January 29, 2023

This café is one of the longest ran by a Korean entrepreneur, if I am not mistaken, but one I only entered after the holidays in 2022. Still stuffed with the holiday goodies, we tried to savor other things we didn’t have much of.
One woe of friends who run restaurants is the tendency of their staff to go on unauthorized extended holiday after Christmas or New Year or even just after payroll. It was obvious that Café Will was not an exception with the service that came in trickles. Still generous, we enjoyed the dishes as they were served.
First to arrive was the Japanese fried rice and the seafood kebab. When we ordered, the waiter asked if we wanted the rice in the kebab meal to be added to the fried rice and we agreed. This was an appreciated advice by the server. Overwhelmed with the size of the rice, we enjoyed the beef and carrot bits in the soy sauce salted sticky rice grains. This went well with the kebab that had a delicious peanut sauce poured over the skewered shrimp, squid, and fish. A sweet super spicy dip accompanied this to give it the usual flare of grilled food. This was quite a new texture compared to the kababs of Asian countries that are dry, spicy, and chewy, this one is tender, sweet, and a little juicier. The mix of seafoods with button mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions grilled to tenderize them is different.
The basket of seafood fritters arrived in time. Potato chips that were crisp and battered shrimps, squid, and fish were of a different texture. But I must say that the squid was unusually tender under the tempura batter. The medium size shrimps are perfect for this instead of the usual prawns because shrimps are sweeter and tastier. The fish was surprisingly good too and I hope I am not mistaken that it was not cream dory because it had more texture and flavor. This has a mayo dip to go withit. If not for the time, this is best with cold beer or soda. There’s something about fried food that makes it perfect with carbonated drinks.
The crispy pata that came with fries was huge to come last. The server said that it took a little longer because the cook wanted to make sure that it was extra crispy. The meat in the pork leg has its own distinct taste that is not found in the other pork cuts. The soft meat on the inside and the crispy skin dipped in the sweet vinegar, soy and onion sauce was perfect balance.
Of course, the best part is the meat that is closest to the bone because this is made up of some cartilage, fat, and collagen. All that sticky stuff is what makes eating crispy pata with the fingers worth the extra trip to wash your hands. If you ask me, this has a lot of tender, stringy, and juicy meat and not enough crispy skin like the lechon. Much of the meat is left compared to the skin the disappears and the bones that have nothing for the dogs to chew on.
We actually ordered the soup of the day to add to a little bit of beef, pork, and seafood in our first meal of the year. We were glad that they forgot because our meal was coming in reverse order as it was. They had dessert but we opted to have the coffee and dessert in another place that day, but we forgot that it was Sunday and some places close.
Café Will is an old house turned into a restaurant and pub. I guess the reason why I never went to this pub was because I didn’t have a group to hang around the place with. This is ideal for office groups or peers who go out on weekends, I have a few friends the whole week.
The serving sizes are good for sharing with a group of five, the regular number of people who go out and these are reasonably priced. The best part is that these old Baguio houses have wide lawns to keep the required distance. Prior to the Covid-19 quarantines, music usually flowed out of the side doors into the garden, customers here have this option which Session Road places do not offer.
So, after the holidays is still a good time to eat out but bring some patience and take your time.