A collection of Romulo photos above the stair landing
My family frequently dine out
at restaurants along the busy Jupiter Street food haven. However,
one restaurant stands out above the rest - the unique and refreshing Romulo
Named after the late Carlos P. Romulo,
journalist (the first Asian to win the Pulitzer Prize in
Correspondence in 1942), diplomat and the first Asian to serve as president of
the UN General Assembly.
This swanky cafe is
the actually the second branch to carry that name, the first being located
along Tomas Morato Ave. in Quezon City.
The black-and-white interior
Grace has dined at the former
and liked it so much she brought us here upon finding out it had a second
branch in Makati. The place is normally packed every time we eat there.
Owned by Ms. Liana Romulo and Ms. Sandie Squillantini (and husband Enzo Squillantini), the
granddaughters of the famed diplomat, the stylish interiors of this restaurant
cum museum were designed by sisters Ivy and Cecile Almario who
fashioned it after Kasiyahan, Gen. Romulo's house whose dining room was
black and white.
They used made-to-order light fixtures, bigger than usual dining tables
and upholstered chairs and couches. Along the restaurant walls are large,
framed black-and-white photos chronicling events in Carlos P. Romulo’s
life as well as depicting him with his family, friends and other
Lolo Greg's kare-kare
The interiors, with
its relaxed and sophisticated vibe, are only half of its
allure. The Filipino menu, which made Grace as well as other patrons as
fans, is the other half.
Most of the dishes in the menu are Virginia Llamas Romulo's (the wife
of CPR) heirloom, homey recipes. Romulo, a world-class gastronome who
liked to dine out a lot, and his family enjoyed Filipino food.
Among its best-selling dishes
include boneless crispy pata binagoongan (crispy pork skin and tender
meat served with not-too-salty bagoongpaste sautéed with
tomatoes and onions, PhP650); flying tilapia(flavored with
sweet chili garlic, honey bagoong and pickled ampalaya sauces, it is
served with soy vinegar, PhP350); the splendid Lola Virginia's
chicken relleno (roasted chicken stuffed with ground pork, raisins,
chorizo and peas, PhP615) and the perfectly seasoned and
grilled crispy tadyang (PhP450) and grilled squid (PhP450).
Laing with adobo flakes
Dessert include the suman sa latik (PhP60)
and tocino del cielo (made from baked egg yolks and sweetened with a
nice light citrus flavor, PhP85).
The list of our favorite
dishes include the hearty and satisfying, bright orange and extra viscous Tito
Greg's kare-kare (using
fresh vegetables, PhP450), gambas (baby shrimp sauteed in
roasted garlic, PhP235); callos (served with jamon serrano, chorizo
bilbao and garbanzos, PhP245); tenderloin bistek tagalog (PhP360);
gising-gising (chopped string beans cooked in coconut milk, with
chili added, PhP150) and laing with adobo flakes (taro leaves cooked
with coconut milk, PhP160).
Romulo Cafe: 148 Jupiter cor.
Comet Sts., Bel-Air. Makati City. Tel: (632) 822-0286 and 478-6406. Open
daily, 11 AM-3 PM and 6-11 PM. Calling for a reservation is a must.