20/23 Cafe Ysabel

By She Said

We're finally back to eating out. We had to temporarily hold off on completing our twenty three restaurants for summer after my daughter's bout with the stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis). While she was recuperating, I put her on a diet that was limited to light and easy to digest meals. 

I'm just so happy and relieved that she's all better and well enough to go back to school, which starts in a few days. Sigh, where did summer go? I will miss hanging out with her, that's for sure.

Cafe Ysabel was one of the restaurants I often visited when I used to live near the San Juan area many years ago. I loved the old world feel of the place and the food was always excellent. The cafe is housed in a refurbished 1927 ancestral home with a glass enclosed porch overlooking a garden.

The compound is also home to Center for Asian Culinary Studies, a school offering a full range of courses in the culinary arts. The students get to work hand in hand with the chefs of Cafe Ysabel in their daily operations as well as special events.

I brought my daughter for lunch here today. I haven't been back in more than 20 years and I'm happy they still exist but I think in need of a little sprucing up and maybe some new upholstery. The food was not how I remembered it to be but to their credit, service was warm and attentive. It made us feel like we were dining in a five star hotel!

 Complimentary warm bread with balsamic vinegar dip.

 Calamares with marinara sauce.

Napa Ceasar's Salad- a whole meal salad with spiced shrimp and grilled chicken. They also added some smoked salmon which wasn't included in the menu description and didn't quite go well with salad.

Vegetalie Aglio Pasta- grilled white cheese, seared garlic, fresh tomato, basil, olive oil.

 Strawberry Shortcake- this was our meal's saving grace. Light butter chiffon cake covered in cream & fresh strawberries.

We can't believe that we're done with twenty and with just three more to go. Looking at our list, it's funny that the last three happen to be the most pricey restaurants. I guess I was mentally pushing them down and delaying the expense. Haha! We'll definitely find a way to complete the list as soon as possible so watch out for that! Have a good weekend!

Related Posts: 19/23 Hai Chix & Steaks
                    One Summer, Twenty Three Restaurants

Cafe Ysabel
455 P. Guevarra Street
San Juan, Quezon City


  1. I've never eaten there! I remember stepping into the restaurant with my husband back in '09 when I was pregnant. I was craving for Bistek Tagalog. To our surprise, the restaurant didn't serve it. Heehee, I thought it would be part of their menu. Since then we haven't returned. Maybe we should. I'm highly attracted to that grilled cheese on the pasta dish you had. Hmmmm.

  2. Hi Toni! The pasta dish was good but the cheese was a little over done. Their breakfast dishes seem more popular than the other dishes on their menu. I want to go back to try their adobo flakes! The table beside us ordered it and it looked so good : )

  3. Thanks for the tip. Maybe we should drop by for breakfast then! :D