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Floating Island celebrates 50 years of comforting Filipino hospitality that all started in a hospital

By Vianca Gamboa

Floating Island in its original location wasn’t exactly suspended above water, but it was jutting out of Makati Med without columns and pillars when it was built, hence, the name. What it lacked in structure at the time, it had in the cushion comfort it provided to several people who went to the hospital for whatever reason. Floating Island filled their bellies and, ultimately, their lives with support.

There are the bantays, family member taking turns watching or a patient’s partner trying to not to fall asleep in the middle of the night. There’s the kid who was promised halo-halo after a flu shot, the doctor, the nurse—all consoled by more than a little waiting and dining space that served home-style Filipino food.

Floating island 1Floating Island’s third branch at Ayala North Exchange

Foodie JJ Yulo reminisced about a time his family would turn to Floating Island. “No matter what life events would happen at Makati Med, we would somehow comfort ourselves with Floating Island’s food,” he said.

Floating since 1969

The restaurant celebrated its golden anniversary with an intimate dinner that was graced by the family behind the iconic restaurant, well-known guests such as Sec. Berna Romulo Puyat and basketball player Chris Tiu, and staunch supporters from day one.

We were offered good serving of the bestsellers like the adobo rice that’s good enough to eat on its own, the kare-kare that’s oozing with real nutty, savory flavors, a huge fried bangus, and the crispiest lechon kawali you can find in Makati.

Gastronomic legacy

A second-generation Revilla took the helm, put up the flagship branch at Ayala Malls the 30th and another one at Ayala North Exchange, and resuscitated more life into the brand evident in the ambient atmosphere, casual setting, low lighting, good service, and Asian interiors for a total dining experience. “But not the menu,” said Alex Revilla. He admitted that he might have gone through a couple of new concepts over time to go with the changing palate, but patrons wouldn’t have the food any other way.

Lechon kawaliLechon kawali

BangusDagupan boneless bangus

“Growing up, I asked myself why the restaurant resonates so much with people,” Alex said. “But when I found myself minding the resto, I learned that [our customers] knew exactly what they wanted every time they ordered, like they didn’t need to look at our menu. And, I think that is a good thing in itself.”

Alex also shared that the restaurant rests on “word of mouth and the memories it brings” even without the use of advertisements, endorsers, and even social media following. “It might remind them of a life event that was successful, or might have gone wrong, but Floating Island is always there. That is the legacy that my family wants to leave behind,” he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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