grub + travels + perspectives

Red Onion Café

I usually keep up with the newest restaurants and food trends through Pepper.ph. And yes, that's how I first knew about Red Onion Cafe. Around late November, this Taiwanese restaurant was featured along with "an opportunity to dine for free." I am certainly no food expert and I'm only guided by the principle "Always try something new" when choosing restaurants to dine in. Taiwanese cuisine and anything that's free sounds good so I thought, it wouldn't hurt to try, right?

Long story short, I won. Haha. I got in touch with Mr. Wen-Szu Lin to make the arrangements on when I could visit.

I went there with a couple of friends (Muffet, Ian and Bell) last Wednesday since I would be out for the weekend. It was also our first time visiting UP Town Center. It was a little far from our usual Katipunan foodtrips but it was worth the trip. We really got excited when we saw a branch of IHOP and Ba Noi's, and there was so many new restaurants to try! Hehe. I have a feeling we will be frequenting UP Town in the following weeks.

As soon as we got there, I introduced myself; saying I was one of the Pepper.ph winners and showed them my ID card that I coincidentally just removed from being clipped on my right pocket.

There was this huge wall covered with a photo of different spices usually used in Asian cooking. I remember asking my father when I was young why he prefers red onions over white ones. He told me it's because red onions are more flavorful. I guess it's one of things that make Asian cuisines different from others.

Eventhough their 39 Spices Beef Noodle was a house specialty, we decided to skip it because we just felt it was a rice kind of morning.

Wen-Szu also came up to us and introduced himself. He was such a pleasant guy! He talked to us for a few minutes before excusing himself.

On the table:

Vegetable Handmade Dumplings (8 pcs.) - PhP 138
Ian picked this one because he likes vegetables and healthy food. Good thing that he chose steamed dumplings because I find the fried ones a tad bit difficult to eat and sometimes the flavor gets lost. Well, I was really surprised when I took a bite because it was very nice and chewy and the flavor was really good. I honestly didn't expect that from a vegetable dumpling!

Polonchay - PhP 168
I remember we were laughing when we ordered this because the description about it on the menu said something like "Simple but memorable." And we were teasing the waiter that the Polonchay better be memorable or we'll ask for a refund. It was memorable all right! There's something about Red Onion Cafe and their vegetables! Definitely not boring and definitely worth the try.

Sichuan Mala Chicken - PhP 198 / PhP 378
This has got to be my personal favorite (it was everybody's favorite!) Yes, it has quite a spicy kick but I didn't really mind. The flavors were the perfect balance and really addicting. The chicken fillet, I thought, was really tender. I am craving for this just by thinking about it. Never thought I would fall in love with a spicy dish but I did! Please do try this one!

Shin Lin Night Market Porkchop - PhP 188
I love pork and try to order it as much as I can (unless I am in my salmon/milkfish/dory mood haha). Breading tasted really good and the meat was tender as well. Breading was not too empowering, with just the right crunch, and you could still taste the meat on its own. Again, I love pork and I hate to say it but the Sichuan Mala Chicken stole my heart. Hehe.

Stir-fried Beef with Leeks - PhP 328
Red Onion House Fried Rice - PhP 188
Iced Coffee with Condensed Milk - PhP 98
I really liked how they presented this, layering and all. The coffee and condensed milk are served separate from the ice cubes. We even made an Insta-video when we mixed the two! While I had this cool coffee concoction (because I needed to be awake for the rest of the day), my friends all had the Winter Melon Tea, which is, hands down, the best Winter Melon Tea I've tasted out there. Very, very refreshing! I'm definitely ordering one when I return to Red Onion Cafe.

We are full and we are happy!

Dining at Red Onion Cafe is quite an adventure to the palate and worth your every penny. Taiwanese cuisine is now off of our list! There's a couple of other best sellers I've yet to try! On my list also is the Taiwanese Crispy Dumplings so I'm/we're definitely coming back! Again, a big thanks to Wen-Szu Lin for your warm welcome and of course, Pepper.ph!

Red Onion Cafe is located at Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City (right across IHOP and next to Ba Noi's)
Operating Hours: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Mondays - Thursdays)
                           10:00 AM - 11:00 PM (Fridays - Sundays)
Official Instagram Account (Please use the hashtag #redonioncafeph)