Adarna Food and Culture Showcases Secret Family Recipes and Timeless Gastronomic Tales

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Adarna Food and Culture 



When in Manila and curious about authentic Filipino cuisine being served around the archipelago but have no time to board a plane and travel the islands,  the Adarna Food and Culture is definitely the place to be!


I’ve been raving about Adarna Food and Culture ever since  last year when I finally got the chance to experience it and now I am truly honored to have this opportunity in featuring them here on!



One thing I really like about the Adarna Food and Culture is this feeling of  having a nourished tummy and soul after each visit. You get to remember things about your childhood and the good old days where people practiced their old fashioned ways.  I somehow feel very connected and very appreciative of my roots whenever I visit.   And by the time I step out the resto, I feel as if my IQ has increased a notch higher with this renewed and holistic feeling it gives.



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old Spanish Filipino ambiance



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homey and very elegant



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Miah, Bea and Badeth



On this very special occasion, I’ve invited some good friends whom I know will really appreciate this experience. Frank’s former office mate and friend Miah has always been fascinated about this place ever since she read our 1st feature on our personal site. As for Badeth and Bea, I thought that my friends from the younger generation would surely appreciate and learn a lot of things from this experience. On this day, we were so happy to finally meet the owners Chef Giney Villar and Ma’am Beth Angsioco and  had the chance to know more about this highly acclaimed restaurant which also has been nominated as one of the best restaurants in Asia… the Adarna Food and Culture!



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honored to meet Chef Giney Villar!!



We learned that apart from its antique interiors and Filipino-Spanish homey feel, each dish itself has its own unique story which leaves you so intrigued and curious.  It is like actually tasting a piece of history which leaves you with a deeper understanding about the people and place of its origin. It gives you this clear picture on how a particular recipe was done and passed on from generation to generation, then honored and preserved right here at Adarna Food and Culture.



I was so certain that our Adarna Food and Culture visit that day was gonna be very memorable! The dishes became even more interesting when chef Giney and Ma’am Beth told us the stories behind the menu! Let’s check ’em out……



Empanada de Kaliskis 1820 (75php each) – Now this is something which I personally consider as legendary and something which needs to be preserved for many generations to enjoy! Imagine a recipe that has been preserved and enjoyed by the heads of States and old-rich families since 1820! Beat that! This rare gem originated  in Malolos, Bulacan and is currently made by  only 2 elderly women. I really admire how the people of Adarna Food and Culture make an effort to make this available here in Manila!



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the crust made all the difference. not your typical empanada




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it has a very yummy chicken filling!



Seafood Special (485php) – Oh! This was a sure hit!  I couldn’t get enough of it! Composed of fresh shrimps, scallops, fish fillet with aromatic bell pepper then topped with crispy onions! The crispy fried onions gave it that needed crunch, giving a wonderful texture! I just love everything about it! The dish looks so vibrant and alive!


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Cocido (416php) – I believe this is a traditional chick-pea based stew with meat and vegetables. Super comfort food! It is something which reminded me of what my lola used to make for my lolo when I was young. My grandma is half Spanish so no wonder she knows a lot of Spanish recipes. I was very impressed with the side dish which was composed of green olives, tomatoes, red onions in olive oil. It complimented the stew so perfectly!



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the side dish





Piassok (335php) – Ever wondered what can be eaten in far Sulu? Try  out this dish and you will definitely have an idea! I love on how a dish can actually teach and reveal things about the place of its origin. Slow-cooked beef chunks in smoked coconut cream in ten secret spices til tender then buttered, grilled and sliced just before serving. 

Chef Giney’s story on how she got this recipe made us even more curious about it.  This would be my favorite among the dishes which were served. I was like enjoying smoked tender steak in coconut cream. Highly recommended!



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Bunuelos (90php) –  Looks can be deceiving!!  At first I thought it was just like the ordinary pinoy donut rolled in sugar… but no!!!!! I never thought it would  melt in my mouth!! Super soft and delicately sweet! Wicked!! This you gotta try! Best partnered with tsokolate!



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Platanillos con Mangga (175php) –  The perfect warm custard filling  made all the difference!  The rhum-buttered mango chunks weren’t too sweet so I really appreciated it very much! I definitely heard even more  “MMMMMmmmmmmssss” during dessert!


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 a classic!



I remember stepping out from the Adarna Food and Culture with not just a full tummy but a mind filled with stories and a heart ever so inspired to explore the world again. My friends told me that the experience was very holistic and it was one of their best dining experiences ever! I knew I was with the right people that day!


So what makes Adarna Food and Culture so special?  Aside from the food and elegant homey ambiance, for me it would be that feeling of being somehow “rooted” and “connected” to my past. A deep sense of appreciation is what I feel with each experience… A better understanding  of our culture through the preservation of well-kept family secret recipes which leaves me at awe, ever yearning for more. I love the feeling on how it holds this power to take me back in time in the arms of my Lola. A time when I was too short that I had to stand on a chair just to see her make tsokolate and the time when I used to run around our ancestral house in Taal, Batangas. By the time Chef Giney Villar sat with us and told her tales, I felt like I was listening to a traveler that has roamed far distant lands.. A traveler who has collected so many stories and for reasons unexplainable, was able to make you taste and  experience them yourself  with each spoonful.  There’s this magic in there which people really need to experience!


No wonder the Adarna Food and Culture is considered as one of the BEST Restaurants in Asia! Hmmmmmmm For me, not just in Asia but the world! Rarely do I see restaurants like them who are so passionate in preserving our cultural heritage so I firmly believe that they deserve all our support!  =)



I’d like to personally invite you all to  preserve these gastronomic gems and experience the magic of Adarna Food and Culture  when in Manila!




Adarna Food and Culture

mobile # 917.961.81.13

119 Kalayaan Ave

Diliman District, Quezon City

join them on FaceBook




For more photos and insider stories, visit EATS-A-DATE!




Adarna Food and Culture Showcases Secret Family Recipes and Timeless Gastronomic Tales