When I got an invite to attend a food tasting event at Lola Maria Restaurant, I honestly did not know what to expect. We pass by The Legend Villas a few times a day on the way to Lauren’s school and sometimes see advertisements for buffets on streamers.
Entering The Legend Villas, I felt transported to the past due to the decor, old wooden furniture, etched mirrors and wooden carvings. I bet foreigners and some balikbayans would get a kick out of the homey historic decor
I was excited to see that we would be served a Degustation menu (P1,350/person minimum of 5) that night composed of recipes shared by celebrities just given a twist by Chef Michael Martinez of Lola Maria.
A trio of shot glasses composed of Dalandan Slush, Pandan Ice Tea and Pomelo Slush. I think you can guess which one I picked, if you guess Pomelo, you are right. The Pomelo Slush had a lot of pulp that I liked and is extremely refreshing in taste.
Vegetable Quiche by Randy Ortiz. I’m a fan of almost anything with egg in them and quiches are no different. The crust is flaky while the inside was filled with chopped veggies cheese and of course eggs. A dollop of sour cream is sitting on top of one of the quiches. A nice opening to a wonderful dinner ahead.
Prawn Cakes by Atoy Llave. This reminded me of Thai shrimp cakes except this one has hoisin sauce instead of sweet chili sauce. Although the picture is a ball, the usual serving size and shape is the same as a shrimp cake. The outside was crunchy while the inside contained roughly chopped prawn pieces, you know its the real thing and not the processed stuff. I love hoisin sauce and still dream of the one we had in Canada but this one was good and gave the cake a nice sweetish coating (yehey for sweet food!).
Fish Pinipig by Iza Calzado. Dory fish fillet covered with pinipig (roasted rice puffs) with tartar sauce and homemade potato chips on the side. I felt the pinipig overpowered the fish, this would be better if they made the fish fillet bigger or lessened the pinipig a little to make both flavors rise up. I loved the potato chips, big thin pieces of real potatoes fired to a nice crunch.
Cocido by Anton Diaz. Beef ribs stewed in tomato sauce with chorizo and fresh vegetables. The meat was very very tender and the sauce went well with the plain rice served. I like the vegetables on the side especially the banana and beans.
Rosemary and Garlic Rib Eye by Ara Mina.I had wanted my rib eye to be cooked medium but a mix up had me getting a medium well one. Since the beef was a little thin, the edges were a little too overcooked for my tastes, but would be welcomed by blood-averse beef eaters. For my tastes, I would have wanted a thicker cut, but the meat was still soft and marbled. Mashed potatoes on the side were great as well.
Ube Langka Panna Cotta by Sherilyn Reyes, Ensaymada Pudding by Danica Magpantay and Fried Suman at Tsokolate by Wilam Doesnt. The trio of desserts was a fitting end to the meal with great company. The three desserts show a slant towards Filipino desserts but with a European twist. The Ube langka panna cotta tasted like halo-halo in custard form. I had my share of panna cottas and this was one of the more unique and well made ones. I wish I had a bigger serving of that. I also enjoyed the Ensaymada pudding, the top portion is composed of day-old ensaymada and the bottom is a custard so its their take on bread pudding. The pudding underneath was just sweet enough to give it that don’t stop eating pull. I least liked the fried suman since I like my suman fresh and coated with sugar all over. Another minus is I don’t like native chocolate.
A wonderful hidden wonder I would never have ventured into. After hearing my raves, Irene has been hinting about me taking her there.
So are you looking for a quiet place to have a meal in the heart of the city then look no further than Lola Maria. Give it a try and enjoy all the wonderful food it has to offer.
Lola Maria Restaurant
The Legend Villas
60 Pioneer cor. Madison Streets,
Mandaluyong City, Philippines