Last April 21st, the day after we got back from our Bicol vacation, Ariel and I had a post-anniversary dinner at La Cocina De Tita Moning in Manila. It was my 2nd time, Ariel’s 1st. We booked our dinner and selected our menu (we picked the very heavy menu 10) weeks before. A restaurant staff called me early on the 21st to confirm our arrival that evening. Suffice it to say, I barely got through the day with excitement.

I picked up Ariel at 7pm (we were booked at 8pm). Yes, I drove that day because Ariel’s office is in UN Ave. It doesn’t make sense for him to drive all the way to Makati only to drive back to Manila for our dinner. So, I dropped him off to work in the morning and picked him up for our dinner.

We were welcomed into the patio with some drinks and queso de bola toast. YUMMY!

Ariel soaking in the old feel of the house

Lemon Grass Iced Tea and Queso De Bola Toast

Just before dinner, we were ushered into the main house for a tour of the place which is now converted into a museum.

The Camera Room

Some of the prized paintings – this one is by Juan Luna

The wedding gown of one of Tita Moning’s daughters – I wondered how she was able to walk down the aisle in this, it was so heavy!!!

Some priceless heirloom China hanging on the wall

The table setting

Yours truly

The family room

I told Ariel to take it slowly as there’s a lot on the menu. We have to pace ourselves, otherwise, we won’t be able to enjoy everything.

Puree of Fabada with Wantons of Chorizo – sounds good, tastes even better)

White wine with our dinner

Ariel enjoying his soup (although hindi sya mukhang masaya dito)

Fresh Ubod and Lengua Cooked in White Wine


The cute bells used to call the servers

Cheese and Fruit Platter

Rice Pudding with Flambed Banana and Rosemary Chocolate Sauce (by the time, I was so full, I barely touched this yummy dessert)

Native Chocolate with Marshmallows

I wasn’t able to take photos of the kangkong salad (my favorite!) and the poached lapu-lapu. I was surprised to see Ariel enjoying the Lapu-Lapu. He doesn’t usually like poached, boiled or steamed food so I’m happy that he enjoyed it.

Oh, I have to mention that we were the only guests that night. Had I known, I would have convinced Ariel to come in period clothing. You know, the formal wear the old Illustrados wear for banquets. That would complete the Spanish-era dinner experience. Haha! I can just imagine the horror on his face!

Written by Alby Laran


  1. Marvin Alvarez August 11, 2008 at 5:19 am Reply

    Wow! The ambiance looks so different at night. I went there for lunch but I'll certainly be back for dinner.

  2. Maybelle August 4, 2008 at 10:26 am Reply

    OMG! I can just stay in the house all day and soak in its ambience! I love old houses, antiques. I'm sure I was alive during the Spanish era in my previous life. Great way to celebrate!

  3. Freethinker July 14, 2008 at 2:32 pm Reply

    yummy, yummy, yummy food! gotta try this one out 😀

    pero mas gusto ko yata bilhin yung house kasama paintings ang iba pang antique anik anik hahaha (ala Manny Villar!) ngek …mananaginip muna ako hehehe

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