Manila East Food Trip: Kafe Paradiso
by Enzo Tacadao
Another Sunday road trip in the books. Lazy Sunday afternoon and no place to go, we decided to raid the Manila East Road for some good food. After searching the web, our eyes were locked on crispy kare-kare (stew with thick peanut sauce and vegetables) of Kafe Paradiso in Mabitac, Laguna.
Our expectations were through the roof, hoping that the one-hour and half trip to Mabitac, Laguna will be worth it. Driving under the fuming summer sun, we took the Manila East Road. Our minds and tummies were set on that magical kare-kare and of course, our favorite, pork sisig. Just few kilometers from the Pililla Wind Farm, we arrived at Kafe Paradiso. It is hard to miss because of its red man-made windmill. The restaurant is located inside a posh-looking but sleepy farm lot, Kota Paradiso. It was like a restaurant in the middle of an unfinished subdivision. Peaceful, contemporary, and cool.
The interior of the restaurant is elegant. Being in the middle of crowd of big trees, the province-feel and chill vibe were definitely present. We ordered the much-awaited crispy pork kare-kare and pork sisig. Then, came the main event.
We were not overjoyed by the taste. Perhaps we expected too much since we traveled all the way to Laguna just for the food. The sisig was quite oily and mushy. We’re not big fans of “soft” sisig topped with mayonnaise as we’re more impartial to its crispy counterpart. The crispy kare-kare was good — not bad, not remarkable. The crew that hour was not very accommodating and attentive as well. However, this was just our experience. Foodies will always have different taste, opinion, and experience. The good points of Kafe Paradiso however is that its menu is reasonably priced and the ambiance is relaxing.
Then,before we went back to the Metro, we stopped by the famous over-looking spot in Pililla, Rizal to take some mandatory sunset pictures.