The restaurant, which is located on London’s Kensington High Street, was launched by former banker Rowena Romulo in 2016 as the first UK outpost of her family’s restaurant brand of the same name in the Philippines.
The restaurant pays homage to Romulo’s grandparents in the décor as well as the food. Pictures of her grandmother adorn the walls while one area is dedicated to the impressive life of her grandfather Carlos P. Romulo, who was a general in the US and the Philippine armies, president of the UN General Assembly, Ambassador to the United States, Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs and recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in Correspondence.
It is being marketed by property agent CDG Leisure.
Romulo also operates Soho-based Filipino restaurant Kasa and Kin, which is a more contemporary take on the cuisine of the Philippines, and which launched in 2021.
Located on the site that was once home to the first YO! Sushi on Soho’s Poland Street, Kasa and Kin is a multi-faceted restaurant and bakery.
Update: Following the publication of this story, Romulo Café posted a statement on Instagram confirming its closure.
The statement reads: “As we step into a New Year, it is with a mix of emotions that we share our decision to permanently close Romulo Café & Restaurant as of today, January 8, 2024. This marks the conclusion of a chapter in our journey dedicated to elevating the profile of fine Filipino cuisine in the UK. For the past eight years, Romulo Café has been our canvas for showcasing the richness of Philippine culture.
“The trajectory of our industry has been significantly shaped by unforeseen external factors, including the lockdowns and price increases due to the Ukrainian war. Coupled with the evolving economic landscape, the impact of such persistent challenges has rendered the continued operation of the restaurant impractical.
“To us, Romulo Cafe has been much more than a restaurant; it has been a labour of love and a source of immense pride. Since our inauguration in 2016, we took pride in pioneering world-class Filipino cuisine, placing a spotlight on our local culinary treasures.
“Above all, we cherish the role Romulo Café has played as a gathering place for your numerous celebrations and shared moments, engendering the quality and camaraderie that helped us amass awards and accolades over the past seven years. On behalf of the Romulo family and our dedicated team, we are sincerely grateful.
“This closure, however, does not signify the end of our commitment to world-class hospitality, nor to our spirit of adventure and the pursuit of new horizons. We are delighted to say that Kasa and Kin, the restaurant we introduced in 2021 in the heart of Soho, remains open for business as usual. We invite you to continue savouring the flavours and experiences that Romulo has brought to your lives at our sister establishment.
“While Romulo Café bids farewell in its current form, it is not a final goodbye. Stay tuned for news on future adventures.”