cafe juanita: food and fancy

Restaurant Review: CAFE JUANITA

This is a cozy, homestyle cafe with surprisingly sophisticated fusion dishes, a must-try for the adventurous gourmet.

Diners step into a converted house, wildly decorated with antique chandeliers festooned with silk roses and fairy lights, strings of beads hanging from the ceiling, butterflies, gayly-colored parasols, lamps, tree branches, and all the oddments of a lifetime spent collecting by the owner, a doctor who loves gourmet cuisine. The decor will put you in mind of an eccentric maiden aunt who was a pack rat and never threw anything away.

Everything in here is for sale. The centerpieces, which could be anything from a green-glass “Desteleria Ayala” antique bottle to a basket of dried pinecones, have price stickers on them. So do the frames of vintage Coke posters near the bathrooms; the two-foot tall teal glass electric lamp shaped like a teddy bear; the furniture; everything. As they say, one man’s junk could be another man’s key decorating piece.

Philippine Tatler magazine has bestowed at least two “Restaurant of the Year” accolades on this quaint eatery. Try their bagnet, crispy hito and green mango salad, and the lengua estofado.

Do not, under any circumstances, leave without having tried the sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. One mouthful of that  sweet bliss, which mingles the warmth of the oven-fresh pudding with the cold of the chocolate-sauce covered ice cream, will curl your toes with pleasure and make you glad to be alive.

Cafe Juanita is at #2 United cor. West Capitol, Bo. Kapitolyo, Pasig. Call (02)632-0357 for inquiries.

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