I have fond childhood memories in Za's Cafe and its twin Hizon's. Now, before you assume I'm THAT old, I'm not! It just so happened that my mother never failed to take us out to eat before going home every Thursday after P.E. or extracurricular activities days back when my siblings and I were studying in St. Jude. One of our favorite stops is Za's Cafe. Years later, we still crave for some dishes from this restaurant. Well, just two particular dishes actually. Tell you all about it later. :)
For years, the interior has stayed the same. The only thing that must've changed is the air conditioner. I remember (if my memory isn't fooling me) that there used to be ceiling fans idly whirling back then. Now, they might have not entered the credit card era but at least they have moved on to air conditioners.:)
The buttery soft bread is still the same, and so is the unlimited butter. Yummy! Even better if you add some sugar. :D They are very generous with this bread that they give us packs of it even when we order only for take out.
|Grilled Pork Chops with Apple Sauce Php350|
Would you believe that I've been eating in Za's Cafe for more than 10 years and this is the first time I tasted their grilled pork chops? I found the meat too tough but the apple sauce is not bad.
|Pot Roast Beef Stew Php375|
And yes, this is also the first time I tried the pot roast. Its meat is tender and the sauce made it moist and flavorful! I prefer this dish better than the previous one. I'm not sure if it's just that I like sauces but it seems to be the strong points of these two dishes.
|Baked Turkey with Stuffing Php420|
Now, here is one of the two dishes I ALWAYS order when in Za's Cafe. The baked turkey, plus the stuffing is just soo delicious that through the years, the memory of it is still remembered by my taste buds and often crave for it. I love eating the sweet potato side dish as well. I finish it last, every time. Yum, yum!
It's lucky that it's only available during thursdays of all days. If not, I could've never have tried it. I'm not sure why they chose thursday, perhaps because of thanksgiving? Well, whatever the reason is, I am thankful that they chose thursday, and I'm praying that they make it available everyday already! :D
The other dish I order in Za's Cafe during the times that they run out of turkey is THE spaghetti. I'm not sure you'd understand what I mean but their spaghetti tastes of olden times. It's full of flavor unlike the modern spaghetti which tastes like fast food most often than not. I have yet to find a spaghetti better that the one served in Za's.
There were cakes on display that tempted us to gluttonize but we were thankfully able to restrain ourselves. But oh my, the desserts look really homey delicious!
To further torture ourselves, we dropped by Hizon's which was literally a step out of Za's Cafe.
They have already rearranged the place to make it more spacious and customer-friendly. I'm glad that they do change somethings at the very least.
They offer a different type of ensaymada which is mixed with queso de bola. We bought a couple but I was not able to try it.
I love these bread rolls showered with white sugar. It's not the airy kind of bread like mamon and ensaymada which I'm no fan of.
This mocha chiffon cake is probably the most famous cake among Chinese folks. I know many aunts who would not eat any cake besides this Hizon's creation. My mother loves to eat the icing flowers. She's like a kid that way.
Another good dish of Hizon's is their Tocino del Cielo which you can ask to be made at 50 pcs. minimum. It's pure sweetness heaven!
To be honest, great as it is, I fear that Za's Cafe might close one day since whenever we dine there I only see diners of the older generation and none of the younger ones like us. It might be that there are just too many restaurants already or that they prefer to stick to how they have operated since they started meaning with minimal, if there's any, marketing. Za's Cafe is a throwback from the past which is good for us fans but bad for the longevity of the business. I hope it does survive though. :)
Za's Cafe / Hizon's
1197 Jorge Bocobo St.,
Corner Arquiza St.,