Monday, February 1, 2016

Colonial Spanish Cuisine at Cafe Enye

Traditional and comforting Spanish-style cuisine, infused with global flavors and a modern twist...

Cafe Enye shares its take on Spanish cuisine, with its interpretation of "colonial cuisine" drawing inspiration "where the Spaniards have settled, specifically Northern Morocco, Argentina, Central America, and the Philippines," as described by chefs RJ Ungco and Chris Dytuco, the young duo behind Cafe Enye's culinary style. The result is a wide selection of comfortingly familiar dishes, with some unexpected and delightful surprises...

Located at the ground floor of the Eastwood Excelsior at Eastwood City, Cafe Enye takes you back in time with classic Spanish style dishes, with a cool, modern, and contemporary update injected with Filipino flavors. Inside, the rustic space makes you feel comfortably at home, accentuated by hand-painted scripts and mural art.

The design concept of artisanal craftsmanship becomes a recurring theme, reflected in Cafe Enye's extensive menu which includes daily fresh baked breads, handcrafted cocktails, and coffee bean roasting, all done in-house. Start with some of Cafe Enye's appetizers, like the Pollo Croquetas (P 175), crispy marinated chicken Bechamel croquettes topped with shallots and crisp garlic chips laid on salsa verde and tart, homemade pickles. The Spanish style croquettes are perfectly executed, soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The salsa verde and crisp garlic bits complete the flavors.

Then, Cafe Enye showcased their creative culinary style with the playfully inventive Enye Callos Buns (P 135 for 3 pcs), soft and savory buns filled with Cafe Enye's signature slow-cooked callos gently laid on crisp shoestring potatoes. It's an interesting take on the popular sweet, smoky and savory pork buns, but with a distinct Spanish twist. The buns are soft, with a light yet firm outer layer, with the callos providing a totally new flavor experience. Different, yet comfortingly familiar, and definitely a must-try at Cafe Enye.

In between, enjoy a refreshing salad dish like the Caesar Salad Mojo Chicken Breast (P 250), grilled Romaine with marinated grilled chicken draped in the classic Caesar dressing. The spiced and seasoned chicken breast is perfectly grilled, adding a flavorful punch to the salad.

A duo of pasta dishes were then served next, starting with the Bacalao Puttanesca (P 275), the classic puttanesca topped with homemade Bacalao chunks. The traditional sharp, tangy and tart notes of the puttanesca, with black olives, tomatoes, and capers, are perfectly tempered by the creamy notes of the soft bacalao for balanced flavors... 

...while the Lechon Carbonara (P 250) takes on another pasta classic, the carbonara, reinvented and topped with Cafe Enye's homemade Mojo Chicharrones. The egg adds another layer of creamy flavors to the dish, capped by Cafe Enye's Mojo Chicharrones for rich flavors. It's your favorite carbonara with some pork love, and the combination works.  

If you're looking for a light meal or a hefty snack, Cafe Enye offers a variety of sandwiches, like The Burgerizzo (P 290), a savory blend of juicy beef and savory chorizo in a 200g patty topped with cheese, Latin slaw, and a sunny side-up served with French fries. The salty notes of the chorizo are balanced by the robust flavors of the beef combining in a seamless blend, with the cheese, Latin slaw, and egg completing the flavors. Cafe Enye also serves Cubano-inspired sandwiches, like the Carne Asada Cubano (P 265), Mahi-Mahi Cubano (P 290), the Lechon Cubano (P 280), and a Croque Senora (P 285).

For the mains, chefs RJ Ungco and Chris Dytuco recommended their signature Enye Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables (P 490), tender and juicy sous vide and slow-roasted garlic, herb, and orange chicken served with roasted root crop vegetables and sofrito aioli.

The chicken is tender, remaining juicy with each and every bite, as the delicate notes of the chicken are punctuated by hints of garlic, herbs, and orange for vibrant flavors. The sofrito aioli adds even more flavors to the chicken, perfect with rice for a complete meal.

The Callos Ala Casa (P 440), a hearty and comforting six-hour slow-cooked traditional stew made with beef tripe, potatoes, olives, and chorizo topped with Cafe Enye's homemade Mojo Chicharrones served with rice (other sides include French fries or mashed potatoes) is another must-try dish at Cafe Enye. And this one's a personal favorite.

The traditional stew has everything you love about callos, including soft and tender beef tripe, olives, and chorizo, but it's the addition of Cafe Enye's Mojo Chicharrones that make this dish refreshingly new, adding a flavorful richness to an old favorite. You'll want some extra rice with this one...

For dessert, be sure to try Cafe Enye's Chouxros with Dulce de Leche Cream (P 170), the traditional churros with Cafe Enye's inventive spin, with light, homemade Pate a Choux pastry rings deep-fried and served with Dulce de Leche Red Egg and Tsokolate Peanut Butter dips.

The churros are soft and creamy capped by a lightly crisp outer layer. You've had churros dipped in thick Spanish-style chocolate, but dipping it in Cafe Enye's Dulce de Leche Red Egg and Tsokolate Peanut Butter dips add a whole new dimension to the usual churros experience, and this one's another favorite.

Cap your dining experience at Cafe Enye with their Creme Catalan (P 185), an indulgent vanilla and orange zest infused velvety smooth custard topped with fresh fruits and served with a shot of boldly flavored artisan espresso. Take a spoonful of the Creme Catalan, followed by a sip of the expresso. Perfect.

Cafe Enye also has a well-stocked bar serving their own signature cocktails including the Enye (P 250), a refreshing cocktail blended with apples, kiwis, lychees, and pineapple spiked with gin, white wine, and soda. It's a relaxed cocktail that's great before or after a meal at Cafe Enye.

Feeling naughty? The Paraluman (P 190), with tequila, agave, pecante chili, triple sec, sampaloc, and syrup offers a cool buzz with just a whisper of heat from the pecante chili. Other cocktail selections include the classic Old-Fashioned, Mojito, Daiquiri, Pinacolada, Tequila Sunrise, Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Moscow Mule, Whisky Sour, and Caipirinha. Cocktails in the afternoon, or late in the evening, Cafe Enye can whip up your favorites in minutes.

Cafe Enye also roasts its own coffee beans in-house, and a freshly brewed cup is always a good idea.

Cafe Enye's Cafe Latte (P 110), a soothing cup of freshly brewed espresso topped with steamed milk and chocolate, always does the job for me.

Chefs RJ Ungco and Chris Dytuco invite you to explore Cafe Enye's colonial style Spanish cuisine with an open mind, and leave all your expectations of the usual Spanish restaurant behind. Instead, be prepared for something comfortingly familiar with some inventive and creative spins for a whole new dining experience. At Cafe Enye...

Cafe Enye is located at the Ground Floor, Eastwood Excelsior, Eastwood City or call 671-3230 for inquiries and more information.

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