I guess part of the challenge of dating a food blogger is finding restaurants that are a bit more unconventional or off-the-beathen-path, especially when it comes to romantic dining. My top-of-mind criteria are: delicious food (well, that’s a given), majestic ambiance we can fall in love with, and a certain “x-factor” that will make it a place we will remember even in our dreams. Oh yes. 🙂
During special occasions, my boyfriend loves bringing me to “secret restaurants” where the pleasure is as much in the finding as in the eating. He also makes sure that it’s somewhere I haven’t visited yet, so it can be a new discovery. This time, we celebrated our sixth-year anniversary in Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant. This “hidden gem” in New Manila, Quezon City has impressively satisfied all my requirements! 🙂
Review of Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant (New Manila, Quezon City)
Horseshoe Village in New Manila is largely a residential compound, so it was easy to assume that Lemuria is one of those restaurants converted from a house. Apparently, we were right. Lemuria used to be part of the owner’s home. A beautiful open garden surrounding the house reeks romance. Potted plants make the whole place feel like something out of a high-class outdoor home decor and styling magazine. The hanging flowers snaking around plants suspended overhead complete a picture-perfect setting.
At sundown, the lights are turned on, making it feel like more than just a garden. By special request to management, guests can also have lunch or dinner be arranged in this “scenic garden of paradise.”
As we entered the dining room, we were greeted by a lovely atmosphere framed with soft lighting and European-inspired interior design. Small details go a long way here. Brick paneled walls, white tablecloths, wooden tables and chairs, wooden floor, plates on walls, leaf-patterned curtains, and a full-length mirror add up in creating a contemporary ambiance.
I thought Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant is an exquisite location for those looking for an elegant dining spot that’s conducive to a quiet, intimate time when dating someone special, celebrating anniversaries, closing business deals, or proposing a marriage. At the back, they have a collection of wines that complement the menu, entice the senses, and suit every personality and occasion.
I salute the service, which was charming and serious. We received flawless VIP treatment from the time we entered the gates to the time we left. The down-to-earth staffs were attentive, polite, and non-intrusive, making us feel like in a relaxed vacation house miles away from the Metro Manila bustle.
Lemuria’s fine-dining menu is concise with limited options, but every item seemed like a signature dish packed full of flavor. We ordered a soup entrée, two mains, and a cake for dessert.
A complimentary bread basket with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and butter was brought to our table as appetizers. Breads were fresh, light, and tasty, and the olive oil with balsamic vinegar had a nice fruity kick.
For our soup course, the Mushroom and Gruyere (PhP 395) isn’t exactly something we seek out on menus, but while color was one-dimensional, this one happened to be quite good—thick and creamy. The gratinated swiss cheese on top tasted pretty sharp and pronounced, so much better than cheddar cheese.
For our seafood main, we chose the Shrimp Tortellini (PhP 625) made with home-made shrimp tortellini in crab fat sauce topped with sautéed chanterelles (a.k.a. queen of mushrooms). Presentation was super fancy and the golden-priced, golden-looking, and golden-tasting chanterelles with crab fat sauce worked wonders. Texture of the pasta was not exactly like that of a traditional pasta. I was actually expecting spaghetti-like strands of pasta, obviously as I had zero familiarity with how tortellini looked like. Haha.
A mainstay of fancy dinner parties, the Beef Bourguignon (PhP 830) was nothing short of amazing. Served with mashed potatoes on the side (sorry, not on picture), these US short ribs were braised to the core in red wine for eight hours with shallots, carrots, and lardoons (pork fat). Immersed in savory sauce, the fork-tender meat melted in my mouth like butter. Although portion was small, it was filling and definitely a luxurious treat. Yum!
Nothing beats a slice of decadent chocolate cake. Formed with alternating layers of white chocolate and dark chocolate, the Opera Cake (PhP 320) had an interesting blend of sweetness. It was moist, rich, and a little bit addictive. It’s pure indulgence!
Price for Value: ★★★☆☆
Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant is not the most accessible place, but getting here is worth it if you’re looking forward to a dreamy dinner. The prices aren’t cheap, with an average rate per person hovering around the PhP 1000 mark. Food was well prepared and the amount of work spent to make the dishes was undeniable, but it’s truly the ambiance and service that made the experience remarkable. 🙂 I thank my “very very sweet loving boyfriend of the century,” Louie, for making this happen. ♥
Operating Hours: 6pm to 11pm
Note: To secure a table, reservation is a must. Dress code is smart casual.