Hubby and I dined for the first time in Cafe Juanita at the Fort a few days ago, after visiting my doctor in St. Luke’s Global City. It has been my wish to dine in this resto because the original location in Pasig was simply inaccessible for me. Am glad they opened in the bustling foodie strip called Burgos Circle in Forbestown Center since last year. (Prior to our visit, the only eatery we’ve tried in Burgos Circle was the Kebab Factory which unfortunately couldn’t compare with the authentic Middle Eastern restaurants in Ermita )
The first thing that catches the eye about the cafe is its shabby chic interiors. The decor’s sure to make good conversational pieces. The soft lighting casts a romantic glow which makes the resto a great date place.
But am not about to join those who’ve made rave reviews about the place. In fact, I think it’s a bit overrated, food-wise. I would happily go back there again to try the other dishes though, and for a slice of their heavenly sticky toffee pudding served with a single scoop of vanilla ice cream and lip-smackin’ caramel sauce. It was simply delish!
For our main course, we ordered beef kaldereta, one of the house bestsellers. The dish tasted like what I would cook at home myself, and it’s no surprise really because the resto prides itself as a bastion of home cooking.
I didn’t quite know what to expect with their Pinoy Ratatoy (their version of ratatouille). And out came a dish of sliced onions, tomatoes, capers, egg plant and other veggies in olive oil. Hubby liked this, but I must have swallowed on a sliver of pepper which gave me the worst chili attack ever 25 sips of water later and my mouth was still stinging. Never again, Ratatoy!
Their fresh Vietnamese lumpia was quite the disappointment. There were only shrimps, finely chopped lettuce, and none of the usual ingredients. Moral lesson: I should know better than to order Vietnamese food in a non-Vietnamese restaurant. In my opinion, Cafe Juanita can also do better sticking to an all-Filipino menu, rather than attempt to “fusionize” things
Other than these, service was very good. It helped that we were the earliest customers for their evening shift too. This was one resto where we didn’t have to beg for a glass of water, and the waiter even gave me a stool for my bag.
Cafe Juanita at the Fort
Forbes Town Center, Bonifacio Global City
Tel. No. 403-1952
Cafe Juanita- Pasig
21 United St. corner West Capitol Drive
Barrio Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Tel. No. 632-0357