an inevitable part of any trip is the short break that you take from all that sightseeing.
and from my recent trip to intramuros, barbara's coffee shop just hits the spot. the quaint little nook it occupies is the best place to go to just cool down, sip something refreshing, and plan your next move.
in my case, though, i had to go somewhere that serves full meals, as i haven't had lunch yet (i know, it was already 3pm. what was i thinking?!). luckily, barbara's does serve pasta, pizza, and other dishes, aside from the tempting halo-halo and other desserts.
i decided to go with something ordinary: fettucine carbonara, since i wasn't up to experimenting after walking around. susie ordered mushrooms al ajillo and a salpicado meal.
i would have been highly turned off if an establishment such as barbara's could mess up something pretty simple like carbonara. thankfully, no such thing happened. i was even pleasantly surprised that they included shiitake mushrooms in the mix instead of button ones. i loved how the shiitake taste mixes so well with the white creamy sauce.
the mushrooms al ajillo makes for a decent mid-day snack, though i would have loved a bigger portion.
now, the salpicado meal was interesting. it came with square-shaped rice, and buttered vegetables that tasted so damned good! it's not often that you get to taste well buttered (read: salty!) vegetables. susie was ever-so-thankful to me for finishing his unwanted greens.
as for the beef, it was executed well--really tender meat, oozing with garlicky juice in every bite. yum. goes perfectly well with the bottle of beer that we had.
meals in barbara's aren't what you would call wallet-friendly, but you definitely won't walk out of there disappointed. the menu isn't extraordinary, but each dish is done well. plus the ambience, especially of the coffee shop, gives you a feeling that you're somewhere far, foreign, and exotic, and sometimes, that really contributes a lot to the experience.
if you're feeling more formal, barbara's restaurant is just a short flight of stairs away, also in the casa manila "complex."
casa manila, intramuros
tel. nos.: 5274086; 5274083; 5274090
interested in going to manila? why not check out these manila hotels to see where you can stay!