Ara's Birthday (part 1): Dinner at Maria Luisa's Garden Room.

My friends and I kind of have this tradition to see each other and celebrate my friend Ara Sam's birthday in some place we all haven't been to.  Last year was in Tagaytay (read my blog post about Hacienda Isabella).  This year, Ara chose Maria Luisa's Garden Room.

It's a classy hole-in-the-wall restaurant located inside Makati Garden Club so if you see this sign, you're in the right place.

T and I were going to be late and forgot to ask my friends to take good photos of the food.   My friend Gene Ong took some but it's a bit dark and grainy because of the lighting in the restaurant.  

This platter (P780/$17++) is not in the menu so I don't know what it's called but my friends said that the server recommended it so they got one.  The other appetizer they ordered was Baked Artichoke (P580/$13++).  There's a lot of other food on the table like that bread you see in the picture and another pica-pica but it wasn't on the receipt so I guess it came with this platter.

Photo taken by Gene.

Finally, T and I arrived just before the main dishes were served.  I quickly took photos of the place.

The restaurant is divided into two areas, one near the kitchen and the other has a more private setting.

I also gave my friends their gifts.

I had birthday girl Ara Sam's necklace say "Explore the World" because she travels a lot and has these crazy adventures that gets published on CNN.  I had a binocular charm attached to the necklace.

I had Dianne Lee's necklace engraved "Shop Till You Drop" since she's Ms Shopaholic and the person I talk to when it comes to shopping.  I also had a bag and shoe charm attached to the necklace.

I had Gene Ong's necklace say "Find Your Soulmate", not that she hasn't found him yet.  She's engaged to Gilbert Yu.  But it's just that she's a hopeless romantic (Gene, please don't kill me) and that phrase best personifies all our talks about love and life during college days.  I had a heart and arrow charm attached to the necklace.

After opening their presents, our first main dish arrived.. Alsace Sausage Platter (P1,080 for sharing) which is fennel sausage, saurkraut, pretzel dumplings, sweet beets and cheese spatzle. 

I like how it came with three different mustards and how the chef explained what each one was.

Our second main dish is Steak Charles (P1,600/$36++) with goat cheese and truffle sauce. 

At first, I asked my friend "Are you sure this is beef??".  The texture seemed different on my tongue, I thought I was eating some other kind of meat.   I only eat beef and pork so I wanted to be sure before taking another bite.  Apparently, Maria Luisa's only serves 50-day aged steak.  Hence, the texture (and the price!).  The meat was so soft and tender.  But the serving size of this dish is good for one person only.  If you're ordering this to share, make sure to order other dishes as well.

Our third main dish was the Salmon Selection (P680/$15++) grilled with bacon, mushrooms, and corn.   I liked this one but again, serving size is small.

After eating, the birthday girl blew the candle and made a wish. 

T and I hope all your wishes come true this year, Ara! xoxo

to be continued....

Thumbs Up!
Great ambiance.
Good food.

Thumbs Down!
They're always full so make sure to call first before going.
Serving size is a bit small.
Kitchen closes early.

I want to go back here with T during the daytime because of the garden outside.

Maria Luisa's Garden Room
Dining Date: 20 December 2013

Makati Garden Club
Recoletos Street corner Ayala Avenue
Urdaneta, Makati City

Tel No.: (02) 552-7051
             (02) 552-7045

Operating Hours

Monday to Sunday

11:30am - 9:00pm


  1. this looks like a very nice place! So cozy to look at! :) I tweeted my friends about it already after reading your post so we can check it out ourselves!

  2. Hi! Love your gifts to your friends (personalized necklaces). Where did you have them made? :)

  3. Small world! I know your friend Gene's fiance Gilbert. We're friends from Accenture :)

    Thanks for always posting about new restos. My husband and I are always on the lookout for new restaurant finds :)

  4. LIZ. Great! Let me know how you like it :)

    ANON. A friend recommended an online shop in Instagram :)

    MITZ. Really? Cool :)


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