Romulo Café London - Kensington, London

Filipino Restaurant, Asian, Asian Fusion Restaurant, Asian Restaurant, Bars and Pubs, Cocktail Bar, Cuisine, Dancing, Discos and Night Clubs, Electrical and Electronics Stores, Electrical Goods, Electrics, Facility Contractor, Home Services, Homes, Karaoke Bar, Restaurant, Southeast Asian Restaurant

Address

Address

343 Kensington High St, Kensington, London, W8 6NW
romulocafe.co.uk

+44 20 3141 6390

Reviews

Reviews

4.3

Based on 154 reviews.

 

Agregated reviews (154) Romulo Café London - Kensington, London

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Romulo Café is a restaurant with a relaxed yet formal design with family portraits that give a homely feeling from the moment you walk through the front door. My friend and I wanted to try the best food The Philipines has to offer, so Romulo seemed like the perfect place for us. Going with the chef's recommendations was the ideal way to enjoy the full range of Filipino gastronomy.

The service was superb, the waiter kept the food and wine flowing at a steady pace, describing the ingredients and cooking style of every dish. The Tuna Kilawin, an amazing dish of fresh fish ceviche marinated in cane vinegar with vegetables was so refreshing to all the senses. The Chef Lorenzo’s Pork Sisig was an exquisite combination of chopped seared pork belly with pickled apples and caramelised shallots topped with a fried egg. The Ginataang Sigarillas with Tinapa of winged beans cooked in coconut milk and topped with smoked fish was a wonderful way to showcase these ingredients and we both loved this dish.

Beef and Oxtail were next on the menu and Tito Greg’ Kare-Kare in which the meat is stewed in a peanut-based sauce served with steamed vegetables and their artisan flavoured bagoong was unlike anything either of us have tried before but we both wanted more and more. Then the chicken & pork belly that was twice cooked and marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic with glazed shallots and sweet potato mash was an absolute delight, this Adobo Romulo Style - it is worth a trip to Romulo just for this.

Each dish was eaten with some Traditional Garlic Fried Rice - refried rice with just that perfect hint of garlic - simple yet wonderful! I thought the meal couldn’t get any better, but the Choco-Loko of native chocolate fondant, lemon chantilly and ube puree was a sweet taste to behold. The dessert to end all desserts however was the Sans Rival, a modern Filipino dessert made with dulce de leche buttercream, cashews, chewy and sweet meringue with vanilla ice cream. Every dish was freshly produced and tasted amazing, a unique destination in London’s ever crowded food scene – this is Filipino gastronomy at its absolute finest!

5 by Jarrod Brown Review source

This place is a gem. I booked a reservation on Open Table after being away on a long trip in Europe and craving Filipino food. We were pleasantly surprised with what we found and will be recommending this place to friends and family. Everything was perfect from start to finish. Food was delicious, staff efficient, prices fair, and the ambience was cozy and homey. Even the decor and photos on the walls had a nice touch of Philippine history and culture, giving the customers a glimpse of General Romulo as both statesman and patriot.

Upon arrival, we were given a table at the back of the room which was full, considering the weather outside. Our server was enthusiastic and eager to explain the menu. She then proceeded to suggest her favorite dishes and recommend wines to go with them. After placing our orders, we were given pandesal. I’m on a low carb diet, but I couldn’t help eating the bread. It was so tasty and addictive, I had to resist eating more knowing that we ordered a lot.

The lechon kawali was amazing. Crunchy on the outside, tender and juicy inside. The crispy tadyang, salpicao, pancit, and laing were all delicious, and the ukoy was unique. It had julienned sweet potatoes which I thought was innovative. Of course, we had to have the garlic rice, yum! Portions were generous and served family style. Perfect for larger groups of people. Even our white wine complemented the flavorful food perfectly.

Dessert topped off the evening. Loved the ube-licious - luscious ube cream sandwiched between meringue crisps and served with ice cream and macapuno. Exquisite! The halo-halo was just as interesting and tasteful. Regular crushed ice was replaced with shaved ice, similar to a Hawaiian shave ice, and the flan with it had a consistency of pudding and dulce de leche.

Would definitely recommend this restaurant to friends and family. It is a nice place to celebrate an occasion, gather with family/friends, or simply enjoy some comfort food on a cold wet evening.

