Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cafe Juanita, Pasig -- Nice Dinner in a Home-y Setting

A friend recently celebrated her birthday. We had dinner at Cafe Juanita in Pasig. I've never heard of the place so I really had no idea what to expect. When we got there I was surprised by how nice the facade of the restaurant looks. It looks like a house built a few decades ago. It's white and has a lot of glass. It also has lots of plants in front which makes the place really pleasant.

Cafe Juanita - White house with lots of glass.

Once inside you will notice it has a home-y feel. It looks like a typical "grandma's house" (is it Lola Juanita's house?). It has lots of antiques and lots of lights. Cloth of different colors and texture are draped in various places in the house.
Inside Cafe Juanita.
Lots of lights and cloth all over.

We were so hungry so as soon as we got to our reserved table we ordered chicharon bulaklak as 'starter'. I don't want to call it appetizer because that's something we didn't need anymore that time. The Cafe Juanita's chicharon bulaklak is crispy. It's golden brown so you know they did not overcook it just to make it crispy. It's a bit salty though but I didn't mind because they have vinegar as dip anyway.

Chicharon Bulaklak.

Then we ordered Kare-kare ni Juanita, Crispy Pata, Pinakbet and fried fish.

The Kare-kare ni Juanita is one of the best I've ever had. The sauce is thick with just enough peanut sauce -- the sauce is not overwhelmingly buttery. The meat is tender and the vegetables were cooked just right. The sauce is really good -- you can use the Filipino saying "sabaw pa lang, ulam na" to describe it.

Kare-kare - the bowl looks small but it actually contains a lot.

The Crispy Pata is also good. Lot's of meat. I say this because I've had experiences in other restaurants where the Crispy Pata they serve is made of more bones than meat. Anyway, I love the crispy skin.

Crispy Pata.

The Pinakbet at Cafe Juanit is different from other Pinakbets I've eaten. For one it has tomatoes. I don't know about you but I'm not used to eating Pinakbet with tomatoes. But it was good. The vegetables are crispy which is how they should be. It has lots of string beans though (I don't like string beans. Shhhhh...this is a secret).
Pnakbet - see the tomatoes I'm talking about?

The fried fish is what I love the most. I think it's Laguna Fish on the menu. It has thin fish meat that tastes great. They serve this fried fish with a dip that makes it even tastier. Its also served with fried rice and steamed vegetables. It's consider "single order" but it's good for sharing.

Laguna Fish.

Overall the Cafe Juanita dinner was very good. Nice food shared with nice friends in a nice place.

Next up: Dessert at Classic Confections. 

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