Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cafe Mary Grace, Makati, Philippines

 Had a recent work assignment in Manila (Makati City), Philippines. Managed to do quite a bit of exploring, although mostly of malls (sigh). My hotel was a stone's throw away from Greenbelt and also the Landmark, Glorietta and SM - it's really the equivalent of SG's Orchard area! I decided to try one of the many (albeit slightly upscale) cafes/restaurants at Greenbelt for lunch on my last day there.
 Located at Greenbelt 2, I was attracted by the homey, warm and bright (even festive) decor of Cafe Mary Grace. I had the strange feeling I had stepped into the living room of an affectionate aunt during Christmas time.

 There are all these little 'notes of inspiration' - on tables, on walls, pretty much everywhere you turn there is some kind of quote of the day. Well the positive vibe worked for me - I felt pretty good about my day even before I read the menu. If this was anywhere else, I'd keel over from the abundance of cliche.

{ Peppermint and Fruits Iced Tea, PHP 75 (~$2.20) }
 It was a warm humid day and I was desperate for hydration. Ordered a homemade Peppermint and Fruits tea and was not disappointed at all. Very refreshing and thirst-quenching!

After much thought, decided to try this pasta dish as I was won over by the description as follows: In the mood for hearty pasta? (me: yes!) Dig your fork into fusilli noodles enveloped in sauce made with the goodness of homemade chorizo!

 { Chorizo and Green Olive Pasta, PHP 264 (~$7.80) }

 Portion was quite generous (for the equivalent of <S$8!) and even came with a small slice of garlic-buttered toast. The chorizo is actually chopped up so you get what looks like minced beef. There were generous amounts of green and black olives too. Unfortunately the pasta was too soft, not al dente at all. But generally this was really tasty.

After about halfway through, I realized how very oily this was. It's not even olive oil - it was reddish in colour (probably from frying the chorizo?) and toward the bottom of the plate it was just a sludge. Naturally I did not finish this.

 I'd been sitting in front of cakes/brownies on display and had to try something! I waved at a waitress and asked for a recommendation. "Mango bene," she said without hesitation.

 {Mango Bene Cake, PHP 104 (~$3) for a slice}
 Wow this was indeed really good. It was a sizeable hunk of layered cake (all for about S$3!), made with frozen pieces of fresh mango, some sort of sponge cake and frozen cream.

 The cake was not a lie!

I had a really good (and reasonably cheap!) lunch at Cafe Mary Grace. Wish I could try more of their baked goods, which I believe are a specialty.

Rating (out of 4) : 

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