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Barbara's Takes You Back In Time

The Walled City of Intramuros is Manila's pride when it comes to culture and history, and it also happens that Intramuros is a favorite destination of balikbayans, tourists, and even locals. Aside from the old structures, Fort Santiago, churches, and museums, it also offers a number of notable restaurants such as Barbara's.

Located just a few steps away from San Agustin church, Barbara's is known for its old Manila glamour. Think Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra.

The place is not just a restaurant, it literally takes you back in time and makes you appreciate the country's illustrious past as you walked up the wooden staircase and into the foyer. There are candelabras, silver mirrors (I got two of those, thanks to my lolas), heavy wooden chairs and tables, and a grand piano.

This is my family's fave restaurant in Intramuros especially if we have foreign visitors or balikbayan relatives. The place itself is a great conversation piece.

Aside from the a la carte menu which are mostly Filipino dishes, Barbara's also offers buffet which I'm going to rave about. The dishes served at the buffet varies during lunch and dinner as well as every day so that's enough reason to visit again. ;)

Fresh Lumpia. Slivers of ubod with lettuce then wrapped in special lumpia wrapper (crepe-like). Then there's the garlicky sauce that adds flavor to the lumpia. Great for vegetarians too.

Salad Bar. This is the Filipino's version of a salad bar. There's steamed okra and eggplant, diced tomatoes, minced onions, diced green mangoes, salted egg, and choices of sauce (fish bagoong, shrimp bagoong, calamansi). Mix everything and pair with grilled meat or fish and you're ready to go.

Beef Kaldereta. One of the best kalderetas that I've tasted. Simply wow! The meat was so tender and the dish itself flavorful. The long hours of slow cooking did not affect the potatoes and carrots which are cooked just right. And the sauce ... oh my! I had two servings of this. Shhhhh ...

Pork Adobo. This is the unofficial national dish of the country. The cooking practice of adobo varies from the numerous provinces all over the Philippines although most common ingredient is soy sauce, vinegar, and bay leaf.

Inihaw Na Chicken Wings. Grilled chicken wings.

Paella. You can feast on this alone since its already a complete meal. It has rice, seafood and meat, and vegetables. Yum!

Pansit Malabon. Another delightful creation. Compliments to the chef! It is seldom that I rave about pansit Malabon but this is so good. The noodles are al dente and its not drowned in palabok sauce like how other restaurants serve palabok. Simply squeeze some calamansi on your palabok to bring out the different flavors. Okay- I'm drooling now...

Espesyal Na Laing. I'm not really an expert when it comes to laing but the taste passed with flying colors, according to a fellow blogger who happens to hail from Bicol- the land of laings.

Inihaw Na Pla-Pla. Grilled fish. This is best paired with the stuff from the salad bar.

Some might wonder why the buffet selection is not as extensive as other restaurants but believe me when I say that every dish here is a winner.

Aside from the mouthwatering dishes that Barbara's has to offer, there's also the famous cultural show for the evening diners. This is truly a memorable experience as one will enjoy watching the different dances from some regions in our country. And you need not be a balikbayan nor a tourist to appreciate this. I highly recommend that everyone dine at Barbara's and watch the cultural show. And I think its the only restaurant that has a cultural show.

Lucky tourist from Korea dancing the "tinikling."

Barbara's Heritage Restaurant
Plaza San Luis,
General Luna Street
Intramuros, Manila
Tel : (02) 527 3893


  1. Oh! I've read about Barbara's before but the food shown were different. Dito -- wow! Lumpiang ubod, Laing, Pla pla....Panalo! Planning to take the kids there to experience a bit of culture. Do they always have dancers?

    1. Yes, the cultural show is a nightly thingy but its best to reserve first.. they do cancel shows and dinners during bad weather kasi. Your kids will surely love the show and maybe join the tinikling :)

  2. Intramuros is one of the best historic sites in the Philippines, I want to take my kids there one day and will definitely visit Barbra's. thanks for sharing:)

  3. This is such a great place! My fave dish is kaldereta! I could go just because of that. Is the place kid-friendly?

    1. Super sarap the kaldereta. I think okay to bring kids but maybe not run around inside the resto ... but the place has a large area for running around (it has a wishing well, fountain, etc).. nice for photo ops also :)

  4. When I was working at Manila Times we often go to Barbara for dinner. I love the salad bar. Hope to come back there one of this days. Thanks for the post

  5. Love the look of the filipino salads and the laing at yung kaldereta most of all! I was wondering how much yung price ng buffet nila cause I can't seem to see it.. or medyo malabo na talaga ang mata ko? :D

  6. I love laing!!!! I like it a bit spicy too...

  7. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful, enchanting place! I'm sure the food tastes as good as it looks! :-)

  8. Whenever I go there, I end up doing the tinikling. I love it! It takes you back in time.

  9. I love Intramuros! We actually had our prenup there since we wanted a vintage feel for our wedding. :) I've never tried Barbara's though. The only resto we've tried there is Ilustrado.

    1. Illustrado is nice too. We had our wedding reception there years ago :) Here's another must-visit resto in Intramuros --

  10. Oh wow, I love the restaurant's design, very old world...

  11. This gives me an idea where to take balikbayan friends and relatives. 'Would love to see the cultural show myself.

  12. Barbara exudes a very Filipino ambience! Their Laing looks delish!

  13. I've always wanted to visit this place. Been reading a lot of good feed backs.


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