It has been years since I’ve eaten at the homey Lola Maria restaurant of The Legend Villas. It seems nothing much has changed in terms of the lunch crowd it draws. Its secret, all these years, is its good Filipino cooking and the reasonably-priced buffet which, at 450 pesos, is not bad for a hotel setting.
Proximity has always been my problem in going to this place more often since we live in southern Metro Manila. But for this visit, I was glad to escape the horrendous EDSA traffic, ride the MRT train and alight at the Boni station. Solved the problem 😀
I love how Lola Maria reconnects me with food that I relished during my childhood years. My mom’s specialty was saucy dishes. And cocido is a rich stew made of beef or chicken, vegetables like carrots, cabbage and potatoes. Am ready to think that this dish is similar to pochero, but what makes cocido more distinctive is the addition of chorizo de bilbao, sliced saba banana and an eggplant dip. The cocido (P360) served to me at Lola Maria so inspired me (and am sure hubby would love this!) that am planning to make it at home one of these days.
It was my first time to try this ensaymada pudding (P80) , and I love the whole concept of recycling day-old ensaymadas (Filipino sweet rolls) to create an altogether different dessert. Ensaymada pudding is something you make in a ramekin with milk, egg yolk, sugar and cheese. Bake and then top with powdered sugar and more cheese. Perfect with coffee!
All right, am saying it late. All the food I mentioned are new ones being offered in Lola Maria. And they are not just new, these are dishes named as favorites by certain celebrities and then recreated in the restaurant. I certainly liked designer Randy Ortiz’s contribution which is the vegetable quiche (P155, five pieces). Vegetables like mushroom, asparagus & bell pepper mixed with eggs and cream, then baked in a tender pastry crust. Great as an appetizer or a meal in itself.
For the meat lover, there’s the Rosemary and Garlic Rib-Eye cited by actress Ara Mina (P650 for a single serving)
The Fish Pinipig (P210 for six pieces) was named by actress Iza Calzado because it’s healthy and easy to make – the Filipino version of the fish and chips. I agree. It’s a new take on deep-fried fish fillet although a tad chewy for me.
The prawn cakes (P225 for 6 pieces) proved to be perfect as finger foods and was even made tastier with a hoisin sauce dip. I can just imagine this dish to be great for summer picnics. And true enough, Lola Maria resto is offering this for take-out (P680 for a family pack, good for 6 to 8 persons).
The resto rounds up its list of new dishes with scrumptious desserts like Ube & Langka Panna Cotta (P120) and Fried Suman at Tsokolate (155).
The new dishes are also available for takeout in party packs and as a degustation meal for P1,350. We had this degustation in nifty serving bites, complete with my choice of pomelo slush. I was so full after leaving Lola Maria but I was certainly energetic again to walk to the nearest MRT station for the train ride home. Till I see you again Lola! 😉
Lola Maria Restaurant
The Legend Villas
60 Pioneer cor. Madison Sts.
Telephone No. 7022793