Hizon's - Za's Cafe

This is classic favorite of my family. We go to this resto to celebrate occassions which are important to us like my sister's baptism or Ruy's pamamamnhikan. When there are no occassions to celebrate, we just try to make one up just to have an excuse to eat here.

I first took Ruy to this place when we were already dating pretty seriously. It was a big deal to me, it was like welcoming someone into my home. I've had memories after memories in this place. The waiters know my family, my sister crawled across the tables when she was a baby. And for the first time, I was back there with Ruy and Andrea, my own family.

Low-key and unassuming. This restaurant is too easy to miss when you're cruising along Bocobo St. in Malate. Looking at the exterior one would not imagine being able to find treasures inside.

We were immediately greeted by Edgar one of the wonderful waiters of Hizon's. Edgar has always been the one to assist us although most of the waiters were more than willing to give us what we need. I've always adored how the waiters in Hizon knew what they were selling. They were like the old-time waiters. They know their products, they were polite and they were nice.

We were seated and given the menu. I was surprised to see that after over a decade, they have now changed their menus. When I say they have changed their menus I am talking about both the appearance as well as the content of the menu. I suppose they changed the appearance to accomodate the change in price. The content of the menu is now a streamlined version of their old menu. It seems they have decided to focus on their house specialty and their best sellers.

We were given our iced teas. Ruy and I usually try to be a bit more imaginative when it comes to ordering our drinks but not in Hizons. We adore their tea which is not the instant kind. It's made from black tea with calamansi and sugar syrup. I adore it and my mistake is that I always drown myself in iced tea before the food comes leaving me with little space for the food. And we all know we need serious space for food.

As soon as we sat down, we were given butter and our bread basket. The bread they serve is their famous raisin loaf which sells for 85 pesos a loaf. Each bread basket has around half a loaf of raisin bread but they're very generous about giving you extra if you want some more.

For this meal Ruy and I had: Surf and Turf, Grilled Porkchops with Apple Sauce and Camaron Rebosado. Each plate comes with it's serving of mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Grilled Porkchops with Apple Sauce. This is a very simple dish and the name pretty much sums up what it is. You get 2 huge cuts of pork chop grilled, yet remaining very tender. The pork has a certain flavor which tells me it's marinated. The marinade is light and doesn't overwhelm the apple sauce. I've had these chops both with and without the apple sauce and they were good both ways.

Camaron Rebosado. This is an all-time favorite with our family. Their Camaron has a tempura-like breading which makes it a bit crunchy and crisp. It's best eaten warm drizzled with the sauce. I have to warn you that the sauce might be considered too sweet by other people but for someone who eats dessert before, during and after a meal...I LOVE IT!

Surf and Turf looked measly when I saw the plate, but I guess it must have been heavy on the stomach as Ruy wasn't able to help out much with the other dishes. The steak was cooked just right and remained tender despite being well done. The prawn was sized well enough to accomodate my husbands appetite.

We had absolutely no space for dessert so we ended up buying things from their bakeshop to take home.

Once we arrived home I attacked the Lemon Pie. Now, I knew from the start that I would be eating around 70% of this HUGE cake as Ruy doesn't like sour things and he doesn't like cakes as much as he likes shakes and ice creams. I actually imagined (or is it hoped?) that he would take one spoonful and then give it all to me. Imagine my surprise when he actually had several and proclaimed that it's actually good "for a lemon pie" me that's a good compliment. =)

What I usually hate about Lemon Pies in general is how the meringue is overly sweet while the filling tastes too much like candy. I've also tasted several where the filling is too starchy. Luckily this particular pie didn't fall into that trap. Despite loving it soo much and taking around 4 hours to finish one slice (that's with the help of Ruy already) I initially thought it was overpriced at 180 pesos. Then I realized that huge slice is the same size as two regular slices of cake put together. I therefore conclude that it's well worth the 180 pesos we paid for it.

