Thursday, February 11, 2010


3.75 out of 5 stars

Romulo Café is a relatively new restaurant which opened late last year along with good company near its streets: A Taste of LA, Zuchinnni’s and Katre. The architecture is cool, clean, chic and predominantly white, all thanks to the skills of famed designer Ivy Almario. Her husband, Yong Nievas (of the former Salumeria, thanks Noni) is the proprietor of this establishment, which serves Filipino comfort food, the name of this place coming from the grandfather’s surname. Admittedly, you can’t really tell that it’s Filipino food that they’re serving since the place is a little too modern. The only trace of Filipino art is a floor-to-ceiling poster of the poem “I am Filipino” halfway up the stairs.

"I am Filipino" poem


The menu is brief, but put-together, consisting of only two pages worth of Filipino food with a modern twist. Even if their specialty is the Boneless Crispy Pata Binangoonan (PhP 595) (which I shall try on my next visit), it was only Martin and I, and we weren’t that hungry to eat something fit for 4. So we settled with the Flying Tilapia with 3 Sauces (290 PHP), Honey-Garlic Pork Spareribs (235 PhP) and the Pinoy Nachos (75 PhP) as our appetizer.

The nachos looked better than it tasted. It was kamote and taro chips drizzled with melted kesong puti, keso de bola and tomato. When we ate it, all we tasted were taro chips. The queso de bola sauce was surprisingly bland since queso de bola is normally salty and piquant, and the kesong puti was sparse, with only around 5 small cubes of tomatoes. Fortunately, the main dishes were tastier than the appetizer.
Pinoy Nachos (75 PhP)

The fried tilapia came with three types of sauces: sweet chili garlic sauce, honey bagoong and pickled ampalaya & soy vinegar. We left the chili garlic sauce alone, as Martin preferred the honey bagoong, liking bagoong to begin with. I preferred the third sauce of pickled ampalaya and soy vinegar. As much as it sounds unappetizing, it was pretty tasty and reminded me of a soy-based dipping sauce that Chinese restaurants serve.
Flying Tilapia with 3 Sauces (290 PHP)

The honey-garlic pork spareribs was also delightful. Contrary to the Pinoy nachos, this dish tasted better than it looks. The boneless pork ribs were simply placed in a white bowl. What brought it to a different level was their secret honey garlic sauce, which gave a tangy sweetness to the meat. Thankfully, this also didn’t seem too high on fat since the transparent sauce around it came from sticky honey, and not from oil-based sauces like adobo.
Honey-Garlic Pork Spareribs (235 PhP)

All in all, this resto has clean, no-frills comfort food, with an ambience perfect for barkada gatherings or quiet, intimate dinners. Check out this place for a new dining facet in Tomas Morato. Oh, and props to foodie Noni Mercado for giving me first dibs on this resto lead several months ago!

Menu below. Click to magnify.

Romulo Cafe
Scout Tuason cor. Sct. Dr. Lazcano
Quezon City, Metro Manila
(02) 332-7275
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm


Noni M said...

i miss Yong Nieva's Salumeria restaurant in Perea ! they had the best tiramisù and truffle oil-based pasta dishes.

Happy Birthday Atty. Grace!

TM™ said...

awaiting your review on Chef Fern's place in Legaspi Village (canteen) + chef rob's TGStation! your blog is killing my diet.

graey eats said...

Happy Birthday to you too, noni! :D I wish I could write as fast as all the leads you give me. Let's food trip together again, please? I haven't seen you in years!

TM™ said...

thank you, thank you! Restolicious© inspires me to write my own, but less, less sossy blog. :) let's food trip when you're free and not busy with work. i miss the Valero/Salcedo Vill life.
dying to hear your stories regarding my weird txt comments on your sub modo civil status. ;)

jotan23 said...

you should try their sigarillas with gata next time :)
It's a winner!

graey eats said...

Jotan23: will try next time, thanks! :)

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