Two well-known restaurants have put up branches in Alabang, much to the delight of people based south of Manila.
Romulo Café—G/F, Azumi Boutique Hotel, Madrigal Business Park, Alabang, Muntinlupa City; tel. 5561443, 8699513 loc. 3053.
Named after the late Philippine diplomat and writer, the restaurant is a member of the chain that started in Quezon City. In its new area of operation, it offers a unique, classy dining forum for Alabang residents and from neighboring communities, making them reckon with history as its cuisine also harks back to the past.
Dining area—The perfect ambiance, so fresh and beautiful, has been created by the Almario sisters who are behind the restaurant—the sculptured greenery in the small garden in front; the wallpaper of green, black and white in floral design; the hanging pendant lamps, especially designed by Ivy Almario; the cove lights; the window shades—they all contribute to one’s dining pleasure.
Service—Fast and efficient.
Staff—They are gracious, neat and alert. The menu card is given immediately; orders are also taken promptly. Water is replaced without diner having to call the wait staff.
Suggested orders—A refreshing drink, like a tall glass of Cucumber Juice, will set any diner in the mood for the rest of her stay. Take the Tiny Squids or the Vigan Longaniza as starters. Then have a Salad of Pomelo and Singkamas. One can’t escape the compulsion to order the Lola Virginia’s Chicken Relleno, which brings back memories of olden times, when the mistress of the house personally supervised the cooks.
Also suggested is Tito Greg’s Kare-Kare. This dish is done with gravy-like peanut sauce and served with bagoong.
Indulge further and take the Crispy Butterflied Fish, served with three sauces.
For dessert, take the Suman. Not to worry, since it comes in tiny glasses with Calamay.
The usual service charge and government taxes are added to the bill. Seniors cards are honored.
The restaurant is a pioneer at the Susana Building where it had a comparatively small dining area. It had been servicing to a full house so that to better serve diners, it has transferred to the more spacious Molito Mall nearby.
Dining area—As mentioned, it is now rather large and spacious. But diners must still come early, as it still gets full, filling even the second floor. Tables can be extended to accommodate large groups. A receptionist seats waiting diners by the entrance. There is one circular table at one end, but it can only have four guests. Perhaps they should have more round tables, where diners will have more chance to engage in conversation. The restaurant is bright and airy.
Service—There is no long wait for orders, meaning the kitchen is efficient.
Staff—It pays to have a “favorite” among the staff. This diner’s is a personable young man whose name is Junie. He is very accommodating and you can tell him your “special likes.”
Suggested orders—Needless to say the traditional Sushi and Sashami are a must. For those with spicy taste, there is the Spicy Tuna Salad to start with. Then go to the Sushi Samplers or choose from a selection that includes Kani, Ebi, California and Tamago.
Tempura, of course, is a staple. There are the usual Ebi and the new Soft-Shell Crab. For those not wanting to bother with choosing their fare, there are the Bentos, Seafood, Beef or Chicken. They also have à la carte menus as well to choose from.
Service charge and government taxes are included in the bill. Senior cards are honored.