Looking for this little cafe and juice bar in Quezon City is like discovering a secret garden--surrounding Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar are lush greenery, plants of all shapes and sizes sprawled around the complex of Cedarhills Garden Center, an urban plant farm located at Mother Ignacia Avenue. Its surroundings immediately adds a refreshing charm when dining inside this restaurant, as if you've been whisked away somewhere far from the metro and busy streets and tangled traffic situations that a QC neighborhood can present to you.
And in sync with the natural greenery residing alongside the restaurant is a menu that is just as refreshing---they are known for delighting juice and smoothie fanatics wanting healthy but tasty drinks. Hillside has been a top pick for detox drinks, cold pressed juices, and filling smoothies for meals you can sip--their proximity from a hospital (Capitol Medical Center), residential areas, a school (St. Mary's College), and fitness centers make it convenient and flavorful to prioritize superfoods over fastfood, and healthy eating to pair with their workout of choice.
A first time visit to Hillside should not be without smoothies, all made with fresh ingredients and blended upon ordering. During our lunch visit, not one table was without one. A popular smoothie is Hillside Greens (P185): a blend of spinach, moringa (malunggay), mango, banana, chia seeds, coconut meat, and coconut water. Though a bright green, the most prominent flavor is the sweetness of mango, making it the perfect superfood smoothie for customers who dislike healthy drinks because they taste "leafy." Banana Almond Blast (P185) meanwhile is a filling smoothie made with banana, almond milk, almond butter, hemp protein, chiaseeds, maca, flax meal, and honey. It tastes like breakfast in a glass--breakfast you can sip--and it is actually a popular order for customers needing a post or pre workout meal. All smoothies and juices are available to-go, and many customers order a set of these beverages for take-out as part of their healthy daily meals.
Starting today, foodies wanting hearty servings of savory eats are in for a delicious treat, as Hillside launches six new dishes created by Chef Niño Laus of Ninyo Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge. This collaboration with the popular chef will then be followed up in October with a second menu mix that will introduce six more dishes--something for both regular patrons and new customers to try out, and more reasons to revisit. As with the restaurant's older food offerings, all new dishes served are always natural and locally sourced, fair trade, and organic when possible -- here, you can love and support local with every sip and bite.
A dish of bright and clean flavors, the new Roasted Organic Chicken (P365) is chicken simply done right, roasted perfectly and locking in the juiciness of the meat within. Tender slices of the organic chicken is complimented well with the smooth and creamy mashed sweet potatoes and the refreshing and smokey flavors of roasted zucchini and tomato.
I may have found a new delicious way of eating our local halibut with the dish served next: Oat & Rye Crusted Smoked Labahita (P465). A generous serving of fish (this is one dish good to share or good enough for one very hungry person) is coated with oat and rye before being deep fried to a crunchy golden brown treat. The slab of labahita rests atop aglio e olio pasta, addictingly garlicky noodles tossed with mussels and original Spanish chorizo. The pasta was so delicious, it could even stand on its own as a separate order.
Lastly, we were served what may be the most photogenic chicken parm I have set my eyes on. Hillside's new Pesto-crusted Chicken Parmigiana (P395) is colorful and a beauty: the classic breaded chicken breast is topped with melted parmesan and tomato, and artfully topping the chicken are plump cherry tomatoes and sweet potato crisps. This rests on a bed of chickpeas, edamame and sweet corn that lends more texture in every bite. In place of traditional pasta, Hillside goes healthy and less the carbs with a refreshing and light zucchini aglio e olio pasta.
Three other dishes now available at Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar are Chef Niño Laus' Roasted Potato and Eggplant (P195) with miso glaze, fried bean curd and arugula; Corned Grass-fed Beef Short Ribs (P415) with polenta and buttered vegetables; and Pan-seared Grass-fed Hanging Tender Steak (P495) served with organic fried rice, pumpkin sour cream sauce and miso-roasted vegetables. For your sweet tooth, a variety of raw snacks are available at Hillside, along with cakes by the slice.
Visit Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar in Cedarhills Garden Center located at 57 Mother Ignacia St., Quezon City; it is in the same side and just nearby St. Mary's College. ; They are open daily from 11:30am to 9pm; call 374-1117. Like Hillside on Facebook (/hillsidecafeph), and Follow on Instagram and Twitter (@hillsidecafeph).