Laguna Garden Cafe

>> Saturday, November 27, 2010

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Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

Fashion and food may be like oil and water, they will never mix. But if you are a foodie, fashion and food have a connection. With fashion, you try to check if the style of a certain person is an eye candy. When it comes to food, you check the presentation because you eat with your eyes.

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right? Does fashion or style works that way? Maybe. Let's ask Noynoy Aquino and Liz Uy for that matter, yes?

The way you fashion a restaurant and style the dishes is not that easy. You need to have a great chef and a great ambiance to achieve the excellence that most restaurants are aiming for. One of the restaurants that have achieved fame for their food, ambiance and great service is Laguna Garden Cafe.

The Laguna Garden Cafe serves the finest Filipino cuisine cooked in home-style tradition that made the Laguna name famous. As classy as a Chanel hand bag, the Laguna Garden Cafe is a household name amongst Cebuanos and is known for their expertise in Filipino dishes.

Fresh Lumpia

Chicharon Bulaklak

The fresh lumpia in Laguna Garden Cafe is a favorite. This fresh lumpia has a generous amount of filling and the sauce on top just made the dish the next top model. The sweet and tangy feeling of the sauce makes it one sexy dish. Now, if you are into hardcore Filipino food, it's their chicharon bulaklak you should get. This chicharon bulaklak is properly cleaned unlike the usual ones (READ: no signs of bitterness), that it can pass any obsessive compulsive mom's criteria for clean. And what makes it more special is that it's not too salty but only too crunchy. Just the way we love it.

Fried Shrimp with Sweet Sauce

Kinilaw Na Tanguigue

If you are into seafood, you better check their Fried Shrimp with Sweet Sauce. Guaranteed fresh, the natural flavors of the shrimp just come out and the sweet sauce that has been poured gracefully will cause a tsunami on your taste buds. For the lazy foodies who just wants to shove the food in to their mouth, I suggest you get their Kinilaw Na Tanguigue. Their kinilaw's presentation is very questionable. Like a nudist, you do not see anything with it. Most kinilaws are crowded with spices and herbs but this this one is an exception. It just consists of 2-3 spices, leaving the diced tanguigue naked. But don't let it fool you. The flavor of the fish is just so overwhelming, that you can eat it for a whole week. Also, the fresh coconut milk balances all the sourness on this dish. Their kinilaw is as authentic as your Lhuillier wedding gown.

Lechon Kawali with Liver Sauce

Do you remember John Travolta in the movie Grease, where he played a the boy who wears a black leather jacket that your mom warned you about? You know he's a brat but you love him nonetheless. That's exactly the feeling you will get when you taste their Lechon Kawali with Liver Sauce. It is what a lechon kawali must be about. Some meat, crispy pork skin and a right amount of fat because pork fat rules! I like how they serve this dish wherein the meat is not soaked in oil. Because of that, it gives us a very good excuse to eat it.


It does not end there. Laguna Garden Cafe's Pochero is very legit. Even the soup of the pochero is very tasty, all you need is rice and you're good to go. I adore the sweetness of the corn and banana mix well to the flavor of the beef. The beef is also soft but not so fluffy because you might die. Some restaurants focus more on the tenderness of the meat and it turns out fluffy after. Laguna Garden Cafe makes sure that the texture will remain on the meat and that's what separates them from mediocrity.


Laguna Garden Cafe's Kare-kare is one of the best Kare-kare I have ever tasted in a Filipino restaurant. The vegetables are not as dead as 70's disco fashion and the peanut butter soup is not taking the spotlight from the taste. The Kare-kare is surprisingly good, it is like Gucci on a plate. The meat of course is well cooked and the shrimp paste has a mild flavor to make sure that the main dish is the Kare-kare and not the paste. This is a must-have.

The food in Laguna Garden Cafe is an eye candy. Every dish has its own presentation and it is as good as it looks. The devil has to wear Prada to make sure that it does not look like it's the devil. But with good food, the taste is the soul. No matter how beautiful the presentation is and after all the debate with how it looks, it always comes down to the taste.

So even if you wear Prada, you are still Gretchen Baretto.

Laguna Garden Cafe is located at the Ground Floor of the Ayala Terraces. Rates are at P150.00 - P290.00 and good for 2-3 persons.


All pictures are taken by Mr. Dan Eustaquio unless stated otherwise.


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