Throughout most of 2016 I kept hearing that Filipino cuisine was set to be the next big thing in London’s food scene and having spent a month there a few years earlier I was all for this. Bring on the adobo, am I right? The Filipino boom hasn’t happened as anticipated but Romulo Café are trying to change this. They have a few hurdles to overcome, the first is their location, the arse end of Kensington high street which isn’t getting a lot of foot traffic. The second is that they are treading a line between traditional Filipino cooking and something more high end.
The restaurant feels like it has been transported from Manilla rather than being a London restaurant with Filipino influence. Filipino cooking uses meat and rice liberally which is by no means a complaint but it can be a little heavy. The portions of our main courses were enormous and I couldn’t finish which in my experience is both a common and quaint attribute of Filipino hospitality. The restaurant reminded me a little bit of Only God Forgives which, yes I know, is set in Thailand, but it’s quiet and moody inside and they’ve got a bit of neon lighting going on. The service here is bend over backwards gracious and it is shockingly good value for money.
What’s good? The Kensington fried chicken with banana ketchup and adobo mayo. The Native chocolate fondant with chantilly and ube paste. The Surf and Turf.
Kid friendly? Children are very welcome, Filipino people are big on food and family.
✗baby change facilities
✓cool with breastfeeding
✗loads of other parents
✓space for buggies