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.
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.
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 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.
The few things I just did not like with the place are:
- The uni-washroom
- No EPS (express payment service) – they accept only Visa and MasterCard
- 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).
Date Visited: September 20, 2015
Contact: (632) 625-5166
Address: 122 Joya Lofts & Tower, Amorsolo Drive, Rockwell, Makati