What makes a restaurant great? Food, service, or ambience? These are all the typical items on our checklist in deciding whether we want to spend another lunch date at a place. It’s easy enough to single each one out and critique and tally them to compose a justified resolution about your stand. Perhaps there are certain establishments that serve to please the ever evolving and trendy Manila foodie scene, but to me, WOWA Kitchen x Cafe deserves much more than that.
Its story is not unique. Like most restaurants with a great tale, the establishment is a tribute to a family legend and cook, the owners’ grandmother—WOWA. Inspired by their their beloved grandmother’s well-loved and frequented Karenderia at Mandaluyong, WOWA shines with a menu that is both comforting, filling, and close to home.
WOWA Kitchen x Cafe was born out of the owner’s dream to provide a hangout spot where friends can gather for laughs. Upon walking in, the warm vibe instantly invites. It’s as if entering someone’s apartment with your latest gossip and wanting to sit comfy ’til the wee hours. It could be a secret spot for small gatherings and shared meals with loved ones—its location and capacity makes that completely obvious.
Tucked behind the Equator gas station along the busy Bayani road in Taguig, one does not immediately notice this gem of a restaurant that takes pride in its selection of familiar and palatable meals that definitely hits the spot! With each dish perfectly crafted with careful thought and detail, you’ll absolutely feel the love!
Their menu comprises of hand-picked family recipes that have stood the test of time and a collection of fresh dishes you don’t encounter on your typical go-tos. It’s not the cheapest choice, but what they charge is justified by the premium ingredients in their dishes. Trust me, this would not be an everyday lunch option, but a unique dining experience, which you can reserve for moments you want to share intimate conversations over a scrumptious meal.
Plus, this place is perfect if your group requires a documentation of your lunch date as your meal conveniently comes with a playfully designed (ahem, Instagrammable) backdrop—on every corner, if I might add. The interiors were personally designed by the owner and detailed by trinkets from his travels all over the world. My personal favorite: the cork board wall with a collection of movies, art, and other memorabilia.
We started off with a unique take on Bagnet, a Filipino favorite that is usually served with rice arrived on our table in the form of Bagnet Rolls (Php 345) with the crispy pork chunks tucked between a medley of vegetables in a blanket of tortilla. The Salmon and Kani Salad (Php 385 ) was a refreshing choice with its crunchy and fresh greens followed by their best-selling Truffled Mushroom Carbonara (Php 365), which had the right balance of creaminess and flavor to it. The Baked Chicken Fettucini with Pesto Cream (Php 375) was also a heavenly choice.
But, the highlight of our meal was the Salmon Teriyaki (Php 455), served with red rice and french beans—absolutely delightful and fancy. Because I have an odd preference for other fish over Salmon, the fact that I enjoyed this dish was a really big deal for me.
Of course we had to try one of their Wowa’s signature recipes, adopted from the famous Karinderia, the Garlic Spareribs (Php 215) which was served with steamed rice and pickled vegetables. A good bang for your buck.
Another sinful choice, but a definition of comfort food—the Truffled Sisig (Php 345), which would have been perfect with a bottle of beer, but I had to reserve my appetite for the dessert!
WOWA has a selection of sweet beverages to complete your meal. Although they have yet to provide the traditional desserts, I had a taste of their Tres Leches Ice Scramble—yet another truly Filipino concoction—and the Caramel Delight Milkshake, both of which are pretty good alternatives to your usual cakes and pastries.
Oh, and you wouldn’t want to miss the rich and flavorful Hot Chocolate Smores made from Malagos beans from Davao. You may even choose to come here just to order that specifically, while reading a book.
WOWA Kitchen x Cafe is truly unique—a special place that I want to keep as a secret for myself yet deserves to be shared to the rest of the world. Along with other restaurants in Bayani road that are slowly becoming a staple on the foodie radar, WOWA Kitchen x Cafe has definitely become a neighborhood favorite and a must-visit.
WOWA KITCHEN x CAFÉ
Equator Complex, Bayani Road, Taguig City
Open Monday – Saturday (11AM – 10 PM)
Contact Num: 9846695 | 09175442525
Website: facebook.com/Wowa Kitchen x Cafe