My love for food and its many experiences have brought me yet again to one Filipino restaurant that shows so much in Filipino cuisine. Filipino food has become quite the ordinary to me, and so my search for something beyond just the typical Filipino cooking led me to Kafe Batwan.
Despite his busy schedule and hectic “café-business” life, Chef JP Anglo, café owner, brought me into a whole different experience of Filipino food. Kafe Batwan is not a fusion of globalized flavors from countries. Rather, it is essentially Filipino, but with a more distinct flare and mix of available sources and flavors. Chef JP has re-imagined and repackaged Filipino food that is Kafe Batwan.
“We are a modern, Filipino café; modern meaning, I guess, we are trying to push Filipino food forward, but at the same time without sacrificing the true essence of Filipino flavors.” – Chef JP Anglo
The feel and mood are quite homey to begin with. There is just that blend of fine-dine and home-cooked food. It couldn’t be any difficult to just pop in and savor the comforts of essentially Filipino gastronomic delight.
Food expert reviews are painted on glass windows serving the purpose of that hip and homey feel while proving to foodies that the café indeed has passed the standards.
Food was just incredibly tasty and different, but all worth it for the price and all that re-imagination going on. My personal favorite is the Tsokolate Tsampurado with gourmet tuyo for breakfast. Imagine pure browned chocolate on top, and as you dig your spoon in, the creamy mix of “champurado” just bursts out. Yes!
The Kansi Panada was just a delight with the stuffing made with beef shanks (braised in kansi soup), and served with “batwan” gravy.
“We don’t want to rip our customers off the money they spend on food.” – Chef JP Anglo
The Lamb Kaldereta with sambal beans has a different kick. The sauce was simply delectable in every taste.
Interestingly, the Filipino “fish-and-chips” has just been re-invented. San Miguel beer battered “hito” (a type of fish), with cassava fries constitute this altogether. The fish just melts in the mouth. The batwan aioli dip just completed everything.
And the Blanco Adobado Manok with pickled cucumber was a fresh taste to me. It was like nostalgia back home but with a dynamic essence to it.
Nothing is better done than to go to Kafe Batwan. The foodie experience is just different. It was like homey at the core, yet modern and different, and more repackaged to make Filipino food relevant to this day.
Kafe Batwan is more than just re-characterizing food. It was bringing the Filipino food essence out there to prove there is more to taste and savor. The process of cooking in the most essential is what’s making this café different from the rest. And I will surely come back for the other dishes.
There are more flavors to savor!!