The food remains good, the service wonderful and the price reasonable--I have every reason in the world to come back. What I am looking forward to the most is being able to create memories with my my own family, Ruy and Andrea, which is somehow connected to the memories I have created with my Mother, My Aunt, my sister, my stepdad, etc.

(P.S. I would have wanted to talk about the variety of bread and cakes offered in Hizon's bakeshop but it would make this post too long. I'll write another post about it in the future. =))


spanx said...

hey, nice captions on the photos. cool!!!

my aunts who run Hizon's will love this post, can i print it out for them?

i also "grew up" there, and i'd always see Dolphy and his bevy of babes, pre-Zsa Zsa.

Liv said...

Oh my goodness, I've seen Dolphy so many times there as well. As a kid I was freaked out whenever I would see him checking out my mother...hahaha

I don't mind having this post printed out, and please do tell your aunts that we adore their food.

jean said...

that camaron looks really really good! i remember eating at hizon's with my family once or twice long ago. our equivalent of that (fam fave) would be King Crab in san juan. i really really miss the glorious food in pinas!

Jen Tan said...

Hey family and I also love Hizon's and Za's Cafe! I actually have a post on that...and I had the same chops...and yummmy talaga! Our bread basket though was of dinner rolls...uber fluffy. Yeah I agree...simple food pero parang ang perfect...perfectly simple laya and sarap!

Spanx...your aunt owns Hizon's???penge discount! ;P OO nga I think Dolphy is a regular at Za' sis has a pic with there pa nga..I'll look for it and post! hahaha

Liv...pero mas gusto ko bumili ng Hizon's goodies here kesa sa mga ,all outlets nila...I don't kno why...great post!

Jen Tan said...

ok erratum:

i meant perfectly simple KAYA anG sarap =)

my sis has a pic with DOLPHY there pa nga

and...I like buying Hizon's goodies at the J. Bocobo branch instead of sa mga MALL outlets =)

hehehe sorry for the typos ;P

Liv said... I pass by King Crab all the time and I don't pay attention to it. Ruy would be pleased to have a kakampi cause he's been bugging me to eat there.

Liv said...

Jen: It's funny cause I understood what you were saying perfectly even with the typos!

I do agree with you that buying pastries there feels so much better than buying in the stalls. I think it's because I know that when I buy pastries there...a complete meal is part of the package...hehehe

Dhanggit said...

Inggit naman ako, you and your hubby have a memorable resto for both of you..although we love to it outside i dont remember having a resto where we can say has been part of our history :-) im an iced tea the way we do it in some restaurants in philippines..the first photo is truly adorable :-)

carlotta said...

that lemon pie sure looks good!

Liv said...

I guess we just have to have a memorable resto cause we're too matakaw not to...hehehe.

Liv said...

Carlotta: Oh it was definitely good. I'm craving for some right now!!

Jen Tan said...

hahaha..thanks liv...nice to know i get my typo-ed mssgs through ;P hahaha

hope I can go visit Hizon's bocobo soon..try that turkey platter spanx told me about =D

Em Dy said...

Hi Liv. I'm interested in the camaron rebosado> How much is it?

shobejasmin said...

hi im anna, i love d food in hizon's especially the lumpiang sariwa and ox tongue! but i dnt like thei cheesecakes!! but the other food is okay and the staff is frendly like kuya edgar!!

Anonymous said...

Hindi na masarap ung cake nila!!!! hindi na tulad ng dati!!!! madalas na-oorder namin whole cake medyo sunog na at tatlong beses pa namin na encountr 2. d lang namin maisauli kc may party nun eh syempre ishe-share mo sa mga bisita mo kakahiya kaya!!! tapos dati yung gitna ng cake nila yung filling ba dati makapalngayon napaka nipis na!!! minsan naman makapal lng ng kaunti pero sobrang tamis naman!!! hndi sila standard gumawa!!!! WORST!!!! ayaw ko na mag order ng cake nila!!!!



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