The only establishment I go to when I visit the vicinity of Bonifacio High Street or Serendra (Fort Bonifacio, just across Market!Market!) is the Fully Booked bookstore. This changed today, when I “accidentally” discovered Abe, a restaurant serving Filipino food.
Abe is a Kapampangan term which means “friend” (as explained by the writings on the wall, I mean, by the inscriptions at the middle of this round-shaped restaurant). World War II-era photos adorning the upper part of the wall, which, coupled with the kundiman music, transports you to a distant past. The ambiance is still good even if the chair-table arrangement is too crowded.
It’s not easy to find Abe, unlike, say, Hossein’s or Condi’s which has big signages (although it’s easier to spot than Mamou, with its juicy, mouthwatering steak). If Market! Market! is at your back, you’ll see the Abe restaurant at the side of the fountain in Serendra. Abe is just right across “a different bookstore” (that’s the name of the bookstore). There’s also a branch of Abe at Trinoma Mall in Quezon City.
It was full, probably because it was Sunday lunch, when we got there so we had to wait for a while outside. We decided to stay and wait instead of going away to look for a less crowded restaurant. We figured that the food must be good if many people are waiting.
I usually don’t remember the name of what I eat, so let me see if I can remember what we ordered at Abe: crispy pork adobo, kare-kare, binukadkad na pla-pla and pochero, among others. You don’t have to worry about the rice, as the roving waiter makes sure that your eat-all-you-can-rice on your plate is a-plenty. Now you have an idea where to eat just in case you’re suddenly hungry in that area.
You’ll notice that they changed the names a bit. “Sinigang sa bayabas” had a sosyal-sounding English name. The taste, however, remains distinctly Filipino. As one of my friends said: “That’s how real Filipino food tastes like.”
(Directions on how to go to Abe: Serendra and Bonifacio High Street are found in Fort Bonifacio, which covers an area both in Taguig City and Makati City. Take C5 from Pasig or Katipunan, with the exit before reaching Market!Market!. If through EDSA from Quezon City, take the u-turn near the EDSA-end of Buendia, now Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati).