[Tarp at the shop at left; with the baked bangus belly dish at right…so ambrosial and luscious!]


[At left is the PAN DE SAL PLATTER ordered by my wife Dang with the AGIMAT Smoothie; and the Hibiscus Pandan Hot Tea, which I ordered for myself as drink]

From a distance, one would think that the shop is just an ordinary bakery and pastry outlet (as the ground floor hall sports a virtual centerpiece of a nicely arranged heap of bread and pastries displayed like seeming artifacts in a museum); but descrying the signage as “KA TUNYING’S CAFÉ”, one would rashly conclude that it is just but another one of those coffee shops.

One day in November of last year, I got so curious seeing the newly opened outlet with signage which reads as “KA TUNYING’S CAFÉ” along Visayas Avenue, after I and my son Anthony bought a hardware item at the Wilcon Mall also along Visayas Avenue. We were heading back for home as we reside at Sanville just a stone’s throw away from Visayas Avenue. We decided to buy some bread, as the lighted centerpiece of bread and pastries at Ka Tunying’s Café, proved to be so enticing as the bread mostly pan de sal are so artistically wrapped in transparent cellophane complete with ribbons. Though, we just wanted to buy bread, I saw a bowl of arroz-ala-Tunying (which I learned thereafter is actually arroz caldo) being delivered into a customer unto one of the cute tables at the ground floor. I also learned that a more commodious dining hall was located at the outlet’s second floor.

Thus, I was actually lured by the sight of the arroz with the colorful toppings on it, to order for me and my son Anthony, the arroz-ala-Tunying.

My late mother Norma is an excellent cook and I love the way she cooked arroz caldo with what is known in the vernacular as KASUBHA, which are tiny strands of yellow-orange colored garnish for food which adds some yellowish hue unto the arroz caldo broth.  It is sometimes called  fake saffron as some people would mistakenly refer to KASUBHA as SAFFRON when in fact it is not. Kasubha actually is derived from what is known as safflower; while SAFFRON is derived from the crocus flower. Saffron is expensive while KASUBHA is cheap; and saffron adds flavor and aroma while kasubha merely enhances the yellow-tinged color of the arroz caldo broth.  Thanks for Ka Tunying’s Café as it brought me into researching the difference between the saffron and kasubha. But as I have said, taking from my late mother’s style of cooking, I really love eating arroz caldo garnished with kasubha and with lots of fried crunchy garlic. And after tasting arroz-ala-Tunying, memories of the my late mother’s arroz caldo   reverberated in my palate and gustatory nerves. It was tasteful and delicious.

Yesterday, after our family heard a noon day mass at UP, lunched at Trinoma,  saw a movie entitled “ALL YOU NEED IS PAG-IBIG” starring Kris Aquino, Derek Ramsay, Kim Chiu, Xian Lim, etc., then facial for the girls and massage for me along Timog Avenue; on our way home, we stopped by and partook of dinner at KA TUNYING’S CAFÉ

I and my youngest daughter Alee ordered BAKED BANGUS BELLY and it was a surprising excitement. I thought for a while that the food would just be another of those prepared conventionally, with a piece of bangus belly baked unto its luscious flavor. But it came with a surprise as it was served as though a baked mousse dish which was served with much adornment and color and truly a rich and creamy custard-like meal.  Indeed, the taste was ambrosial and so fascinating. As the masseuse who attended to me at the Mont Albo Spa after doing the traditional hilot and ventosa on me, warned me against partaking of cold drinks, I ordered the HIBISCUS-PANDAN hot tea. It was similarly an excitement, as it tasted so good and so refreshing.

My wife Dang, who is herself a culinary chef also gave Ka Tunying’s Café her THUMBS UP after partaking of the PAN DE SAL PLATTER, as she is not prone to taking heavy meals at dinner time. The PASTILLAS smoothie of Alee and the AGIMAT drink ordered by my wife also proved to be drinks of thrill and exhilaration.

My son Anthony ordered RELLENONG BANGUS and the same AGIMAT Fruit Shake ordered by his Mom; while Shayna and Cheska ordered CHICKEN TOCINO and the same AGIMAT drink. All of them gave their green light of approval and satisfaction to the culinary creativity, “artsyness” and creativity in dressing up the meals in enticing colors and shades, and most of all…the tasteful and delicious meals as well as the titillating drinks at Ka Tunying’s Café. Finally, as my children and wife have all vowed, we (the members of my family including myself) will be regular and constant habitués of Ka Tunying’s Café.

CONGRATULATIONS to “KA TUNYING” aka Mr. Anthony Taberna and to “KA TUNYING’S CAFÉ”!!!

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