Food & Dining

Dining Delight: Want To Get A Taste Of Chef Lica Ibarra's Entry Dish For MasterChef Asia?

Dining Delight: Want To Get A Taste Of Chef Lica Ibarra's Entry Dish For MasterChef Asia?

Sometimes the hardest decisions to make are the ones that seem so simple, like where to eat, for example. In theory, it really shouldn’t be that difficult to decide where to dine in, with all these restaurants sprouting like mushrooms here and there, but then again that, sometimes, is the problem itself. There are just too many of them that choosing one over hundreds of new restos seems like an impossible task. But when we heard that this new place in Taguig has a MasterChef in-charge of the kitchen, we were sold right away.

Chef Lica Ibarra, MasterChef Asia Season 1 finalist


Starting a whole new dining revolution in Bonifacio Global City, Kartilya, inspired by the Philippine revolutionary society Katipunan, gives quintessential Filipino cuisine a rather interesting twist. With MasterChef Asia Season 1 finalist, Lica Ibarra taking the reigns in the kitchen, we know we’re in good hands. And she sure did not disappoint.

The interiors will give you a homey feel with their simple but classy take on the traditional Filipino dining setup, which really sets the mood for what's about to be served. For starters, we suggest that you go with Kartilya’s Pinais na Alimasag. Inspired by Chef Lica’s trips to Singapore and Malaysia, the tiny crab shells filled with a mixture of blue crabs, young coconut meat and coconut cream, can be eaten on its own or with the crostini that comes with it. The savory but not too strong flavors of the crab meat and coconut makes it an ideal appetizer as it whets your appetite and builds up anticipation for the next dish.

Pinais na Alimasag 

With the goal to put their own signature stamp on traditional Pinoy dishes, Kartilya’s take on the well-loved Ilonggo dish Kansi, has the kind of twist millennials are looking for. As Chef Lica explains, “Filipino diners are more open to different tastes and also they are more knowledgeable about different cuisines so sometimes, especially the millennials, they look for that modern twist in dishes and here in Kartilya, that’s what we did.” Instead of using bone marrow, they used corned beef with the added flavor of lemon grass, native tomato, kamias, jack fruit, green finger chili, annatto oil, and sour beef broth. This dish is very reminiscent of two of our all-time favorites—sinigang and bulalo. And if you're having a hard time choosing betwen the two, Kartilya's Corned Beef Kansi is the way to go. Also, did we mention it comes with unlimited soup?

Corned Beef Kansi

One of their more popular dishes, and the one that was gone from the plate before we know it, is the Liempo Queso Fundido. Kartilya takes another Pinoy staple that is the liempo to a whole new level with the addition of a three-cheese mornay sauce made to perfection that it doesn’t over power the flavors of the char-grilled meat. Tip: This goes really well with Kartilya Dirty Rice. 

Liempo Queso Fundido

And for dessert? Kartilya’s carioca is just heavenly good. Now if you're not familiar with it, think of it as the Pinoy version of buchi but instead of sweet bean, Kartilya's Carioca is filled with flavors such as white chocolate, dark chocolate, and get this, Chocnut! 

Kartilya's Carioca comes in three flavors: White chocolate, dark chocolate, and ChocNut!


And finally, the dish that everyone’s been talking about, one that I personally just couldn’t get enough of, their Queso De Bola Bibingka Soufflé. What so special about this, you might wonder? This dish became Chef Lica’s ticket to MasterChef Asia, as this is the first dish she made during the auditions. Savoring every bit of the bibingka with queso de bola is the closest I could get to getting a feel of what it is like to be a judge on MasterChef


Kartilya is located at Two Parkade, 30th Street Corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. Open from Monday to Sunday 11AM to 2PM for lunch, and 6PM to 12MN for dinner and drinks. For inquiries and reservation, you may call +632-8932806.


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