I had always thought of it as a coffee shop. Obviously, I wasn’t looking enough. Turns out, Cafe Enye is a Spanish restaurant located just beside Healthy Options in Eastwood. It’s the kind of place where you can just roll into anytime, as it’s open from 7 in the morning to 12 midnight. Test your luck on a table indoors or ultimately sit at the large dining table in the al fresco setting. Either way, you’ll be perfectly fine.
We had dinner here last Tuesday after work and wondered where Cafe Enye got its name. Luckily, we found Sous Chef Chris Chris Dytuco and had the chance to talk to him before we left. We learned that Enye or “Ñ” (pronounced as enye) was derived from the letter of the Spanish alphabet that’s also collated in the Filipino alphabet (written as “ny” where appropriate). Cafe Enye positions itself as a Spanish bistro that will both be familiar and different for diners who appreciate “colonial Spanish cuisine.”
Items on the menu range from straightforward Spanish plates to dishes inspired by colonies in Northern Morroco, Mexico, Argentina and the Philippines. Aside from the specialty food, a variety of drinks such as coffee, tea, wines, cocktails, craft beers, and other blended drinks are thrown in the mix.
Review of Cafe Enye (Libis, Quezon City)
Cafe Enye is one that’s suited for a date or a night out with friends. Ambiance wise, the restaurant looked quite presentable. In different parts of the room, accent lighting worked to emphasize the beautiful textured walls and improve a customer’s sense of well-being and orientation. Warm and inviting, the fiery hues of the décor made for a warm summer’s evening whatever the weather. Wooden and rustic finishes of tables seemed reminiscent of the classic country look. I like the different types of chairs arranged across the room as they showcase flexibility for guests to choose where they’d want to be seated to maximize comfort and sociability.
Staffs were friendly and informative. Hospitality went above and beyond. I’m not very familiar with the names of Spanish food so I really appreciated it when the waiter guided us through the menu. Aside from the bare minimum (clearing plates, refilling drinks, etc.), he anticipated our needs, made us feel welcome and ensured our satisfaction throughout our stay.
Having Spanish food for a meal is a solid move to get to know someone, with the inherent shareability of small plates (tapas, as they call it). For appetizer, we shared the Enye Callos Buns (PhP 135). Soft and savory, the buns were filled with slow-cooked callos (beef tripe). Sitting neatly on crispy shoestring potatoes, the Enye Callos Buns tasted sweet and savory, almost like those of Tim Ho Wan’s famous pork buns but with a Spanish twist. Once bitten, an explosion of delicious flavor enters your mouth. It’s quite the party!
Gambas Enye Style (PhP 350) is just about the ideal tapas bar snack. Topped with garlic chips and garlic chives, the succulent shrimps were cooked in garlic infused olive oil and roasted garlic. If you love garlic, expect this to be a great treat. The oil swimming in the earthenware dish sings high notes of layered garlic flavors, it can be transcendent. This appetizer was one of our favorites.
Cafe Enye’s Calamares Salad (PhP 250) was surprisingly awesome, far more than just pescetarian patronization. Lots of thought went into their crunchy leafy greens and bits of calamari. The best of the bunch was the “secret” green onion dressing which was rich and full of flavor. This dish delivered it in spades.
Bacalao Mantecato (PhP 245) is new in my book and it gets a big thumbs up. Thickened in cream and mashed potatoes, the bacalao (salt cod fish) was topped with salted egg and crispy garlic. Trust me, it’s a must-order. If you have any inclination toward fish, this could be your best dish of the night. Eat it with the crisp slices of bread to balance the flavor.
Looking for a little carb action? Get the Fish Mojo Skewers (PhP 380). It’s comprised of two sticks of citrus marinated fish skewers served with Enye rice, cilantro yogurt, Harissa and Latin salsa. Combined with many flavorful spices in one plate, this was like a “choose your own adventure” kind of entree in delicious rice. With a touch of slight hotness and a not-too-thick texture and consistency, Fish Mojo Skewers is a tough combo to hate on.
Our last main course was the Enye Cocido (PhP 395). It’s a classic Spanish stew of chicken and pork with carrots, cabbage, and plantains served with eggplant relish and Enye rice. I suspect it took some time to cook the chicken and pork because meat is so tender. These had the type of luscious texture that makes it tough to put your fork down. Well executed, it’s a welcome addition to any group of two or three people.
For desserts, we had the house signature Churros with Dulce de Leche Cream (PhP 170)—homemade light pate a choux pastry with dulce de leche red egg and chocolate-peanut butter dips. We liked that the churros were crispy and golden on the outside and chewy and dense and creamy on the inside. Dulce de leche dip was twice better than the other.
Lastly, we tried the Creme Catalan (PhP 185). classic vanilla and orange zest infused custard topped with fresh fruits and served with a shot of artisan espresso. The waiter suggested that the best way to eat it is to take a spoonful of Creme Catalan and then a shot of the espresso right after. All in all, this entrée tasted sweet and bitter both in extreme levels, a lot like life.
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
At closer inspection, Cafe Enye in Libis to me is a sophisticated yet approachable Spanish cafe/bar/restaurants where patrons can grab cool drinks and enjoy a wide array of delicious Spanish food. Here you will encounter a chic setting replete with cozy atmosphere. Considering that food portions are good for sharing, prices are decent.