Named after St. Benilde Romancon, Café Romancon is more than just a coffee shop located at the ground floor of Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle. It is also the said hotel’s all-day dining restaurant sporting a nice modern casual dining setting with the elegant green color being of dominance while serving international cuisines.
Not only welcoming in-house guests, but of course walk-in guests as well, Café Romancon can accommodate 60 to 70 diners and also offers daily buffet breakfast as early as 6AM until 10AM. Aside from that, international a la carte menu for lunch and dinner are also available.
With that we started with one of Café Romancon’s uniquely interesting appetizer, the Wild Wild Wings (Php 230). It is deep fried, marinated tender chicken wings braised in mild spicy, sweet, and sour sauce served with French fries.
After that we had some veggies which are two variants of their yummy salad. First off, the Caesar Salad which was presented nicely and looked appetizing (Php 190) was made mainly with crisp romaine lettuce tossed in classic Caesar dressing topped with croutons, bacon slices, anchovies, and parmesan cheese.
Another dish we had that was nutritious and delicious was the Kani Mango Salad (Php 190) which is mixed greens topped with shredded crab sticks, dried mango strips, crunchy vermicelli noodles, ebiko, and drizzled Japanese mango dressing. We find it unique and refreshing that Café Romancon used dried mangoes instead of the ordinary ripe ones.
Next would be two of Café Romancon’s soup offering. The Carabaccia (Php 130) which is of Tuscan onion simmered in beef stock, topped with cheese and onions; and is best eaten when hot. The taste of the Tuscan onion is good, while the beef stock flavor combines well with the cheese crouton.
Of course, this next soup we had which is called Cream of Butternut Squash (Php 130) is also best eaten when hot as it is of thick squash and rich vegetable bouillon topped with smoked bacon. The creamy flavor that is of squash is really great and the bacon bits add a delightful texture to the soup.
Moving onto the main event, we had four dishes from Café Romancon’s Main Entrée selection. The Norwegian Salmon (Php 390) is pan fried salmon with creamy leek sauce and garden vegetables on mashed potato. When it was placed on the table, we already can tell it would be a pleasing dish. The sauce of the well-cooked salmon has that rich creamy taste and it mixes well with the mashed potatoes and the sautéed side vegetables.
The Fresian Express (Php 350) is seared beef tenderloin with rosemary pan jus, served with seasonal vegetables and country style fried potato wedges. The medium cooked beef tenderloin was tender and good, especially with its sauce. While the potato wedges were surely crispy and rich in taste. We also loved how the rosemary pan jus gave accent to the dish.
Another main dish we had was the Barbecued Pork Ribs (Php 350).It is a generous order of tender pork ribs with tangy barbecue sauce served with buttered vegetables and marinated potato. The pork ribs alongside its sauce tasted great as it has a hint of smoky flavor.
The fourth and last main dish we had was called Weiner Schnitzel (Php 330). It is deep fried crumbled pork served with onion gravy, fresh garden vegetables, and French fries. The pork is crispy outside while being soft and juicy inside. It also has that unique taste that is best partnered with their onion gravy.
And now, onto our favorite part of every meal – the Desserts! The first one is a combination of hot and cold as it is no other than Café Romancon’s Sizzling Brownies (Php 225). It is a choice of peanut butter, Viennese, or dark chocolate chip brownies on a hot metal plate served warm milk and vanilla ice cream. The sizzling hotness of the brownies contradicts and complements the cold ice cream on top of it. Add the warm milk and this dessert is such a bomb!
Lastly, the Baked Cookie (Php 120) is a full-sized chocolate chip cookie that is freshly baked and served with milk, together with chocolate sauce. Everything in this dish is best eaten together as its mishmash is truly great. It’s like throwing us back to our fun childhood days.
Overall, dining here at Café Romancon was such a splendid experience, and with Manila being enveloped by busy streets and buzzing people all year round, one cannot deny how everything can just be tiring at some point.
Just the mere difficulty of getting up from the bed is enough proof and with that, Hotel Benilde being in the city also serves as a quick escape from the city, especially because Café Romancon is such a lovely restaurant to be in or if you are so down with your staycation, then that’s okay, too, because you can indulge in your chosen food from Café Romancon in the comfort of your suite in Hotel Benilde.