5 by Review source

Sunday is one of the best day to visit this Filipino restaurant in Kensington, London as parking is not a problem (Free during Sundays). The 'pinakbet' portion was small, i could count the number of meat - i would remember the taste of the pork and i am willing to come back for that, taste really delicious!. Properly cooked vegetables. We also had a 'kare-kare' and having the meat tender is a joy to eat. We had two pitchers of calamansi juice, very nice for summer. Halo-halo is not authentic or we were just used in having the ice crushed, some scoops were satisfying already and too sweet to finished. 'Sisig' presentation was good, would be better if the waitress projects a welcoming aura, unfortunately, the 'sisig' was too salty. It's better served slightly bland as you could put some salt but if it's salty then, what could be the solution? They served a hot pandesal with butter which we enjoyed, we even ordered two dozens to take with us, however, when we reached home, it became solid and fluffy, i'm not a baker so i wouldn't know the reason why. I gave 3 stars as there were issues on the food quality and one less star as some staff doesn't project that we were welcome, we missed some smiles to be honest or they were just busy and tired? As a fellow 'Pinoy', we could understand how demanding the job and a little bit of smile wouldn't hurt at all. All these adds to a positive experience. And oh, when we were there, we counted how many times a cutlery fell down, three at the bottom of the stairs and two within the dining area. Will we come back? Yes, as i wanted to leave five glowing stars!

Update: 31 May 2018
A communication was established and the interest of the administration to rectify the issues was appreciated. It's a positive sign that they are really looking after their customers. I had added another star for such kind gesture.

4 by Dinez Carnay Review source

The warm Pan de Sal was small and compact with a tiny cube of butter that a group of three had to share (Dari Creme Butter or Star Margarine would have been more nostalgic)... The Kalamansi Lemonade Fizzy drink is just right (other Summer offering of Watermelon or Melon Drinks would be nice too for passers by to take away)... The Twin Offer Main Meal - one was Crispy Pata Binagoongan (crispy skin and melt in your mouth pork fat & crunchy meat and not to offend the other clientele bagoong will be wafting through their nostrils it is more like red & green peppers slightest hint of alamang infused oil... The chicken relleno is more like embutido drench in some sauce served in a tiny pan handed copper pot (hastily taken away just like the slate butter plate - heaven forbid that a souvenir hunter might spirit it away.... The pinakbet with the usual Bahay Kubo Vegetables in the same Alamang Infused oil while the pork sisig came cold and not sizzling which could have spread on crispy tostini break or pan de sal - portions are not for sharing... The Lumpia Wrap and crisp cubed root vegetables (not the usual julienned cut) with the piped peanut sauce (bits of dried minced garlic should have been sprinkled on top as personal choice.... The halo halo with bits of macapuno balls, green jelly, langka slivers, Leche Flan, Ube Ice Cream scoop dusted with Pinipig is creamy and pre sweetened - the idea of halo halo was the extra milk and sugar was personal taste preference... The Saba turrones was tiny & somewhat similar to Lumpia Shanghai it comes with butterscotch sauce... A bit pricey compared to the early Filipino Buffets served in Wathamstow or Earls Court... A truly Dining Experiences...

4 by Review source

Just celebrated my birthday here today and had a wonderful experience from the planning through to the dessert . Rowena (owner) was extremely accommodating for our party of 12, creating a set menu for all but paid special attention to the vegetarians at my request. Her attention and communication was a reflection of the overall fantastic service and quality we received. The meal itself was beautifully presented and tasted wonderful. My friends, who have never had Filipino food before, all raved about their experience. One even saying that this was the best meal they'd ever had. There were some minor issues with pace of the vegetarian food coming out a little later than the rest; a miscommunication about a 'cakage' charge (like a corkage charge but if you bring your own cake) which we were not warned about; and the attentiveness of staff waning slightly near the last quarter of the meal. Trini (lady in green top we think her name is Trini), was extremely attentive and managed the miscommunication extremely well, apologizing and correcting the bill. However, these were such minor issues it did not detract from the overall satisfaction my friends and I had. I would definitely recommend and go again! Thank you Romulo Cafe for a wonderful lunch.

5 by Maddy Saru Review source

Most Recent Review: December 2017

So I came back to have dinner here with some friends and I have to say I was very disappointed. Maybe there are new chefs or a change in management but everything was just off. I was so embarrassed because I was the one who was pushing to have dinner here and kept on telling them how good the food was. The staff were nice and accommodating but the food was just bad. It was tasteless and so different from what I had before. The halo halo was literally just ice and milk with one scoop of ice cream. My friends said it was just ok to be polite but I could tell they didn’t like it because they could barely finish half of their food. Even I didn’t enjoy it and Im not fussy at all.The food here used to be good. I don’t know what happened. Such a huge change in just six months.

Past Review: July 2017

The food was really good. It was a bit pricey though so it's not a place you can dine anytime you want. Make sure to reserve a seating and be there on time because a lot of people want to get in and there is a 2 hour time limit. That said, the staff were nice and friendly and made us comfortable.

