo high school). Having a place like Felicity has always been on Carol’s to-do list, and the chance to make it happen came when a friend vacated the place that now houses Felicity and encouraged Carol to pursue her dream.
It was definitely a big step for the de Leons, since Felicity is their first-ever foray into business, but they finally made it happen in January. Since then, the restaurant has attracted a modest but loyal following, with customers ranging from families to groups of friends and students to office employees, some of whom were drawn in by curiosity about the pleasant, welcoming sign and found themselves coming back to try out everything else on the menu.
A cheerful and cozy sight greeted us on our own trip to Felicity. The place was done up in pale, but refreshing colors, with interesting little knick-knacks on the shelves that gave it a countryish, toned-down shabby chic flavor. All in all, cute and dainty would be the perfect words to describe the restaurant.
We couldn’t say the same about the food, however. There was absolutely nothing dainty about the meals they offer, which were all hearty and exceptionally filling. Okay, so they were presented prettily, with a bit of plating flair. But oh my word, the food filled us up like you wouldn’t believe. Take Exhibit A: Tenderly Yours Beef Tapa (P160).
As the breakfast of champions, there are very few ways for people to get beef tapa wrong. But this is great beef tapa in our books, made up of–yes, indeed–tender strips of lean beef generously brushed with flavorful sauce–with the vinegar already mixed in, so you don’t need to drizzle in any more–and accompanied by creamy scrambled eggs, which were fortunately firm and not at all runny like other creamy scrambled eggs out there. Since this is part of their All-Day Sunny Breakfast collection, it’s great for those who have a hankering for tapa for lunch or dinner.
Another excellent treat is Mi Callia Chicken Masala (P175), which bears the name of one of their daughters (other dishes named for their daughters are Aglio Olio Clio and Gambas Al Caitlin).
The chicken masala is Felicity’s sauce-free take on the popular Indian dish, and the chunks of chicken are generously seasoned with a medley of spices that just tickle the tongue. A helping of vegetables on the side can cool you down, nicely balancing the heat of the dish.
The third dish was Hickory Barbecue Country Ribs (P185), featuring pork ribs covered in hickory sauce and topped with onions.
While the meat wasn’t exactly fall-off-the-bone, it was tender and the sauce didn’t overwhelm or disguise the meat. The onions were more than decorative; they complemented the entire dish. It’s a simple, hearty choice, and you can see right away why this is one of Felicity’s most-requested dishes.
(By this time, we were already thinking OMG SO MUCH GOOD FOOD.)
The Lean Pork With Basil Cream Relish (P195) was presented to us next. I’m over the moon about this dish, and I’m not even a big pork-eater.
This dish consisted of thinly sliced pork medallions laid on top of one another, with a light cream and basil leaves sandwiched in between. It wasn’t a combination that I would ever have thought of, but it certainly worked. The pork was nicely cooked and wasn’t greasy at all, and it certainly didn’t rely on any other sauce or dressing to make it flavorful. Tangy slices of carrots and celery were perched on each piece, offsetting the pork and cream.
Felicity also uses the ever-popular cream dory in the Dory with Tomato-Pesto Confit (P200).
I’m of the opinion that dory is not the most flavorful fish out there, and the pesto, which includes basil, parsley, garlic, and onion in the mix, gives it a lot more character. Maybe I should be complaining that there’s quite a lot of pesto weighing down the fish, but mix it in with the rice and it’s just right.
The menu is quite varied, to our surprise, and what makes it even more amazing is that the de Leons were the ones who concocted the recipes themselves.
A great dessert is the perfect ending to a fantastic meal, and fortunately, we had two of those.
The Blueberry Skies Cheesecake, being unbaked, was nice, light, and creamy; it’s not exceptional, but it’s a yummy, albeit safe, choice all the same. The Frozen Brazo de Mercedes, on the other hand, looks like your regular Brazo de Mercedes except for one thing: ice cream. (Cue the happy sighs.)
Felicity promises to serve up “happy food, sweets, and treats,” and that’s exactly what we got on our visit. You can bring home a piece of the sweetness too with all the cookies they have on sale; I’m holding on to the hope that they’re going to have cupcakes available in the future. Still, given the quality of the food they have, we’re glad that they dropped the ‘patisserie’ theme and became a full-fledged restaurant instead.
All in all, we love the homey vibe of Felicity, and for now, it remains one of the city’s delicious little secrets, though we wouldn’t be surprised if word got out to more people very soon. You’d want to come back a number of times just to try everything on their menu–we had five dishes and we’re looking forward to wading through the rest of their dishes. We totally see this place becoming a favorite after-school hangout or even a nice venue for intimate bridal showers and parties. The location may be a bit of a sticking point for those who might find it a little out of their way, but pay it a visit and you’ll see that it’s well worth the trip.
Address: 2F Unit F Holy Spirit Drive corner Don Matias Street
Don Antonio Heights Subdivision
Landmark: Across Cake to Go/School Stop
Web: Felicity on Facebook