About the book:
This book is not just history of a restaurant chain that has become a Philippine institution. It is not just a compilation of recipes of favorite dishes. And it is not just about the denizens of Adriatico.
It is about a place that has come to stand for a lifestyle–and a lifestyle that, in turn has become a landmark in Filipino culture. All this evolved without a master plan, and it continues to evolve in ways no one person or institution can chart alone. In this way is Malate unique in the Philippine socitey.
A tourist in the Philippines for the first time only has to spend a night in Malate to see and feel a microcosm of this urban life and psyche. The experience, of course, starts with dining and discovering the many dishes served, many of them classics and favorites by now, some popping up as culinary unpredictabilities. But the experience doesn’t end there – it builds up into a trove of memories.
In here are narratives tracing the growth of the Malate way of life – which defies the definitive description to this day – historical accounts of how Café Adriatico was, quite accidentally, born out of an antiques shop put up by the food and art connoisseur father-and-son tandem of E. Aguilar Cruz, an eminent diplomat writer and artist, and Lorenzo “Larry” J. Cruz, a journalist, bureaucrat and restaurateur. Going beyond the data, it has essays born out of the feelings, memories and discerning tastes of people who have been touched by the Malate way of life. While other spots in the city rise and fall with trends and the “in” and “out” dictates of style. Malate, through two decades, has withstood the fleeting standards of lifestyle. It has reinvented itself through time.
And unlike other culture landmarks, Malate thrives pretty much on its own – without grand design from government or big business. Also, it must be the only spot in the country where the urban poor – they who live in the vicinity of Remedios Circle – can co-exist with the fun-loving elite, the artists, the bohemians, the corporate rat-racers and expatriates, night and after night.
Publisher: The Bookmark, Inc. & LJC Restaurant Group
Publication Date: 2001