Metro Manila Restaurants: Red Onion Cafe at the New U.P. Town Center

KitchenWIP - Red Onion Dry Noodles with the unlimited pickled cucumber (love that cucumber!)

When we heard that the new U.P. Town Center has already opened, we decided to try it out since it's on our way home. Despite being in its soft opening, there were already a lot of restaurants available.

KitchenWIP - UP Town Center
The newly opened U.P. Town Center in Katipunan. Located right at the corner of Katipunan Ave and C.P. Garcia where UPIS used to be.

One of them is Red Onion Cafe. Rodney read about it somewhere and he said their food is mostly Taiwanese.

KitchenWIP - The facade of Red Onion Cafe at U.P. Town Center
The facade of Red Onion Cafe at U.P. Town Center

Rodney and I have always been fans of Taiwanese cuisine. Rodney often cooks Taiwanese noodles (hong shao) at home and is quite a perfectionist about it. That's just the way he cooks.

KitchenWIP - All you can eat noodles at Red Onion Cafe, UP Town Center
Rodney: "They got me at all you can eat!"
Red Onion Cafe's selling point is their All You Can Eat Shaved Noodles for every order of their gourmet beef noodles. Shaved noodles are similar to hand pulled noodles. The difference is in how it is being prepared. Hand-pulled noodles are delicate and somewhat thin and long because it is folded many times to achieve its perfect shape whereas hand-shaved noodles are more rustic because it's cut straight from the dough mound by a sharp knife directly into boiling water hence its thicker and had uneven texture. Watch this video from YouTube to see how hand-shaved noodles are made.

Rodney ordered their specialty, the Original 39 Spices Beef Noodles 1/2 Meat 1/2 Tendon (Php258, unlimited shaved noodles) . I had a sip of the soup and it was tasty. However, I think it could use more flavor. The best thing for me is the beef itself which was so tender! The noodles were nice as well. I wish they could add swan tsai (pickled mustard greens) which is a staple in Taiwanese beef noodles and actually adds to the overall taste of the noodles.

KitchenWIP - Red Onion Cafe's specialty, 39 Spices Beef Noodle
Red Onion Cafe's specialty, 39 Spices Beef Noodle
Being a fan of dry noodles, I ordered Red Onion Dry Noodles (Php148). The dish is served with caramelized onions, sliced pickles and shredded chicken on top. I love the noodles texture and the caramelized onion gave it a really nice flavor. The pickles lent that extra crunch I wanted. It was lacking a bit flavor for me, so I added a combination of chili and soy sauce. Just a bit more saltiness and it would be great! But that was just my palate.

Red Onion Dry Noodles with the unlimited pickled cucumber (love that cucumber!)
Aside from the main dishes, we also ordered Vegetable Handmade Dumplings (Php138). Taiwanese dumplings are usually thicker in texture and not transparent and mostly made of chopped scallions. I wish there were more scallions inside though, some shredded cabbage would also be nice to add crunch! but it was nice and solved my craving for some dumplings!

KitchenWIP - Vegetable Handmade Dumplings at Red Onion Cafe
Vegetable Handmade Dumplings at Red Onion Cafe
It was just their sift opening when we went there and the menu is limited but they were at 50% off at that time. I'm not sure if they were still in promo til now. I'm also not sure if prices are still the same.

KitchenWIP - "Very, very, very, ... soft opening menu" :) at Red Onion Cafe
"Very, very, very, ... soft opening menu" :) at Red Onion Cafe
We would love to come back when they have fully opened to try out other Taiwanese fare! This is just the type of restaurant we are drawn to. The atmosphere is nice and homey. I love the big wooden tables, the booths, the lighting and the wall art!


 More restaurants are opening at the UP Town Center. Here are some photos of restaurants and stores in soft opening and those that have yet to open.











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