Taste Buds: Bite-size portions of happiness at Felicity
|Owners of Felicity Home Kitchen said their restaurant caters to intimate crowds.|
MANILA, Philippines - There is a quaint, shabby chic resto-cafe in my neighborhood that serves food with familiar home comforts.
Located in Don Antonio subdivision in Quezon City, Felicity is the sort of restaurant that would make you want to curl up with a good book and enjoy a warm meal or a scrumptious dessert.
Originally a pastry shop, Felicity has shown improvement since it opened in January this year.
"We're now naming it Felicity Home Kitchen. It's very apt in a home neighborhood and it evokes something lighter, more cozy, and that's how we want our second home to be known by our customers and followers," said proprietor Caroline de Leon, who added that the restaurant caters to intimate crowds.
"Felicity means happiness, bliss or nirvana. That's what we want our customers to feel when they enter the restaurant, when they eat and when they leave and share [their experience] with their family and friends.
"Usually they start off with just dining in with desserts and our hot meals. And since they like the place, it's very cozy, very intimate, they hold their parties here. We've done a lot of showers, baptisms. This being a subdivision, we have small families. That's exactly clientele we cater to."
Caroline and her husband, Jasper, said maestro Ryan Cayabyab has dined at Felicity with his family, and even wrote a song that mentions the restaurant.
Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto also celebrated his daughter's wedding anniversary here with his family, they added.
"We want to offer home-cooked food but served in a different way," Jasper said.
Caroline and Jasper are the minds behind Felicity. They personally whip up the dishes: sans professional training, Jasper takes care of the hot meals while Caroline prepares the sweet treats.
Felicity's house specialties include the dory tomato pesto, barbecue ribs and a dish called pasta kai-vigan, which is made with Vigan longganisa.
Best-selling sweets, on the other hand, include the frozen brazo de felizidad, pistachio sans rival and choco nirvana, a chocolate cheesecake.
The restaurant also serves starters called "happy-tizers."
"The desserts have evolved. We're now customizing some of the desserts based on their requirements for their events. We also do a lot of cupcakes. On weekends, Jasper is concocting new dishes," Caroline said.
Jasper designed the restaurant with monochromatic hues and nature wall stickers. Their kids participate in various aspects of the business, too, from decorating and baking to naming the dishes.
"Probably because Jasper is an artist, it runs in the blood so the children pick up from that. They like crafts, drawing since they were children. So when they catch up on the them for a party or just a decoration for the Halloween season, they got involved with the design in the store," Caroline said.
"They like baking, they suggest what will be part of the menu. And what Jasper adds to the menu, we have them tasted by our kids. When they like it, we're sure they'll become winners," she added.
"Kid-approved," Jasper quipped.
One such dish that won their kids' vote is the creamy chicken pesto, which was introduced in the menu in late October.
The celery adds a refreshing twist to the dish. And with the cheddar cheese, the chicken pesto makes for a very hearty meal.
CREAMY CHICKEN PESTO
- white onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 150 gms chicken breast, diced
- cheddar cheese, diced
- 3 pcs bay leaf
- celery, chopped
- 1 tbsp pesto
- In a preheated pan, saute onions in olive oil and butter.
- Add garlic and chicken. Simmer to cook.
- Add cheese, bay leaf and celery. Mix.
- Add pesto. Mix. Serve with rice.
Felicity Home Kitchen is located at 2/F Unit F, Holy Spirit Drive corner Don Matias Street, Don Antonio Heights, Quezon City, Philippines. The restaurant is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. For reservations, call (63917) 853-1998.
"Taste Buds," a weekly food segment at "Mornings@ANC," airs on Tuesdays between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. It features chefs and talented foodies, their food ventures, house specialties and new introductions to their menu.