Thursday, June 20, 2013

Casa Roces on my Morning Thoughts

 Waking up on a drizzling morning brings forth intoxicating nostalgia.  What made it worse was my neighbor's sound system where an old and dreary song echoed...

Outside the rain begins 
And it may never end 
So cry no more, on the shore a dream 
Will take us out to sea 
Forevermore, forevermore 

Wait the song is not entitled as Forever More you guys (like what I used to know, haha), if you could recall this is from Rita Coolidge's We're All Alone.

Isn't it amazing how we can view the past with 20/20 vision?  I have put forth a tremendous effort this past years in clearing my mind of thoughts that should never have been in there.......(see todays Discussions)
I'm sure you pretty know some of the things I've exhausted to do that.
Oh yeah!  Food, glorious food!
But silly, not just that, what better compliments good food than good company.  Right after witnessing DepEd's enactment of K to 12 as a law at Malacanang Palace.  We headed at Casa Roces, which was just a few steps away from the palace's gate, across the street literally.
Casa Roces is a restaurant managed by the Cravings group of companies.  The casa (Spanish word) itself  translated as house, is a reflection of  Filipino-American contemporary house for the urban elites.  Upcycling old houses or properties have been gaining raves with travelers, renovation enthusiasts, even epicures who wished to dine in old-house turned restos.  That is what the heirs of Casa Roces made here.   That is how I see Casa Roces.  Way back, when Urban Zone was still being aired, Daphne Osena-Paez had featured this.    I've been dreaming of coming over for a tempting meal but wasn't that lucky enough to.
during those years I have amassed quite a number of examples of our food-exploits in an upcycled buidling, while Daphne referred to it as a re-use of old-building.

Check them out too:

The property is owned by the circle of families of the Legardas, Roces and Prietos.  It is not only known now as a cafe it also holds memorabilia from 50's to 70's from the owners, including photos and prints of La Vanguardia and the old Manila Times news papers.   So it's a cross from being a museum and a cafe.
Will post more photos inside the cafe.

The ornate brass-laiden door opens up to Cape Chino.  The menu is typical of home-cooked Filipino/Spanish cuisine given the chef's twists.   It was lunch so we had a variety of viands - pork, chicken, and ox-tail, to go with our plain rice.  We had Pork Stew Binagoongan  (P 285.00).  Deep-fried to a crunch, the sliced pork belly was seasoned fairly in the traditional manner.  Then sauteed together with string beans, onions and cherry tomatoes with bagoong or shrimp paste, which gave the salty flavoring.
Chicken Adobo Confit (P 285.00) is the next dish that was served to us.  Initially it looked really appetizing and gained enough interest with the green sauce where the chicken leg was sat.  I didn't really find it spectacular.  The chicken as I pressumed was marinated with the usual adobo ingredients, then oven baked in its marinate.  The salsa verde or green sauce is an osterized  basil, cream and other herbs and spices.  With more adobo drippings and a sizable serving of buttered veggies.
The Ox Tail Kare-Kare ( P 345.00) has always been a favorite, though I found it to be just the usual Kare-Kare, which a beef, in this case an oxtail, was simmered enough to make the meat and the thick fat around the tail soft and almost melt's in your mouth.  The classic is taste of our fave Lola's best is there- the savoriness of a naturally pounded peanuts in the thickened sauce with all the works.  We, however, found the shrimp paste too sweet.
Braised ox tail in peanut sauce with vegetables and sauteed shrimp paste
Then came the desserts.
Turon A La Mode (P 135.00) was our choice.  It was a smaller version of the usual turon bought at our "kanto" without the dizzying sugar encasing the roll.  What made this turon special is the ube jam trapped in between layers of sliced "saba" bananas.  Of course, occasional bites of langka can be have as well.  Then, the rolls are served hot on a boat-shaped plate, all laced with caramel langka sauce, on the side is a cup of  mantecado ice cream.  This made me inspired in making this at home, except we finished up  the jar of ube jam from Baguio.
If you think we were done with all those...think again...
Someone gave us this magnificent structure of a dessert, the Malacañan Frozen Soufflé (P 390.00).   A home-specialty of the Roces family, this souffle of lemon custard was frozen, then padded with pistachio nuts, topped with dark chocolate flakes.  The taste of the souffle seem to resemble a key lime pie (with out the pie crust) with the texture of an ice cream.  What makes every bite even more refreshing  and soothing is the syrup made of lemon  with a hint of lavender, around the  plate are candied lemon peels and more pistachios.  All four of us shared with everything I shared you including this souffle.  The souffle should be shared, for the ramekin size used was really huge.  And, we don't want to end up getting brain-freeze with this.

Casa Roces

1153 JP Laurel cor Aguado St.
San Miguel, Manila


  1. Haven't been here but I'm planning to visit this place with my aunt. :)

    1. Hey Michy,
      You should plan a visit soon, but let me tell you now that the menu is not that impressive though.

  2. been to case roces before.. unfortunately, i wasnt able to try their malacanang frozen souffle.. will definitely go back for that! :)

    1. It's one thing worth trying out for and going back for in Casa Roces. Hope to read about it in your blog Berylle!

  3. Im planning to go later with my Girlfriend. I hope Everything is okay. is the place romantic?

    1. Yes! Quite okay:) Thanks:) Place is very romantic! I'm sure you and your GF will like it there.


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