1 by Why Verify Review source

It was in one of those graveyard shifts I had last week when I suddenly craved for authentic Filipino cuisine. I really love food so I started googling.

I came across a familiar name of a restaurant back home and lo and behold Romulo Cafe in London! I called my friend that same night and the next thing was to find ourselves in this restaurant enjoying the foods the following day.

The foods were tasty and well presented. The sisig was something I would have preferred to be served hot/ on a sizzling plate with a bit of crunchy texture.

The layout is very nice... a lot of pocket sized decorations that reminds me of my childhood

Above all, the service was great. The staffs who served us were very hospitable, friendly and accommodating specially Miss Trinny. We were so full up that we needed more time to relax.

I had given some suggestions to Miss Trinny for the management to consider as well.

I will definitely come back!

4 by Review source

A great modern take on filipino food.

The philippines is the best and worst place to travel for food - if you know where to eat, you will have great food, but if you don't it will be just fatty and greasy food. I have to say that Romulo Cafe has great versions of filipino food.

We had the sisig to start with, this was a cold starter (never had it cold) which was very nice. For the main course we had sinigang (pork) which tasted like it was freshly made - which is very rare... normally it's from a packet. The meat was belly pork so it had some fat, but it was rendered properly so was very nice. Finally we had halo halo which i don't know how anyone cannot like.

Overall, all our food was great and is very much like a UK version of Mesa (if you have eaten at Mesa in the PI) in terms of quality and style of cooking. I will be coming back next time i am in London!

5 by Mark Cundall Review source

We drove almost 850km from Mainz, Germany to visit our two children who studied, living and working as investment bankers in London. My brother Alex Vega of Ottawa, Canada was also with us on this trip. It gave him great pleasure & happy memories revisiting London again after he studied Engineering in UK. Last December 1, 2016 our children and residents of KCS have been eating there before, invited us for a delicious Filipino lunch at your impressive and well laid resto. What a find! Cosy and friendly, good atmosphere, very good food presentation of Chef Lorenzo Mandera who we met, polite and friendly staff Mirela and Carmen took care of us. What more can one ask for. Recommend anyone to give this superb resto a try.' To us the best Filipino resto ambience in EU 28 member states. CONGRATS to the owner Rowena Romulo for having such a fine resto. Mabuhay po! The Vega family

5 by Review source

Great little restaurant that really excels with its Philippine cooking, - if you don't know Philippine food , it's the type of food that gives you a hug, and won't let you go until you are full. Well that is definitely true here, but with of course the big city Panache. The starters came quick, and the main courses were huge - Romulo cafe specialises in sharing plates serving them 'family style' as if for a big Filipino family. The roast pork was awesome, and the adobo was beautiful! The deserts again were huge! All washed down with some great cocktails, friendly service and a nice local atmosphere! We came on an offer where you had to choose a main each, starter etc - it was ridiculously good value ( it actually is even without the offer) , but had we come by ourselves we would have probably shared a main. But hey at least the mrs has leftovers :)

4 by Phillip Harvey Bott Review source

My Norwegian husband and I had our lunch at Romulo Café London. It was him who found this café through internet. Tired and hungry after roaming around the big city, I had decided to give it a shot. I’ve never been to any Filipino restaurant/café outside Philippines since I love to cook Filipino/Asian Food at home.

I must say that their food was great! I like the ambiance and the staff were friendly especially the manager or owner!? She’s down-to-earth. My husband was amazed when we got inside. It’s bigger than what we thought. I’m the kind of person who don’t like to complain small things. Having said that, I was kinda hesitant to tell them that they missed one order. But honestly, it was okay for me because I was full already. I super loved their pandesal! I forgot to buy for take-out.

Overall, I’m just grateful.

Keep it up! :)

4 by Review source

My 1st time in London, my 1st time having Philipino food...I didn't know what to expect. Everything that I ate tonight was delicious! I started to play it safe & get something that I've had before, but I decided to try something new, which is new for me. I had the beef, garlic rice, and taro leaf, it was so good and the staff are amazing and super friendly to people when they come, as the dine, and when they go, I mean if you come with a party of ten they'll probably say hi to each and everyone of you, especially Trini..I don't know the next time that I'll be in London but I'm definitely going to save this as a favorite on my google maps....oh yeah....dessert was brand new too...I had the Sans Rival...it was so good, I put a pic on my Instagram story....eat here you won't be disappointed!!!

