MANILA -- Boudica Café and Bar has the best fish and chips in Ortigas.
Tucked away in City Golf along Julia Vargas, Boudica not only has awesome fish and chips but also a fully stacked menu that includes popular European fare and extensive coffee and alcohol options.
"We wanted to focus on what we're known for and something that would fit this market. This is our first entry to the café market, where you can sit and relax… We have family-friendly food, competitively priced for the location, a lot of coffee options, and a great list of cocktails, beers, and liqueurs," said managing partner Matthew Lim.
Helmed by Matthew Hornsby-Bates and Lim, Boudica evolved from the duo's first fast service concept in Uptown BGC, Cargo Fish (also a recent winner of the Ultimate Taste Test). It's a more contemporary casual affair with its trendy interiors, attentive service, and dishes and drinks with Instagram-worthy flourishes including cheese platters, nachos un-"canned" table side, or a cocktail underneath a smoke-filled dome.
But it’s not all smoke and mirrors, though, as Boudica's menu is grounded on comfort food by way of Europe with some occasional forays to Philippine tastes.
Interiors are a great mix of modern/industrial elements (black walls, steel mesh, modern lighting fixtures, colorful murals) and homey earthy touches (rattan/wood furniture, plants) that make for a relaxing yet lively backdrop whether you're there for a power brunch or lunch, a friendly afternoon chat, Sunday dinner with family, or a night out to party (especially by 10 p.m.).
Curious about what to order? Here are some tried and tested options.
Under the "snack bar" portion of their menu, this dish comes layered in a can with hand-cut potato chips, battered fish, onions, tomatoes, cheese and two sauces -- cheese and a tangy barbecue. The waiter lifts up the can, and you're left with hand cut potato chips generously smothered in sauces. Addicting.
FISH AND CHIPS
You MUST order this in Boudica -- Cargo Fish's award-winning batter with your choice of fish/meat (dory, cod, salmon, chicken) and their thick-cut chips (potato or sweet potato) but with additional sauces and sides like tartar sauce, mushy peas, and chip shop curry. A serving is enough for a very hungry one, or 2-3 persons. Remember to ask for malt vinegar.
PROSCIUTTO & BURRANTINA NEAPOLITAN PIZZA
It took three months to get the dough of their pizza just right, but the result speaks for itself -- beautifully puffy dough with crispy edges. We tried
their newest variant, which had umami-rich toppings of prosciutto, creamy burrata, briny kesong puti, peppery arugula, and balsamic glaze, with an option to drizzle spicy honey for a sweet, salty party in your mouth.
A very generous plate of breakfast by way of England with English bangers (delicious ordered on its own with rice), bacon (also another great option with rice), proper chips, fresh button mushrooms, baked beans, fried, bread, and two eggs cooked your way. If you’ve never had it, take the option to add black pudding, it's basically like a dinuguan sausage. I enjoy it best with ketchup and garlic rice.
Brownie a la mode on top of a very hot cast iron skillet and drizzled with chocolate sauce tableside makes for a decadent end to any meal.
The alcoholic drink list is extensive in Boudica with whiskeys, shooters, craft beers, and traditional cocktails. We tried their signature craft cocktails, Kiss Me and Hug me. Kiss Me has Johnny Walker Black, Cointreau, angostura bitters, raspberry and passionfruit; while Hug Me is a tad sweeter with Tanqueray gin, Midori, lavender, lemon, and strawberry. Both cocktails are frothy thanks to egg whites and come with a fun interactive element.
ALMOND BUTTERSCOTCH LATTE AND BOUDICA SMOOTHIE
Surprisingly, the Almond Butterscotch Latte wasn’t cloyingly sweet, even with a caramel-almond glass rim. Healthier options include fruit milkshake or the Boudica Smoothie with yogurt, strawberry, avocado, banana, mango, cucumber, and melon.