A Dining Experience at Café Juanita
A memorable dinner with good friends at Café Juanita, located at the Burgos Circle restaurant row in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, was one of the highlights of a recent trip to the Philippines. The exterior of the restaurant looked like a regular mall façade with glass windows and some outdoor café seating. Inside, it exuded a quaint décor that was bold on the creative use of texture, color and textiles on the chairs and the lighting fixtures. A hodge-podge of native décor accents, figurines and books were placed cozily around the dining room. The wall by the stairs to the second story was decorated with textile craft art and mini-lights. Overall, the ambience was interestingly eclectic. As the menu was scrutinized as soon as it was handed out to our group, we decided on a family-style sharing of dishes, then selected a complete dinner fare which was promptly ordered.
Six of us savored the sigadilyas (wing bean) salad, which was refreshingly unique for a Filipino dish, the wonderful two-way pork adobo, the fried lapulapu (tempura style) with tamarind sauce and the delicious kare kare, an oxtail dish with vegetables, flavored with peanut/coconut milk and bagoong (krill) sauce. Steamed rice accompanied the dishes, of course. For the last fare, we shared a mango dessert concoction to cleanse our palate. The combination of different flavors and textures for dinner turned out to be a very satisfying Filipino comfort meal. I would add that the great company was the secret ingredient to a very flavorful and enjoyable dinner event!
Looking closely at the menu, I concluded the restaurant deserved another visit in the future so we can try out more of their special offerings.