We’ve passed-by Ka Tunying’s Cafe along Timog Avenue in Quezon City several times but we never got to stop-by and check out the restaurant as the orange-lined logo has always caught our attention.
But today, Seats For Two got to taste their Filipino comfort food dishes and meet the man himself in person – Filipino broadcast journalist and radio commentator Anthony “Ka Tunying” Taberna.
Together with his wife Rossel, they run this retaurant which has been a part family bondings, barkada get-togethers, office lunches and after-work dinners. And while many are drawn to its menu of local favorites, the restaurant has strived to evolve with the times by introducing innovative spins to traditional Filipino food.
The Original “Ka Tunying”
The story started in Nueva Ecija province until it eventually reached Manila. Unknown to many, Anthony Taberna grew up in Nueva Ecija where the Taberna family owned and ran a local panaderya called “Ka Tunying’s Tinapay, Kape, at Iba Pa” (which later became “Tunying’s Bread”).
Named after his father, Antonio Taberna, Sr., the bakeshop somewhat became a town destination over the years. Now, you know who the originla “Ka Tunying” is. 🙂
Some of its customers even brought their signature crinkles and Spanish bread as baon and pasalubong when travelling to Manila. These breads soon found their way to supermarket fairs and pop-up bazaars around Metro Manila. It was only a matter of time then that customers clamored for a brick and mortar store in Metro Manila that would sell the scrumptious treats.
The growing demand for Tunying’s crinkles and bread gave the husband and wife team the push they needed to venture into the food business. Aside from baked products, Anthony and Rossel (who is from Laguna) also thought of offering Filipino food we can’t live without.
So in 2015, Ka Tunying’s Café opened its doors on Visayas Avenue and debuted a complete menu offering from breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals. The restaurant also introduced the Manila crowd their unique coolers.
Soon after, Anthony and Rossel opened branches in Timog Avenue and at NAIA Terminal 3 to make it accessible to more people including balikbayans and OFWs craving for a taste of home.
“Sikat Dito”: Pinoy Food with a Twist
Staying true to its roots has always been part of the appeal of Ka Tunying’s Café, which has held on to its well-loved dishes in spite of the barrage of food trends.
There’s the bestseller Arroz Ala Tunying and Cabanatuan Longsilog with choices of recado, batutay and hamonado. The Umagang Kay Sarap dishes are available all-day with other must-try dishes like Tsamporado with Tuyo Flakes and Creamy Baked Bangus. Add a minimal amount for a cup of Ka Tunying’s Blend Coffee (P55) and Unlimited Rice (P35).
Dishes that people are coming back for are called Sikat Dito which include those with unique twists such as the creamy Tinapa Carbonara and Ka-Love-Asa Lasagna.
Ka Tunying’s Cafe also brought something from the province, foremost of which is Pancit Ni Nanay Benny, a family recipe developed by Ka Tunying’s mom.
Their breads remain to be popular, too and are baked fresh every day like the Kamote Cheesebread and Kalabasa Ensaymada among others.
Partnering with Bistro: Marrying Tradition & Innovation
As Ka Tunying’s Café works to stay competitive in the food business with the objective of expanding the brand, the restaurant inked a partnership with The Bistro Group of Restaurants, the same company that operates popular casual dining restaurants such as TGIFridays, Italiannis and Buffalo Wild Wings, among others.
“In collaboration with the Bistro Group, we have enhanced our bestselling dishes and breads while simultaneously introducing the new appetizer, mains, and desserts that will delight old and new guests. We are happy to be working with them in growing our brands, “ the Tabernas said.
President and COO of The Bistro Group, Jean Paul Manuud, expressed the same enthusiasm.
To mark this important milestone, Ka Tunying’s Café has also lined up new dishes such as Bruce Tawilis, Tinapang Lumangoy sa Monggo and Labo-Labo na Chopseuy. There are also Linamnam Meals (solo meals with 2 viands and rice) and Bakbakan Platter that is good for sharing.
Ka Tunying’s Café is a venue for social and corporate functions. In the Timong branch, for example, there are two function rooms that could each accommodate up to 20 persons for those who want a more private setting.
Ka Tunying Café
Contact Number: (02) 366 1342