By Cesar Cruz Jr.
PERHAPS, no other food Filipinos link good memories with than they do with Filipino and Spanish cuisines. Why? They are the food they grew up with, thus they are the closest to their hearts. Lechon, for example, brings to mind grand celebrations, such as town fiestas and weddings. Paella and callos could remind one of his or her grandmother’s cooking. On the other hand, sisig and barbecue can refresh one’s memory of the happy hours spent with the barkada.
Enter Quezon—a Filipino and Spanish buffet in Fishermall, Quezon City. The dining establishment is an offshoot of the success of Gruppo Guevarra Inc.’s first concept buffet in San Juan—Guevarra’s. Quezon is making a splash among foodies and buffet goers with its well-loved selection of dishes.
Start off with Kalabasa soup or the slightly spicy Sinigang sa pula to whet your appetite. Have your fill of salad with creative Pinoy twists on the dressings—mango mayo, sinigang dressing and salted-egg dressing. Meanwhile, tokwa’t baboy, lumpiang ubod, garlic mushroom and crispy kangkong will reunite one’s taste buds with familiar flavors. Munching on potato salad or macaroni salad will hint one that Christmas is just around the corner.
There are regional specialties that we crave for every now and then. They may remind us of our hometown or simply the comforting goodness of a home-cooked meal. At Quezon, one can indulge in pinakbet, dinakdakan, laing, salad with pako, dory laing and pork binagoongan, among other favorites. If Spanish food makes you brimming with excitement, then find delight in paella, callos, chorizo gambas and croquetas.
Seasoned buffet goers always make sure to get their money’s worth. The easy way to do this is check out the meat offered at the carving station. Even hard-core carnivores will be pleased with Quezon’s meat lineup during weekends. How often do you find the following dishes served all at the same time—three kinds of sisig (bangus, chicken and pork), Angus steak, pork barbecue, bagnet, lechon chili belly, lechon manok inasal and the king of its carving station—lechon baka! (One need not wait to be invited to a high-profile gathering to partake of this much-revered centerpiece.)
Dessert lovers will be reliving memories of hot summer days with the halo-halo and frozen avocado yogurt. Quezon makes distinct its offering by serving Frozen Brazo—one of its signature desserts. The restaurant also serves turon with langka by wrapping the saba in lumpia wrappers with a twist of langka syrup on the side.
The Quezon vibe
There is an elegant and homey feel to the spacious place with its predominantly white interior, mood lighting, wood works and chandeliers. Classic lines and Art Deco pieces blend well into its interior. The walls are adorned with photos of President Manuel L. Quezon through the years, inciting an appreciation of Filipino history. The dining establishment can seat close to 200 people, with a function room that can accommodate 35 persons.
When asked to describe the food served at Quezon in just a few words, Corporate Chef Kalel Chan uttered, “Rich in history!”
Rightly so—with its festive food selections overflowing with historic vibe, reliving our glorious past is just a food trip away.
Quezon is on the second floor of Fishermall in Quezon City.