For the 1st IG Meet in Pampanga, we considered several restaurants in our list. But there was one restaurant that consistently got our attention. So, from Angeles City, we travelled to Guagua to check the physical store. But when we saw ESTOS Kitchen + Café, we just knew that we found the perfect partner for the IG Meet.
It was a pleasure and a surprise to discover such an exquisitely designed café in the quiet town of Guagua. The modern industrial-themed interior features dark toned furniture that offsets gorgeously with the monochrome walls. At first sight, one would think that it’s a normal, cute, little town cafe until you discover that a bigger area awaits at the back where private functions can be held for people as many as 40-50.
Inside the bigger area, you’ll easily notice a huge painted pizza that also works as a clock. At the far end on one wall you’ll see the name of the restaurant spelled out in another monochrome design. The lights are adorned with recycled plate numbers while all other accents compliment the rest of the restaurant.
ESTOS Kitchen + Café is a pretty restaurant but it’s also more than just an eye candy. The restaurant features an impressively diverse menu that includes gourmet pizzas, pasta, chicken, and coffee.
When you dine in the middle of the day with 20 famished influencers, bloggers, and photographers, it’s difficult to choose a favourite because everything was simply delish. So like in any reviews I make, I would highlight those that made an impression on me and those that I would probably order again when I go back to this restaurant.
A Bucket of Southern Fried Chicken
Because fried chicken is just classic. No secrets or surprises here. No extreme sauces or secret herb and spices. And I don’t think there’s a need for that either. Fried chicken is already good especially when cooked the right way. That’s what we have here – a bucket of chicken cooked and served the way a fried chicken should be. Crispy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside. Paired with rice (lots of it) and a special dip.
Chicken drumettes and flappers with the flavor of authentic Kare-kare, complete with peanuts and fresh spring onions on top, and of course – bagoong on the side. I don’t think I’ve seen any restaurant who’s made this before so it was a delight to sample this one.
Margherita, Chicken Pesto, Four Cheese, and Breakfast Pizza
What I like about these pizzas are the right balance between the toppings and the crust. Some pizza are just so over the top that it’s confusing to distinguish if you’re eating a pie or a slob of cheese with very thin bread. These pizzas however have the right amount of both. A crust you can comfortably hold while you devour the flavourful toppings. The ingredients are fresh and the aroma is heavenly.
Beef Short Rib
This dish is definitely a must-try! Bathe in red wine for 15 hours, you get a serving of tender, melts in your mouth serving of beef short rib on a bed of mashed potato. There’s also an option to get rice instead of mash potato because this dish is also perfect with rice.
Taho Ice Cream
This was interesting because I was expecting a pure soya sort of taste. Being a self-confessed ice cream addict, I was curious on how strong the soya flavor would be. To my surprise, it wasn’t anything like that. It’s actually more of a creamy ice cream with bits and pieces of tofu along the way, and of course, the classic tapioca on top. The ice cream is then drizzled in sauce made with caramelized sugar for that complete taho experience. You get the feel of eating a taho but only it’s creamier and sweeter. Very interesting indeed!
We are grateful to have ESTOS Kitchen + Café as one of our partners for the first IG meet/photowalk in Pampanga. It was also a pleasure to discover this charming restaurant. Aside from the infamous chicharron of Guagua, there’s finally an addition to the list of something to look forward to in Guagua, Pampanga.
Budget Range: P150 – P300 per head
Location: Estos Kitchen + Cafe, Ferdiz Building, San Pedro
Operating Hours: 12:00PM – 9:00PM
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