During this visit to Manila, a wonderful friend of mine took me to two special restaurants. It was a long taxi ride to get to these places but they were beautiful moments worth mentioning.
Cafe Ysabel is housed in a refurbished 1927 ancestral home and furnished with the turn of the century furnitures, lamps and wooden ceiling fans. It has an enchanting and romantic atmosphere with old colourful pictures painted on the walls. Sat at a corner table lit with candles, facing a large old wooden framed mirror, the evening started with interesting conversations and red wine. I ordered a Lapu – Lapu Al Graten for the main course, a pre – war favourite cooked the Spanish way with red wine, cheese and tomatoes. For dessert, I had Gene’s Creme Brulee and Cafe Amaretto.
The Ilustrado is inside the Intramuros, the walled city of Manila. It has a charming touch to it. Furnished with an elegant, old-world interiors, this restaurant set within a garden has been around for more than 19 years. Again, seated at the corner of the room facing the rest of the restaurant, I savoured the perfect appetiser of baked eggplant in Filo pastry served with black olives and Feta cheese. With flowing conversations around the table, the baked fish placed on top of mashed potatoes with mushrooms sautéed in butter was delicious too. I enjoyed the coffee and the Mango Jubilee with home made Sampaguita Ice Cream for dessert.
Having experience these restaurants, I was convinced that I should visit Manila more often.
(Photos from the restaurants’ websites)
One thought on “Dining in Manila”
Elaine, I happened upon this post — and just had to respond. I love Cafe Ysabel! And the lapu-lapu al graten is a favorite of mine as well. Perhaps the next time we're in Manila, we can go together! Keep in touch!