Finally, we had the chance to experience the much talked-about restaurant in Quezon City. Romulo Cafe's been buzzing for quite some time now, and I was itching, really itching, to land there. A lot of reviews were written about how good--or should I say excellent?--the food is. Prior to this which was few months back, upon knowing that the food served is Filipino cuisine, I gave my initial unfair judgement that went like: yeah, yeah, another patriotic restaurant trying to make a statement. So, to be honest, I was really not looking forward to the food. Initially, that is, and I am stressing that out. What I was after for-- the ambiance. The experience. You see, I have been going in and out Google University's library, searching for images of Romulo Cafe, for I learned that the interior is interesting and unique. True enough, the images Google gave me ignited my desire to visit the place. I just had to be there to see and feel it myself. Husband and I planned endlessly to have lunch or dinner there, to be declined several times because the place was always (really, always) full. They asked us to make reservation via phone but everytime, the response would be--maam, full na po kame sa dinner. My lust for it dwindled. Who would not? Weekend after weekend, the same old reply with almost the same intonation was given to me: the place is full.
As our anniversary drew near, my husband gave me the task of choosing where to eat for dinner. I learned that our special day would fall on a weekday and also, we will be tagging our little man along. So that meant the restaurant had to be somewhere just near our place for the convenience of the three of us. Aha! That was when my yearning for Romulo Cafe resurrected. If it was always full on weekends, then maybe on a weekday it's....? Maam, full na po kami sa dinner Tuesday. What? Even on a weekday? Pero meron po kami maam sa labas nalang po. Geez. But it did not stop me. I blurted out: Okay then, please reserve me a table for three, outside.
November 16, Romulo Cafe. Finally.
There was no parking space, so the streets were loaded with cars, courtesy of Romulo Cafe's diners. It was perfectly safe, though. Five to six manongs from different corners of the street that surround Romulo watched the cars intently. As we stepped inside, the waiting area alone pushed my lips to say WOW. A quite large sofa in solid black was in the middle of the al fresco dining area, which for me is something different. I discreetly surveyed the place. My vista led me from the al fresco dining area up to some point of the main dining place (on the first floor). My eyes loved what I saw--clean, fresh and perfect combination of black and white interior. I just simply adored it. Unfortunately , though I brought with me my camera, little man that time did not want to play with his daddy but wanted me to be his playmate instead. The mother in me won over the picture taking so I just gathered pictures from Romulo Cafe's FB page so to give you an idea how lovely the black-white interior is.
The waiting area, right in the middle of the al fresco dining area
Sadly, even if the place's diners are mostly of families, they do not have highchairs for the little creatures. I was a bit disappointed, but it did not qualify as one of my sentiments. Personally, highchairs will look off for this place. Anyways, we just brought with us the stroller, just in case Migo would not settle on an adult chair. Kudos to the waiters, for upon knowing that we had with us our little man, they transferred us to a room upstairs, appropriate for the three of us (bigger space for the stroller and for the restless Migo). Therefore, bye bye to al fresco dining... hello Kaligayahan Room!
The waiter handed us the menu, though I knew already what to order. Best sellers are kare kare, flying tilapia and chicken relleno. Since it would be just hubby and I plus a half-sized man, we opted to just get kare-kare for meat viand and flying tilapia for fish viand. I LOVE IT!! The taste was heavenly!! The flying tilapia came with three kinds of sauces that were equally intriguing and delicious. By the way, that tilapia was the biggest tilapia I have seen so far, and the flying effect made it look like a work of art. The size could very well feed three to four heads. The kare kare which was a medley of meat, offal and vegetables, had the most generous sevings among the kare kare's I have tried in my lifetime. The sauce is a genuine. By genuine, I meant no hocus pocus just to arrive to that delightful dish. The dominant taste of peanut made this dish really authentic up to the last drop. And can I just say that the bagoong alone can pose as a main dish?
Needless to say, I bowed my head in shame. The food, despite being straight Filipino, tasted soooooo delish! I was after the ambiance, but I paid more attention to the food as it arrived, and I forgot all about the interior that initially influenced me to visit the place. I was glued to the food! And as I observed, my husband and the little man enjoyed and appreciated the food, too. Little man clapped every after a spoonful of rice and kare kare sauce, which meant that the taste passed his discriminating and picky taste buds. Overall, the food AND the place--- SUPERB!!
Can I just also share this? My husband compared it to Abe's. But with an interior, ambiance and--beat this-- affordable price to boot, plus servers that are so accommodating, friendly and neat-looking in their handsome and crisp black uniform, we will definitely be Team Romulo. Though there's no competition going on ;)
Romulo Cafe is located at 32 Scout Tuazon corner Dr. Lazcano, Tomas Morato Quezon City. Please make a reservation days prior. 332-72-75 is the number to dial.