The Donut Papi Team's New Marrickville Cafe Tita Carinderia Is a Love Letter to Homely Filipino Breakfasts

Marrickville has just scored another standout cafe — this time with loaded Filipino breakfast plates, next-level muffins and plenty of ube-filled treats.
Ben Hansen
Published on March 07, 2024

Your weekend breakfast plans have been sorted with the arrival of Tita, a bustling new Filipino cafe that's opened in Marrickville. The Illawarra Road venue is the latest venture from the beloved Donut Papi crew, bringing hearty silogs and a new contender for Sydney's best breakfast muffin to the Inner West.

The cafe has opened in place of Gluten Free Friends, the celiac-friendly establishment that the team decided to part ways with in January, citing the pressure currently on the hospitality industry as the reason for the pivot and rebrand. In its place, Kenneth Rodrigueza, Karen Rodrigueza-Labuni and Christopher Palamara have opened Tita — Filipino for aunt or aunty — a homely love letter to Filipino breakfast, with a fun and colourful fit-out, and more of the Donut Papi crew's signature sweet treats.

The space has been given a quick refresh with the addition of a few trinkets and knick-knacks in homage to the team's 'titas', and some adorable kitsch vinyl covers sporting different fruits on the tables and chairs.

The core of the Tita menu is the silogs, a classic Filipino breakfast plate made up of sinangag (garlic fried rice), a fried egg, pickled green papaya and mixed veggies with your choice of protein. There's the longsilog featuring the spiced Filipino longganisa sausage; the tapsilog, which pairs the rice with soy and garlic-marinated beef strips, and tocilog; bringing a sweet char siu-style pork belly to the fold.

If the silogs are the star of the show, the breakfast sandwiches are a standout supporting cast. In place of your standard English muffin, the Tita team has made their muffins from pandesal, a sweeter bread reminiscent of a dinner roll. This is paired with a range of fillings, including the longganisa which returns on the signature sambo alongside egg, cheese, banana ketchup and mayo.

There's also a deluxe spam muffin and an egg, cheese and hashbrown variety for the non-meat eaters. Plus, you'll find sides like cheesy chismosa chips, queso chicken nuggets and pork spring rolls.

Then there's the doughnuts, sweet treats and other baked goods — another major drawcard of the Illawarra Road spot. Tita is the only spot in Marrickville where you'll find bibngka basque cheesecake wrapped in banana leaves, or pandalisa filled with Tuyo (dried herring) and topped with Everything Bagel seasoning.

There's plenty of ube to be found on the menu as well, including ube soft serve, ube cheesecake, ube lamingtons and and ube affogato.

"We try not to put too much ube [on the menu], but people are crazy about it," said Rodrigueza. Sometimes you've just got to give the people what they want.

The last piece of the Tita puzzle is the coffee, with your classic brews made from Gabrielle Coffee beans available in tandem with a couple of Filipino-inspired drinks. There's the Manila latte, a take on the Spanish latte that you'd find over in The Philippines, mixing iced vanilla latte and condensed milk. And then there's a Calamansi Cold Brew, a variation of the viral orange juice and espresso mix that uses its namesake fruit instead.

Tita Carinderia Shop 4/359 Illawarra Road, Marrickville. It's open 9am–4.30pm Wednesday–Friday and 9am–3pm Saturday–Sunday. Follow along on Instagram.

Images: Luisa Brimble

Published on March 07, 2024 by Ben Hansen
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