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Cafe Fleur: Not your typical Kapampangan restaurant

Chef Sau del Rosario gives traditional Kapampangan food an intercontinental twist

Café Fleur’s charm rests in the contrasting elements most evidently expressed by its location.

The restaurant is inside an ancestral house originally built in 1898 designed with modern touches, allowing the house’s character to come through, while dishes are avant-garde interpretations of traditional Kapampangan food inspired by Chef Sau del Rosario‘s travels.

Cafe Fleur is located in Chef Sau del Rosario's hometown of Angeles City in Pampanga. Photo by Jovel Lorenzo.
Cafe Fleur is located in Chef Sau del Rosario’s hometown of Angeles City in Pampanga. Photo by Jovel Lorenzo.

The name itself is very telling of what you can expect – “fleur” means “flower” in French, which is a reference to the chef’s second home of Paris.

It’s also a reference to his childhood years in Pampanga. “I grew up in a house that was surrounded with flowers because my mother and grandmother loved flowers and plants,” he shared. Flowers play an essential part in the presentation of each dish, something that Chef Sau is known for, and express the farm-to-table concept behind the restaurant.

“One of the objectives of Café Fleur is to bring back the dying recipes of Kapampangan cuisine by introducing new techniques. The younger generation feels that Kapampangan cooking is for old people. They think that it’s all banana leaves and clay pots. So I thought maybe if put the tamales in a glass, people will be able to appreciate it more,” the chef revealed.

The Tamales Pampangueña served with their freshly baked sourdough and tomato rolls is definitely a good place to start.

Cafe Fleur's Tamales Pampanguena. Photo by Jovel Lorenzo.
Cafe Fleur’s Tamales Pampanguena. Photo by Jovel Lorenzo.

For main dishes, try the Lamb Shank Caldereta or the Crispy Pork Belly and Truffled Macadamia Kare-Kare, a somewhat deconstructed version served with homemade bagoong.

Cafe Fleur's Lamb Shank Caldereta. Photo by Jovel Lorenzo.
Cafe Fleur’s Lamb Shank Caldereta. Photo by Jovel Lorenzo.

 

Deconstructed Kare-Kare made with truffled macadamia. Photo by Jovel Lorenzo.
Deconstructed Kare-Kare made with truffled macadamia. Photo by Jovel Lorenzo.

Ready to try something different for weekend lunch? Go on an epicurean adventure and visit this Pampanga gem – it’s definitely worth the drive!

Café Fleur is located at L-463B Miranda Street, Barangay Sto. Rosario, Angeles, Pampanga; 0995313- 8413; www.facebook.com/cafefleur.ph. This story appeared in Going Places’ March 2017 issue.