Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pinoy food at its best at Isla Cafe by XO46

When loved ones who work abroad come home for vacation, expect them to be craving for and eating a lot of Filipino food. When my sister, who has lived in the US for 30 years came last summer (she does come home almost yearly since 2007 because our parents are now very old), the restaurants we went to to eat Filipino food favorites included Aristocrat, Red Ribbon (for their delicious palabok), 
Mangan and Isla Cafe by XO46. 
The latter is not really a restaurant but a kiosk with some tables and chairs in an obscure corner at Robinson's Place Manila. We discovered it while wandering about after having our hair and face done at a salon inside the mall. Well, the first thing we saw when we stepped out of the salon was a stall selling "chicharon bituka (pork intestines deep-fried to a crisp)". We each got a small pack of this very sinfully delicious and quite exotic treat and munched away as we walked. And then we saw this Isla Cafe and my sister liked that they have arroz caldo (their menu was printed on a standing tarp so we knew at once what they offer) so we sat in. And I couldn't forget what happened in the next few minutes. When her arroz caldo was served, my sister poured all her left-over vinegar in the chicharon pack into her porridge and ate it with gusto. I tasted some of it and it was sooo sour! My sister finished it with a breath! Sisters could be a bit weird sometimes. Hahaha! 
Anyway, we also ordered sapin-sapin ala mode, pancit sotanghon and puto. Sis finished her food off with mango shake while I had kapeng barako. We both loved the food here though I wished the sapin-sapin was softer and chewier. Still, I think eating sapin-sapin with ice cream was a unique idea, giving this popular "kakanin" a whole new twist. Plus, I think its name here is cute - Sapin-Sapin 
Bahaghari, owing to its rainbow of colors. 
All in all, "merienda" at Isla Cafe by XO46 was a delicious way to cap off 
our "me" (or was it "us"? hehe.) day.

Sapin-sapin bahaghari, P75.
Arroz caldo, P125.
Binawang na Sotanghon (served with puto), P175.
Extra order of puto
Ripe mango shake, P155.
Kapeng barako, P45.
Isla Cafe by XO46

XO46, by the way, is the XO46 Heritage Bistro in Makati City (2 branches there, I believe) that is listed among Philippine Tattler's elite group of top Philippine restaurants. Their Isla Cafe has three branches that I know of, two in Quezon City and one in Manila, the one we went to at Robinson's Place Ermita. Pay it a visit soon for some good Filipino food.

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