One of the premiere Vigan restaurants serving a great mix of Ilocano and International dishes
I strolled along the old streets just trying to take in the beauty and fresh air coming in from the nearby coast. I was humming a Beatles tune that I could not get out of my head all day. I was intent on finding this small restaurant that I’ve read so much about online. I knew its was just two blocks away from the hotel so I decided to take the longer and scenic route to work up an appetite. I arrived on the cobblestone road near the center of the city.
The lights were warm and inviting quite a contrast to the cool breeze left over by the storm two nights ago. The smell of Barbecued Chicken lingered outside as they were preparing that evenings feast. I walked in and waited to be seated, It was difficult to place me since most customers were in groups. Clans occupied two tables at a time while the regulars were just there enjoying their cold beer. I went around the rooms of the restaurant and took my pictures. The curious diners looking on at the weirdo surveying the place and taking photos of empty corners. After a while, a waiter sensed my agitation, he asked for my order and promised a table. Soon enough I was sitting comfortably, I browsed at the menu and ask what he would recommend.
I ended up with a plate of smoked salmon and crackers for appetizers. I was torn on getting some more local dishes and wanting comfort food. I remembered the delicious smell outside and ordered their chicken with the Café Leona rice. I took my time with my food and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Though the chicken was a tad dry, it was tasty and had the right blend of spicy sweetness. The rice was the highlight of the night, moist and fragrant it had little bits of Vigan longaniza in it and was in some way a meal in itself. I think though that the place has a bit of an identity crisis going on. As you would see in what I ordered, they try to specialize in Local, Japanese dishes and throw in some Italian dishes too. It was a throw off to see a sushi bar in a European motif café. But I guess they pull it off pretty well since tourists as well as locals just can’t get enough of the cafe on the cobblestone street.