When the whole family stayed for a week in Manila for my cousin’s wedding, we stumbled upon a rustic restaurant at San Antonio Village in Makati. I had the first impression that it wasn’t anything special because it was quite small. My Bagnet rice meal was pricey at P170 too, I thought when I ordered. I judged before looking around and tasting what the place has to offer and yes, I was proved wrong.
I finished my Bagnet in less than 15 minutes. I marveled at the trinkets, framed photographs, and magazines that are all over the walls. I am a sucker for restaurants with character and I figured out why it continues to thrive despite being inside a village that is a stone’s throw away from the bustling commercial places in Makati.
Little did I know that about a year later, I will be invited to a food tasting event with other bloggers in that same village cafe and I will discover more reasons to adore the place.
What started out as a hobby business turned into a profitable venture because of the passion and dedication of the owners, Christine Arriola-Villongco and husband. Coming from the illustrious Dulcinea, Chef Linda Aznar offers Galli’s customers hearty Spanish-Filipino dishes that will remind you of home amidst the hustle of the metro.
The star of the night, for me, was the Polo al Ajillo. It was garlicky, soft, and savory. When you visit, don’t forget to try their Paella Valenciana too. It’s just the way you want it to be – satisfying, comforting, and exquisite. Chef Linda also shared that they will be offering churros in the next few months. That’s something to look forward to when I return to Manila.
An interesting back story is that the owners opened the restaurant to have a storage for the souvenirs and the photographs from their travels abroad – Europe, Asia, America, name it. You can truly sense Mr. and Mrs. Villongco’s penchant for travel and photography all over the place.
They also have Al fresco dining . Don’t worry, since it’s inside the village, you wouldn’t be exposed to smoke-belching vehicles unlike in the CBD. Backpackers at the hostel just above it are lucky to stay very close to a place that offers food that the locals love.
It’s also interesting to note that because it’s just across a church, it has catered to a number of baptisms. It has become a great venue for surprise engagements as well. *kilig* Their other branch at Maginhawa offers the same comfort food, but adjusts to a younger and laid back market.
If you’re burnt out at work or you live away from your family and you miss homecooked meals, this is the place to go. The serene and homey atmosphere makes the dining experience even more solacing . While your mind and spirit take a break, there’s surely going to be a fiesta in your tummy.
Galli Village Cafe is located at the
Ground Floor, YMCA Hotel
7 Sacred Heart St., San Antonio Village, Makati City.
Open daily from 7am-8:30pm.
Contact #: 09164111248