Our Sunday lunch at Adarna Food and Culture is reminiscent of that glittering era referred in history books as Peacetime. We experienced the look and feel of those good old days while savoring the flavorful Sulu Piasok and Adobong Batangas ala Adarna. These house specialties are served in antique silverware and authentic carnival glass platter.
The dining experience is complete with a tasteful ambience consisting of turn of the century furniture, vintage pop mementoes and object d’art that are creatively displayed in this home-style restaurant along Kalayaan Avenue in good old Quezon City.
Old Jazz and Tertulia Evenings
Our nostalgia began when we entered the main dining area known as the Bulwagang Adarna through the multi-colored stained-glass sliding doors. Old jazz is being played complementing the vintage posters, photographs, prints and news clippings that embellish the walls.
Also hanging on walls are artworks by Araceli Dans and Gilda Cordero-Fernando –gifts from the artists to restaurant owners Beth Angsioco and Giney Villar.
From our table is the view of the Hardin ng Sampaguita –an al fresco dining area where the water gushing from the fountain and flowering trees must have provided its guests an alluring setting for terturlia on certain evenings.
Although the emergence of the bodabil (vaudeville) and the cinema brought down the popularity of the tertulia in some homes in the 1920’s, Tertulia sa Adarna revives the traditional impromptu social gathering where the guests are asked to sing, dance and recite poems on the entablado (stage) set up in one corner of the spacious jardin.
Silid ng mga Bituin and Beauty Queens of the Manila Carnival
After the mouthwatering dessert of Quesong Puti and Langka Fry, we started moving around to see the rest of the function rooms.
We ascended a flight of steps leading to a room decorated with photographs of old time movie stars like Carmen Rosales, Leopoldo Salcedo, Rogelio de la Rosa, and those Sampaguita and LVN matinee idols that made a mark in local cinema during their era. This explains why the room is aptly named as Silid ng mga Bituin (Room of the Stars).
Adjacent to Silid ng mga Bituin is the Silid ng Reyna ng Karnibal (Queen of the Carnival). The Manila Carnival Queen was the proto-type of today’s modern beauty pageants. Among the illustrious reigning beauties were 1908 carnival queen Pura Villanueva who later became our first suffragette and wife of Teodoro M. Kalaw. Author Paz Marquez Benitez in 1912 and in the1920 queen, Trinidad I, who later became the First Lady as Mrs. Manuel Roxas.
Photo of 1936 Miss Philippines Mercedes Montilla is exhibited in one corner of the room as well as a couple of embroidered baro on the other side and samples of carnival glassware.
Both private function rooms can be rented out for a consumable fee of 5000 pesos.
The Sari-sari Store
Of course our generation can easily identify the sari-sari store. The sari-sari store at Adarna Food and Culture is nostalgic for those who grew up in the eighties. The vintage set up is complete with garapon with candies, komiks rack, a banko (bench) with a dama (checker) set, and tubes of plastic balloon.
Our experience at Adarna Food and Culture not only brought back memories of spending Sundays at our grandparent’s house where our lola would show sepia photographs and tell stories about their time, it also gave us historical and cultural Trivia on Filipino Food.
Adarna Food & Culture
119 Kalayaan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City