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Maimee's Garden Cafe: Little Baguio's Little Secret

2/26/13 UPDATE: Maimee's is now closed :(

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Maimee's Garden Cafe falls right into the type of resto we love -- hidden, in a garden setting, away from the malls, and serves really good, no-nonsense, home-cooked food. It's also a plus if you are welcomed and treated like a family guest by the host/owner.

I thought this sort of resto only existed in Tagaytay or Pampanga, so I was quite happy to discover that there is one here in the heart of Little Baguio.

Part of me wants to keep it a secret a little while longer, but another part of me wants to share it because I'm tired of mall-based and franchised restos like a lot of other people.

Well, the part of me that wants to share won. :)

Welcome to Maimee's Garden Cafe...

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I'm glad Maimee decided to open her house and lovely garden to the eating public.

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You can opt to dine in the al fresco dining area, which has a cooler ambiance at night.

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For a more private set-up, reserve the garden gazebo.

(Note: I did not notice any mosquitoes while the boys were playing in the garden. But just to be sure, put some insect repellant lotion on for your and their protection.)

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In the airconditioned room, there is a private area you can close for 10-15 people.

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Maimee's Garden Cafe MENU
Starters, Soup, Garden Salads, Entree: Beef
Entree: Pork, Chicken and Fish
Maimee's Special Comfort Food, Pasta Dishes, Extras
Beverage List and Desserts

 

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Maimee personally welcomed us to her home garden restaurant. She has 7 kids -- 3 boys, 3 girls and another boy -- so she can relate to the kakulitan of our brood of three. All of her children are grown up already, so they decided to convert this 50-year old home into a home garden cafe.

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★ Oriental Citrus Salad (P275). Fresh mixed greens with grilled chicken and mango strips, cranberries, mandarin orange and chopped pili nuts, in a special citrus, sesame seed oil dressing.

It's been some time since I've seen this kind of fresh, crunchy serving of salad in a resto here in Manila. Each ingredient of the good-for-sharing salad complemented each other well. The dressing was a bit too sweet, though, so tempering that would make this perfect.

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★ Herb Pan-Fried Fish (P285). Pan-fried white fish in special herb butter and grated cheese.

The fish was cooked well, not too oily, and fried just right. We loved the light sour-cream-butter dressing, which did not overpower the taste of the fish.

With a cup of yellow butter rice and potatoes on the side, the dish's serving size is generous and can be shared.

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★ Boneless Barbeque Short Ribs (USDA) (P390). Grilled boneless beef short ribs basted in special marinade sauce.

I personally liked this entree. Although some parts were a bit tough because of the ligaments, the boneless beef short ribs had the right grilled flavor. It went quite well with the yellow rice and special sauce.

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★ Maimee's Kare-Kare (P360). A rich stew of ox tail and tripe and a variety of vegetables in a special peanut sauce. Must try!

A really good, classic serving of Kare-Kare! This is the type of Kare-Kare we grew up with -- simple, not-too-overpowering peanut-y taste, with a generous serving of ox tail and tripe pieces. The bagoong was a bit on the salty side but a good match for this dish.

(Sometimes, I get a bit tired of restos trying to reinvent, deconstruct, infuse, or complicate the taste of food. I think I've gotten to the point where I just want a simple, classic version that is home-cooked and comforting.)

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★ Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream (P150).

This apple crumble was surprisingly good! It was served hot with cold ice cream on top. One serving was enough for our family. The ice cream was the first to be wiped out (we were actually tempted to order a second scoop. :) )

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Maimee's family sure knows what good food really is -- balanced taste, comforting feel and good value for money. Here, you can tell that you're paying for the quality of the food rather than paying for the rental of the location. Manila needs more restos like it.

Thanks to Maimee for opening your garden to all of us. :) It was indeed an awesome decision!

Maimee's Garden Cafe
20 E. Jacinto St., Little Baguio, San Juan, 1500 Manila
Email: maimeesgardencafe@gmail.com
Mobile: +63 917 500-6208 (Mayette Clemente, M.D.)
Telephone: +632 724-1538, 579-1788
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maimeesgardencafe

Operating Hours:
Tuesday - Thursdays: 11.00am - 2.00pm and 5.00pm - 9.00pm
Friday - Saturday: 11.00am - 2.00pm and 5.00pm - 11.00pm
Sunday: 11.00am - 2.00pm and 5.00pm - 9.00pm 
Monday: Closed.

Driving Directions:
From Greenhills Shopping Center, drive along Wilson St. and turn right into Jose Abad Santos (with Alex III as the landmark). After three blocks, turn right into V. Ibanez St. (after Ristras and Little Store). Turn right into E. Jacinto (which is the second corner after Barasoain St.).

Live an Awesome Life,


anton  signature 
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Call or Text Me: +63917 5683-627 (LOVE-OAP)
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Full Disclosure: We paid for our meals and we are not connected in any way with the owners of this establishment.

★ Happily recommended :)

P.S. 3 days to go to Rockwell's Ultimate Taste Test! We have 55 vendors offering their best food for this coming holiday season. We still have tickets but we are only limiting it to 1,000 foodies.

Check out this post for more info: The Foodies' Guide to Rockwell's Ultimate Taste Test

Search restaurant menus and get freebies all over the metro.

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Anton, I love this feature. I wanted to comment on your statement: "Sometimes I get a bit tired of restos trying to reinvent, deconstruct, infuse and complicate the taste of food....." Particularly for Filipino food which is really comfort food when you analyze it, I will have to agree with you that the simpler it is and closer to the original version it is, the more enjoyable it is to eat! Truly, best eaten without utensils and on a banana leaf. :) For me, Filipino cuisine is not a good candidate for nouvelle.....Hindi siya bagay! :)

THanks Tina for this comment! That's true that Filipino cuisine is not a good candidate for nouvelle.

There was a chef one time who tried to do it with Filipino food and the dinner was a bit of a disaster.

Thank you for mentioning "mosquitoes." A major, major problem with such garden restos. Better yet, leave the kids at home. Mahirap na. :-)

"You can tell that you're paying for the quality of the food rather than paying for the rental of the location. Manila needs more restos like it." -- This comment alone makes me super excited to try out this resto. Funny that I'm always in the area but I never notice anything new. Thanks again for the recommendation.

Let me know what you think ha once you tried it. Thanks so much!

Hi Anton! I like your blog! Glad you post this one for my very own Barangay Little Baguio.

Just want to make slight correction on the direction... it's Little Store and not Little Baguio Store ;)

Cheers!

Hi Anton,

My friend and I went to visit and was lost for 15minutes and we were about to give up. But luckily we didn't, I like the Kaldereta - hoping it would be bit spicy. We also ordered the Herb Pan Fried Fish - I agree its not oily and I even requestted for another dressing.

Servers are honest with their feedback and I bet they were able to taste whats in the menu.

Place is homey... I can't wait to bring the whole family.

Thanks as always for discovering new places...

Our party of 7 ate dinner @ Maimee's recently. Food is very plain, not worth the price at all. The fish is ordinary dory fillet that you can buy in the supermarket and pan fry at home. For me, it was taking the concept of home cooked food too far. Why go here if I can have the exact same thing at home? My child said her pasta was okay but the one who make at home was even better. The kare kare had too much fat.

We were the only guests that night, and the food took a very long time to come out. God only knows what will happen if the resto goes into full swing. Frankly, the whole operation seemed very amateurish.

FYI: I tried inquiring about their menu and offers on Facebook but unfortunately they replied with this:

Feb 15
19:26
Maimee's Garden Café
It is with regret to tell you that Maimee's Garden Cafe closed shop as Maimee opted to transfer residence. Thank you so much for expressing interest in our humble erstwhile resto.

Shame I wanted to try the place out.

Thanks for the info and update on this!


Anton

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