Maimee's Garden Cafe: Little Baguio's Little Secret
2/26/13 UPDATE: Maimee's is now closed :(
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...
I'm glad Maimee decided to open her house and lovely garden to the eating public.
(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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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. :) )
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
Mobile: +63 917 500-6208 (Mayette Clemente, M.D.)
Telephone: +632 724-1538, 579-1788
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
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,
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