When we were driving towards Eve's Garden, I was thinking: Oh boy, this should be worth the looooong trip, the gas and the effort of almost getting lost. If this will turn out to be one of those overly hyped, lousy lunches, I'll hate myself for dragging ourselves out here.
It's been a long drive down Naguilian Road, some 30 minutes from the Baguio City proper and since Melvene and I are pretty bad at map navigating, it has already started to feel like a task.
But when we'd finally stepped into Eve's Garden, it was as if we were whisked into old rural Europe! The view of pine and mountains over the glass windows was nothing short of breathtaking. It was grand!
We were rewarded with the best view of the resto. It's as if we're celebrating our anniversary or my birthday - both very distant dates by the way. It felt that special! We're all praises and we haven't tasted anything yet! I just wished I wore a more apt attire like a summer dress so everything would seem like it came out from a movie reel. But the black boots and the black shirt would just have to do.
The spot by the window is the best table to take photos! The natural light is perfect. For food or for your companions! For natural lighting, big windows are your best buds! Whenever I see big windows, I get pumped up to take a photo!
All my photos here were taken with my iphone friends. No, I really don't take out my DSLR for a spin unless the assignment is work. What I'm saying is that you don't need a fancy camera or lens to take pretty pictures. Good light will produce good photos. And a big window gives you just that!
Here's my date!
For starters, we were both given a glass of freshly squeezed lemon-pineapple juice with mint and sage sweetened by mascovado. Far from your typical iced tea. This one's really refreshing! It looks ordinary, but it's not!
Then the soup. Ah, the soup with the base of onions and squash with seven herbs (a la KFC?) with parmesan and cream. We were so delighted by it! Bursts of surprising flavors with each mouthful! Fireworks! We're in love!
Next off is the salad. Eight lettuce varieties with carrots, turnips, walnuts, raisins and a dressing made from organic flax, olive and sunflower oils. If there'd be a vote, this will win the most photogenic and the most charming awards by a mile! Added pluses: it's tasty and interactive, too!
Check out the size of this thing!
So let me show you the interactivity of the salad. How do we eat the darling?
Step 1: Pick your greenery.
Step 2: Fill your leaves with the good stuff: flowers, nuts, raisins, turnips, carrots.
Step 3: Spread in some of the yummy green dressing!
Step 4: Roll it up like a ... Did you really think I'd say the word joint?
Step 5: Enjoy with a lot of love.
For the main course, Eve texted the choices: Grilled chicken with pesto or grilled tenderloin soaked in saki strawberry wine, honey and herbs, or steamed norwegian salmon with caper dressing.
So obviously, you will need to call at least a day in advance to book your reservations. Everything here is prepared by Ms. Eve herself. Eating time from 11:30AM until 2:30PM only. And they won't allow in too many people so that they keep the quality. They once had to decline Manny Pacquiao and entourage since they're coming in by a herd of 42 people!
Anyway, I picked the tenderloin and everything on that dish was heavenly. The beef was juicy, juicy!
Melvene who loves fish picked the salmon! Ooohlala! Seasoned right and moist. The capers with the salmon, a perfect marriage.
The whole meal ends with an oatmeal dessert, partnered with either coffee or tea. It doesn't look as poetic as the other servings, but we thought it was perfect. The meal need not end with a bang, but with a little quiet - balancing the whole meal experience with the serene surroundings.
The entire full course is at P650/head. I'd honestly be happy to pay more than that for the whole experience!
And as if we haven't had enough buzz yet, we were very fortunate to have a happy chat with Eve's husband, Bond - Edgar Bond. When he saw we weren't taking the introduction too seriously, he showed an old ID card. Indeed, this is Mr. Bond. And to live up to his name, the 78-year-old restaurant owner-server-ex-colonel was an ex-sniper who taught how to use pistols and cannons in his heyday. He did represent the country on several competitions as a fast gun and also as a coach. Yes, the olympics under his belt.
He narrated how the resto came about. A stroke led his to paralysis of a side of his body. Too much balut and steak he fondly recalled. His wife Eve made him well by feeding him healthy. They ditched Manila to live in cold city, and they never looked back since. Now that's a wonderful story to wrap up the day and our Baguio stay.
Until next time, Mr. Bond.
132 Upper Lamtang Road, La Trinidad, Benguet