The nice experience we had dining in Feliza Taverna Y Cafe last year made me long to try another heritage restaurant. By some stroke of luck, there’s one in the old part of Manila. It just so happened I found myself with two appointments in the area that day, just a few steps away from Malacañang Palace and those imposing gates!
This part of Manila called the San Miguel district used to be the enclave of the rich and famous during the Spanish era. Don’t be surprised if you see a few old houses and mansions here.
I love that the area remains quiet and genteel. It’s amazing that the vintage structures are preserved because San Miguel was miraculously spared from the brutality that was the one month Battle of Manila circa 1945, when combined American and Filipino Forces liberated the city from the Japanese.
Anyway, the two-storey manse where Casa Roces now stands, was owned by Filomena “Menang” Roces de Legarda and her daughter, Teresa. With the death of the two, it’s still maintained by surviving members of the Roces family who were into publishing and other high-profile businesses during their heyday.
I just took cursory photos because I did not really mean to blog about this place. I did find it fascinating and warmed up to its old world interiors. Cozy enough for a date, friendly get-together or business meeting.
There are lots of photos and memorabilia on the wall and under the staircase. There’s also a bust of the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.
The restaurant is being managed by the Cravings group which made sure there’s a nice balance of Filipino and Spanish dishes on the menu.
The Caesar’s Salad (P175) with crunchy ox tongue bits was quite addicting.
Choritos (P390) for appetizers and the Roasted Tomato Soup (P125) passed our taste buds with flying colors..
For the entree, I ordered the Pescado en Salsa Verde (nagpapaka healthy kase!) This was satisfying enough and I wasn’t disappointed. To think that I was choosing between this and the more sinful Lechon Paksiw Cochinillo. Another tempting dish was the Bacon Cheese Ensaimada Burger, served with Belgian fries … whew!
Verdict: Casa Roces deserves another visit, a nice place to show foreign friends or relatives coming from abroad. Service was great and the price wasn’t really expensive, considering the ambiance.
1153 JP Laurel cor Aguado St. San Miguel, Manila
+63917 550 9743