MANILA EATS: Cafe Juanita

I was having lunch with my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law (or Abuelita as we like to call her).  Whenever we eat with Abuelita it is always the same place, Terry’s Selection (branches in Podium & Pasong Tamo Ext.) because Abuelita only eats Spanish food and lechon kawali. I wanted to think of some place new, but it had to have good Crispy Pata (which I am sure she will love as well) or she will end up eating only bread (gasp!). 

I haven’t tried the Crispy Pata of Cafe Juanita but considering how yummy almost everything is on their menu (click here to read about our visit to the original Cafe Juanita in Kapitolyo), I was willing to bet it was very good! And I was right! She loved not only the Crispy Pata but most of what we ordered as well! Finally another place the entire family can go to on special occasions aside from Terry’s!

I just knew that the in-laws would love the shabby-chic interiors and the ambience. The kids on the other tables love playing with the fringe curtains - we're amazed that thing hasn't been pulled off of the ceiling =P

We especially like the huge capiz chandeliers!

Cafe Juanita Crispy Pata (deep fried pork knuckles). The crispy skin, tender juicy meat perfectly paired with the soy sauce, onion & chili concoction was so good that all that was left were clean bones!

Cafe Juanita Pinoy Ratatoy is their own version of Ratatouille. Forgive the picture - we all dug in before I remembered to take one =P The perfect vegetable dish for me. Be warned it has a spicy kick. I loved the flakes of tuyo (dried fish) that added the perfect amount of saltiness to the dish!

Cafe Juanita Chicken Mozzarella (pan fried, herb chicken fillet topped with pesto and tomato sauce melted mozzarella with garlic fried rice). The blend of pesto and LOTS of cheese made the chicken yummy indeed! I can just dip bread into that sauce and be happy.

I didn’t take pictures of the Deep Fried Lapu-Lapu with Tamarind Sauce anymore because it took so long and by the time it arrived everyone just grabbed a piece and it was no longer camera-ready.  I’ve already had this before in their Kapitolyo branch and posted about it here. So far this is my favorite Cafe Juanita dish and despite the LONG wait, everyone agreed it was worth it.  I just find it weird that it took so long, when it was the first dish served to us in Kapitolyo. And no matter how many times we asked the waiter regarding how many minutes more it would take, he just kept on smiling and saying it was about to be served (SO not true because it was served much, much later when we had finished all the mains). I guess the waiters here are new, because the ones in Kapitolyo are highly trained and professional. I think the least our waiter could have done was to give us an estimate so we could have canceled it instead of keeping us waiting. My theory is he either forgot to place the order (despite having repeated it to us) or the cook forgot. I do hope to have a different experience next time, because I am definitely NOT going to stop ordering this scrumptious dish!

Cafe Juanita Cappuccino. I didn't just love the taste (no need add sugar), but the presentation was lovely as well.

We were divided on the Cafe Juanita Blueberry Cheesecake - My mother-in-law, who loves cheesecake, was not impressed and did not like the texture, while I really liked it and I am usually not fond of cheesecake! So our verdict: it was a non-cheesecake cheesecake!

I split the signature dessert dish, Sticky Toffee Pudding with homemade vanilla ice cream, with Abuelita and she was quite pleased with it. Even my mother-in-law who doesn’t like anything caramel/toffee liked it.

We were all stuffed and happy. All the food was wiped out. I can’t wait to take the hubby here next time we are in Manila, whenever that will be… He is going to love it for sure. And the  Cafe Juanita will give Centro (Greenbelt 2) competition for his favorite place to eat Crispy Pata.

Cafe Juanita

  • Unit WS-2 Burgos Circle, Forbestown Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, 1634
  • +632 403-1952
  • cafejuanita@yahoo.com

Lovely comments

    • says

      Yeah It’s one of my favorites in Manila. Can you believe that my husband hasn’t eaten in Cafe Juanita yet? (gasp!) Though it’s on the top of his list when he goes back home. What was your favorite dish?

        • says

          I’ve never tried those two (we tend to stick to our favorites once we find them) but definitely keep it in mind next time in Manila! Thanks for the tip! Btw I love that you have a magazine about beer. I loooove beer but it’s way to expensive here in Jakarta!

    • says

      You would so love it here Lorena! I wish I took more pictures but I only had my point-and-shoot which doesn’t do so well in low lighting. Thanks for dropping buy and commenting!

  1. passing by says

    Hi,
    Just wondering if you have another email address for Cafe Juanita – im based overseas and wanting to enquire about function/group booking at Cafe Juanita. The yahoo add doesnt work (returned email). This review has me salivating to try their food when im in Manila.

    Please help!

    Thanks very much.

    • says

      Hi passing by, unfortunately that is the only email address I know of. I’m sorry to hear that it is no longer working. The fort branch is quite small so I do agree that advance booking has to be made especially for a function. Perhaps you can have your contact in Manila call them for you. Good luck with your function and enjoy the food! I appreciate your commenting on my blog! =)

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