Some time ago, we tried this new place in Marikina called Lula’s House of Kare-Kare. It’s a few minutes by car from Riverbanks Mall and SM Marikina.
It was the garage of the Padilla home in the Industrial Valley Subdivision that was converted into a restaurant to showcase their beloved family recipe for Kare-Kare. In case you’re wondering, yes, this is the Kare-Kare of the famous Padilla clan.
There’s parking for maybe 3-5 cars in front, and then some more if you park on the street.
The casual restaurant is managed by the beautiful Rizza Padilla Singson, sister to actor / celebrity brothers Robin and BB. Why is it called Lula? Lula / lola is their term of affection, or nickname, for their mom, Eugenia Padilla, and it is her kare-kare recipe that has been a constant favorite, and the most requested dish, at family gatherings.
Lula’s House of Kare-Kare
The restaurant is a small, casual place with some quirky, artsy decor. The food they serve includes some family favorites, but they are the most proud of their Kare-Kare.
We started with some Mozzy Cheezey Popsies (P188) – these are cheese balls made with mozzarella and cheddar, served with a tomato/marinara sauce on the side. Omg, these were so addictive! Eat while warm. I highly recommend ordering this when you’re there.
We got to try their Bagnet ala Sisig (P188), which we really liked. It was very flavorful, but not too spicy, and much meatier than the usual pig ear sisig. The P188 price tag is also very reasonable for the meatiness you get. This was really, really good. If you love sisig, you must give this bagnet sisig a try! If I am in the area, I would go back for this. Perfect with some rice!
Next we had the olive oil-based Garlicky Tinapa Pasta (P168) – I love tinapa (smoked fish) so I enjoyed this. This one had a lot of tinapa flakes.
We also had their Original Vigan Longga Carbonara (P188) – this pasta has a very creamy sauce as a base, accented with the crumbled garlicky, salty, and flavorful Vigan longganisa. A definitely different, but good, twist on the usual carbonara.
Finally, the famous Lula’s All-Time Favorite Kare-Kare (P318) arrived. According to Rizza, the Kare-Kare is made from scratch. The sauce is thick. Indeed, the Kare-Kare is flavorful enough on its own – you could eat it even without adding some bagoong! We actually ate the kare-kare without the bagoong and we couldn’t stop ourselves from getting another spoonful, and then another spoonful of the delicious kare-kare sauce.
You can have their kare-kare with all veggies, all meat, or with bagnet, with different price points, but all still very affordable, and you could also add peanut butter for an extra P40.
They cook their own bagoong for the kare-kare. To be honest, we found the paired bagoong a bit too salty. The bagoong needs a bit of work, but the Kare-Kare was actually delicious on its own and already seasoned – not bland like other kare-kares that need bagoong. Now I see why this has been most requested!
We also had their Crispy Pata (P488), which was really very affordable for P488! It was a big serving of deep-fried pork knuckles, with crispy skin, tender meat, and melting, soft ligaments. Sulit! Very good, especially when flavored with a drizzle of their sauce.
Next, we tried two versions of Beef Lengua (P288)! Be still my beating heart. Two lengua dishes!
They have Beef Lengua in Red Sauce, which was like a caldereta:
And Beef Lengua in White Sauce, which was actually a bit brownish, like a gravy:
I liked the brown-sauced lengua more. Yum yum! Onions, mushrooms, crispy fried garlic, peppercorns, love! The lengua was of course, tender and delicious and melts in your mouth. If only Lula’s wasn’t so far away, I’d probably head over there every time I have a lengua craving, because the lengua is good, and only P288!
Finally, for dessert, we had the Saba con Hielo. It was sweet and filling and a lovely way to end our meal.
Rizza was very hands on with the restaurant – she is usually there, friendly and bubbly, talking to customers, making sure everything is okay.
It is a small and casual neighborhood restaurant, so please don’t expect anything fancy. However, as a neighborhood restaurant, it ticks all the boxes – delicious food, affordable prices, casual interiors.
The food feels and tastes home-cooked, with the ingredients that you would expect a home cook to use. If you live around there and have a craving for bagnet, sisig, bagnet sisig, kare-kare and lengua, this is the place to scratch your itch without burning a hole in your pocket.
I recommend the bagnet sisig, the kare-kare, and the lengua. And the mozzy balls!
Lula’s House of Kare-Kare
8 Pres. Roxas St corner Major Dizon Street Industrial Valley Subdivision, Marikina City
Facebook Messenger: @houseofkarekare
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The Barat Queen
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