Looking for a new place to eat out, we decided to check an obscure restaurant named Casa Roces along the streets of the Malacañang Palace.
Since we really have no idea where the place was besides having a brief look at Google Map, we just walked through Mendiola, turned right, and walked some more through the length of J.P.Laurel street until we saw the restaurant. It took us some minutes, but it was a rather pleasant and quiet walk through tree-shaded sidewalks.
Casa Roces is a white-painted ancestral house converted into a restaurant. It is divided into three sections, the swanky main dining area at the ground floor, the shaded outdoor patio area and the museum/conference type rooms on the second floor.
All of these can be accessed once you enter their impressive doorway. Offsetting the resto’s white walls, their door’s metallic bronze hues and exquisite decors just blew me away; it was so beautiful to the point of being intimidating. Can normal t-shirt and jeans guys walk through this portal at all?
Since there was no dress code posted, we entered its foyer. Not really expecting a fine-dining set up, we arrived at Casa Roces in our normal everyday comfy clothes, the staff was better dressed than us! We were seated by their very courteous staff inside but we felt a bit uncomfortable and out of place so we decided to transfer to the patio instead; we prefer eating al fresco anyways haha.
With our tables set up, we checked out their Kape Chino menu and ordered Pork Stew Binagoongan (Php285.00), Casa Roces Club (Php245.00) and Frosted Mocha (Php130.00) and Rocky Road (Php160.00) for our drinks/dessert.
The Casa Roces patio was surprisingly breezy and very laid back compared to the almost formal atmosphere inside. Trees and greeneries surround the wood-planked dining deck; I imagine it must be more beautiful to dine here at night.
With not much waiting time, our food arrived. I was blown away by the huge chunks of pork meat on my Pork Stew Binagoongan plate. Man they were really huge! Being a fan of crispy binagoongan dishes, I was raring to try their version and see how it compares to Lola Idang’s which in my opinion is still the best one of the lot.
Described in their menu as crunchy pork belly with string beans and cherry tomatoes sautéed in shrimp paste, their Pork Stew Binagoongan is indeed such. The pork skin was very crispy, while the meat was tender. The veggies add flavor and balances the strong flavor of the salty bagoong. I prefer my shrimp paste to be slightly sweet, but I guess Casa Roces’ salty version works well with the dish.
The Casa Roces Club, which is a croissant sandwich filled with bacon, cheese, chicken inasal (yup chicken inasal), tomatoes and cucumber with shredded potato fries on the sides on the other hand tasted a bit too bland for me, but according to L, it was really not. I guess the binagoongan dish was just too powerful and overwhelmed my taste buds.
On to their iced coffee; the Frosted Mocha taste like a subtler version of Starbucks Mocha Frappucino, it is slightly less sweet than what I am accustomed to. The Rocky Road in contrast was totally black with bits of nuts in between. I don’t think it has any sugar in it at all and it’s a good thing I forgot to ask them to remove the whipped cream as it kinda made up for the bitter taste. I liked the Frosted Mocha, I didn’t like the Rocky Road.
We would have ordered cakes for desserts (Php110.00 to Php150.00), unfortunately, we have no more rooms for sweets.
Our leisurely meal totaled to Php820.00 plus a service charge of Php73.22, quite an expensive meal for regular Manileños like us, but I’d have to say that it was worth it.
The food was generally good, the servings almost good for two people, the ambience was posh but informal, the staff were very courteous and helpful and the place was just lovely. I wish there were more restaurants like Casa Roces, but with a slightly lesser price range. I find Casa Roces to be an expensive for everyday dining but I highly recommend it for special occasions.
1153 J.P.Laurel Corner Aguado Street, San Miguel, Manila
(632) 735-5896 | (632) 708-4020 | www.casaroces.com
Open Daily from 7AM to 11PM
Click to view location on Google Maps
Click to view full Menu