Romulo Café London
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Situated on the stretch of road in between west Kensington and Kensington High Street where the fruits stalls provide a unique vibrancy, the recent arrival of Romulo Café is making waves.
Despite only opening in Spring 2016, news has already spread through the Filipino community of this family run restaurant’s quality. It’s already become a firm favourite for family and friend get togethers as well as indigenous ambassadorial dinners and hosted events – where it’s used as a showcase for the national cuisine.
Café Romulo – named after the owner’s famous grandfather Carlos P Romulo – is the first in the UK but the fourth for the group, which has three other sites back in the Philippines.
The restaurant is divided loosely into areas – from the General’s Bar at the front, to the Ambassador’s Lounge and Diplomat’s Dining room on the ground floor and the Library private room in the floor below.
The Library is the main private dining room – with space for up to 20 guests, its own self-contained bar and decked out in low key oriental-style black panelled walls, marble tables and bookshelves filled with memorabilia and artwork showing the life and times of the Romulo.
There’s no room hire but a minimum spend of £25 per person excluding drinks.
The private dining menu is based on a sharing style that’s traditional for Filipino entertaining.
Set menus range from £25 – £40.
The room has air conditioning and adjustable music system. Karaoke systems can be arranged at an additional cost.
Upstairs, the main restaurant’s back section can be used as a semi-private area for up to 35 guests with a curtain partition available for added privacy.
The room is modern and stylish with deep green panelling, fern wallpaper, wicker lamps and a standalone bar at the back alongside the more personal pictures of Romulo and his life.
The whole floor or entire venue can also be hired exclusively for standing receptions of up to 70. Canapes and bowl food are also available. There’s no room hire, but a minimum spend depending on the date and time of the event. The room is already used regularly by the Philippine Embassy and locals and is fast becoming a regular haunt locals and welcome bolt hole for Olympia Conference goers, organisers and delegates in the know.
Lesser known than other Asian cuisines, Filipino culinary style is a natural fusion. Having been inhabited over its history by Spanish and US, there’s also a Malaysian influence so it naturally encompasses east meets west, not too spicy, not too sweet, not too salty.
Dishes include roasted chicken stuffed with ground pork, raisins, peas and chorizo or Deboned crispy pork leg with aubergine salsa and tomato shrimp sauce.
Drinks include inspirational cocktails with Filipino influences as well as Filipino drinks such as rum, coffee and beer.
Set lunch costs £15 for 2 courses or £20 for 3. Happy hour cocktails are 2 for 1 from 4pm – 7pm Monday to Friday.