Tuesday, July 8, 2014

To Eat in the Garden of Concha

“A garden should make you feel you've entered privileged space -- a place not just set apart
 but reverberant -- and it seems to me that, to achieve this, 
the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, 
turn its prose into something nearer poetry.” 

― Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

Gardening is another of my hidden hobby.  I have been managing a pocket garden at our rooftop for decades already. I would have roses, lilies, huge bougainvilleas and others.  I spent a lot buying and collecting different kinds of euphorbias as well.

But when I started taking care of herbs and vegetable vines, I wanted to turn that small place to be of more use, say for healing and vegetation, after all, I have been converted from a typical Mama to one driven, self-proclaimed health-freak Mommy.

There’s something about growing flowering plants at home that intrigues and fascinates me. But the joy of using your plants in your own kitchen and for the family's consumption is matchless.  But like any garden saying, "Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds."  This may be metonymic but I'm literally using it.

So nothing would please me more than having a meal or snack in the middle of a cozy, country garden.

It was my dream for along time to eat, or you know, kinda have a picnic in my own garden, but since we are using our rooftop for hanging laundry, that dream never seemed to materialize.  However, I'm still on that ray of hope, and I hope you could join me in making that dream possible.

Hubs and I are planning to fix to the rooftop now, making it function well for our laundry business and of course for my dreamed garden.  One of the plan is to put a vertical garden on one of the wall.  Another is to remove shrubs that have grown tremendously big and transfer to terra cota pots.

In our search for vertical garden supplies, we found out that we will need P 10 K approximately to fill one bare wall. WHEW! I know it's not that affordable right.  So next, we went to Silang, Cavite to buy really big pots.   Why Silang?  Silang is home to many craftsmen, including those that make garden accessories.

But before we could buy pots, we found a new place along Silang, just in time for our coffee break.  I'm in awe of Silang's country vibe, and its near Manila.  We took the road from Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, to look for sizable pots for our little garden at home and on that road leading to Tagaytay, we saw a verdant spot where it suggested garden items for sale.  This spot on my right captivated me and without a blink, I instantly saw the sign which said cafe.  Eureka!  That wasn't so hard.  It was only a few meters away from the boundary of Sta. Rosa and Silang.

From the outside you will instantly feel like you are entering a somewhat ordinary garden with a pathway leading to glass-encased garden house.

Inside, on the other hand is a very cozy, rustic impression.  How can you not recognize the colorful garden-inspired painting on the walls, heavy wood table and chairs, green-tinted vintage glass windows and painting of local Silang artists?

From beyond the door, when I swung it open, I said this really ought to be a cafe, after chancing upon the pastry glass showcase.  The staff instantly chorused their welcoming greetings and smiles.

After being seated beside the window sill near the door, we each ordered their house-blend brewed coffee without batting an eye-lash.   Then we reviewed their menu.  They don't just serve cafe necessities but a whole range of dishes for any time of the day.

Though we were a bit appealed by the menu, we only ordered something to pair with our cup of Joe.

We got a plate of Concha's Kamoteng Turon.  Yep, instead of the usual saba bananas, they used boiled sweet potatoes.  Turon is a native afternoon snack staple where saba bananas and bits of jack fruit were rolled together with rice paper, deep fried in oil with caramelized brown sugar.  Concha's take on it was divine.  I like that they fried the rolls without sugar and had it caramelized and drizzled over it.  Surprisingly it was similarly yummy as the original turon version.

Hmmm..."Parang nag-da-date lang:)"

We also got to try one of their ensaymadas.  When it comes to ensaymadas, I'm a bit picky.  I don't like it all-buttered up and drenched in sugar.  I love the the simplicity of the bread, slightly airy but not having the texture of that of a bun, not tough and not too cakey as well.  Decadent original  flavors are listed as Concha's Ensaymada, Cinnamon roll, cheese roll.

The one I tried however is the Cinnamon Roll Ensaymada.  There's is nothing special about this bread though, it's a mix of eating ensaymada and cinnamon roll at one bite, without being too sugary though.

I love everything that suggest country, shabby and rustic in a design.  Thus, some little elements of my dream country house spoke to me  here.

They also serve outside, so you have the option to enjoy the garden at large, but make sure you are ready for mosquito bites.

To end our gardening task at hand, we found the pots we needed after driving a few more miles after coffeenating, but we ended up going back here at Concha's, for it is here we we bought our big, big pots.

Let me also suggest other cafes and restaurant on this area of Cavite.

Concha's Garden Cafe

Address:  Sta. Rosa Tagaytay Road
                Silang, Cavite
Contact numbers: 09178481120 / 09325910444
Email:  conchasgardencafe@yahoo.com

Open at 7:30am - 10:00pm

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