Time Out says
A Kensington restaurant straight out of the Philippines.
Filipino restaurants in London? Rarer than hen’s teeth. There’s Josephine’s in Soho, a couple of interesting pop-ups and that’s about it. It’s a slightly odd cuisine – a meat-heavy mishmash of Spain, Malaysia and China – but it’s becoming popular in the States and where they go we often follow. Well, bar the really bonkers stuff like corn dogs and Easy Cheese. And guns.
This good-looking Kensington restaurant is the first foray from a small group with branches over in the Philippines. It takes its name from the grandfather of one of the owners, General Carlos P Romulo – former diplomat, statesman, soldier, journalist, publisher, author and sometime president of the UN General Assembly. Not a bad CV.
I think he’d approve of the food here, not least the huge portions (he must have worked up an appetite). On my visit, the only flaw was that the short ribs were slightly overcooked, but they still came with a whack of flavour and a gorgeous honey, soy and garlic glaze.
Everything else was a joy, especially the classic dishes. Pork sisig is usually made with pig’s face (including the snout) but here they use pork belly, chopped, seared and topped with fried egg, pickled apples and caramelised shallots. It was excellent. As was their take on Filipino adobo, with chicken and pork belly marinated and cooked in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic.
Service was hugely warm, and the atmosphere fun: when was the last time you saw two tables clapping a twerking child? I’m pretty sure that happened.
Romulo Café is named after the Philippines’ most decorated statesman and run by his descendants who created a successful chain of stylish Romulo Cafés in Manila. In their first international branch in Kensington, Filipino chef Lorenzo Maderas is faithful to the Romulo family’s heirloom recipes but occasionally wields a license to innovate. The result? An elegant, delicately-balanced homage to the Spanish-American-Chinese-Malay roots of a unique cuisine. Filipino-style cakes and desserts are created in-house (and available to order). Clever cocktails, like Pacquaio’s Last Punch, guarantee customers a bit of swagger.
Those in search of a culinary adventure will do well to come along and discover why Filipino food is the last word in global cuisine, combining the delicate, fresh flavours of Asia with an American zest and European sophistication.
Filipino food is a mesmerizing combination of four culinary traditions – Spanish, American, Malay and Chinese. From Tatler to Time Out, Harden’s to Square Meal, arbiters of good taste have come to enjoy Romulo Cafe’s appetizing bar food, main courses to share, healthy options and desserts or ‘puddings’, including our famous home-made ice cream. We look forward to welcoming you.
343 Kensington High St
|Transport:||Rail: Kensington Olympia|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £90.|
|Opening hours:||Monday to Saturday : 12pm to 12am / Sunday: 12pm to 11:30pm|
|Do you own this business?|
Users say (133)
Average User Rating
4.9 / 5
- 5 star:122
- 4 star:7
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:0
It's scrumptious! I totally love every choices given on the menu. Totally recommending this restaurant to everyone.
The twist they've made to Filipino dishes makes it appealing to all , keeping the same goodness and authentic Filipino taste!And the presentation is second to none!Ambience of true Filipino culture, accommodating and friendly-that is Romulo cafe!
I love the interior especially the library downstairs...and you MUST TRY the "tadyang ng baka" or Beef Ribs! Sooooooo goooood!!!!
Excellent Filipino food reminiscent of happy and fun times and the comfort of home but also distinctly London with its hip drinks and ambiance.
The food is authentic and well thought out. It is a place where one feels a great sense of belongingness, tradition and elegance. Carina
Eager-to-please staff, fast service, generous portions, value-for-money and consistently delicious food!
The Romulos adheres to an excellence beyond expectations, that their repertoire of choice Philippine cuisine has remained favorites among homesick Filipinos.... Who can resist delectable artsy presentation by their exclusive chefs??? Go once & you'll be back....
Romulo cafe is a very welcome addition to the Filipino food scene in the UK. Having eaten there several times, their food is delicious as well as being authentic.
A great deal of care and effort has been put into recreating a little bit of the Philippines, right into the heart of Kensington. Well done and thank you. Must try amazing culinary experience in London.
They do a great job of introducing Filipino food to the British palate without losing the authenticity of the cuisine. The atmosphere is that of a sophisticated home. I would also recommend their imaginative cocktails (such as, Imelda's high heels and Batangas bad boy)!
Please support our own Filipino cuisine, food was excellent with very friendly environment and hospitable staffs.
It is just great to get even more choice in London - I cannot think of another Philippines restaurant in Europe! Food is great and a super atmosphere.....
A friendly cozy novelty in the panorama of London restaurant. Rowena is the perfect host and the cuisine is superb!!
Romulo Cafe is a wonderful restaurant with great and attentive staff. It is nice to have a piece of home in Central London!
I live in the neighbourhood and just found this place. The food is tasty. Their hospitality is just like the time I visited the country. Nice presentation of the food. Recommend the beef ribs for sure. I'll be bringing my friends back!
Yummy! Big portions and good price for this part of London. I know I will go back to try the other dishes. The desserts hit the spot and finish off the meal. That high heel cocktail is super!
Just tried Philippine food for the first time. Very good! Beef ribs and lamb shank were really good. Fair price and 5 star interiors. I asked to take home some of their bread - worth it! Will go back again.
Fantastic Filipino cuisine, served in a beautiful setting with great service. The Adomo Romulo Style is a must!
Super tastey! The food and cocktails are presented so elegantly. I do enjoy dining there. They treat all their guests like family. Nice to have a place like this to go to locally. Bravo!!
Great experience, wonderful location, excellent food and above all very attentive and friendly staff. Hoping to taste soon those delights.
Posto fantastico arredato benissimo con un atmosfera speciale..... Ma soprattutto si mangia divinamente..... 5 stelle meritatissime!!