When you first here the place “Malate”, the common conception nowadays is that there is a nightlife in the area with a lot of expats, and a sort of red light district vibe. Unbeknownst, to most, it’s also a great culinary hub with a variety of authentic Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, and even middle eastern restaurants. Let’s revisit one of the iconic areas in Malate, a small rotunda called Remedios Circle.
Remedios Circle is also known as the Plaza de la Virgen de Los Remedios, Remedios Rotonda, and Rotary Circle is a traffic circle in Malate, Manila. It’s an intersection between Remedios Street and Adriatico Street. Originally a cemetery in colonial times, the circle is known today for being the center of Manila’s nightlife.
This is thanks to the Larry J. Cruz, the Founder of the LJC Chain of Restaurants. In 1979 he made a career change and opened his first restaurant, a small café in the corner of the Remedios Circle in Malate. He named the restaurant Café Adriatico, after the street. The Café served classic Spanish and Filipino dishes and had commendable customer service. It became a place where people could commune, enjoy a good cup of coffee and good food. Pretty soon, Café Adriatico became the venue where Manila’s elite celebrities, politicians, and Manila’s oldest families would frequent.
This is the original LJC restaurant, Café Adriatico, is a place that my family would go to for coffee, breakfast, and afternoon snacks. The place is homey, with wood panels and antique fixtures. The low ceilings and dim lighting is rustic and nostalgic.
Fresh fruits on a bed of greens, dried cranberries and almond flakes topped with a raspberry yogurt dressing with chia seeds.
Two big pieces of prawns drenched in a hollandaise cream sauce topped with cheese. Served with rice and a grilled tomato.
Chicken a la Kiev
When you slice open the deep fried chicken there is a gush of butter and garlic that flavors the whole dish. Rich, and delicious. Easily one of the best dishes of the day.
Tender Ox Tail with a savory stew made up of tomatoes, onion, garlic and some Yemeni spices. This is one of their original dishes. It’s a bit similar to callos.
Light and fluffy, each bite melts in your mouth. Cover it with the custard cream sauce and bite into a piece of mango to balance the sweetness of the dish.
Café Adriatico’s story is somewhat personal to me, it’s a place I’ve been to since I was a child. It’s a place that I would have brunch with my dad whenever he would drop my off at my university not too far away. A place that we would all get together.
After three decades, Café Adriatico’s the interiors and the food remain the same. The same wooden fixtures and the same frames that hang in their walls are familiar. Every visit sentimental and nostalgic. Since the 1980’s my family has been a frequent visitor to it’s halls, and this is thanks to their consistent food, quality, and service. From this first branch, the LJC Group was able to expand to over 10 restaurant brands with over 20 branches all over Metro Manila.
- 1790 Adriatico Street, Remedios Circle, Malate, Manila
- Contact No. 02 2469069 ext:908
- Cuisine: Spanish – Filipino
- PHP1200 for two people (approx.)
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