5 by Review source

Romulo Cafe is my favorite restaurant in London. It is a complete dining experience with gourmet Filipino heritage food, fine drinks, great service and wonderful ambience. My favorite dish is pork adobo on a mound of mashed sweet potatoes. The complexity of flavors from the first bite is an exquisite experience. Flavors and spices combine creating a swirl of feelings that evoke home to me. When combined with pinakbet and ukoy, the textures and colors are pure joy. I recently tried their prawn in aligi pasta, which is definitely a global dish everyone can enjoy. Their wine section and pairings are perfect. Halo-Halo for desert, makes one feel like the divine life is already part of a normal day. The portions are large so bring friends and share the fun of dining there, or take it home for your loved ones. J'adore!

5 by Johnny Kachichas Review source

I have been here two times, and in both occasions I was pleased with the overall experience. The food is absolutely amazing, the ingredients are of high quality and the flavours are beautifully blended together. They have a good selection of starters, and a limited but interesting offer of mains. Most mains are meant for two people, even though portions are not big, so if you like to eat a lot, you may as well consider getting one for yourself only. They also have set menus where you can mix and match some of the most common mains. The service is almost impeccable, the waitresses are very attentive and always available. The restaurant has a beautiful and unique decor, elegant but not too sophisticated. The only negative aspect is that it's quite pricey, but it's worth it.

4 by Massimo Spada Review source

My first taste of authentic Filipino cuisine (food was good so assume it's authentic!). Lovely little family-run feel of a restaurant. Staff went out of their way to be accommodating and welcoming. We had to resist ordering everything on the menu even when staff said we had enough! Our bellies were definitely overfilled at the end.

The succulent fried chicken were one of the best I've had and the beef short rib and oxtail were just devine.

Wheelchair access ❌ There are a couple of high steps at the entrance and it is a small place with toilets downstairs, but staff made sure we had ample room to feel comfortable and didn't hesitate in helping me with the steps. I'd come back again regardless of accessibility.

4 by Soso Tran Review source

We were not satisfied with our dinner booked last 19th February 2017.
The menu that we ordered were apparently not available. We were only informed like after 5 minutes of waiting.

The card payment machine of the restaurant wasn't working so we have to get up and walk out in the rain that evening in order to withdraw some cash. We were charged with the bank card withdrawals by the next door restaurant and Romulo cafe just deducted it on our bill. No courtesy freebies or next booking discount were even offered unlike other establishments who will be willingly offered some considerable discounts or upgrades.

Overall the experience is not bad nor good either.

1 by Review source

As a Filipino I've always been looking for a good restaurant in London serving up my home cuisine. Cafe Romulo was just that. Located near the beautiful Holland Park, it provides an awesome oasis after a walk in the gardens.

The meal started with pan de sal, a salted bread which whetted the appetite. Sisig (crispy minced pork face) in a cold style was a good appetizer, followed by twice fried pork leg and salmon sinigang (tamarind sour broth). But the quintessentially Filipino dish was the chicken pork adobo, which is flavoured with vinegar, soy sauce and black pepper. All of this was complimented by two different kinds of rice, bagoong rice and adobo rice. Sarap!!!

4 by Adrian Rabe Review source

OMG. Really! I wasn't expecting to try a cuisine that is new to me and like it so much!! My date talked about trying something different that just opened in the neighborhood and I was bowled over by the service and the food. We didn't have reservations (recommended) but the management did their best to accommodate us since there were so many people. There was a buzz. We stayed long because it was so coolio. It was worth the wait in the end. Try their chicken dishes and the dessert they call the one to die for (I ddin't believe that at first, but now I'm a convert). Coming back on our next night out. Thanks cutey!!

5 by Review source

Our family's experience was indescribable! We are an inter - racial family of Anglo-Burmese, Filipino, and American that had our reunion at ROMULO's. All I can say is we practically ordered everything! We had Chicken Adobo, Sinigang fish and pork, Laing, Short ribs, Pansit Puti, Pinakbet, and Garlic Rice, Bagoong Rice - for desert we had halo halo, sans rival, and sticky rice - our nieces and aunt were in HEAVEN THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT! Service, ambience, and of course Rowena and Chris - what else can we say- next reunion in 2017 will be at ROMULO's London - even if we have to cross the Channel from Amsterdam!

5 by Review source

Came here for dinner with my Filipino mother. We are illocano and tried many dishes from our region - all were very tasty and from our perspective adapted for Western palette.

The bagoong rice was superb and I would happily eat it as a main. Good value is getting the double main with veg for 15 quid which allows banqueting in more traditional style. Romulo adobo was melt in the mouth tender but the sauce needs to be punchier in my opinion for top marks. Bagnet pakbet was very good with traditional vegetables.

All in all a good meal given so limited Filipino options in London.

