Cafe Ilaya: Home of Durian Shake in Iligan City

My second visit to Iligan City was better than the first one because, aside from being able to check out three majestic waterfalls, I got to experience one of the city's local cafes and restaurants called Cafe Ilaya which is popular for their durian shake.

The experience to try the famous durian shake in Iligan City was only planned along the way, thanks to Jim of Globe myBusiness, who I met the night before in an event in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City where I was invited as one of the speakers. He is from Iligan City and wanted us to try some of what his home city has to offer. At first, I thought we're getting this durian shake from a fruit shake stand or something until we got to Cafe Ilaya, which turned out to be a restaurant located within the city.

From the outside, the place looks like a normal building to me until I got inside the restaurant. Cafe Ilaya evokes a homey vibe with its cozy atmosphere and classy interior design. The place used to be an old family house that was turned into a restaurant, hence, the nostalgic feel that takes you back to old days. I instantly fell in love! I'm glad that the owners have decided to preserve its traditional, rustic look that's typical from ancestral houses you see today.

But of course, the highlight of the trip was to try their famous durian shake. While I don't have any issue eating durian, this fruit is a big deal to most people because of its strong potent smell. If you're one of those people (who hate durian), I assure you, this durian shake from Cafe Ilaya is super delicious. If you're curious about the smell, it doesn't stink as much as the fresh fruit does. So I recommend that you try it!

Durian lovers will definitely like its thick, smooth texture and creamy flavor. I learned that their shake is made of real durian fruit fresh from the farm so, for P130 only, you are getting high quality food from them. I also like the fact that they are environmentally conscious as they serve their shake with a reusable straw.

While the plan was to only try their durian shake, we can't help ourselves but try one of their specialties and best-sellers, the Beef Randang. In case you don't know, randang is a popular spicy meat dish in Malaysia and Indonesia. Our verdict? It was fantastic! We realized that the durian shake and beef randang perfectly match! The sweetness of the shake and the spiciness of randang create a delicious balance on your taste buds. I highly recommend that you try this combo when visiting Cafe Ilaya. The beef randang with rice is only P90. Very affordable.

Aside from beef randang, Cafe Ilaya also serves fish and chicken randang (they don't serve pork, by the way). They actually serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks so you can visit anytime of the day. Their menu also includes pasta, sandwiches, burgers, soup, coffee, and pizza. Recently they added a new exciting flavor to their pizza line - guess what - Randang Pizza, which I would love to try on my next visit!

If you're heading to Iligan City, make sure to add Cafe Ilaya in your list. Don't miss to try their durian shake and beef randang. Experience only good food at affordable prices, plus a relaxing and Instagram-worthy place and friendly service, in Iligan City at Cafe Ilaya.

Cafe Ilaya, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

Address: Quezon Avenue Extension corner Seminary Drive, Pala-o, Iligan City

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