We arrived at Dumaguete City in one piece after the rumble and tumble of a ferry ride from the island of Siquijor. Still queasy from the roiling sea, we set out for a late lunch.
Choosing blindly amongst the many food places we listed down, our fingers fell on Café Antonio. Good thing we already saw it on our way to the hotel so we didn’t have to sweat it out in locating it.
Quartered in the Spanish Heritage Building, we entered its dark foyer and emerged on the second floor of the antique dwelling. Still unsure where to go, we pushed on ‘til we saw the light at the end of a hallway. We emerged into a sunlit courtyard furnished with bench swings, simple tables and chairs.
It was a charming little nook to dine in but it was too stuffy and hot. So after ordering our lunch, pizza margherita and penne carbonara, we transferred inside.
This place feels like a labyrinth really; going down another flight of stairs we again emerged into the restaurant’s main dining hall.
The expansive area is filled with all kinds of knick knacks; musical instruments, tattered issues of National Geographic magazines, old paper bills, carved artworks and music memorabilia from The Beatles to Eraserheads; one can definitely see that the owner loves his music.
The staff at Café Antonio was very polite but unfortunately quite slow. It took a whole lot of fiddling around the restaurant before our food arrived; good thing they have interesting displays.
First on our table was the penne carbonara. The noodles were firm, the sauce consistency just right and the flavor passable; it was okay but not extraordinary. What I don’t like about it is the bread that goes along with it. I think it was supposed to be a garlic bread.
Next up was the pizza margherita. It was a thin crust affair topped with cheese and sliced tomatoes. The sauce was a bit sweet which reminds me of the cheap pizzas I used to wolf down as a kid. It’s not a bad thing really; I liked Café Antonio’s pizza a lot.
Both dishes were served in very generous amounts (each one good for two persons) considering their not so expensive prices. Our lunch totaled Php254.00, quite the value for our money considering the restaurant’s ambience so I have no complaints in that department.
Besides the long waiting time, which in hindsight was really not that bad since the café was a nice hang out place after all, I really have nothing bad to say about Café Antonio. Nice nooks, old-house vibrations, comfy dining areas, good food, affordable prices and most importantly after the fiasco at Siquijor’s Coco Grove’s Restaurant, friendly service. Good vibes is everywhere at Café Antonio.
Address: 2nd Floor Spanish Heritage Bldg
San Juan cor. Sta. Catalina Street
Dumaguete City, Central Visayas
Telephone: (35) 421-0449
GPS Coordinates: 9.309504,123.309007
Click to View Location on Google Maps