Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A Quiet Spot in the Capital

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A couple of weeks ago, I was given the privilege of writing about Casa Roces, which became one of my favorite restos in the metro just after one visit!

The fact is, I’ve been wanting to go and pay this place a visit for the longest time, since it was supposed to be one of those hole-in-the-wall restaurants that promised you a great dining experience. In theory, it sorta reminded me of Fat Michael’s back when it was still Bangkal’s well-kept secret. I was pleased to know that there was something like that in the area I lived in, and I was excited to try out their food.

But you know how life goes: you want to go check something out, and then circumstances prevent you from doing so by slapping you with the harsh reality that work doesn’t wait.

And then one day, while I was bumming around by going through Twitter, I read that a friend who was out of town had been given the opportunity to eat at Casa Roces for free. Since she wasn’t around, she was looking for folks who could take the offer in her stead. Since I wasn’t one to pass on an opportunity to eat for free, I signed up, and got the chance to try out the place’s food.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it was a gastronomic experience beyond anything else – although the food was pretty good, as you can read from my review in Manila Foodistas – but I loved the place instantly. See, the entire restaurant was the old Roces mansion in San Miguel, and the folks who refurbished the whole place hardly changed any of the components throughout the house. The tiles were refurbished, the furniture were rehabilitated, and what couldn’t be fixed – such as the old winch-driven window shutters – were kept as is, and maintained on a regular basis. There was no dearth of identity throughout the house, and I could instantly imagine myself staying there for an entire day, getting lost in my writing.

It didn’t hurt that the place was right beside MalacaƱan Palace, of course. The main difficulty of making your way to Casa Roces was that you had no other choice but to go out the way you came in, since either ends of J.P. Laurel’s section of the MalacaƱan compound were heavily guarded by air force personnel. But that gives it the added value of being secluded. You won’t have to deal with the hustle and bustle of the city as you sipped your cappuccino, and you certainly won’t need to deal with the people who’d go to other coffee shops like Starbucks or The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, since these establishments are full of noisy tweens and yuppies.

So if you’re a creative type, and you want to get some work done at a quiet place in the city, give Casa Roces a shot. But don’t let all of your friends know. Let’s keep the place secluded, shall we?

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