*Update* This restaurant is now closed.
While picking up Toolman for lunch yesterday, I noticed a small Filipino restaurant across the street. I'll be honest, it didn't look all that attractive, since it was in a dumpy strip mall. However, something kept me thinking about it. So today I convinced myself to actually try it. The restaurant itself is not very big; it looks much more like a take out place. I asked the lady what was good to eat and she suggested I try the Tocilog. Since I have absolutely no clue what Filipino food is about, I trusted her and ordered it. Well, Tocilog is actually a Filipino breakfast that consists of a fried egg, rice and sweet pork. At first glance, the dish didn't look so promising; but it was really good. Getting a spoonful (yes, they don't use knives, it's a spoon and a fork) of each item, it was really tasty. The pork is definitely sweet and since it was pan-fried, the caramelizing of the sugar gave it a smoky flavour. I also had a side of Pusit, which is essentially squid that has been simmered in a sauce. I definitely got hints of garlic and vinegar. What was interesting is that it was whole squid, nothing was removed. I ate the innards, tentacles and eyes - all of it! I actually didn't mind it because it tasted like squid. However, for my personal tastes, I was not fond of the texture because it was fully cooked, I like my squid just barely cooked. But then again, I don't know much about Filipino food.
As I was paying, the most bizarre thing happened. If you've been reading my last few posts, I've been having really bad luck with places not wanting pictures taken. Well, today it went to a whole new level. I was just about to leave, when a man identified himself as a cop. He began asking me why I was taking photos and what was my purpose being there. Well... I explained the whole blog thing and after that he got really friendly. He even began explaining some of the food items in the store. Well, I'm not going to speculate on this strange encounter; I'll let you fill in the blanks.
Despite the twilight-zone event, I was still satisfied with my meal and although it looks like a hole-in-the-wall, Aquarius Cafe & Bakery has some good eats. Although I'm not familiar with Filipino food, I can tell that it's authentic. Oh, did I mention it was cheap too? Most items are well under $10, actually closer to $5. So it's practically a no-risk food adventure. Unless you take pictures that is....
- Food is authentic (from what I can gather)
- It's different
- Small restaurant, mostly good for takeout
- Can get arrested for taking pictures???
Aquarius Cafe & Bakery
12043 88th Avenue
11:00am - 8:30pm (Tue - Thu)
7:00am - 7:00pm (Fri - Sun)