Lunch at Sonya’s Garden Restaurant
May 15, 2010
I used to go to Sonya’s Garden a lot when my mom was still based here in the Philippines. She loved the food at Sonya’s Garden, we would go like 3-4 times a year or whenever we had friends visiting Manila.
When I went back to Sonya’s Garden a few weeks ago, I had the same feeling. It’s really growing on me. The food is really good & service is superb! Being able to drink bottomless dalandan juice & sample the freshest ingredients, along with their yummy salad & pasta is definitely unforgettable.
The set menu is available for lunch or dinner and costs Php 610 per person. Aside from the awesome food, the ambiance is great too! Very romantic and it’s pretty obvious as there are a lot of couples that date there too.
The all you can eat meal consists of the following:
- Garden Salad Greens
You get to choose which ingredients you want with the fresh harvested lettuce & arugula. Salads usually come in either iceberg lettuce, or romaine lettuce, but with Sonya’s Garden, their salad is just way above par than the regular salads out there. You can really taste the freshness of the lettuce and the arugula. With arugula, it just gave the salad more fresh green leafy taste, which really complimented the condiments well. I can actually eat a lot because not only did it taste so light and good, but it’s oh sooo healthy, I loved it! The available ingredients are mango, broad beans, eggs, cucumber, jackfruit. Top it off with Sonya’s Garden very own salad dressing and you get your perfect salad.
Also, the nuts really were just perfect with the salad. It had that crunch that gave the salad more texture, not to mention that it seemed it was almost as if they were fried. It was crisp and airy, but the taste, it’s even so good that I believe they even sell these at their gift shop.
The combination that seemed best was the nuts, along with their house dressing which was more of an italian and herb type of dressing, then adding some of that cucumber and eggs balanced it out quite nicely.
Freshly baked whole wheat sesame bread from Sonya’s Garden’s panaderia. I prefer dinner rolls more but what the heck, this was still delicious. Wow, the selection of dips to go with the bread was just too many. It makes you feel like you have tried 8 different breads in one sitting. The homemade dips & toppings given to us were basil pesto, white cheese, anchovies, bruschetta tomato toppings, mushroom pate, black olive tapinade & fresh green peppercorn in olive oil. The white cheese was actually pretty good, along with the black olive tapinade, these would probably be the ones to go for, also try the basil pesto if you like that cheesy, nutty, and herb taste to dips.
If your palate is more wide ranging, you may want to try out the anchovies which weren’t as salty as you might think, and actually had more saltiness and sea taste to it, than it did any sort of fish taste. Wasn’t really fond of the bruschetta tomato topping since I honestly didn’t think it went well with the bread, and the herbs that were combined with the tomato didn’t seem to also match the bread.
The green peppercorn in olive oil reminded me a bit of capers, only it wasn’t as salty, but it definitely had that strong olive taste to it too.
It is quite ironic that I’m not fond of salads, pasta & bread but I’m so willing to eat large amounts of it when I’m dining at Sonya’s Garden Restaurant. This just proves that they really do serve yummy food. For their pasta, we were given 2 kinds of sauces: red sauce (sun dried tomato) & white sauce (chicken cream w/ mango). The toppings available were the ff.: ratatouille, salmon belly, shitake mushrooms, black olives, capers & grated parmesan cheese. I loved the red sauce more and had about 4 servings of pasta with it as I remember! I know I eat a lot hahaha!
To my surprise, their salmon belly wasn’t as bad with the pasta as I thought it would be. It was seasoned well a little bit on the oily side though, it seemed it had more fat than the usual salmon, so it didn’t have the same texture that the usual salmon has. Being that it was the bellly portion, it definitely had more taste to it. Consider the belly portion the dark meat part of a fish, and you get the point of why it usually has more taste as compared to the rest of the parts.
And indeed, the red sauce was just the better of the two sauces. I think this sauce was probably slowly cooked, and considering the abundance of herbs available at Sonya’s this sauce was not only fresh, but it was made with fresh ingredients that make the tomato really stand out. Again, with parmesan cheese, pasta is just a great and simple dish for any lunch.
Banana rolls w/ sesame & jackfruit. I do remember someone loving bananas too much so I gave all my share to him hahaha! He thoroughly enjoyed it too. And I do remember him saying that the jackfruit also gave it that nice extra flavor.
Glazed sweet potato. We were given advice that it’s best eaten with mint leaves. I was too full already so tried just one piece. Just a tad bit too sweet, this is a dish for those with a good sweet tooth. I think having this with something light, some cream maybe, would help counter all that sweetness. Sweet potato by itself is already good, so the glaze need not be too sweet.
Chocolate cake, I wish I can enjoy this but I’m not fond of chocolates especially dark chocolate. This was good though according to other guests. For chocolate lovers, this is always a good way to end any meal. And if you have a sweet tooth then you may actually want a second serving, because the richness of the chocolate cake almost made it as rich as a brownie, but the texture was extremely moist and a bit more dense than usual cakes. The icing was just as sweet, or even more. With chocolates like these, I would prefer a lighter and airy type of icing, and not too sweet. Overall description — very very rich chocolate taste.
My favorite drink of all time! Freshly squeezed dalandan juice, I never get tired of it. We probably asked for refill a countless number of times. It really is that good. Especially when we get to the pasta portion of the meal, this drink really has a way of cleaning the palate, and refreshing you at the same time.
Tarragon tea, this is different & yummy. Don’t know what it’s made of though but this is best to take while you finish your meal at Sonya’s Garden. Tarragon tea is really different, because compared to other herbs, this isn’t really the more popular herb to use with teas. But it works perfectly when in the context of the whole meal. Very clean taste, with a hint of licorice and even a little cinnamon too. I can see why it’s a perfect ending to a perfect meal.
We also have the option to order braised chicken w/ potatoes (Php 650) and Roast chicken (Php 495). We didn’t order it though coz it was just the 2 of us and the set meal is already more than enough. You might want to order this if you’re in a big group.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, the ambiance is really nice at Sonya’s Garden. Romantic, relaxing, and a soothing environment. It’s as if you’re in the middle of a wonderful garden during the dining experience, and in a sense, at any point of Sonya’s Garden, you really are in the middle of an actual garden. That’s what makes it so nice, the natural and calm and peaceful surroundings of the place. That’s why some celebrate their weddings, birthdays & business meetings there. Can’t wait to go back there when I can. 🙂
Sonya’s Garden Restaurant
Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite 4123, Cavite, Philipppines