TEXT & PHOTO: Kaycie Gayle
Located in one of the heritage districts in the country is an antique themed restaurant named ‘Kabisera’, a word derived from the Spanish word ‘cabicera’ that translates to ‘Capital City’. A word that was once used to refer to this place from the bygone years when the city was still under the Spanish regime. From its name to its theme surely reflects to a small town feel and nostalgic vibe of the city. Coupled with its location and Filipino food offerings definitely make it as a favorite family restaurant among locals and a destination restaurant among tourist.
The structure of this restaurant seems to be an old house turned restaurant with its antique furniture and embellishments that consistently suits the character of the city. Its exterior has a shabby chic look and painted with white that seemed to be worn out but will definitely entice and heighten the curiosity of anyone who would pass by to see what is inside.
As you enter its door, you will be welcomed by its foyer where a somewhat lounge area awaits. It is furnished with benches and chairs with walls adorned with frames having interesting subjects such as a miniature of Philippine National costume and Bric-à-Brac decorations placed on the floating shelf. Meanwhile, found on its center is a round wooden table covered with a white tablecloth with vases and shells on its top as ornaments. Past this table is the counter where the display of the restaurant’s menu is written in a blackboard using colored chalks.
Chairs for waiting customers
Bric o brac display
Foyer’s center table
Foyer’s exit to the non-airconditioned dining area
The restaurant has two dining sections, the first is the air-conditioned area which can also be a function room. It has a white antique theme wherein all its walls, doors, including its furniture from tables, wrought iron, and wooden chairs and even its ornaments like a chandelier, curtains are all in white.
Meanwhile, the other dining area is non-airconditioned though still well ventilated due to the natural air from the outside and fans available inside. This is where the customers normally proceed to find a seat to dine upon entering the entrance. This area has a wooden rustic ambiance with a tree that instead of being cut, it has been well incorporated with the design hence giving the place a vibe of dining in a restaurant found in a forest. –Adding to the appeal of the place is the calming sound produced by the windblown capiz curtains and wind chime hanging on the window. Occupying the area are the benches partnered with long tables made of wood and topped with glass and white floral table cloth. Each one of it has been tastefully presented with a white capiz ceiling lamp hanging above it. Consistently, the grand white capiz chandelier and white tied curtains in between tables gives the antique rustic vibe a touch of elegance.
Tree inside the dining area
Capiz curtains on the window
Tied white curtains
The rear part of the area has a native antique feel which they call as ‘Lanai’. It looks like an elevated living room from an old ‘Bahay na Bato’ house with wooden flooring and stairs, and capiz windows. It is furnished with antique wooden sofas with white and leaf printed throw pillows and a center table with vases filled with white plastic flower and water plants. Down the two-step stair of the Lanai is a dresser with a mirror which you can look up to should you want to see your reflection or just plain curious on it.
Native and Antique themed Lanai
Stair Steps to Lanai
What makes the restaurant interesting and distinct are its nice old things. Consistently, the restaurant has wooden furnitures and antique fixtures that makes you wonder how old the pieces are. Most of the furniture here are using solid wood with a yesteryears design. Some of the pieces seemed to be rickety but is strategically placed and properly used hence have been optimized. The antiquities displayed including the creaking doors and wooden sofa suggests that the owner might be an avid collector of antiques.
Dresser with mirror
Capiz designed Bar
Part of the charm on eating at the non-air-conditioned area of the restaurant is that the natural elements from the outside can penetrate inside through its wide windows. This part seemed to be a previous side yard that was roofed and converted into a dining area covered with wooden walls with windows. Therefore it is to be expected that may it be a cool breeze, warm air or the gust of wind when its raining can pass through the window, and is coupled with the windblown sound of capiz curtains. Moreover, the scent from the outside may it be a petrichor, a dish being cooked by neighboring houses or any other can be smelled inside On some occasions, you may also see a cat cutely sitting on the window.
Window with a hanging lamp
Capiz curtains and hanging white plastic flowers
While antique furniture is normally associated with being made of dark wood found in dark places, this restaurant may look dim from the outside but its ceiling lamps and chandeliers peppered inside transforms the place at night into a rustic well lit place that exudes a romantic feel. Coupled with Jazz and Bossa Nova music this place is both visually pleasing and sound relaxing especially at night.
Kabisera Restaurant’s facade at night
The non-airconditioned dining area at night
Moreover, you can choose your stylish way to dine here as this restaurant offers two ways of dining. You may opt to dine the normal way by sitting on regular height chairs and table or dine on low-lying dining tables while sitting on the floor with floor pillows and ‘banig’ or woven mats.
This restaurant takes pride in serving Filipino cuisine. Two dishes that have caught my interest are Kabiserang Manok and Kabiserang Kanin thinking they are a perfect combination and the restaurant’s specialty being named after it. Though I have only tried the tasty Kabiserang Manok which is a roasted chicken with a specialty sauce and crispy when it’s hot. This dish is simply served on a black sizzling plate and is good for sharing depending on your appetite.
This is not a fine-dining restaurant hence, upon arriving the place, you may proceed to the counter to order your desired dishes. Moreover, food is cooked upon order, therefore, patience in waiting is appreciated while they are preparing your food. Should you want follow up, you may approach the cashier on the counter or waiters who pass by anytime.
If you are craving for Filipino fare in an antique themed restaurant then this is the place to be when in the heritage district of Malolos. Filipino families who love and regularly craves for authentic Filipino food go here. May you be a local who wants to enjoy, appreciate and celebrate your own local cuisine or a foreigner who wants to try Filipino food or maybe an antique connoisseur, then Kabisera Restaurant is the place to be.
This restaurant is located inside a subdivision in the capital city of Bulacan. Visit them at 139 Dahlia St., Alido Heights Subdivision, Malolos, Bulacan.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All expenses are paid by the author.
If you’ve been to this restaurant before, or have been to any antique themed restaurant, kindly share your story by writing down your comments below. Or you may also share this story to anyone who likes antique themed places.
Update: Sadly, this restaurant has already closed.
Last Updated: September 17, 2019