I must confess I am not a fan of big leafy greens. I eat squash, okra and stringbeans but that’s just about it. However, weight issues have prompted me to start eating salads for lunch- salads that I eat only half of, and only the chicken chunks get finished off. I hated the taste of veggies tasting like, well, veggies – lasang halaman.
Then I heard of Sonya’s Garden last year from one of my friends and decided to try it out. There’s no menu; or rather, they do but it’s just one set – salad, bread and dips, pasta with two sauces, dessert and tea. So I reserved a buffet lunch for two.
We started off with a big bowl of fresh lettuce and arugula and for toppings, we had bowls of mangoes, nuts, turnips, cucumber, egg, carrots, and pineapple. And a big bottle of Sonya’s Secret Dressing (their version of Caesar). You’ll probably think you only need one serving but their salad is so good, I can finish off the big bowl by myself. Thing is, the veggies taste so fresh and so crisp, there’s no bitter aftertaste at all. You don’t get the feeling that you’ve been munching on grass.
Then we were served a big bowl of pasta. Pasta is served with two kinds of sauce – sun dried tomato and cream chicken with mango. For toppings, we had black olives, capers, ratatouille,shiitake mushrooms, and fried salmon belly. And of course, the ever-present grated parmesan cheese.
We also had freshly baked wheat bread with sesame seeds with homemade dips consisting of pesto, white cheese, pate, and anchovies. Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of this part of the meal (even on subsequent visits).
Dessert consisted of chocolate cake, banana rolls (or turon), and glazed sweet potato. However, I must say the dessert is a big disappointment, especially after having the best salad and one of the best pastas as your entrees. The cake is so-so, the turon and sweet potato are nothing spectacular. Sort of the things you can buy anywhere, from the neighborhood bakeshop to the turo-turo at the nearest street corner.
I must not forget to mention the drinks though – we had a bottomless supply of freshly squeezed dalandan juice throughout the meal and tarragon tea after dessert.
What makes the food at Sonya’s special is that all the vegetables and fruits are homegrown – afterall, Sonya’s started off as the owner’s own garden. Bread and dessert are cooked there as well, not just bought from someone else or from a concessionaire. So you get everything fresh.
Buffet lunch/dinner is at Php 610 per head. It’s best to call for reservations particularly on weekends and holidays coz the place gets packed- +639175329097/+639175335140.
Breakfast review up next!