Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Location, Same Good Food

A food blogger once said that Cafe Juanita looked like it could be the home of Madam Auring. I thought it was a hilarious--and very apt--description. The original Juanita was in a dark, one-storey structure, and was festooned with colorful fabric, pendant lamps, bells, figurines, beads, tassels, and other fortune-teller-tent-like stuff, all strangely, artfully coming together.

It reminded me a lot of a popular NYC resto, Serendipity III (made famous by that John Cusack movie), also similarly packed. (There was a three-hour wait one time!)

With my friend Mutya in Serendipity. This was around Christmas time, hence that twinkling tree in the back. Although, for all I know, it might be part of the quirky decor year-round!

When I found out that Juanita was moving across the street, I went into a mild panic. I worried that the awesome awesome Pinoy-food-with-a-twist would change along with its location, so I dragged Hamil to the old resto before it moved to its new home. Well, OK, there wasn't much dragging to be done as Hamil seems to like this place as well.

A couple of months later, we visited the new Juanita and were pleased to find that, even though they had moved, they still retained their kooky decor. I thought they would go for a more minimalist approach in this new, tropical Asian-inspired structure...

...but I suppose they just couldn't help themselves! While its facade is clean-lined, predominantly white with some sampaguita glass thrown in, inside, it's an explosion of Filipino, Chinese, Middle Eastern, etc. stuff in a two-storey structure, hung from the ceiling, draped from wall to wall, standing in niches.

And the food, ah, the food. It's still the stuff that we know and love! A sampling of our faves (whether at the old place or new one):

Catfish Mango Salad. A tower of catfish, fried to a crisp, served over a bed of green mango strips.

Before-and-after-mixing Paad Thai. Stir-fried rice noodles with shrimp, egg, and other good stuff.

Bagnet. I LOVE bagnet (deep-fried pork). This one's served with tomatoes and bagoong.

Pinoy Ratatoy. Their version of ratatouille--eggplants and tomatoes mixed with tuyo. Deliciously salty!

Mango Jubilee. Vanilla ice cream with ripe mango chunks. Their bestselling dessert is the Sticky Toffee Pudding, but unfortunately, I don't have a photo of it.

It's a great place to take balikbayan relatives and visiting friends (and yourselves!). But be sure to make reservations first, especially this coming holiday season!

Cafe Juanita is at #19 West Capitol Drive, Bgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City. For reservations, call (02) 632-0357.

1 comment:

  1. i love cafe juanita, both the old and the new...not really for the food, but more so for the uber interesting my style...i won't mind living there...especially if i had their menu at my disposal day in and day out :P


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