Creative Flavor: Kafe Batwan

You would think you now a lot about Filipino food already.  And then Kafe Batwan comes along and you were re-educated about the well-loved Filipino dish.

And like most Filipino abode, the place was welcoming and was packed with families sharing Sunday lunch together.

Because Sunday is family day
Because Sunday is family day

I had my brunch there today.  Well, it was lunch time already but since this was my first meal of the day, this was brunch to me.

Feeling all grown-up as I feast on my brunch with some newspaper and new book!
Feeling all grown-up as I feast on my brunch with some newspaper and new book!

I tried the good ol’ tapa (cured beef). It came with 2 servings of eggs (is that even healthy?), atchara (grated and pickled unripe papaya), and a cup full of garlic coconut rice.  Now, when you visit here, you have to leave your calorie-counting self at the doorstep.  The smell of the garlic coconut rice alone was enough to disarm you.  I chose tapa to be soft (other choice was to make it dry, doesn’t sound so appetizing) so my molars wouldn’t wrestle with it, and I made the right choice.  The atchara, batwan atchara, was so good:  it was crunchy with the right amount of sourness, and little bit paler than your usual atchara.  I wanted to ask some more (pay some more) but I was afraid to lose control and go full-on glutton mode that might surpise the food attendants given my tiny stature.

Even the suka (vinegar) tasted a lot better here. This was their own house-blend vinegar, which they sell at Php 100/bottle.

I guess the fruit batuan, with origins from Iloilo and namesake of the restaurant, makes all the difference.  And the place does the flavor some honor!

The Filipino dining table staple: rice...with a twist of course because this is Kafe Batwan
The Filipino dining table staple: rice…with a twist of course because this is Kafe Batwan.  It’s got coconut spinkles that enhanced the inviting smell of the roasted garlic (Tapa: Php 350)
And because I'm a raging alcoholic, my coffee frappe has Bailey's (Php 170)
And because I’m a raging alcoholic, my coffee frappe has Bailey’s (Php 170)
Kafe Batwan has two levels of dining area so you can bring your famiy and your extended family, your family friends, your tita's of Manila. They also accept reservation.
Kafe Batwan has two levels of dining area so you can bring your famiy and your extended family, your family friends, your tita’s of Manila. They also accept reservation.

The place was nicely done — modern yet not intimidating.  I love the music that they were playing, it lets you talk over it, or in my case, read a newspaper/book on.  The staff was attentive and respectful.  I have read in some ratings that the service was bad at this place.  Considering it was Sunday lunch, I actually braced my self for this so-called bad service, but I was fortunate to have a pleasant dining experience here.

This Plant magazine is actually quite effective. This is what convinced me, DROVE me, to try out this place. Chef JP Anglo of Kafe Batwan is the one on the cover
This Plant magazine is actually quite effective. This is what convinced me, DROVE me, to try out this place. Chef JP Anglo of Kafe Batwan is the one on the cover

The few things I just did not like with the place are:

  1. The uni-washroom
  2. No EPS (express payment service) –  they accept only Visa and MasterCard
  3. No take-out cup for my frappe

But this is definitely a place to get back to.  I have really strong affinity to Visayan flavors, anyway!  Plus, this is the only restaurant in the past year that gave me ACTUAL WARM WATER (because I would usually be given water-temp water or something scaldingly hot, GAAH).

Til next time... next week?:)
Til next time… next week?:)

Date Visited:  September 20, 2015

Contact: (632) 625-5166

Address:  122 Joya Lofts & Tower, Amorsolo Drive, Rockwell, Makati

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