The Aromatic Ca Phe Saigon in Marikina
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Marikina’s hole in the wall takes you to some authentic Vietnamese treat.
If you are in search of making your stomach full in a healthy and hearty way, Ca Phe Saigon is your go-to place.
Located in the discreet street along New Marikina in Brgy. San Roque, Ca Phe Saigon is like many other restaurants in Marikina concealed as an extension to the owner’s home. So, I suggest you keep your eyes on the lookout when you plan to go to this place.
From the outside, you could barely notice the restaurant as it is tucked inside a village. Before you enter, you will be greeted by the owner’s garden of abundant herbs and spices.
Ca Phe Saigon is a simple and homey restaurant. The walls are painted with the restaurant’s name, a map of Vietnam and the classic Pho.
A non la or the traditional Vietnamese palm leaf hat hangs at the door of the entrance and bathroom.
The restaurant has eight tables and can accommodate 32 customers.
Mary Rose Bonifacio who is known as the neighborhood’s “lola” is Ca Phe Saigon’s owner. She is Vietnamese. She runs the restaurant together with her daughter Apple.
Lola Rose brought her homegrown recipes from the rich culinary culture of Vietnam to the Shoe Capital of the Philippines when it first opened its doors five years ago. Today, Ca Phe Saigon has two other branches in Antipolo and at The Podium in Mandaluyong.
Vietnamese cuisine is a celebration of fresh gastronomic grub. It is a mix of diverse cultures with rice as the main component influenced by the Chinese, Cambodian and French cuisine.
Flavorful and Aromatic
As customers come in and go, I noticed that most of them already knew what to order. I assume that these people are regular Ca Phe Saigon goers.
For starters, try Goi Cuon or the Vietnamese fresh spring rolls. Taste the fresh ingredients of this classic summer roll, rice noodles with lettuce, mint leaves, lean pork, and shrimp all rolled up in a rice paper wrapper. Complete your experience by dipping the fresh rolls to the delicious peanut sauce.
Ca Phe Saigon takes pride in serving its customer an authentic bowl of Pho, Vietnam’s most favorite and world-renowned beef rice noodle soup.
The steamy beef noodle soup is perfect for the rainy weather. Served with sprouts and basil leaves on the side.
Relish the infusion of mint and the rich beef broth in every slurp. The pleasure is also in the tender and thinly sliced beef. The regular-sized bowl is just enough for one person.
If you are into bread, order for yourself a classic Banh Mi or Vietnamese baguette served in a wooden board. This hearty French-inspired sandwich is made of a 6-inch long baguette toasted nicely for that crisp sound with every bite. It is stuffed with fresh lettuce, cucumber and special Vietnamese pickles with your choice of roasted pork, chicken or beef.
The loaded Banh Mi is dressed with a juicy and tangy sauce — a burst of complimenting flavors.
Meanwhile, if you want to taste something new, try Ca Phe Saigon’s Goi Buoi or pomelo salad. A hearty salad served with a generous amount of chunks of sweet pomelo tossed in crisp shredded cabbage and carrots. It is also topped with bits of shrimp and lean pork. The vinaigrette has some citrusy, tangy and a little bit hint of spice to it. The peanuts on the side add texture to the overall mouthfeel of the salad.
The special dry noodles combination or Bun Thit Cha Gio is like a Vietnamese version of our very own pancit bihon. This is also a popular Vietnamese dish bowl of your choice of grilled chicken, pork or beef and fried rolls served on top of a bed of cold vermicelli noodles.
Don’t forget to pair your meals with a refreshing brewed iced tea for drinks or try their iced coffee or Ca Phe Sua Da served to you the Vietnamese style.
Coffee lovers will enjoy this strong yet sweet coffee drink. The bitter taste of ground coffee balanced with condensed milk will surely invigorate your senses. You can order it iced or hot.
For dessert, you can try a slice of Banh Da Lon, a Vietnamese steamed layer cake. It is like a Filipino kakanin. Soft and sticky rice cake with flavors of pandan and mung bean. The mung bean creates a gritty texture to the cake.
Ca Phe Saigon also has options available for vegans and vegetarians alike.
Ca Phe Saigon is an affordable restaurant with prices not higher than P300 just appropriate for every dish. They only allow cash payment.
Usual orders take about 10-15 minutes to serve.
The crew is friendly and attentive to the requests of each customer. The staff is quick to provide service water infused with fresh mint leaves.
If you’re from the north or south, Ca Phe Saigon is less than ten minutes away from LRT 2 Santolan Station via Marcos Highway. Meanwhile, if you’re coming from Marikina, it is just four minutes away from the City Hall.
Ca Phe Saigon is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 in the morning until 10:00 in the evening.
Ca Phe Saigon is open for reservation and online food delivery services through local mobile apps.
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