Last weekend I ventured out to 343 Kensington High Street with a group of friends to try out the recently opened Filipino restaurant, Romulo Café. Founded by the Romulo family back in 2009, this is the first branch of Romulo Café outside of Manila. Here’s a quick recap on Filipino cuisine and some of the dishes my friends and I enjoyed.
The Filipino cuisine is a mixture of Malay, Indian, Spanish, Chinese, and American, as well as other Asian Indian cuisine adapted to indigenous ingredients and the local palate. Typically you will see a lot of meat, such as lechon (a whole roasted pig) or longganisa (Philippine sausages), fish and other seafood, e.g. salted fish or fried shrimp, and various soups like sinigang (meat or seafood in a sour tamarind broth). All very tasty and always served with lots of rice.
At Romulo Café, my Filipino partner did the ordering for our group of six. We tried twelve different dishes, and of some of them we ordered two portions to share. By the time we were finished, no one complained about still being hungry.
First off, the customary bread, or pandesal. These warm, incredibly soft pieces of carb heaven impressed everyone at the table. We promptly googled for the recipe and ordered two additional servings.
Next, the Pomelo Salad, lettuce with native grapefruit and salted egg with an amazing strawberry vinaigrette:
Tuna Kilawin, a tuna ceviche marinated with cane vinegar with red onions, cucumbers, peppers and radish:
Chef Lorenzo’s Pork Sisig, chopped seared pork belly topped with fried egg, pickled apples and caramelised shallots:
Sinigang Na Salmon Sa Miso, salmon cooked in sour tamarind broth served with aubergine, green beans and daikon:
Binagoongang Boneless Crispy Pata, a deboned crispy pork leg with aubergine salsa and tomato shrimp sauce:
Banana Turon, banana fritters served warm with banoffee ice cream and toffee sauce:
Sans Rival, “unrivalled” modern Filipino dessert of dulce de leche buttercream, cashews, chewy and sweet meringue with vanilla ice cream:
And finally, a traditional Filipino dessert, the halo halo, a combination of ube ice cream, glazed banana, jackfruit gel, pandan jelly, milk granita and coconut:
Compared to other Filipino restaurants in London (Josephine’s being the most famous), Romulo provides a breath of fresh air with a bit more excitement in the atmosphere and presentation of the food. The service is very good and friendly. Even with a full house we never had to wait to have our glasses filled.
343 Kensington High Street, London W8 6NW
Mon – Sat 12pm – 12am
Sun 12pm – 11.30pm
020 3141 6390
Featured Image copyright: Romulo Café