Afrique’s is a (mostly) Italian restaurant known in Iloilo. During my 4 day stay, I had the chance to dine there twice just cause I liked the food so much. I first ate in the Valeria branch which was really close to our hotel in the city proper and then in the Smallville branch the night before leaving. They take pride in using natural ingredients and cooking their sauces from scratch.
This was actually the first restaurant I tried in Iloilo and I was surprised at how the meals were priced. Considering how the place looked, the food seemed pretty darn cheap. Here’s a photo of the interiors, if you’re wondering. It was really homey and comfortable and also had free WiFi.
Pasta with Anchovy Sauce at Php 130.00. I wish they had more creative names for their food, I really do. They’re forgiven for this one just cause it’s really, really, really, really good. Hands down the best pasta I’ve tried of theirs. Thinking of it and writing about it just makes me wish I could have more. As you can tell their servings are large. This dish has an oil based sauce with anchovies, hungarian sausage bits, capers capped off with freshly grated parmesan cheese. (I also ordered this at the Smallville branch but it was insanely dry. I suggest you eat only in the Valeria branch just cause their chef’s better.)
Matador Pasta at Php 135.00. The flavor in this tomato based dish was just too overpowering. You know when something’s spicy and that’s all you can taste? That’s how I felt about this. Something about it was artificial also, maybe it was the tomato sauce. There were sliced sausages in this one but I couldn’t taste them. I would not order this again even if the serving was much larger than the Anchovy dish.
Calamares at Php 135. These were bland and did not hit the spot at all. The sauces were certainly not homemade, they were popped straight out of the bottle. Mayo with what appeared to be a pinch of garlic bits and something that might be Jufran sweet chili sauce but isn’t. At least these were crispy.
Seafood Pesto at Php 170.00. Their pesto sauce wasn’t spectacular taste wise despite the fact its texture was good. It didn’t give the usual peppery kick you’d expect from pesto. I think it may have lacked salt or cheese. This pasta was just okay. They did put a whole lot of squid rings which were nice and chewy. Too bad the dish in entirety was bland.
Crispy Kare at Php 145.00. I’m a huge kare-kare fiend. That dish is genius and I don’t know why tons of people around the world still don’t know about it. Mix meat with peanut butter sauce and I’m a happy camper. Afrique’s though put their own spin on the dish by deep frying the oxtail and serving the kare-kare sauce and bagoong separately. This was tons good, I wish they mixed the sauce in though cause I would’ve still liked it wet.
Sadly, there are five Afrique’s branches spread all over Iloilo so I have no idea when I’ll get to have this again unless I attempt to recreate it. Their website is detailed and lists all their branches as well as their entire menu. I’d suggest you go eat in the Valeria branch though, it was the best.
No. 3 Valeria Street, Iloilo City,
Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Phone Number: 509 6092