Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Pan Asian
Address : 343 Kensington High St, South Kensington, London, W8 6NW, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : [email protected]
Opening Times : Mon-Thu: 5pm-9.45pm, Fri-Sat: 12pm-9.45pm, Sun: 12pm-9.30pm
Closest Tube : West Kensington
Romulo Café sits behind one of those deceiving facades. It's modest on the outside with upmarket interiors. Of everything, two of its most winning attributes are its amazing hosts. Owners Chris Joseph and Rowena Romulo are on a mission to represent Filipino cuisine in the London market. The restaurant takes its name from Rowena's lolo, or grandfather, Carlos P Romulo, who is famed as The Philippines' greatest ever statesman. There's certainly a lot of his outgoing spirit on offer, which recommends the cuisine prepared by head chef Jeremy Villanueva.
The dining room is a bold statement in monochrome. Jet black tables and chairs are topped with stark white tablecloths and miniature topiaries. Bold black art deco pendant lights illuminate the room - its walls covered in ornate black-and-white wallpaper and an abundance of black-and-white photography depicting Carlos P Romulo making his rounds with world leaders. We settled in at our table and made our way through their outstanding menu.
A Filipino-style tuna ceviche was cured with native lime, ginger and chilli then topped with gracile shards of beetroot. Traditional sizzling Pampanga-style chicken thighs had been marinated in a beguiling concoction of annatto, ginger, green chilli, garlic and lemongrass. A jackfruit and coconut stew was aswim with chilli and ginger. For our mains, we enjoyed a chargrilled squid stuffed with tomato, cheese, onion, garlic and annatto oil served on a bed of inky black squid ink rice. A northern Philippine medley of ratatouille-style aubergine, bitter melon, okra and pumping with flavoured with salted shrimp paste and crispy pork belly chicharrons. We finished the meal off with a dulce de leche buttercream with cashews, chewy meringue and vanilla ice cream.
Romulo Café had a lot to recommend it, and is one of our favourite new places on Kensington High Street.