If ever you wanted to experience an out-of-the-ordinary and loving tribute to a much missed family member, you need look no further than Romulo Cafe, brainchild of Sandie Squillantini and her husband Enzo. Squillantini is the granddaughter of Philippine ambassador to the United States Carlos P. Romulo, known to his family as the General.
By the time of his death in 1985, Romulo had amassed over 100 awards, decorations and degrees, not least amongst which was the Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1942, and being elected president of the United Nations General Assembly in 1949. Busy man! With grandmother Lola Virginia’s delicious recipes in mind and a nostalgic eye for good old-fashioned, home-cooked comfort food, the Squillantini’s have succeeded in melding a dapper, contemporary black and white interior (featuring a fascinating cache of photographs of the great man) with a wonderfully relaxed and friendly ambience.
From the simplicity of chicharon (deep fried fluffy pork skin) with pinakurat vinegar and tuna belly cooked with sisig sauce, to the main course all-stars like rich, peanutty stew kare-kare, baby squid in garlic, and Lola Virginia’s sublimely stuffed chicken relleno (don’t ask for the recipe, it’s an internationally guarded secret), it’s a non-stop Filipino flavour fest. Save room for the turon (banana and jackfruit spring roll) with mantecado ice cream, and leave the diet at home!