In the Makati CBD where I work, there is an abundance of nice places to eat at all price points. One does not need to look far to find a great and unique place. Maria Luisa Garden Room is a great example of such of those good finds. Its appeal, for me, is not the food – although the food is really good here too! It is tucked just adjacent to the bustling Ayala Avenue but what welcomes you as you approach is almost an image of “grandma’s house and garden”. And it’s a real garden!
I understand that this members-only restaurant is mainly patronized by women who love plants and gardening. But my boss (who is male) is a member here too. So I guess he is one of the exceptions to this demographic. But the place definitely looks like it was decorated with “ladies who lunch” in mind.
I have been invited to lunch here too many times to remember. Thus, I’ve become familiar with some of their favourites. For the newbies, I would recommend they try either the Chilean mussels, the duck confit, the cassoulet with fabada and sausages, and the Scandinavian platter. It being the New Year, however, my most recent visit to the Garden Room was all about the healthy stuff.
My most recent meal consisted of the Scandinavian platter – which is one of my favourites. It’s not often that you find a restaurant that serves pickled herring.
I also tried their cold cucumber soup which tastes just like the Pinoy cucumber salad but purified and served in a fancy martini glass.
The salads here are always good. This time, I had the Jamon Iberico salad.
The restaurant bakes their own bread every day which is a treat for me!
Although this is a members-only restaurant, I understand the membership is quite reasonable. If you are regularly in Makati, it’s good to have a secret haven like this. Maria Luisa’s Garden Room at the Makati Garden Club is located in Recoletos cor. Ayala Avenue.