I have heard so much about La Cocina de Tita Moning so when they had a deal going on in Deal Grocer, I bought one. Ivan and I ate at La Cocina de Tita Moning last March and I definitely enjoyed the fine dining experience in an ancestral home.
La Cocina de Tita Moning is the Legarda’s ancestral home turned into a restaurant. It is located on San Rafael St, San Miguel, Manila near the Malacañang Palace. When you arrive at the “Legarda Mansion” you’ll be lead to wait in their living room.
In the living room you’ll see this beautiful chandelier and some timeless paintings.
While waiting, they served us a plate of Toasted Bread with Queso de Bola Spread and Lemongrass Iced Tea. We devoured it in less than five minutes. It was so good. I didn’t think I was gonna like it since I’m not fond of queso de bola. For me it is too salty and too sharp for my liking but the queso de bola spread they served us wasn’t too salty and sharp.
They proceeded to touring us around the Legarda Mansion. I didn’t include all the pictures of the rooms since this post will be too lengthy if I do. Some of the other rooms that they have are library room and antique radio equipment room.
The Camera Room
The Dressing Room
Here is the table setting for our table.
On the plate was the menu. We had to choose either lamb, seafood or beef for our main course.
They told us that if we needed anything, just ring the bell. I felt like a doña.
They also served us some bread and butter.
Here’s a picture of us before we started our lunch.
The first plate they served was a Tapas Sampler.
Gambas and Chorizo Pincho
For people who love shrimp, you’ll enjoy this gambas. This mini gambas has four big shrimps. I had two shrimps and then I gave the rest to Ivan since I started to feel a little itchy. Even though it says Chorizo Pincho, I don’t think I saw any chorizo in this tapas.
Gazpacho Shot with Crab and Avocados
This is my personal favorite out of the three tapas. Gazpacho is a cold tomato based soup. Their version of gazpacho has shredded crabmeat and avocados. What I liked about this gazpacho is that it has the right amount of sourness from the tomatoes with a little bit of sweetness to it. It’s also a plus that they used real crabmeat instead of those artificial crabsticks. I liked this so much that I asked Ivan to give what’s left of his to me.
Pork Belly in Almond Pili Milk
This Pork Belly in Almond Milk looked odd to me at first. When I touched this shot of tapas, it felt warm to the touch. But then I thought that of course the Almond Pili Milk should be warm since the pork belly will harden if it’s in room temperature and it would be so growse to eat. As for the taste, it’s pork dipped in almond milk with a milky and nutty taste.
In the middle of the table is this condiment called Salsa Monja. According to the menu, the nuns used to make this for the Spanish friars to make the dishes taste more delicious. I must say, it did add flavor to the meals. I love the shallots in the salsa.
Roasted Beet Salad with Organic Greens, Torched Davao Goat Cheese and Caramelized Walnuts
Our second plate is a fresh salad. This salad tasted so fresh. It’s like they just picked the greens from their garden that morning to be served to us for lunch. The Torched Davao Goat Cheese is mild and creamy while the Roasted Beets adds sweetness to the goat cheese. The goat cheese melts in the mouth while the roasted beets are soft to the bite. The caramelized walnuts are not too sweet and it gives this dish that nice crunch.
After being served two plates of appetizers, we were ready for the main course.
Seafood Potpourri with Saffron Nage, Julienne of Vegetables
Ivan chose the seafood. I only tried the sauce of this Seafood Potpourri. The sauce is very cream. It tasted like it has aligue. I’m guessing the creamy sauce is good with their brown rice since Ivan got another serving of brown rice.
Tita Uko’s Lamb Shank on Potato Puree
I on the other hard chose the lamb. Tita Uko’s Lamb Shank is huge! The meat was very tender that I could slice through the lamb with just my fork. The lamb is seasoned really well. Their lamb doesn’t have that weird lamb taste. The Potato Puree complements the lamb shank. It has a mild buttery taste. I love their Potato Puree, I wanted to have some more.
For dessert they served a sampler plate. The dessert comes with either coffee or tea. I chose tea which they call Herb Tea from Our Garden.
The Homemade Fritters is kind of like a smaller version of Dunkin’ Donuts’ munchkin but this one is definitely better. The fritters were coated with sugar and cinnamon. Even though I’m not a big fan of cinnamon, I stilled enjoyed eating this since they’re only lightly dusted with cinnamon.
Homemade Nut Cake with Citrus Ice Cream
This is the dessert that I wish had a bigger serving of. The Homemade Nut Cake has a crunchy and nutty texture. This has a little bit of sweetness to it. The Citrus Ice Cream has a little bit of sour taste with a hint of sweetness to it.
Polvorones of Fresh Mango
This dessert tasted like a milder version of the Mango Graham Cake. Some of the mangoes are sweet while some has a tiny bit of sourness to it. The cream is not too sweet unlike the ones in Mango Graham Cake that would taste really sweet.
Tita Moning’s Bread and Butter Pudding
Tita Moning’s Bread and Butter Pudding is almost flan-like though it’s not as sweet as leche flan. The syrup is sweet but not too sweet. This bread and butter pudding melts in the mouth.
Overall, I enjoyed eating at La Cocina de Tita Moning. It’s definitely a place that you go to whenever there is a special occasion. They have excellent food and excellent service. I’m looking forward to eating here again and trying out other dishes on their menu. If you do want to dine here, you need to make a reservation as they only accommodate reserved customers.
La Cocina de Tita Moning
315 San Rafael St. San Miguel, Manila
(02) 734-2141, (02) 734-2146