Expensive no more

Gourmands on a budget find a new haven in a quaint restaurant north of Metro Manila.

SINGAPORE SWING. The Hainanese Steamed Chicken Rice Set, one of Oliva Bistro Cafe's affordable bestsellers. Photo by Jar Concengco.

MANILA, Philippines – It’s easy for members of the working class to be intimidated with the words “hotel food” and “gourmet cooking.” Somehow, we all have the notion that hotel and gourmet food are only for the upper class, the “old rich” who eat in exclusive clubs (almost) everyday.

Such is the notion that Singapore-trained Chef Kannan Jayaprakash Sreedevi and wife Denden Madridejos-Kannan wanted to debunk when they decided to open Oliva Bistro Cafe on January 28 this year.

Now that the ordinary Juan has to work much, much harder for his money and make ends meet, Chef Kannan and Denden decided they wanted to add to his dining choices with a restaurant that will allow Filipino families the ambiance and enjoyment of really good dining, even for the entire family.

Two months into Oliva Bistro Cafe’s operations, they have already started attracting regular patrons, mostly families. With a menu that appeals to kids and adults and averaging P250 per head, Oliva Bistro Cafe aims to bring Mediterranean, Italian, Grecian, Spanish and French dishes within everyone’s reach.

Unlike their restaurant neighbors in the now-bustling Visayas Avenue in Quezon City, Chef Kannan and Denden say that they want to focus on food and not liquor (Visayas Avenue and nearby Congressional Avenue are dotted with drinking hubs as opposed to family dining places). Hence, they serve only beer for their customers who want to have it as a beverage and meal accompaniment.

Early bestsellers are the Roti Prata with Curry Sauce (P80), New England Clam Chowder (P95), Honey Glazed Baby Back Ribs (P365), Hainanese Steamed Chicken Rice Set (P190) and Marble Cheesecake with Strawberry Coulis (P120). A recommended must-try is the Chef’s Wife Salad (P195) for that healthy yet tasty bite. Milk tea lovers will also enjoy their iced Indian-inspired milk tea. – Rappler.com

Oliva Bistro Cafe is at #77 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. For more information on promos and discounts, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/olivabistrocafe.

Click on the links below for more.