Whenever kansi is mentioned, Sarsá, the highly acclaimed restaurant that serves Contemporary Negrense food created by Bacolod-born Chef JP Anglo, would immediately come into mind. I would even go far as to equate Sarsá with the said dish.
I guess you can call me Sarsá’s loyal fan, because for me, Sarsá has, hands down, the best kansi in town. I am extremely thankful that this restaurant exists in my lifetime because it is honestly one of the best Filipino restaurants I’ve been at. If I could eat Sarsá’s kansi everyday, I would. No kidding. I’m just so in love with their kansi that I would dub it as the Best Filipino Dish in Manila. I would seriously bring my whole angkan here. If there’s anything Sarsá’s good at, it’s definitely serving dishes that are both innovative and savory.
You can probably guess that I was beyond elated when I found out that the Sarsá Group has branched out from its roots with a modern Filipino café, Kafé Batwan. The café serves as a homage to the Negrense roots of the group, which is why it was named after the fruit that is native to the Visayans and is widely used in Negrense cooking.
Of course, I just had to go there. It also happens to be conveniently located at Rockwell, a place I frequent a lot. After long hours of retail therapy, my mother and I decided to head to Sarsa’s new baby! Off we went, scurrying towards the good food that awaited!
The place is quaint and relaxed; very fitting for a café. It has a minimalist, stylish, and contemporary interior with decors made of local materials. What I love about this is that it was able to achieve such an international setting, yet the Filipino spirit was still very much alive and felt. They have an excellent taste in music as well.
See that green fruit on their logo? That’s the Batwan.
Flowers to brighten up anyone’s day
Drop lights made of wooden abaca
The staff was friendly and all-smiling, which I love, because it makes me happy seeing people smile 🙂 . One of them recommended their bestseller, Batchoy Beef Ribs, so we ordered it. In addition, we had the Grilled Kurobuta Belly and certainly the palabok.
Pancit Palabok (P295.00). I’d give this:
Their twist on the classic Filipino palabok was a pleasant surprise. The crab stock, crab fat, crablets, chicharon, and sautéed squid all blended perfectly together. This is such a unique way of cooking palabok, and no shrimp was even added in this one! And you know what? It still tasted like palabok! Well, “that’s what Sarsa is all about”, as best described by Chef JP when we had a little chat with him, and I cannot agree with his statement more.
Grilled Kurobuta Belly (P550.00). I’d give this:
Batchoy Beef Ribs (P550.00). I’d give this:
The Batchoy Beef Ribs and the Grilled Kurobuta Belly kind of tasted similar, but both are equally scrumptious. The sauce of the Grilled Kurobuta Belly was more flavorful, but the beef ribs tasted perfectly fine without the need for a strongly flavored sauce. I’m just so happy we ordered both of them! The way they’re seasoned is lovely and they cooked the meat so tenderly.
I was positively delighted with what I saw and tasted. Despite offering a different menu, Sarsa’s touch never left its dishes in Kafé Batwan. You can still trace their signature way of cooking. I am so happy with this new venture of theirs! Kudos to Chef JP for another pièce de résistance!
With Chef JP
I would love to wind down in Kafé Batwan again after a long day and just relax while enjoying the ambience and the music. Perhaps I can try their drinks and desserts all the while savoring the food that is so uniquely Sarsá.
Kafé Batwan just might be my favorite hang-out place in Rockwell now.
122 Joya Lofts & Tower, Amorsolo Drive, Rockwell, Makati City
Opening Hours: 7:00am – 10:30pm (Mon-Sun)
Budget: Approximately P1400.00 for two people (less if you’re not ordering mains)
Contact No.: (+632) 625-5166
Yes to Filipino food!