I had to submit an article on healthy food to Inquirer Red and just had to include this memorable healthy meal that included not only greens but also flowers right from Eve’s Garden up in the mountains of La Trinidad, Benguet.
Yes, we have treasures like this here in the Philippines if you know where to look.
Here’s a flashback to September 2012 when I visited Eve’s Garden with my favorite couple in the universe – my parents 🙂
It was a looooong drive. The lady on the phone told us that it would take only fifteen minutes to reach Eve’s Garden from the Manor at Camp John Hay. But it took us a whole hour.
The minute we saw the parking space, which is Eve’s marker, we felt like sailors spotting land.
See the fog? That’s how high up in the mountains we were.
“The food here better be good,” I mumbled. I was worried about making a trip only to find a meal that I could easily get anywhere else. I remembered the horrors we experienced at Marcia Adams on a long weekend in Tagaytay.
But all’s well that ends well. Aside from the clear signage, service was impeccable.
We were immediately greeted by a guide/server into the restaurant, to our seats and to a most delicious pineapple iced tea. And we were also greeted by this breathtaking view:
With a view like this, your mind just halts to take it all in. From the clean breeze to the calm view, for a second you are just one with nature.
Or more than a second because in a quick minute we found ourselves being served soup and this more than generous heaping of salad.
This salad is as appetizing to the eye as it is to the mouth and vice versa. The lettuce and flowers are from the garden just outside the resto-home. This beautiful flower (pictured below) is not just garnish but absolutely edible: a little chalky, a little sweet, absolutely unique. It was also great fun to wrap the raisins, carrots and turnip (sinkamas) in lettuce leaves. Great nibbles.
As if real flowers in your salad wasn’t enough, further testament to Eve’s creativity are these carrot “flowers” with sesame seeds:
In fact Eve is very hands on. After chatting with a neighboring table, she excused herself as we were midway through our salad, announcing, “I am now going to cook your main course.”
Like most home-restos, there is no menu. When you call, Eve will tell you what your
choices are for the day. The day we paid a visit it was a choice of
chicken, beef or fish. Of course we ordered all three. When the meal arrived, it still had lettuce (oh so abundant!) but the viands were to be enjoyed this time with mountain rice.
As we consumed this, we noticed Eve’s attention to detail. For instance, the mint in this glass of water:
Or the small pair of scissors for the cream and sugar packets for the coffee:
Or later, how they so beautifully wrapped our take out:
Like most Baguio residents, Eve also has her own collection of art:
But the fun part was after dessert, when we toured her garden and lettuce farm. Immediately below the restaurant is this amazing hang out with a spectacular view.
I did attempt to climb the monkey bars only to realize that my arms need a LOT more strength training! Those log seats also look like a fun setting for a drinking/bonding session with friends.
The view of Eve’s ground floor from the garden:
… to see Eve’s lettuce garden …
Eve’s daughter lives in this house …
We spotted this baby pine tree … So that’s what they look like when young!
Siyempre hingal na hingal kami paakyat ulit …
The meal is no Heston Blumenthal, ok. It is simple and homey but the leaves and the ambiance don’t get fresher than this! It was a truly delightful experience!
Plus, Eve is a nutritionist of some sort and if you need to consult for health purposes, she is very generous with her knowledge!
So happy I got to see this with my folks although we missed Goldee who was in Singapore …
PS The classical music loops and loops and loops hehehe. Drove my dad crazy. But it’s part of the charm!
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