Friday, February 10, 2012

Lemuria - An out of town date in Manila

I try to bring my Fiance to some place new every year on our Anniversary. Because of our busy schedule, I need to look for a place that is new, relaxing, romantic, exclusive, has good food and is NEAR. That's the problem -- Near (My criteria). It's hard to find a place that fits the "near" criteria because most restaurants that would have good food would either be crowded thus, making it less relaxing. There are romantic restaurants but they are sometimes far. Good food is very subjective so I'll just let you be the judge as I share with you what we tried out that night.

Enchanting Gate of Lemuria
As we arrived that night, the security guard asked my name and checked if I was on the reservations list. You won't be allowed to park inside (Part of it is the owner's private residence) but you can park on the side streets by the gate and the security guard will watch your car for you. The hanging vines definitely added mystery to a very curious me. The entrance to the restaurant alone gives off a certain ambiance telling you that you are no longer in Manila, even if you're really in Manila.

Towards the gate of Lemuria (Restaurant is at the back)
Ample yet dimly lit path leads you to the restaurant. It's like being transported into a European countryside home. You'll hear the relaxing sound of water as you get closer to the restaurant.

Candle-lit stairway guides you further to where you will dine. The moment you take those steps, you'll really feel the romantic ambiance and inside your mind, you'll tell yourself, "This is what I call a date". I'm pretty sure your partner will also have that thought in mind.

Entrance to Lemuria
From the stairs, someone will be escorting you inside to your table. You'll be assigned a seat but if space permits, you can choose another table. Restaurant can accommodate a few number of people so reservations are highly encouraged. Also, I think they don't want to overcrowd the restaurant as it will kill the ambiance.

First look - Inside Lemuria
Again, I can't stop saying how the ambiance reminds me of a cabin in the European countryside. To my surprise, it looked like that I booked the entire restaurant all to ourselves! Just like what happened in Hacienda Isabella in Tagaytay. We dined there and the entire night, there were only 2 of us with servers on standby. That's what I call exclusivity and good service!

Facing Lemuria's Main Entrance
Our table was by the window in the enclosed veranda. Asked if I want to transfer inside, I declined because I can't choose a more perfect spot than this.

The View Outside the Enclosed Veranda
If seated by the veranda, you'll be sitting beside trees and some more hanging vines. It lightens the mood and when the wind blows, the swaying of the vines and the leaves is a treat to the eyes. What a perfect way to start a date with that view and a glass of wine.

Walnut and Focaccia Bread | Complimentary
The Focaccia bread is soft and tasty. It matches well whether you dip it on the balsamic vinegar or if you spread some butter on it. The walnut bread on the other hand has a more unique texture with bits of walnut. The contrast of soft bread and the crunchy walnut bits was also a nice match to the balsamic vinegar.

Pumpkin & Safron Soup | Php 300.00 
I had the soup split into two. In each bite, you'll love the cheese the way it's melting like eating a pizza -- strands of it extend as you lift your spoon. Soup was creamy and with a dash of pepper, this is so far one of the best pumpkin soups I've ever tried.

Roasted Duck Breast | Php 820.00
Oven roasted duck breast served with potato lyonnaise, shallot confit and red wine sauce. This was the first time I didn't have to remove the fat between the skin and the duck meat! The fat was already so thin that it almost didn't matter. The meat contained a mix of spices and every bite gave me a tingling sensation -- no kidding! Best eaten without removing anything and the red wine sauce definitely adds taste. The lyonnaise potato was just so-so but it matches with the duck meat well.

Sea Bass | Php 1000.00
Pan seared Chilean sea bass with mushroom risotto and fresh vierge. My fiance's favorite, combined in one dish! This is her favorite fish and she also loves risotto. I got a share of it so I could try the dish out and make a review (It's actually my excuse to get a piece of her food. Just kidding.). I like how soft the sea bass is and how it almost melts in your mouth. The risotto was also good that I wished the serving was bigger so I can get more. hahaha!

Olive Oil and Chocolate Marquis | Php 310.00
As usual, our meal won't be complete without dessert. What you see above is a merge of chocolate and olive oil, served with mango scallops. Being an optimistic person, I perceive this as a special dessert served to us. They usually serve it with banana scallops but since their banana is not in stock, they gave us mango scallops instead. The strawberry on the side was also exquisite! I'm not a chocolate lover yet my fiance is -- and she loved it! The nest-like structure surrounding the mango scallops is sculpted sugar. I know how to make them because I attended a dessert class in Enderun Colleges last year. The nest tasted like cotton candy since it's also made from sugar. It can be spiky at first but as it melts, you'll feel like you're eating cotton candy.

For drinks, we got a home-brewed iced tea (Php 80.00) and a calamansi juice (Php 120.00). Nothing special with the calamansi juice and the iced tea. I've tasted better home-brewed iced tea else where.

Attire is strictly smart casual. It is highly recommended to make a reservation when dining there and lunches are strictly by reservation. You can either call or send them an email to reserve. They also have function rooms for parties and big groups.

Address: 5 Julieta Circle, Horseshoe Village, Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone number: (632) 7245211 ; (632) 7222185
Mobile Number: (63917) 5250129
Fax Number: (632) 7237139

Directions to Lemuria:
From EDSA, take Ortigas and go straight until you reach the end (Past Greenhills and Santolan intersection; End= One way Gilmore street). Turn right at N. Domingo and turn right at the fork. Choose the left side of the fork and follow the path. After the bridge, turn left at the first corner.

From Araneta Ave / Erodriguez, take E.rodriguez towards Cubao. Turn right to Gilmore Ave then turn left on N. Domingo. Turn right at the fork to the left. Choose the left side of the fork and follow the path. After the bridge, turn left at the first corner.

If you are looking for an "exclusive place" to have a date this Valentines day try out:
Hacienda Isabella (Tagaytay)
Lolo Dads (Manila)
Lemuria (Quezon City)

Want to add an exclusive place to the list for a Valentines date? Leave a comment below and I'll gladly update this list and maybe pay you a visit as well.

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stacy said...

Been hearing a lot about that place. The price is a bit steep kaya for special occasion nalang hehe

Levy said...

The place is awesome and suitable for dating pero mukhang kailangan pag iponan. How I wish I can go here with my special someone on valentines.