From weekend market food stall to a gorgeous, homey resto in a foodie haven
It all started with a humble stall at the Legazpi Sunday Market (LSM). Imman Decena still remembers how his mom, Louh Doctora-Decena, and his aunt, Tess Doctora, struggled with their sales from their stall. Not a lot of people knew about the wonders of Indonesian food then, and most Filipinos weren’t as adventurous as they are now when it comes to trying new food.
Nevertheless, his mom and his aunt persevered. Eight years later, they sell an average of more than 350 packs of Indonesian boxed lunches at the LSM.
“My parents came back to the Philippines when they retired,” Imman shared. “Now, they’re busier than ever.”
After nearly three decades of living in Jakarta, Indonesia, their whole family went back to the Philippines and Louh decided she would like to share the food she made for her three sons so more people will know about the wonderful experience that is Indonesian fare.
And Warung Kapitolyo came to fruition. They found a spacious home not so far from the busier part of Kapitolyo and turned it into a gorgeous Asian home filled with stunning furniture pieces and décor from their own home. They have three equally beautiful function rooms good for private parties of 15 to 60 people. The white walls made every piece of artwork pop and the rich hardwood gave the place that signature warmth that reminds you of home and welcomes you to stay and enjoy and have a great time.
Here’s what we had on our first ever visit to Warung Kapitolyo — the first of many food-filled visits.
A must-try at Warung Kapitolyo, these grilled chicken skewers is marinated and glazed with their lip-smacking peanut sauce. Their peanut sauce is dangerously addictive. It’s savory yet sweet and the smokiness of the grilled chicken adds another layer of flavor in this Indonesian classic.
From their humble stall at the LSM, Warung Kapitolyo brought their best-selling Beef Rendang to their flagship restaurant. Today, they offer the traditional beef rendang (just like how it’s done in Jakarta) and their famous version from the LSM. What’s the difference between the two? Well, you have to go and try it for yourself.
The dish is an instant favorite and it’s easy to see (and taste) why it’s one of their crowd-pleasers. It is sweet, savory, and spicy all at the same time. The noodles are cooked just right, the chunks of beef and liver are perfectly flaky and tender, the still-runny fried egg adds a creaminess to the dish that makes it sooooo morish. The homemade krupuk (shrimp crackers; “kropek” in Manila) also gives it additional texture and flavor.
Indonesian fried rice for the win! Warung Kapitolyo’s Nasi Goreng almost makes you want to forego the mains… Almost.
THIS is what I came here for. The perfectly crispy wrapper envelopes luscious scrambled eggs, onions, leeks, and well-seasoned ground pork. Every bite is a delicious revelation. And just when you thought it can’t get any better, they serve it with spiced vinegar and a side of their homemade sambal.
The other reason why I went all the way to Kapitolyo. A favorite street snack from Indonesia, this is like a pancake on steroids. The soft and fluffy cake is smothered with butter, doused with sweetened condensed milk, and showered with shredded cheese.
You all know that sweet-and-salty combo is foolproof. I personally love the crispy outer layer, adding more texture to the dish. As rich as it sounds, it’s actually not that sweet — which means you can eat mooooore.
Es Teler is Warung Kapitolyo’s answer to the halo-halo. Finely shaved ice with lots of milk hiding slices of avocado and langka (jackfruit) underneath. Perfect for warm days… Or any day, really.
Warung Kapitolyo is located at 83 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City, and is open Tuesday to Sunday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. For inquiries, call (0917) 800-915 and (0917) 534-7089.You can also check out Warung Warung Stall at the Legazpi Sunday Market
By CHING DEE