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“Beating Jollibee if you want to try decent, quality Filipino food” – this London outlet of a Philippines-based chain (owned by the grandchildren of a famous general) operates on a different level than its fast-food rival in nearby Earl’s Court (see also Jollibee). Offering “very fresh” and interesting dishes (for newbies, “there’s a strong whiff of Thai cuisine”), “enthusiasm is key, and the food is presented with great bravura”.
“You don’t find many Filipino restaurants in the UK” and this two-year-old outpost of a restaurant group based in the Philippines aims to change all that. “First timers should like it” on account of its novelty; old hands may find it “a little pricier than other representatives of the cuisine… I guess you’re paying for the Kensington price tag, and for food that’s beautifully presented and delicious”.
Limited reports to-date on this year-old venture – one of London’s few Filipino restaurants – decorated with portraits of the owner’s ancestors, but all feedback says it’s a “great new arrival”.
The first international branch (in Kensington) of a restaurant group from the Philippines (owned by the grandchildren of General Carlos Romulo) showcasing Filipino cuisine. Lorenzo Maderas (formerly of Latin American/Japanese fusion spot Sushisamba) oversees the kitchen – early reports say the place is “trying hard”, and “worth a second visit”.
Romulo Cafe brings food lovers a taste of the Philippines, in the heart of Kensington. We opened the restaurant in 2016 as the first international outpost of my family's successful restaurant business in Manila. Since then, it has been a joy to welcome all those eager to discover what Filipino food is all about.
Filipino cuisine is a spirited combination of Spanish, Chinese, Malay and American influences, the legacy of the Philippines' rich history and colonial past. Such a wide canvas invites creativity and imagination, and when it comes to preparing the Filipinos' favourite dishes, cooks will often place an accent on distinct regional traditions, unique family styles, personal experiences and more. Romulo Cafe is no exception. A tribute to my grandparents, General Carlos P. Romulo and Virginia Llamas-Romulo, our menu offers many of the dishes that my sister, cousins and I enjoyed growing up in our family home in Manila.
We hope that those who taste Filipino food for the first time at Romulo Cafe enjoy it enough to return, as our menu is quite extensive and changes regularly. And for Filipinos living in London or merely passing through, we hope that Head Chef Lorenzo Maderas' delightful interpretations of our family's heirloom recipes continue to bring comfort, pride and a taste of home.
|Wine per bottle||£26.00|
Jeremy Villanueva, Head Chef
Classically trained Chef Jeremy was born in Quezon City, Philippines. He brings to Romulo Café a wealth of experience in some of the hospitality industry's top kitchens, having worked in 5-star hotels and fine dining restaurants.
Moving to the UK with his parents, he attended Croydon College before receiving an HND in Culinary Arts (Hospitality and Institutional Management) from Blackpool and the Fylde College. He began his training with the Hilton, and studied briefly in France as part of an EU exchange programme.
In 2000, he joined Simpson's-in-the-Strand in London, working his way up from commis to chef de partie. After, he travelled the world on a working holiday visa, landing a stage with Tetsuya Wakuda in Sydney. Back in London, he spent 18 months in Le Gavroche, Mayfair, working under Michel Roux Jr, before promotion to sous chef at Walbrook Club, and to Executive Chef a few months later. His next post was at Albert Roux's Brasserie Roux at Sofitel St James.
Chef Jeremy then joined Tony Tobin's La Poste in Banstead as head chef for a year before sailing with Holland and American cruises. Returning to dry ground, he was recruited by Nico Laridan to join Le Boudin Blanc in Mayfair, starting as a sous chef in 2010 and rising to Executive Chef in 2017. He joined Romulo Café in Spring 2018.
Whether your purpose is business or leisure, Romulo Cafe offers ideal private dining spaces. In the past year, we've played host to breakfast meetings, product launches, birthday and christening parties, wedding receptions, stag nights and hen nights, Christmas parties, wine matching suppers, and all manner of special occasions.
Our Library can seat 18-20 people comfortably and also offers the perfect setting for intimate cocktail receptions. Our Diplomat's Dining Room will accommodate up to 40 people seated but is also a great choice for larger cocktail receptions.
We will happily create bespoke menus to meet your requirements, from tasting to set menus, and also a wide variety of Filipino-style canapes. And we have a brilliant array of Philippine-inspired cocktails to help kick-start a party!
343 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6NW
|Number of Diners:|
|Monday||12 pm‑12 am|
|Tuesday||12 pm‑12 am|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑12 am|
|Thursday||12 pm‑12 am|
|Friday||12 pm‑12 am|
|Saturday||12 pm‑12 am|