Kabila and Museum Cafe: An Oasis in the City

Written by: Carla De Guzman/Thursday, Jul 14, 2016 02:11 PM

There’s a pleasantry that comes with dining at Museum Cafe and Kabila. Being a stone’s throw away from the Ayala Museum makes you feel sophisticated and cool, and the bar area could be the most chill place to grab a drink. The restaurant is a lush retreat in the heart of the concrete jungle of the city. Kabila and Museum Cafe are very different restaurants that share a gorgeous space. Kabila boasts of modern Filipino dishes, while Museum cafe offers up their eclectic menu of Asian-inspired food. We got the chance to grab a bite in this gorgeous setting and we can’t wait to share the photos with you. Oh, and did we mention we got a secret menu item for dessert? 

We started with Kabila’s Crispy Catfish, Burong Hipon + Mustasa, a colorful plate of vegetables, dried catfish and dips. Digging in to this dish and mixing up the different dips and fillings made each bite a different experience. It’s a wonderful introduction to Filipino flavors. The balayan vinaigrette is tart and sour, and the crispy catfish and veggies only made it better. Museum Cafe’s Fresh Spring Rolls were a different experience altogether. The freshness of the vegggies with the Sambal peanut dip just bursts from the roll. The pickled radish adds to the fresh factor, as well. 

In between the dishes, we were served tall glasses of Ginumis, a classic Filipino sweet drink made with coconut milk and sweet panutsa syrup. It’s a heavy drink that is topped with toasted pinipig. Let’s just say we were already slightly full by the time the main dishes came around. 

But, nobody walks out of Kabila Cafe without talking about their Bone Marrow Bulalo. Bulalo walks hand in hand with rainy days, and is one of the ultimate comfort foods. Kabila’s broth is light and flavorful, but the winner here was the long halved bone they served with the softened beef, making the marrow easy to scoop up and eat. For Filipinos who have had experience trying to poke out the same marrow with a chopstick at home, this dish is the ultimate splurge. To match the bulalo, Museum Cafe served up their Sweet Miso Asian Black Cod, with pink ginger, sweet peas and Bok Choy. We loved the taste of the sweet miso sauce with the pink ginger, and the fish was well-cooked. 

Just when we thought the meal was over, one of our companions asked about a secret dessert menu item - so secret that it’s only requested by people who have heard of it. They smiled and brought out a slice of their Chocolate Valhrona Cake, the dark horse of the meal, as we called it. The cake is utterly moist and dense, and the dark valhrona chocolate fills the mouth so pleasantly, you can’t help but go ‘mmmm!’ every time you take a bite. We tried to resist the cake (after all, we just ate bone marrow), but it was too delicious not to. 


About Carla De Guzman
Carla de Guzman is the author of self-published books Cities, Marry Me Charlotte B! and We Go Together. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family by day. By night, she’s writer and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk. Follow her on Instagram (@somemidnights) for more!


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