Romulo Café London offers Authentic Filipino Cuisine…in London!
February 25, 2019
Sandie Romulo Squillantini and her husband Enzo Squillantini brought to life the idea of the legacy of a building. Inspired by the Sandie’s famous late grandfather General Carlos P. Romulo and through the medium of food, Romulo Café opened its doors in Manila. Romulo Café London is a place of happiness so it’s ironic that Sandie Romulo grew up in Kasiyahan (the Filipino word for ‘happiness’). Sandie Romulo has great memories of gathering in the ‘big house’ for meals, surrounded by her family. The table was never bare, filled with exquisitely delicious home-cooked favourites, such as Chicken Relleno and Kare-Kare.
Formula serves classic recipes, many of which have been passed down to her by her own mother and other relatives. Let’s not forget their grandfather, a war veteran, who served as Philippine Ambassador to the United States, as President of the United Nations General Assembly. He was the first and only Filipino to win a Pulitzer Prize and awarded the highest American civilian award, Medal of Freedom. There is one common thread that runs through the Romulo legacy, their love of food.
Sandie Romulo comes from rich Philippine heritage, she decided with her family’s blessings to open Romulo Café London in the UK. Romulo Café London serves delicious quality Filipino food at a very affordable price. Filipino cuisine is very much Asia’s best kept secret. Romulo Café London is a homely yet chic environment offering a truly Filipino experience.
Welcome to Romulo Café London
London is indeed the place to experience a vast variety of cultural and diverse restaurants. Romulo Café London has managed to perfectly balance tradition with standout dishes and authenticity. 2019 marks the restaurant’s 10th anniversary and since it’s inception it is the ‘go to’ place for Authentic Filipino food bursting with flavour and with the most beautiful presentation. The food at Romulo Café London offers a number of traditional dishes, one particular dish – Chicken Adobo, this is known to be a firm favourite dish of the Duchess of Sussex. Filipino food is a mesmerizing combination of four culinary traditions – Spanish, American, Malay and Chinese, the legacy of a rich diverse history. Londoners choose Romulo Café London as the place to experience with a family friendly environment, and delicious dishes that will truly captivate your taste buds.
Executive Chef Jeremy Villanueva has created mouth-watering dishes faithful to the Romulo Family’s heirloom recipes. Chef Jeremy Villanueva is no stranger to working for restaurant ‘Royalty’, in some rather special restaurants, such as Le Gavroche under Michel Roux Jr, Brasserie Roux and Le Boudin Blanc in Mayfair. The fusion of flavours excites your tastebuds and the beauty is in the presentation, it really is a visual delight.
Hot picks from the Romulo Café London Menu
Signatures such as Dingley Dell Pork Belly Adobo (Adobong Baboy) – slow cooked in soy, garlic and rice vinegar served with a trio of potatoes, melts with every bite, perfect to serve with fluffy rice. Crispy Squid (Pritong Pusit) – Julienne strips of deep fried squid served with a chilli honey and a garlic glaze topped with spring onion, your taste buds will thank you! Bet you mouth is watering… Sizzling Chicken Inasal Sisig – traditional sizzling Pampanga-style Jack Brand diced chicken thighs marinated in annatto, ginger, green chilli, garlic and lemongrass, you will not want it to end! Romulo offers Signature sharing plates (Platos) – Crispy Flying Fish Fried Tilapia, Deep fried whole tilapia served with classic Filipino condiments (Sawsawan) of cane vinegar, soy sauce, shrimp paste (bagoong), your taste buds will be in Heaven. Braised Grass Fed British Rib of Beef (Crispy Beef Tadyang), slow-cooked and seasoned with honey chili glaze served with Romulo Café London home made jicama slaw. Blue Swimmer Crab Meat Soufflé (Rellenong Alimango ), Slow Cooked Lamb Empanada tasty and authentic. This is a small sample of what’s on offer, the menu is totally delicious, bursting with flavour, a true culinary delight.
My Romulo Café London experience
The invitation to dine at Romulo Café London was extra special and personal. My uncle is married to a lovely Philippine lady and I have fond memories or leaving their house full to the brim. I have never heard of a Filipino restaurant in London, it is so rare so felt extremely curious to see whether they could truly pull off the tradition and authenticity of Filipino food. Set in a prime location, Kensington, it was easy to find being just a short walk from High Street Kensington station. Romulo Café London is the perfect place to experience Filipino food, whether you are out with friends or family.
Upon arrival it felt homely and buzzing, vibrant and chic. The restaurant is modern warm and cosy, definitely a home from home feel. Green, white and black walls are filled with photographs of Romulo legacies enriched with history. The host was welcoming and offered us the wine and cocktail list. I love shoes, too many to mention, so you can imagine my delight when I saw a drink called Imelda’s High Heels concocted of Belvedere vodka, blueberries, blackberry, raspberry and creme de Framboise. The drink was served in the style of a white ceramic high heel shoe. Exotic Mango Mojito was also a delight served with Havana Club 7yr old rum, Mango purée, lime, mint and soda water. Both cocktails were delicious and presented with flair.
The host assisted me with the dining choices on the menu and explained them all in great detail. Our choices were; Sizzling Chicken Inasal Sisig, Traditional sizzling Pampanga-style Jack Brand diced chicken thighs marinated in annatto, ginger, green chilli, garlic, and lemongrass, I didn’t want it to end. Young Jackfruit and Coconut Stew ( Ginataang Langka) – Tropical Jackfruit flesh, chilli, ginger stewed in coconut cream and drizzled with annatto oil, very tasty and unique, a vegetarian favourite. The side choices were; Pandan Rice, Pandan infused boiled rice, Traditional Garlic Fried Rice, refried with a hint of garlic and the taste of home. Wok-Fried Rice Noodles (Pansit Guisado), Thin rice noodles, stir fried with prawns, chicken, assorted vegetables, Heaven on a plate.
After such a delicious and plentiful meal I wasn’t sure if there would be space for a dessert! Who could resist Banana Turon – Banana fritters served warm with a side of langka (jackfruit) ice cream and toffee sauce, I gave up counting the calories at this point. Mango Float, Layers of graham crackers and whipped cream, topped with fresh mangoes and served with mango ice cream, a true taste of the exotic.
Romulo Café London is definitely on the list of the ‘go-to’ Filipino restaurants in London. The menu is plentiful, authentic and tasty, you will spread the word following your dining experience here. The staff are professional and welcoming and the atmosphere reminiscent of a Filipino family environment. The exciting menu offers a number of traditional and sharing plates style options, plus dishes to suit vegetarians, meat and fish lovers. The Filipinos are known to engage in karaoke, rumour has it that Romulo Café London have had the most electric nights and it involves a karaoke machine. I am impressed by the price point too, affordable and delicious food in prime central London is rare. Romulo Café London is the place for homesick Filipinos to feel at home and for the adventurous Londoner or worldwide traveler to discover the most fun and flavourful food.
Romulo Café London offer a variety of private spaces alongside the main restaurant, including the chic and elegant Library. Romulo Café London, have also been granted a license for civil marriages and civil partnerships.
T: 020 3141 6390
A: 343 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6NW
W: Romulo Café London
Written by Rene Byrd for Luxuria Lifestyle International