The menu was simple that we basically ordered 60% of whatever was in it. We would have wanted to order more but the rest were out of stock. We're 9 hungry people and all we wanted was to enjoy authentic Capampangan cuisine as what we were told it's known for. We ordered a LOT! From starters to soup down to a number of main dishes. We opted to leave out dessert as I had my tummy set for something else. After getting our orders, the wait-staff headed to the open kitchen.
Then came another break. A shorter wait this time but seriously, it was half the hour past 1 and with my grandparents with us, this was seriously no laughing matter. Another group came in after us and sat at the table behind us. Despite my quickly diminishing patience, I somehow pity them as they were obviously hungry as well and the Mom resorted to buying a bag of pan de sal from the bakery next door. Tsk!
Finally, our Bulanglang Pork Ribs soup (Php. 255) came. Once again it was good as it had a delicious hint of guava. We all enjoyed this and I was happy that the soup came piping hot.
After our soup, we had another lull. Remember that Villa Cafe has an open kitchen and since the wait was painfully long, my Kongkong began watching the "chefs" at work. At some point, he caught the chef preparing a dish and perhaps to check the flavour, he dipped his spoon into it, tasted it and obviously not pleased, dipped the same spoon the second time for another taste. It's a good thing it wasn't my OC Papa who saw this or we would definitely be forced to end our meal right there and then and to leave the restaurant right away. This is a major no-no in restaurant hygiene and I hope that was just a one-time occurrence and the "chef" would remember to keep his contaminated spoons out of the way.
By this time, complains have been raised. Finally, this brought the kitchen staff to get their acts together. Our dishes came out all at the same time.
As we were inhaling our food, we began to feel our eyes tearing up. The exhaust inside was terrible that you have to be ready to smell like food after your meal. The ground floor was so smokey that it hurts when it gets into your eyes. We even tried to open the door to let the smoke out but eventually, it really forced us to quickly finish our meal, pay for it and get out of the restaurant fast.
Over-all the food was good. It's really sad though that service was painfully slow and the hygiene was unacceptable. Oh, we also ordered the Warm Chicken Galantina Terrine (Php. 325) as well as the Villa's Rellenung Bangus (Php. 450) which never showed up. *sigh*
Can you feel my pain? I really want to love Villa Cafe, I really do. I was happy with the food but with all these things added up, I don't think I can get myself to go for a second try. Sorry but no thanks.
Villa Cafe is located at the Ground Floor of the Glory Building, 7427 Yakal Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City.