It’s no secret that Aguirre Ave. in BF Homes Parañaque has a lot of restaurant gems. One lazy day at the Alabang office, I pestered some colleagues that we have dinner (our day now typically starts in the afternoon to just near midnight) and that we try a place in Aguirre.
One of us, having just found out about the wonder of zomato.com, suggested she’ll check the listings and recommendations of some of the places. After some minutes we landed on a listing for Artists Haven Cafe. I was immediately drawn to the pictures some users had posted. It also didn’t hurt that the food prices were not on the expensive side.
This place is an art gallery with a small cafe. Various works of art from local artists are hung around the whole place, including the cafe. You can go around and snap pictures while waiting for your food to be cooked. They will also play soothing ambient music that will really round out the gallery experience.
The works of art are literally everywhere! Even when you go to the loo, there are three little painting in there that are themed appropriately.
According to one of the servers, Artists Haven hosts some events/workshops during the weekends. I saw a sign that will holding kiddie art workshops during the summer vacations. It’s cool that this place is reaching out to the community to help people appreciate the arts. Plus they have pretty awesome food. Simple but executed beautifully.
Mona Lisa’s Cheeks
Artists Haven Cafe has some pretty fun names for their dishes, all art themed. You can check out their full menu at zomato.com
Arguably the most famous painting in the world is the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Mona Lisa’s Cheeks are plump and you may be compelled to take a little pinch. I’m guessing that’s the inspiration for the name of this dish. The deep-fried piece of fatty pork belly looks so juicy and plump that you just want to pinch a piece off when it is served.
The seasoning is spot on. The execution is perfect. Very crispy on the outside but still juicy. It is served with a side of diced tomatoes and onions and sukang iloko as this is a dish well known in the northernmost part of the Philippines.
The egg’s a bit overcooked though this is actually preferred by some Filipinos.
Raphael’s Pork Barbecue Ribs
After that clunky attempt to explain the name of the dish Mona Lisa’s Cheeks, I’m not even going to try it with Raphael’s Pork Barbecue Ribs. I’m going straight to the food.
I wouldn’t mind waiting a long time for my food to come out if it’s going to be this good! Perfect seasoning! You can get a hint of soy sauce in the marinade/sauce they used for the barbecue but it doesn’t overpower. The taste of the ribs is very savory though it lacks some smokiness. And the kicker is that it is super tender! You wouldn’t even need a knife to cut through this!
The server herself told us that this was instant, powdered iced tea. But just look at it. Will instant iced tea give you that amount of foam? Plus it didn’t taste like typical instant iced tea. It had a slight hint of apple juice. Did they blend iced tea and apple juice together to get this? Very good and refreshing.
Van Dyke’s Roast Beef
It didn’t need that copious amount of sauce. Even just a dash could have worked because the roast beef itself was pretty fine on its own. They also used a hefty amount of salted butter on it. Get past that though and you get treated with yet another super tender, juicy, and succulent pieces of meat!
Pretty good dining experience within an art gallery, how often will you be able to say that? And the food is super affordable! It’s perfect for a date or even just for some “me time”. They also serve coffee by the way, that’s always a pro for me.
Plenty more to try in BF Homes, do you guys have any suggestions? Hit me up on twitter @foodmetromanila or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or better yet leave a comment 🙂 See you again soon!