6.04.2012

Little Quiapo: Home of The Best Halo-halo and Pancit Palabok

Looking for pinoy comfort food cooked homemade style that’s easy on the budget? We discovered this quaint restaurant tucked in the center of the busy city.

One scorching day, Berto and I decided to go out for some snacks. It was just too hot inside the house! We wanted something cold and the first thing that came to mind was the good old Filipino treat, the Halo-halo. It is basically shaved ice, evaporated milk, various fruits and beans, leche flan, macapuno and as an optional treat, a scoop of ice cream on top. We usually go for Goldilocks (Kwala’s favorite) or Chowking (Berto’s favorite). We also like Razon’s. But this time, we decided to try one of the recommended restaurants the Spot.ph Top 10 Everything Food List (the ultimate guide to good food in metro manila), a quaint little restaurant called Little Quiapo. Located along Malakas St. in Diliman Quezon City (at the back of the SSS office), Little Quiapo is a restaurant owned by the Bartolome Family and has been around for quite some time. Founded in 1949, there have been several branches established around the metro, but back in the day, the best place to get refreshing halo halo would be the Little Quiapo along Espana Ave in Sampaloc Manila.
Back to the present, we had no problem parking our car since the resto had parking space enough for several cars. I doubt though, if the parking area can accommodate all the hungry patrons during peak hours, I imagine some cars spilling along the street.


When we entered the restaurant, I instantly felt the homey vibe of the place. It felt like visiting your Lola’s house for Sunday lunch or merienda. They showcased native and wooden d├ęcor, adding to that feeling of entering typical Filipino home. Tables and chairs were simple, no pretensions at all.


We arrived during merienda time, so there weren’t a lot of people eating, but people came in and out in a steady stream. You can tell most of them are regular customers already since they don’t even glance at the menu, they know what they like and they just order immediately.

We ordered the famous halo-halo and pancit palabok combo. Pancit palabok (P83) was served first. At first glance, the serving looked small. I honestly thought I wouldn’t be satisfied, but by the time I finished it, plus my halo-halo, I was literally bursting! I’m a fan of noodles, any form of pasta or pancit, I like. So I wasn’t really that hard to please. I immediately gave the dish a nod, with its flavorful sauce, plus the generous toppings of shrimp, squid, sliced boiled eggs, garlic and chicharon.


We also ordered the ultimate Fiesta halo-halo (P120) This is halo-halo served in a big container, with the special ingredients. Berto swears the langka, kamote and ube were extra special. As if they were home made, not your usual out-of-the-bottle variety. Honestly, I couldn’t taste the difference. Additional treats were candied sprinkles, choco syrup, a cherry, barquillos and a little umbrella as a garnish. Berto gave it two thumbs up and declared it his number one favorite halo-halo of all time! That’s how much he loved it.


Berto and Kwala verdict: We love the place! You’ll just have to get over the initial smell that greets you when you go in, it’s not really a bad smell, Berto thinks it’s from all the cooking and the smell must’ve attached to the wood or the walls or whatever. It reminded me of my aunt’s old plastic table cloth, the kind that gets smelly with age. Anyway, once you get past the smell, food is wonderful and reasonably priced. Courteous servers (they accommodate your questions but they are not a smiley bunch) Come and visit Little Quiapo… Pinoy comfort food cooked homemade style tucked in the center of the bustling metro.


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