Cafe Juanita

Cafe Juanita, a hole-in-a-wall eatery nestled in Kapitolyo, Pasig City, provides good food and an eclectic ambiance that changes with the season. For December, Christmas was in the air. There were angels and bells, garlands and poinsettias, and all items you see are for sale.

For starters, my dad and mom shared the Oclam Fish Soup, a Laotian clear soup which can be served with fish or chicken. My cousin and I, on the other hand, shared a serving of Favada, a spanish bean stew. The Favada was so rich and flavorful with bits of ham/bacon (I think) and chorizo, which I guessed was what gave the favada its flavor.

Then we had Goicuon, a vietnamese fresh spring roll served with peanut sauce. I was a bit disappointed, the wrapper was too soggy and the vegetable filling was bland. Only the peanut sauce brought the dish together, which was on a sweet side for me. I would have preferred a balance of saltiness and sweetness in the sauce.

Ratatoy, which is their Pinoy version of the French original, was a winner. I loved the blend of chopped fresh tomatoes, onions, blanched eggplants, tuyo (dried fish) tossed in a warm soy sauce-vinegar based sauce. I had more rice than I usually have.

Buddha’s Pillow was soft tofu triangles, breaded and fried then stewed in a bonito flavored sauce, was unimpressive to me. My mom and dad didn’t like the taste and I found it drowned in too much sauce.

Laing Bicol was not the usual laing I’ve had. This laing was rolled up gabi leaves stuffed with chopped gabi and ground meat cooked in gata sauce. Rich, thick and spicy. Yummy. Another dish best eaten with rice slathered with the rich gata sauce.

Thai Crispy Dalag was similar to binukadkad na isda of Pampanga. Dalag (mudfish) was butterflied and deep fried, served with an interesting sauce that tasted of vinegar, sugar syrup, a hint of patis (fish sauce), chilies, scallions and maybe fried shallots. It was the perfect dipping sauce for the finger-licking-good crunchy fish. Again, best eaten with rice kamayan style.

Cafe Juanita
No.2 United corner West Capitol
Bo. Kapitolyo Pasig City
Tel: 6320357 ; 7101562

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