We didn’t bump into this restaurant by accident. Ms. Elizabeth Angsioco or simply “Beth” to friends, is the co-owner of this establishment together with Chef Giney Villar. We were introduced by my husband thru Twitter. Through the course of our acquaintance, t’was a pleasant surprise to discover that Beth also happens to be the mother of my high-school classmate. Small world indeed! And as they say, the rest is history.
It’s impossible to miss this awesome restaurant with its prominent Adarna symbol displayed at the entrance and the well-lit façade at night. Adarna Food and Culture is located along Kalayaan Ave., Diliman QC (Across BPI Bank). They serve mouth-watering, MSG-free, heirloom cuisines arranged in unique, antique platters with a warm yet elegant setting. They also offer options for vegetarians and those who have special dietary requirements which can be arranged upon prior request. Like the dish pictured below, it was specially made by Chef Giney for my husband who was on a strict diet during the time – shrimps sautéed in garlic, onions and tomatoes. More like Gambas without the spiciness! From its décor and architecture, to its rare memorabilia, Adarna showcases our distinct Filipino culture and traditions. It easily brings back fond memories of our yesteryear. A perfect place to reminisce.
I’ve tried some of their featured dishes. But some of what tops my list are the following:
Chicken Relleno Antigo (Php480.00) – prepared and cooked to perfection!
Adobong Batangas (Php240.00) – slow cooked pork belly.
Poqui-Poqui (Php97.00) – your ensaladang talong with a twist. For veggie monsters like me, this is to die for! I can eat this alone with steamed or garlic rice.
And for people with a sweet-tooth, you have to try their:
Esmeralda (Php80.00) – pandan crystals with sweetened cream.
For Empanada lovers out there, they now serve Empanada de Kaliskis (Php60.00 per piece) of Malolos which I have yet to try. This recipe is considered a Malolos heirloom!
While waiting for your food to be served, you can take a quick tour around this home-styled restaurant. They have a function room aptly named, “Silid ng mga Reyna”. It exhibits memorabilia and (really) old photos of Carnival Queens as far back as 1908! The other function room right beside it is called, “Silid ng mga Bituin”, because it features old pictures of local actors and actresses spanning way back to the glory days of Sampaguita and LVN Pictures. These rooms are separated by a nice capiz shell-decorated divider. But when the divider is slid open and both areas are combined, it can comfortably fit in 50pax. Also visibly displayed within Adarna Food and Culture, protected in a wood and glass enclosure are Jose Rizal’s original Noli & El Fili books released in Malolos, Bulacan back in 1961. You will notice that these books are authentic facsimiles of Rizal’s original drafts including his handwriting, notes and erasures.
For the lovers and couples alike, a wonderfully unique Valentines dinner/program is in store for you through Adarna’s yearly tradition of the “Tertulia”, a celebration of love and expression by way of love letter reading, singing or by sharing your simple yet heart-tickling love stories while donning attires such as those of popular couples – Ninoy and Cory, Tito Sotto and Helen Gamboa and the like.
Don’t fret. Price is very affordable. Plus, food is superb and served in generous portions.
“Adarna Food and Culture” is not your typical stopover.
From its sights and sounds to its nostalgic dishes, Adarna is a full-sensory experience! A time machine of sorts… To relive and celebrate the best of our Filipino culture.
Don’t take my word for it… visit this one of a kind establishment and be amazed yourself. You’ll be surprised what fond childhood memories “Adarna Food and Culture” will help you recall!
BUDGET: P200 – P499 per person
119 Kalayaan Avenue, Diliman, QC
Follow them on Twitter: @adarnaresto