Let me share a new restaurant in Little Baguio, San Juan that will sweep you away to another era once you step inside it’s doors.
Antojos Restuarante is a Filipino restaurant very near Xavier school in Greenhills. There’s limited street parking along the residential area.
Let me tell you, I was really shocked when I went inside. The large dining area was filled with beautiful woodwork and solid wood carved chairs that made it feel like I was inside a hundred year old Filipino house.
My pictures don’t do justice to the beauty of this restaurant. You must see it for yourself.
I was happy taking pictures until the bread was served. It was a full basket (refilled more than once) but I never got the chance to capture it full since we ate the bread as fast as it arrived. You know the soft bread with sweet crunchy topping that you can buy from Kopi Roti and Kopi Mum? This was exactly the same bread! I loved it so much I ate 2-2.5 (not admitting to 3) pieces. Take note this was as big as a burger bun. (Tip: You can buy the bread from them in regular and small size)
We ate there last Friday and my friends tried their best to order food without meat to abide by the ‘no meat’ sacrifice for Lent. I’m glad Deb gave in and ordered the Tokwa’t Lengua since it was my most favorite dish of the night. It was an inspired move by the chef to combine tender nuggets of ox tongue with the crispest and lightest bean curd cubes. A little splash of their special sauce just enough to barely coat the food ensured that the bean curd remained crisp yet very flavorful. On my next visit I will get an order just for myself.
We were all very impressed with the imported plump mussels bathed in a creamy white wine sauce.
I took this picture from the other table where another group of my friends were eating. I also swiped a stick to try. It was delicious too and the pork was quite lean yet very tender.
In other restaurants pinakbet is usually paired with chicharon or lechon kawali. At Antojos the chef used healthier fried bangus (milkfish) belly which could use a bit more taste.
People either like or hate hito (catfish). I like it enough but when fried to a crisp and served with a creamy coconut adobo sauce I love it even more.
The restaurant had dim lighting and it was a challenge taking pictures without a flash. When this Pinoy version of spaghetti puttanesca but with tuyo (dried herring) was served all I thought was it looked like pancit malabon. My brain was confused when my tongue tasted a perfect balance of tomato sauce, that thank heavens didn’t have an ounce of sweetness, and large pieces for not too salty tuyo while my eyes still saw pancit malabon. Eventually I accepted that I was eating really good pasta.
The only dish that failed was the lengua estofado. Instead of sliced of ox tongue we got a plate of chopped, mushy ox tongue. I conveyed my disappointment to the chef and he promised to revert it to the original way they used to serve it.
After the wonderful dinner we took a tour of the rest of the restaurant/former house. The upstairs will soon have private function rooms.
Chef Anton Amoncio is only 25 years young and graduated at CCA. So young and so talented.
The restaurant has a room where they have a buffet set-up for reservations of 30 or more. For groups of 50 they will close the restaurant for your private function. See below for the menu options.
Meet Chef Anton’s capable kitchen team.
We can’t stop admiring the woodwork which was original from the previous restaurant, Bulan, that occupied the space and was owned by Freddie Aguilar and his sister.
The Chef and the Aunties. Grrr…
Their menu was on a tablet. Click here to see the rest of the menu.
I advice you all to try this restaurant while it’s still a ‘secret’. Once the word is out about their good food, reasonable prices and beautiful restaurant you may not be able to get a seat. Be sure to call and reserve because most weekends they are booked for big parties. I can’t wait to go back and try their Chicken Binakol, Shawarma Pizza, Cheesy Beef Kaldereta and Strawberry Beef Tapa. This is a very good place to bring foreigners and balikbayans.
3 General de Jesus Street, Little Baguio, San Juan (branch closed)