It was hidden in plain sight. The “Gubat” signage is even so inconspicuous I passed by it twice and didn’t easily notice. Little did I know, that ensconced behind the bamboo walls and door, there’s a little al fresco dining restaurant inside. Gubat QC does feel like being inside a forest (gubat is a tagalog word which means forest) with its lush environment surrounding the wooden tables and benches of the dining area. Everything feels organic. From the food, the banana leaves as plate and even the way people eat – kamayan style (with bare hands).
Gubat QC (Quezon City)
I parked my bike near the entrance and proceeded to the cashier to order. There are Filipino rice meals on the menu like Adobong Baboy, Lechon Kawali, Piniritong Isda, Piniritong Manok, Tapa (regular or flakes), Longganisa, Hungarian Sausage and Tuyo. For snacks, there’s Carbonara and Bolognese pasta. They take your orders and give you a number. Payment is after the meal. I saw the people work at the open kitchen behind the cashier.
The place has very interesting displays aside from the bonsai plants. Aquariums, photography and travel related books adorn the place. A UP Mountaineer tarp is on a wall. I’m guessing one of the owners is well-traveled to have a concept like this.
Tapa Flakes and Turmeric
For my order, I decided to have Tapa (in flakes) and Turmeric Iced Tea. Oh boy I was impressed with the presentation. Food was placed on a banana leaf. On top of the rice are pako salad, slice of tomato and red egg. The flakes looks so good with golden brown garlic bits.
It does not only look good but it taste so good. I was surprised with the pako (fiddlehead fern) salad. It was lightly crisp and slightly sweet. Almost caramelized. I asked the kitchen how they did it but had a sweet “secret po sir!” response. The tapa flakes with garlic was good as expected especially with their vinegar. Texture was just right.
The Turmeric Ice tea was refreshing. I can taste the blend of honey for a balanced sweetness. The serving was also filling in that large mason jar.
Of course food here is taken Kamayan style or with bare hands. But they do offer utensils if you order pasta or some desserts. Utensils can also be requested but for full experience, eating by hand is the best way.
There’s a washing area and clean-as-you-go is urged. It’s quite easy really with a banana leaf. I just had to fold them and throw at the organic waste bin.
I surely enjoyed the dining experience at Gubat QC and would surely be back if I’m in the area. Many thanks to fellow foodie Kara of Traveling-Up who recommended the place since she lives near the area. I would recommend it too if I was there.
Near UP Diliman Bonsai Society
Tuesday to Sunday 10AM to 8PM