Many people have recommended me to dine at this restaurant because of its great food and ambiance. There are only a few sources that give information about this restaurant but the common thing they say is that its eclectic ambiance is truly remarkable.
Actually, one wouldn’t realize that it is a restaurant because it’s full of vines and its sign is hidden. Good thing I have sharp eyes and saw that it’s already the place we’ve been looking for 🙂 .
Another photo inside Cafe Juanita
When we got inside the restaurant, we were asked if we had a reservation. We didn’t have a reservation then; good thing that we were very early (arrived at 5:00 pm, Saturday) so we were able to get a table for 2. The waitress told us that the restaurant is usually full that’s why if you’re planning to go there with more than 2 in a group, it’s better to call them first.
The place is just small but filled with eclectic ornaments like lamps, chandeliers, masks, etc… It actually reminds me the computer game Sims Makin’ Magic and Harry potter. There were tea pots around and it reminded me Prof. Patricia Trelawney in the Harry Potter series because tea cups are being used to predict the future. Some people would feel creepy about the eclectic ambiance in Cafe Juanita because of its association with witchcraft. Well, for us it’s not really creepy, it’s actually cool and unique 🙂 . By the way, everything displayed there is actually for sale.
Lamp Mask beside our table (fyi: the bells beside it is used to call the waitress/waiter’s attention)
Since it’s just the 2 of us, we ordered only 3 dishes on the menu which are Bagnet Salad, Laing and Crispy Phai Phai. The Bagnet Salad is one of their specialties and this is really the best! Bagnet (fried pork belly) is originally from the Ilocos Region and when you’re craving for it, just go to Cafe Juanita. They made a different approach on it by combining it with fresh tomatoes while Bagoong Balayan served as its dressing. Cafe Juanita experience is not complete without trying this dish!
I love Laing that’s why we ordered this as our main dish. Of course we paired it with rice because it’s much better with it. They combined ground pork and sun dried anchovies and wrapped it with Yong Tao leaves. The familiarity of the dish becomes different with that combination. It’s very delicious but the serving is a bit small for the two of us.
Crispy Phai Phai is like our local dried fish (or daing). Phai is a Thai seafood. Since it’s imported, its availability depends on their supplier. The Phai Phai is salty and we’re not sure if it’s supposed to be tough to eat. When you bite it, one should put extra effort on separating it from the whole thing. Just be careful not to exert too much force on it because it might break your teeth.
For our dessert, we tried their Crepe Samurai. It’s baked and made of custard with sliced mangoes. This dessert is yummy! Makes me still want for more. It’s somewhat like Creme Brulee.
I would recommend this place for couples who would want to have a romantic date. Just contact them beforehand so that you can get a good spot 🙂 . In the aspect of budget, probably Php 250-300 per person is needed.
#2 United St. cor. West Capitol Drive, Barrio Kapitolyo
Pasig City, Metro Manila