Finally able to dine at Casa Roces. I’ve been wanting to ever since I saw the reviews and photos over at Daphne’s and Anton’s sites. Chose to go there on a weekday to avoid possible throngs of people, especially as it is nearing Christmas, and many people are probably keen on reunions and all sorts of get-togethers.
The place was especially dressed up with twinkling lights in the spirit of the season so there was that extra oomph to the new “old” house-turned-restaurant. Upon arrival though, I didn’t like that they had no available parking area that night (although reviews show that they have valet parking). We had to do with the side street across the Malacanang compound, and that night was especially dark because of the intermittent rains that have been pouring all week. I was a little afraid that I’d step on some dog poop or something on that dark alley.
Anyhow, I soon forgot that little inconvenience as soon as we entered the compound, and the bright lights enveloped us in a comfortable warmth. A koi pond to the left, and an old wooden door with a brass knocker greeted us as we stepped into the compound. I immediately had that feel good moment as we wove our way among mismatched chairs and tables, to our table leading to the patio. How I wish our ancestral house in Batangas could be restored to something like this! While ours lack the same grandeur and well-kept, polished appearance, we did have similar furniture, like the wooden living room set and side tables, as well as the flooring. I know it would take a significant amount of bucks to restore our own house. Sigh!
The menu cover
Back to the dining experience. Since there were five of us, we each ordered what took our fancy, but eventually shared everything. We started with Onion Soup Gratin (which I do not have a photo of) and Truffle Mushroom Puree (Which I don’t like to post because the presentation wasn’t that great, it was a little messy like the soup sloshed all over the cup as the waiter carried it from the kitchen and served it on the table). Aside from two kinds of soup, we had our senses get teased by:
Choritos en Balsamico
Marinated Artichoke Salad
Warm Breaded Goat Cheese Salad
I love the choritos! It was kind of bitin as there were five of us sharing. lol. Much like the goat cheese, too. The salads were ok although I am not really fond of salads in general so not much I can say about them.
Oven-Baked Salmon Wellington
Bulalo Steak ala Pobre
Fettuccine with Bleu Cheese and Roasted Mushrooms
Spaghettini Gambas ala Jillo
Pan-Fried Sole ala Beure Noisette
Hands down, all the food we had were beyond terrific. I especially loved the salmon although I find the crust a little too thick that sort of drowns the flavor of the fish. Everything seemed to have been excellently prepared. I wish we could have gotten the other entrees, such as the Binagoongan and Pork Belly Humba but there was just no more room. I thanked my lucky stars that nobody thought of ordering lengua.
Both the hubby and I had the salabat soda, which is brewed ginger formed into little ice cubes dunked in soda water.
After all that glorious food came dessert, which, cliche as it may sound, are just to die for.
Leche Flan Brulee
Malacanang Frozen Souffle
Basque Apple Tart
As an added treat, we got to tour the entire house. The second floor is home to several function rooms named after various broadsheets back in the day, such as the Manila Times and La Vanguardia. These can be reserved for private occasions for a fee. Special thanks goes out to Debbie who showed us around, and provided snippets of the house’s colorful history. There are also tables out on the patio, which would be perfect for an intimate meal on a cool, star-filled night.
Wanted to take home some delicious-looking cakes and pastries as they also have a bakery (maybe next time):
All in all, this restaurant cum cafe cum bakery merits my two thumbs up! Prices aren’t that bad, either.