Friday, February 3, 2012

How I fell in love with Cafe Ysabel

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Long have I waited to dine in this restaurant tagged as one of the Philippines' finest.  Thanks to our daily South to QC C5-Ortigas route I had my chance. For 30 years, they boasted food with insane greatness coupled with a very humble ambiance.  When I entered the door, I felt almost swept off my feet - suggesting total loss of control when falling in love.  A pigment of romance depicted at every corner of the place. Imagine romance meets fantasy at its finest.   And the story ends here.  Why cut it short?  The obvious answer - because it's a fantasy.  There was no prince charming sitting there and waiting for me to have lunch with him.  I'm stuck with my brother, there's nothing really dreamy about that.  Enough of the bitter me, a perfect place for those who are suckers for the typical "boy meets girl" plot - guys who are planning to propose, go out on a first date, celebrate anniversaries, a weekend dinner with family and this could even work for those who abuse "me time" a lot like most of us do since we don't have a choice (hahahaha), I'd still recommend this venue if you're planning an intimate coffee and pastry with yourself anytime soon.

There must be something really exceptional to it considering the famous Bobby Chinn and my favorite No Reservations main guy, Anthony Bourdain visited the restaurant and tried out Filipino dishes by Chef Gene Gonzales, the owner.  He opened and operated the restaurant when he was 23 years old.  

All "Giddied" up
Waiting for the "great stuff"
Wine Rack
Glass etched dividers
Makes me want to remake the "Fat Kid Inside" blog to the "Fat Kid Outside" hahahaha!
Table Napkin
Cozy setting
Painted walls
Dramatic mirror
Simple wall decors

Pendant light
Classic ceiling fan
Extensive wine choices
I was in a hurry to use the Ladies' room for inevitable reasons.  I was expecting the usual CR sight, but I was fairly surprised with what I saw.  I really had to 'hold it in' for a few more minutes to get my camera, I just couldn't help but take pictures to share.
I'm this close to taking photos of me inside the cubicle. LOL!
Perfect for making tambay while your friend is doing her usual cubicle 'business'.
Nice touch.

Hand basins
Pangarap ko and ganito kalaking salamin.
The menu features a fascinating fusion - Filipino, Spanish, French, Mediterranean, Italian and American dishes.  I'm always a fan of joints offering a lot of food choices.  Just like a typical first timer, my brother and I didn't really know what to order and that's when I had to commend our very attentive and patient waiter who patiently guided us through the menu choices.  

Complementary warm bread with Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar 

Jake and Christine's Crisp Smoked Fish Wantons in Salsa Verde - (had to order additional for take out, my mother went crazy about it. Sobrang sarap!)

For the Fat Kid Outside - Spicy Lamb Kebabs Grilled skewered cubes of lamb served with Kabbsa rice

Marinara (Seafood sauce)
Pwedeng mowdel ng Kebab. Hahaha.
The heavenly, Peter Pan Pie
Chocolate ice cream, butterscotch and Belgian chocolate in a cookie crust
Happy, bursting me. =)
Saw Gabby Lopez on my way out, nagpose ako ng ganito baka madiscover. Bwahahahaha.
I'll find my way back here
The food presentation was fantastic, the taste was superb, everyone was so warm and courteous, ambiance was upright unpretentious and most of all, you'll find the whole dining experience pocket friendly. This gem partially hidden in one of the quiet streets of San Juan absolutely deserves a visit.  My first try was magical, and truly this place is something we Filipinos can be proud of.

Cafe Ysabel
455 P. Guevarra St.
San Juan, Metro Manila
(02) 725-5089

“I've long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we're talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime 'associates,' food, for me, has always been an adventure”
                                                                                                 - Anthony Bourdai


VIFFER's PLACE said...

I know how exactly you felt when you entered that restaurant. I recently visited that place to remind me or experience memory lane. A popular place to bring a date back in the 80's. I was there a few weeks ago, visiting and it was like experiencing the movie "somewhere in time" lol

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