Dinner at Cafe Juanita

Entering Cafe Juanita for the first time is like going to your grandmother’s house. Your grandmother who doesn’t get rid of any of her possessions, treasures, antiques and even junk. Your grandmother who insists of displaying everything in every nook and cranny in the whole house.

Some say it’s charming I say it gives me the creeps. I’m not exactly a neat freak but I can’t stand seeing all these things hanging from the ceiling, poking from the walls, peeking around the corner. I’m afraid to bump into something. By the way everything on display is for sale. Even tabletop decorations. Just look for the price tag. Welcome to the house of kitsch.

Rochelle, Chris and I had dinner with Dr. Yvonne Chua our dentist classmate. I haven’t seen her for so many years so it was a good reunion.

second floor

The food was average overall. There were some outstanding dishes like the fabada soup, crab fat sauce and cassava dessert. Even if you’re not a fan of beans you will like this rich, tasty soup with one slice of chorizo which you can see right in the middle of the bowl. Reminds me of a can of pork and beans. There’s only 1 piece of pork in the whole can.

fabada P189

In other restaurants the fried catfish comes flaked. Here the fish is whole. Looks interesting doesn’t it? To eat this you shred the fish and mix it with the green mangoes with a light dressing.

catfish mango salad P189

This is a regional Filipino dish made with fried pork belly with a salad of fresh tomatoes and bagoong (fermented shrimp paste). This was good too.

bagnet P257

I found the fish breading too thick thus making it a bit hard. They should have pan fried the fish instead to balance it with the rich, super duper yummy crab fat sauce. I ended up putting most of the sauce on the pasta. They were nice enough to give us more sauce.

asohos w/ crab fat sauce P339

This dish is called two way because the pork adobo is topped with a giant mass of stringy, hard, chewy, dry, unedible not crispy adobo flakes. They should just skip this part. This dish was quite a disappointment. The adobo lacked taste. It was neither salty nor vinegary. It did have a slight garlic flavor. We asked them to fix it and they did. Not much improvement though.

two way pork adobo ribs P396

Sinanglay is fish fillet wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in coconut milk.

sinanglay P349
The cassava is warm, sweet, gooey and topped with cheese. It was the best part of dinner.

Cafe Juanita
2 United St. cor. West Capitol Drive,
Barrio Kapitolyo Pasig City
Metro Manila
telephone: 632-0357

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