24 January 2011

Lola Maria's Fried Suman at Tsokolate, Ensaymada Pudding, and More

Every time I have a new foodie discovery, I am filled with a sense of pride. Though I am sure many have discovered Lola Maria's fried suman at tsokolate, ensaymada pudding, and fish pinipig. Maybe, they kept it to themselves because eating at Lola Maria's is a treasure of experience.

Lola Maria's is located inside The Legend Villas along Pioneer in Mandaluyong. It surely feels like a little secret getaway complete with a modest gastronomic adventure. Lola Maria's serves Filipino dishes from traditional recipes that have been passed on to generations of hoteliers.

I only have a few go-to restaurants when it comes to Filipino food, one of them is Kuse. Lola Maria's is making it to my list because they serve exciting albeit unknown versions of Pinoy food. Must-try starters include vegetable quiche and fish pinipig.

Vegetable Quiche. Baked tender pastry crust with fresh vegetables. Served with a dollop of sour cream.

Fish Pinipig - this is awesome and I never knew pinipig could be this exciting, and it made me eat fish.

Both starters were really tasty, especially after enduring traffic. They were full of texture but light on the stomach. Unlike other Filipino restaurants, Lola Maria's starters were one of a kind. I would have loved to eat these with a cup of coffee but I was sure dessert will be even greater.

On my first visit, I also got to taste two main dishes. My husband loved the Cocido while I am all for the sinful Garlic and Rosemary Rib Eye.

Cocido are beef ribs stewed in rich tomato sauce with chorizo and fresh vegetables. Served with eggplant dip.

Garlic and Rosemary Rib Eye made use of the best beef cut, marinated and seared with fresh garlic and rosemary.

The Cocido is an orchestra with different elements making a beautiful symphony to the taste buds. The fresh vegetables are not swimming in sauce, retaining their crispiness and goodness. The ribs are flavorful with the tomato sauce and the eggplant dip is another first experience. It had a charred taste, with sweet and sour flavor.

My rib eye was sinful. It was overflowing with natural beefy juice and glazed with some natural beef fat. Delicious but if I was mindful of my health, I'd suggest you ask for a leaner cut. Noted that Lola Maria's is not a steak joint yet their steak was tender with a good smoked garlicky flavor. I didn't remember tasting rosemary which is great because I don't like my beef to taste like grass.

If I may recommend one dessert it would be Lola Maria's Fried Suman at Tsokolate. Upon a bite, I immediately made a plan to fry suman on my own and melt some chocolate to dip it in. If you do not like the hassle of doing so then you know where to find Lola Maria's.

Another new and first, is Lola Maria's Ensaymada pudding. Made of day old ensaymada with custard, baked and topped with queso de bola. Each is served in a ramekin and the marriage of ensaymada and leche flan is a win-win.

I was given a box of these and any homemaker would be delighted to see the reusable ramekins.

I also tried Ube & Langka Panna Cotta but my taste buds were still thinking of the Fried Suman at Tsokolate.

Where can you find a restaurant and staff where they give you a chair for your bag immediately? Like I didn't even had to ask for it! Little things make the huge difference. Much love from me to Lola Maria's.

I've decided to spend my birthday here at The Legend Villas, and with Lola Maria. I am sincerely fascinated with their service and I wish to experience the same when I come back with my brady bunch.

After that I shall write my stay-in experience :)