4 by Maya Ebrahim Review source

We came here for a family meal on a Friday night and received a warm, personal welcome on the door. The décor is chic modern Filipino with a twist, very ambient and relaxing. We ordered the Generals sharing platter to start which was absolutely delicious - it was devoured within a minute, washed down with a Boracay Dream and Carlos Espresso Martini cocktail. We shared kare-kare, pork sinigang and rellado, all of which were stunning. I would be proud to bring anyone here as a solid introduction to Filipino cuisine. Service was impeccable and very friendly - we will most definitely be back. Masarap!

5 by John Shevlin Review source

Finally a 'Decent' Filipino Restaurant in London. The place is very neat, lovely interior and very cozy, staff are very friendly (that's very Filipino trait), happy to serve and help, food is fantastic! We have experience a good quality food and service thanks to Trini who serves us with a smile and gave us brief history of their quality and yummy food. I will definitely go back and try their other menu next time and will bring friends to have a try too. Highly recommended to all. Pinoys in London need to support this kind of quality Filipino restaurant in town. :) x

5 by Review source

I went to dinner with two friends. And the place is fine is cozy and beautiful, the food maybe left something to be desired, from a restaurant of this style we were looking for strong contrasts ... etc but good in that it was good. The service was friendly, you could tell there was a lack of staff as the waitress served us the table while taking a reservation over the phone. Ah! Next to it there is a man who sells some sweet melons in 2lbs :) the alcoholic drinks, even though they looked very good, were too unbalanced and the taste of alcohol was too 'cologne'.

3 by Review source

The food was great, the duck buns starter was amazing, easily the best steamed buns I have ever had. We had the lamb main, again the lamb was cooked to perfection, the meat fell apart to the touch. For desert the waitress recommended the Suman Latik, a popular traditional filipino dish. We wasn't let down, the desert was spot on. Our waitress Trinny was excellent, service was first-rate and her knowledge of cuisine, as well as the cocktails was unrivalled. We could have easily have let her choose the perfect meal for us. This new filipino gem is a must try!

5 by Review source

The fragrance of the food as we walked in brought back memories, and the dishes we went on to order definitely did not disappoint. Highlights were the slow cooked duck in a steam bun and the chicken relleno. Also loved the suman latik, which I hadn't tried before, though the sans rival was average. A few items on the menu weren't available, and orders took some time - but I'm hoping these are just teething issues for a new venue. Service was friendly and enthusiastic, expect to pay around £30 per head without drinks. Would definitely go back.

4 by Anato Chowdhury Review source

Amazing! The food here brings back memories of home. I'd recommend the beef ribs as your main. I'm coming back for this soon! Come hungry and bring a friend because the dishes are meant for sharing (in fact, just like home) and more than enough if someone comes to join you. The prices are fair. For starters, try the fritters - it just like a dish we call ukoy, but this one is an uber version of what's available in Manila. Also, the choco loko is very memorable. All that, plus the unique cocktails make for a memorable time.

5 by Review source

A party of 14 had the most wonderful evening on Saturday 7th April for my partner Chito's birthday. Rowena and her team were so very attentive to make the evening perfect. The service, food and drink was exceptional and it was an experience for many of us to taste the cuisine of the Philippines. The icing on the cake was the specially prepared Purple Yam Cake and Leche Flan which are Chito's favourites.

I cannot thank you enough and we very much hope to be back soon.

Andrew

5 by Review source

The interior of the restaurant is very beautiful and chic. The staff are champions in providing customer service. The food were very well presented, good selection and generous portions for the price. The taste, however, is not close to authentic filipino dish. It is more of a fusion and experiment. There is something missing in the ingredients that I could not point my finger on. If you are craving for authentic filipino dish, this is not the place. But still a nice restaurant to try something new.

3 by Ana Rose Balaga Review source

Beautifully fitted restaurant in a quiet corner of Kensington, was quite busy on a Friday night. As we learned this is a London branch of a popular restaurant chain in Manila, named after a Filipino general and diplomat, Carlos Romulo. The staff is very courteous and appreciative of positive feedback. Cocktails are surprisingly good. Portions are huge. Dishes pictured are a roasted aubergine and tomato appetiser, a whole fried tilapia and a picture of General Romulo entering his Lincoln limousine.

4 by Saurabh Date Review source

Lovely valentine's Day meal. Our first experience of Filipino food and it won't be our last. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable and the food was delicious. We had no idea what to order and we're grateful for the advice we were given. We went for the sharing plates of three smaller dishes to share and each was wonderful. The two chicken dishes were so different and tasty, but my favourite was the beans we had as our vegetable side dish. Looking forward to returning soon.

5 by Vix Pym Review source

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