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This Trendy Fine Dining Restaurant in Quezon City Is Reinventing Our Favorite Comfort Food

What’s on the menu? Filipino favorites with a contemporary twist.
This Trendy Fine Dining Restaurant in Quezon City Is Reinventing Our Favorite Comfort Food
IMAGE (LEFT TO RIGHT) Instagram/xi_bycafeguilt, Courtesy of Xi by Cafe Guilt
What’s on the menu? Filipino favorites with a contemporary twist.

The heart of Quezon City’s Scout area is best described as a smorgasbord, but in concrete form. Within a few walking distances, several restaurants line up its streets that offer something different for you to sample next. But the case has probably never been truer for the newly-opened XI by Cafe Guilt, whose personal goal is a big feat: to reinvent the classics.

A brainchild of the owners of fellow QC hotspot Cafe Guilt, XI is a tad different from its laidback, outdoorsy sibling. For one, the interiors of the new restaurant are a 360-degree flip from the rustic aesthetic—marble tables, gold finishes, and light blue velvet furnish the ’gram-worthy space, complementing a menu that ties modern and staple dishes.

Luckily enough, for XI by Cafe Guilt’s soft opening, the Preview team had an exclusive taste of what they have in store.

LOOK: XI by Cafe Guilt's Tasting Menu

The Calm Through the Storm

PHOTO BY Xi by Cafe Guilt
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To start us off is a glass of Aperitivo or elderflower spritz, a cocktail to cleanse our palates as a precursor to our six-course experience. 

PHOTO BY Xi by Cafe Guilt

Just as most friendly encounters, we begin with a warm hug. In the case of dishes, that’s none other than comfort food–like XI’s lugaw risotto made with Arborio rice, turmeric, and foie gras.

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Paired with: Aperitivo, an elderflower spritz

Tusok-tusok

PHOTO BY Xi by Cafe Guilt

A plate of the reinvented tusok-tusok takes you to the streets, with a selection including blue marlin croqueta, mozzarella stick, chicken skin, and grilled pulpo. The fun part of this course? We got to grill it ourselves!

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Paired with: Ginumis sa Palamig, a traditional Filipino sweet-chilled drink

Pacific

PHOTO BY Xi by Cafe Guilt

Coming in literally hot, the smoking ceviche is a taste of submerging into the Philippine seas. Made with red snapper, tuna, and blue marlin, the dish is best munched with the squid ink crumbs encircling the bowl, resembling the country’s sandy beaches.

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Paired with: Onshore, a uni cocktail with the aroma of fresh citrus and aquatic notes

A Walk in the Park

PHOTO BY Xi by Cafe Guilt

The first few courses are a tough act to follow, but the main dish has done the job. One of the experience’s grand acts is the black Angus tenderloin, crusted with lavender flower and aromantic smoke of cinnamon bark. For pescatarians and non-beef eaters (like me!), a fish viand is a welcome alternative.

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Paired with: The Michelada, a spicy, aromatic bloody mary

Supremo

PHOTO BY Xi by Cafe Guilt

Fancy some time-traveling? XI by Cafe Guilt offers you a history crash course with their take on the binalot, with tender chicken breast wrapped in banana leaves, pumpkin puree, pickled radish, and liver sauce. The meal is named after the Katipunan Supremo himself, Andres Bonifacio, who is said to have taken a liking for the pininyahang manok.

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Paired with: Katipunero, a pesto sour drink with a pleasant grassy taste

Turon de Banana

PHOTO BY Xi by Cafe Guilt

In the wise words of sugar enthusiasts, there’s always room for dessert. The Turon de Banana transports you back to your lola’s kitchen, if she took up experimenting in the kitchen as a hobby. The deconstructed version of the turon features filo pastry, banana mousse, and dehydrated banana, a mix of textures and tastes that feels like a fitting high note to end your gastronomic trip.

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XI by Cafe Guilt is located at Scout Rallos corner Scout Torillo 1103 Quezon City.

Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For reservations, contact 09568608159.

For their full menu, visit their Facebook and Instagram.

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