Friday, September 28, 2018

More than Just Food: Melo's Dine In and Take Out at Marulas, Valenzuela City

"Good Food. Good Times. Good Memories." Those are what the Cabrera family would like to share among diners, especially us Valenzuelanos, who will enter their newly opened restaurant. "It's a big dream... Having a restaurant! Mahilig kami sa pagkain and, yes, I love to cook," Mrs. Cabrera expressed enthusiastically. 

She vividly recounted what they have gone through as they try to establish the restaurant which takes its name after her husband. It took them months of searching for that one spot to build on this dream of putting up a dining place where they can share their passion for food and cooking. They eventually set their eyes at the bustling Pio Valenzuela Street of Barangay Marulas. Converting an old pawnshop to a restaurant with a warm and welcoming atmosphere was another challenge which they had to go through.

Each detail of  the restaurant is given ample attention, ensuring that the space will give you a sense of belongingness. 
There is a saying which tells us that we have to "Eat well. Live simply. Laugh often."
"May vault pa ngang naiwan noon!" Mrs. Neldelaine Escaner-Cabrera detailed how difficult it was to develop the place. Going around every corner of Melo's now, customers will be delighted to see and experience the transformed space. You will also notice that the Cabreras have placed their heart in making this humble restaurant reminiscent of home.
These photos on the wall depict the meals that Melo's Dine-in and Take Out serves its diners. 
Mrs. Cabrera is also passionate about cacti. She can even give tips on how to grow one. Some of the cacti that she owns are displayed near the entrance of the restaurant, giving customers a warm welcome.
From their family to yours: sharing good memories and good food on the table.
Melo's Dine-In and Take Out offers Filipino fusion cuisine. Home-cooked style Filipino dishes have consistently brought about comfort, allowing one to recollect good-old memories. The restaurant showcases the Cabreras' well-loved recipes as well as the head chef's ingenuity. It was indeed a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with the chef who whips up the good food served on the tables. Chef Jerry "Jheng" Lopez, a Valenzuelano from Marulas, has 18 years of cooking experience at well-established hotels in the Philippines (like Manila Hotel and G Hotel) and in popular restaurants in the Middle East. He has also previously handled a 450-seater restaurant in Bahrain.
Teamwork makes the dream work. The whole Melo's team on their soft opening day. Still all smiles after long hours of serving diners. The Cabreras recognize the genuine effort that each of the Melo's team members gives.

It's always good to pause for a while and celebrate life. Happiness starts from within the team.
You can sometimes hear Zac play some music, giving Melo's a spirited energy. He plays the organ by ear. 

Being surrounded with such a vibrant environment makes you wonder about what's served on your plate. Pork Humba, something similar to the Pinoy Adobo, is among those main dishes which one should try at Melo's. Cooked for three hours with fresh pineapple, the pork is really tender to the bite. Sweet, sour, and savory - just the exact blend which anyone who loves this stewed meat dish would want to taste. Sarap!
This Pork Humba dish will definitely steal your heart. Melo's makes use of every ingredient to the fullest - the dish is made more appealing by being served on a fresh pineapple bowl (Php120.00 per order). 
There are more dishes to try at Melo's which will definitely require a few more visits to satisfy one's palate. Here are some of the must try for starters: the Sinigang na Tinapa,  a dish which Chef Jheng and his Filipino colleagues cook in the Middle East; the Crispy Gatang Dinuguan and Melo's Bicol Express which hail from Chef Jheng's Bicolano roots; and of course the Cabrera's Pares which One Valenzuela will try in a future visit. Want a Pares twist? Grab the Philadelphia Cheesy Beef among the Melo's sandwiches - it also makes use of the same beef from the pares but is now served with bread and three types of cheeses.

Meals, of course, are best eaten with dessert at the end. The Halo-halo Turones is a must have. Unlike the cold halu-halo cup that we are used to, this one's served enveloped in crunchy spring roll wrappers and a scoop of ice cream. You'll be amazed with what's inside the unassuming golden brown wrapper: vanilla biko, ube, jackfruit, sweet potato compote, some bananas, red and white beans. You may also opt to have some Fresh Fruit Cuts, Mango Crepe, or a plate of Battered Oreo to satisfy that sweet tooth craving.
A closer look at the Halu-halo Turones dessert (Php120.00). It is served with a scoop of ice cream which seals the whole experience.
There are still other things to discover on the menu: appetizers (the Mashed Potato Balls Stuffed with Cheese Pimiento is chef-recommended), silog meals (which are plated beautifully - saw how one looks by peering from another table), and soups and noodles (the Bulalugaw, the Cabreras mentioned, is a must-have). For drinks, Melo's have milkshakes and milk tea variants.
Shakes at Melo's (Php80-100.00).
This family-owned casual dining restaurant has served many groups of satisfied diners since its soft opening last September 15. Staying true to its word of delivering good Filipino food with refreshing tastes and combinations, Melo's have received good reviews from the public highlighting their great tasting yet inexpensive food,  stylish interiors, and cozy ambiance. One even mentioned that Melo's provides a "fine dining experience" to everyone.
Happiness in every table, in every plate, in every bite.
Who wouldn't love Melo's? MELOvers await on their respective tables.
Melo's grand opening celebration is set tomorrow, September 29, 2018. Let us support the Melo's team by joining them on this memorable event. 

Special thanks to the Cabrera family and the rest of the Melo's team for sharing your story with us, Valenzuelanos. 

#eatlocal #supportlocal #SarapngMarulas #ValenzuelaCity

Melo's Dine-In and Take Out
Address: No. 90 Pio Valenzuela Street, Marulas, Valenzuela City
Open Hours: 2:00pm to 12:00mn, daily
Be updated by following Melo's Dine-In and Take Out on Facebook here.

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