Friday, May 10, 2013

Chef Laudico Guevarra's Fiesta-feel Buffet

I've been spending a couple of quiet moments, thinking how I could celebrate Mother's Day without my mama or lola here with us.  Sweating, diffused and uninspired due to some mishandled issues with some projects where I am busy with.  Though there are some things which should be cheering me up, like having my new Samsung fridge (10 in,two door, inverter model), getting nice complements from my readers and having more time with kids at home, there is still that emptiness I just couldn't pin point.  Is this a longing for my mom's or sister's company or just the recollection of my most indelible experience at my lola's old house in Bohol?

As I was staring at the table my son had just broke, this song from my daughter's phone caught my attention:
 There's a place that I go that nobody knows
Where the rivers flow and I call it home
And there's no more lies in the darkness there's light
And nobody cries, there's only butterflies
It's part of a song from Natasha Beddingfield's Pocketful of Sunshine.  Getting a bit nostalgic, I remembered about the place along P. Guevarra, where I had lunch with a friend and had a talk with one of the country's celebrated pastry chef, Chef Jackie Laudico.

As my way to introduce this barely new restaurant on a non-commercialized venue, let me entitle this place as My Pocketful of Sunshine.
Chef Laudico Guevarra's is a new dining place that is completely an all-you-can-eat buffet serving authentic Filipino dishes.
Why do you think I called it My Pocketful of Sunshine?
First, because when I saw the place it's like I was brought back to my lola's vacation house in Bohol.  Not that the structure of the house is similar, but being an old house turned restaurant exudes a rustic feel to it.   I think I've been beaten by a love bug when we had the trip to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, I have this something now for vintage houses you see.  It was a cheerful and inviting place in spite of the antiquity, with a wide grass-laid garden that's perfect for an al fresco event, across the driveway leading to the parking lot at the end side of the building, 
Not only that the owners were able to preserve the original look of the house inside and out, the owners of the restaurant were able to turn it magnificently into a lavish dining venue.
Second, it's the perfect place to bring families and friends, even kids.  You enter a fairly wide hall with adjoining rooms at both sides.  Four of those were transformed into what else, dining rooms, and at the far side of the house is the fiesta buffet.
A smorgasbord of your favorite Filipino dishes prepared the way your Lola or your Lola's cook would, will definitely attract you.  You would even feel the aroma wafting around the hall welcoming you and telling you that this is a comfort zone.   With the excitement, I forgot to take note of the number of dishes that lined up the long buffet table.
The carving station located at the far end seemed to entice the diners even more with Angus Beef Tapa which the Laudico's are famous for, and some other roasted meats..
 They have an assortment of cheeses and cold cuts.
You won't even know how or where to begin.  A variety of salad also adorns the table.  Also make time to look for gindara, or raw salmon (sashimi), and their yummy version of Kinilaw.
I love their condiments, my favorite is this Malungay Basil pesto dip and the guava vinaigrette.
Of course, how can you beat a meal without rice. On that occasion they had Annato rice and steamed pandan rice, in some days they would have Tuyo rice and Paellas.  
Here are my plates.
According to Chef Jackie, it was  fun managing the menu of Guevarra's unlike Bistro Filipino (which they also own plus The Pugon Roast at Ayala Triangle), which is ala carte.   Everyday at Guevarra's is a surprise, much like the usual birthday celebrations of old aunts and uncles where only specialty dishes from the ancestors are served.   The chefs have all the freedom to choose which dishes to prepare for the day, with the pure guidance from the Laudico couple, of course. 
The simplest idea of naming their new baby as such comes from Chef Jackie.  According to her she often gets lost when going to places when driving on her own.  Clever in her ways, since the place they got is along P. Guevarra St., she thought that it is the easiest way to remember a restaurant and even the street, not disregarding the rich history of San Juan.  
I think P. Guevarra Street is the next Kapitolyo, Pasig or Jupiter Makati, where new restaurants and whole in the walls are popping up.
A festive spread is not complete without "panghimagas" or desserts.  Their dessert line is a delightful rendition of Filipino delicacies with the touch of modernity, Chef Jackie's prowess.  

A message of advice, do come here with stomachs empty and hearts full of loving memories from your Grandma's.  Make sure to take note of the restaurant time.
They open daily at 11 am and closes down at 2 pm for lunch, then operation continues at 6 pm till 10 pm for dinner.
For an affordable weekday  (Monday to Friday) lunch of P 399; 
weekday dinner (Monday to Thursday) of P 499 and
weekend lunch and dinner  (Friday to Sunday) of P 599, don't you think it is such a steal?

Also, do make sure to call for reservation first, because they can only accommodate up to 200 pax.  And getting seats is hard for many of the Laudico's clients have been quite informed about this and since they have opened up they are always full.

Since it's Mother's Day and I have been thinking of my mom, sisters, aunts and lolas let me share Guevarra's Mother's Day promo.

Address:       387 P. Guevarra St. cor. Argonne St., Addition Hills, San Juan
Phone:          02 705 1874  or  02 705 1811
Email:          cheflaudicoguevarra@gmail.com

7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. What all that for lunch for only 400? That's a steal ha!

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  3. Waaa! Enticing food and enchanting place! <3 Would love to try that!

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  4. I like the homey ambiance as it feels like a family feast here.

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  5. I saw Guevarra's on Kris TV early today and I was so enticed by the design of the restaurant. It brings back the memories of my childhood. And of course the selection of food...SO YUMMY!!! Can't wait to visit the place...

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  6. so disappointed. walang sistema. we waited for more than 2 hours galing pa kmi probinsya just to tell us na may nakareserve. sana before pa sinabi na at ng hindi kmi naghintay sa wala. mga nasareception suplada at walang manners.

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