When dining out, for variety, I usually go for restaurants that serve cuisines from other parts of the world; but every now and then some good old Filipino dish does the trick.
For our incredibly delayed Christmas get-together, my college friends and I had lunch at Cafe Juanita in Molito (just beside Alabang Town Center).
With the limited number of tables, it is highly recommended to make reservations. Also, Cafe Juanita in Alabang has peculiar operating hours.
Here are some information I found on Cafe Juanita’s facebook page you might find helpful:
Cafe Juanita hours:
Mon – Sun
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Cafe Juanita Contact details:
Compared to other Cafe Juanita branches, the one in Alabang is a bit toned down. Priding themselves to providing authentic Filipino dining experience, most of the decorations adorning the walls and ceilings of Cafe Juanita are distinctly Pinoy, though there were a few that got me head-scratching. The restaurant’s high ceiling and glass walls make Cafe Juanita look bigger than it actually is.
Service is good, Cafe Juanita’s wait staff are mannerly and attentive. Price ranges from Php 200 to 600 per dish and is good for two to three people.
For those who doesn’t eat ox tripe, Cafe Juanita’s Kare-Kare has meat in it. I like the creamy sauce and the falling-off-the-bone tenderness of the meat. The vegetables tied in knots is such a clever idea, makes for less mess when scooping them out.
I’m not very fond of vegetables, but Cafe Juanita’s Vegetable Curry is such a treat. I had second and third servings of this.
Cafe Juanita’s Pandan Chicken was a bit of a downer. It tasted bland and overcooked, it was a consensus among the group that it needed more seasoning. The recipe I found had more oomph.
I haven’t had Chicken Mozarella before. Cafe Juanita’s take on this Italian dish is very pleasing. The serving portion leaves you wanting though.
The crispy skin, thin layer of fat, tender and very tasty meat easily places Cafe Juanita’s Crispy Pata on my top five. Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata is still my favorite.
There are four rice choices, if I remember correctly, at Cafe Juanita. We had Yang Chow and Crab Meat Rice. Both are really good and will satisfy two to (maybe) three persons.
For a Family Style restaurant, Cafe Juanita’s portions are fairly small. Most of the dishes can be shared by up to three persons, but that is already somewhat stretching it. There is also the price to consider, with most items on the menu around the 300 to 500 range.
Service is worth noting too. There is an ever present smile among the wait staff. The interiors of Cafe Juanita Alabang may be considered modest compared to their other branches, but in a way it works out; had they given it the same treatment as its Manila counterparts, provided the limited space, the restaurant would most likely feel congested and accommodate even lesser patrons.
The menu at Cafe Juanita is nothing out of the ordinary. These are dishes you’d usually see in most restaurants, even in some fast-food chains. What sets the Cafe Juanita experience from other restaurants, that offer similar menu, is (as it should be) the food. There was general accord among the group that the dishes were seasoned just right (with exception to the Pandan Chicken, that is) and will not make any changes to how it was prepared. Cafe Juanita is able to beautifully marry the “just-like-grandma-used-to-make” character of home cooking and the serviced comfort of casual dining; this alone is more than enough reason for a second visit.
Whet your appetite and check out the RESTAURANT ARCHIVE.