Romulo Café recently unveiled its new cocktail menu at its Makati City branch.
Sandie Romulo Squillantini, the restaurant’s owner and granddaughter of Carlos P. Romulo, presented a new line of Filipino-style tapas.
“Tapas are considered strictly Spanish, associated only with Spanish food,” she said. “We wanted to tweak that idea because Filipino finger food also go nicely with wine, Cava and other drinks. Basically, we’ve taken the tried-and-tested combination of beer and pulutan, and we’ve made it a little friendlier to an international clientele.”
The tapas include Bangus Pâté with pan de sal chips, creamy, smoked milkfish topped with hollandaise sauce; Cheese and Vigan Longganisa Dumpling, Vigan longganisa and cheese in a lumpia wrapper; Crispy Crablets, tiny crablets fried until golden brown and then served with pinakurat vinegar.
The Fish and Squid Ball, a distinctly Filipino street food, has sweet dumpling sauce and vinegar dip.
Also in the mix are Camaron Rebosado, deep-fried buttered shrimp with chili mayo dip; Tinapa Roll and Pinoy Nachos, which, instead of corn chips, use kamote and taro chips that are then drizzled with melted kesong puti and keso de bola, and sprinkled with chopped tomato.
Then there’s Crispy Squid tapas, deep-fried squid with a delicious chili-honey-garlic glaze.
Squillantini added that “the Romulo Café signature cocktails are inspired by the colorful and historic life of Carlos P. Romulo.”
Included on the drinks list are Old General, denoting Romulo as the quintessential diplomat and soldier; A Foreign Affair, hinting at an insider’s joke from the early ’70s, when his friends and colleagues teased Romulo about dating an American journalist while he was minister of Foreign Affairs. (Beth Day married him in 1979.)
As an ode to his days as a journalist, the Spritzer Pulitzer drink celebrates Romulo’s 1942 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism; while The Dirty White Dove makes a reference to two facts: that Romulo loved white doves and kept them as pets, and that he patronized the Sign of the Dove restaurant in New York City.
Imelda’s High Heels is unique, served in a glass shaped liked a high-heeled shoe.
Wine Warehouse Corp. contributed spirits and vino to Romulo Café’s signature drinks, serving the Candidato Tempranillo and Viura from Spain, and Undurraga U Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from Chile.
The Mancino Vermouth Cocktails and Rinomato Aperitivo from Italy were likewise featured, along with Martin Miller’s Gin from the United Kingdom/Iceland.
Ralph’s Stoli Vodka was mixed in the signature drink Dirty White Dove, while Don Papa Rum was part of A Foreign Affair and Amor de Familia. —CONTRIBUTED
Romulo Café’s happy hour starts on Oct. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at all its four branches: Scout Tuazon, Tomas Morato, Quezon City; Jupiter Street, Makati; Azumi Hotel in Ayala Alabang; and Kensington,
London, United Kingdom.