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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tagaytay: Sonya's Not-So-Secret Garden

The story of the Secret Garden is well-known for its tale of a lonely little girl who discovers the entrance to a secret garden after being magically led to it by a robin. Well, we weren't led by a robin and we had only a printed-out map to guide us, but one sunny Saturday, we decided to load up on gas and visit the Philippine's version of a beautiful garden restaurant. Sonya's might not be a secret for quite some time now, but the magic - the peaceful serenity of being surrounded by lush greenery - still remains.


 Sonya's which originally started out as a restaurant, has now expanded to having a Bed and Breakfast and Spa. A nice massage would be relaxing after a hearty meal, try to book and appointment first though, it was full when we visited the Spa.

 With its brick pathways, trickling water fountains and duyans, Sonya's is a peaceful oasis away from the metro.  

 Sonya's ambiance is all about nature and homeyness, it's only natural that this sensibility is evident in the food which is fresh, organic and home-made. The food at Sonya's is pretty basic - bread, pasta and salad, but what sets it apart is the freshness and variety in their ingredients.

For lunch, they offer a set menu for the price of PHP610 per person. Definitely not cheap, but for the experience, it's worth a try.

 First up is the salad, garden-picked greens served with an assortment of fruits and nuts, among others.  I loved that they included melon and cashews in the mix, made for an interesting salad which I will definitely try at home.

Have you tried rose petals in your salad? 

Sonya's secret salad dressing - tastes much like poppy seed honey mustard dressing, only secret. =p

Pretty flower arrangement.

Limitless fresh Dalandan juice is served with the meal.

Bread is served with a multitude of spreads and dips.Our server introduced each dip in such quick succession that we really didn't catch any of the names of the spreads. The two pictured above are some kind of sardine and tomato-based spreads.

  Pasta is served with three kinds of sauce - sun-dried tomatoes, chicken cream and ratatouille. Other toppings can be added such as mushrooms and olives. A side of grilled salmon belly is also provided. After two rounds of salad and some bread, we were too full to finish the pasta.

Last came something worth raving about - one tiny slice of one of the best chocolate cakes we've ever tasted. It had the slightly bitter taste of dark chocolate on the icing, but was moist and sweet on the inside. Served with tarragon tea. Don't worry about the size, if it's too small, you can ask the waiter for another slice.Turon and sweet potatoes are also served for dessert, but these two were greatly overshadowed by the cake. 

Overall, Sonya's is a nice respite to go to when city life becomes a bit overwhelming. It is a home away from home with its old world feel and simple home-cooked food.

Sonya's Garden
Barangay Buck Estate 
Alfonso, Cavite, Philippines 
63-9175329097 or +63-9175335140   


thepinaysolobackpacker said...

tagal ko ng gusto itong puntahan pero d man lng ako matuloy tuloy. i love gardens kase. my nabasa akong pede pala mag-commute jan.

Pam said...

@gael - sana matuloy ka na. worth the trip siya kasi maganda nga talaga tska peaceful =) same here! mahilig rin ako sa gardens, yung maganda sa sonya's meron silang mga duyan so pwede ka talaga mag-bask in nature. =)

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