Cloudy still but we decided to take the trip one Friday morning – to one of our favorite places 😀
“Welcome to my Garden” – this from a tile that greets everyone. This garden relaxes my heart, flowers and plants everywhere, softly cascading water on glass walls. The crisp white linen with dainty embroidered flowers covering old wood furniture never fails to make me smile. The multi-colored crystal chandeliers seem to perpetually twinkle from above as we dined. French love songs softly play in the background. The place is a feast for my spirit. If only for these, I will always find my way back to the Garden.
But the Garden is also a feast for the hungry. There is no menu. No rice, no meat – first timers are politely told. The meal starts off with freshly squeezed dalandan juice (talk about pulpbits!), bottomless, by the way.
Really fresh salad next – everything grown in the Garden. I am not exactly a salad person, but I cannot get over the salad in the Garden. I don’t know, maybe it is because of the beautiful colored edible flowers that peek out of the green lettuce in the bowl, maybe it is the secret Garden dressing, maybe it is the lightly salted crispy pine nuts, I don’t know. But what I do know is that I would be perfectly happy with just the salad alone.
Then there is freshly baked warm soft bread with five or so bread partners – anchovies, green olives, black olives, I don’t recall the other two. But bread with any of these partners makes me smile and sigh at the same time.
But that is not all! Pasta (al dente!), fresh tomato sauce (naturally sweet, oh my!), salmon belly, capers follow. And dessert, let us not forget dessert – caramelized sweet potato and banana turon with langka. I smile some more.
The meal is capped off by hot water with tarragon leaves. I sigh happily.
And the meal is “eat-all-you-can”! But really, your senses (and tummy) are full on the first round.
The Garden is also a Bed and Breakfast (we promised to spend one night there, one of these days). It has a Panaderia whose smell brings back childhood memories of a neighborhood bread store and tucked in one of its garden locations is a Spa and an organic store.
It is a beautiful place. A place to slow down. A place to dine differently. A place that makes the heart warm and happy.
We will be back. Each month, if we can.
Sonya’s Garden. Buck Estate, Alfonso Cavite. Philippines.