WALKING inside, there’s a sense of familiarity in the air. The atmosphere is reminiscent of nightly dinners at the backyard with the whole family, drinking and enjoying classic Filipino favorites while exchanging stories from the past and present.

Ettas Eclectic Food + Drinks tends to make one feel at home with its cozy minimalist interiors and its love for delicious Filipino food elevated to a whole new level. With its modern Filipino concept, it manages to marry the traditional Filipino taste with the modern generation’s clamor for more eclectic dishes.

“Ettas is Filipino-inspired—the menu, the ingredients used are very Filipino. But it’s something different, something new in terms of presentation. Traditional Filipino food made modern,” said Lotta Batucan, the operations manager of Ettas.

Because Filipinos now have a more adventurous palate, Ettas keeps its customers at their toes with the surprising twists and innovations of its food offerings. It’s classic and fresh all in one bite.

The Tanglad Marinated Native Chicken would bring one back to simpler days when holidays were spent with family at the province. It’s made of free-range native chicken cooked with all the goods: garlic, bay leaves, scallions, cucumber relish and sinamak.

Ginataang Tuktugaok is a twist on the classic chicken stewed in coconut soup. Using free-range chicken and packed with gata (coconut milk), ginger, chili fingers, lemon grass, French beans, roasted tomatoes and asuete, it’s definitely a happy mixture of flavors.

Nothing is more Filipino than the adobo, but adding fried milkfish into the equation makes it an even more savory meal. Ettas’ Pork and Bangus Adobo has pork belly and daing na bangus all in one with cherry tomatoes and garlic.

One of the most notable of Ettas’ dishes is the unique Sinigang Pork Belly with Watermelon. The sweet taste of the pureed watermelon cuts the sourness of this standard Filipino soup. All that with the tender meat, and of course, a steaming cup of rice, and one has a winning dish.

Because there’s always room for dessert, the Hot Pandesal Pudding is a must-try. The everyday pandesal is elevated with custard and dulce de leche topped with chocnut ice cream and sprinkled with itlog maalat for a salty and sweet taste. It’s burst of flavor at each bite.

Ettas always makes it a point to keep on innovating and improving its menu to keep its customers excited. But what makes it even more special, delicious and eclectic food aside, is its great service.

“We want to personalize our customers’ experience here at Ettas,” Lotta said. “We tell the people to treat our store as their home as we want to build a relationship with our patrons.”

Ettas Ecletic Food + Drinks is located at the Garden Level at the Ayala Center Cebu. Aside from its delectable food, they also have Happy Hour from 2 to 5 p.m., which means buy one take one for all beers, and then again from 9 p.m. till closing.