The Romulo Dynasty… London’s Filipino Restaurant

Within a pretty standard block in the cosmopolitan borough of Kensington there’s a pretty impressive Filipino restaurant stretching its welcome deep into the building.

Enjoy-It is attending the press launch of the intimate restaurant after a redesign that boasts vibrant greens, a stimulating split-level table plan wrapped in exceptionally cool symmetrical decor – not that there is much of the vertical to be seen as owner, proprietor Rowena has passionately displayed her family provenance in images on every wall, see that resemblance…

The welcome couldn’t be more personal – we feel like family already! Meet the team from Rowena herself, charming maître d’ husband Chris, chef Jeremy and a proud tour of the building – downstairs to a private dining area – fantastic for parties and more Philippine authenticity in a secret wall panel concealing a Karaoke unit – the Philippines is the home of Karaoke, and in this delightful subterranean room – we could sing our hearts out and no one would ever know. That’s for another night!

What we do know, is boy do they throw a good party and how impressive is the generous menu…

We chat through the new look, how it is more in line with the proposition from the family and in turn we talk through the family – the sense of pride here is palpable, Grandpapa Romulo, General Carlos P. Romulo who, in the summer of 1945, signed the Charter of the United Nations on behalf of the Philippines, what an incredible achievement – his sense of justice and independence was recognised by his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize… we could talk about his incredibleness for a while – that is for you to enjoy during your visit to the restaurant.

Back in the restaurant the service is with humility and warmth, the food is on another level.

Now, I’m not suggesting that as editor an elaborate tincture could persuade me to rave about any one venue more favourably, but when I am offered a dark and stormy to beat all dark and stormy’s I feel a creative surge… what a kulog at kidlat!

We are treated to an elaborate tasting menu showcasing everything delicious about Philippine cuisine, which to the unknowing is a most generous SE Asian delivery of flavor and richness – with balanced heat and elaborate colour.

One of my favourite delights was the taro leng vol-au-vont, taro leaves sautéed in coconut milk and spices served in puff pastry – delicate with a bite in texture and heat. The spring rolls impossibly moreish, tuna ceviche eye catching. And chicken rellenitos, a Filipino classic terrine of boneless chicken…

There are prawns, jackfruit – the Cinderella of the fruit world – and crispy beef wings, milkfish belly, confit duck leg and the kitchen keeps it coming.

The sizzling chicken is impressive in its heat and presentation – with a ‘scratching’ absolutely not to share!

The desserts include sans rival (a pretty accurate reflection of the restaurant itself) Filipino sweet at its very best and we reflect on the banquet, the welcome and feel we have made new friends for life and thank the family with all our hearts for an incredible evening – most thanks should of course go to Romulo sir – his legacy lives on…


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