Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Visiting Tita Moning

Deals are just cropping up everywhere. similar to the US (like groupon) where you get deals from different companies, we have also experienced an influx of deal/coupon sites. Some of these are DEAL GROCER, ENSOGO, PAKYAW, METRODEAL.

I have personally tried ensogo and deal grocer and got a deal for a dinner at a colonial house. It's called LA COCINA DE TITA MONING. (the kitchen of Tita Moning). This is actually a 1930s art deco  house of an affluent family (the Legardas). Over the years, the descendants have moved and the once exclusive area of the rich became a commoners area. The house actually is in the compound of the Presidential palace.
legarda house circa 1930s. (photo from concina website)

We actually went early (actually straight from my office). It is not easy to find and I had to navigate with a map to get there. Weaving our way thru the old streets of Manila, I was surprised that we had to go through a guard house of Malacanang palace (the presidential area). I also noticed we passed through  a street named Legarda st. (which is quite indicative of how influential the former owners of the house were)

The restaurant is really a house. A very old house. Except for the sign, you wouldn't know its the place you were looking for,

We were ushered into the long driveway ( the lot area was probably 2000 sq meters) into a patio. The patio actually reminded me of our old 1970s bungalow with it's stone washed out floor and river stone clad walls. even the garden furniture was very 70s. Waiters served us lemongrass iced tea (w/c in my opinion was a bit strong.. but my husband liked it) and some bread with a homemade cheese (quezo de bola) spread.

We were the first ones there (it was after all only 6pm) and we had the whole patio to ourselves. The "maid"/waitress came in a short while to usher us inside the house for the house tour. The meal we booked (you have to call at least a day in advence to book a preset menu as they do not accept walk ins) was for the whole shebang.. meaning you get to experience what it was to be living in 1930s with maids in uniform serving you at a very manor like house.

The first thing you would see when you walked into the foyer is the staircase and a grand painting by ZALAMEDA originally bought for 3000 pesos in the 70s (about $80-) and now fetches 1 million pesos ($22000)

 Dr. Legarda was also a collector of cameras and radio equipment evidenced by his vast collection.
camera collection of Dr. Legarda, the library

The waitress/maid/guide was very knowledgable in the history of the house and would answer all our quieries whenever we asked them. We were then led to the library of DR Alejandro (who was a noted OBY GYN) and the shelves were filled with very old first edition encyclopedia britannia. yYou could really feel the "old manor" type vibe from just this room. We perused all the antique books, keys and tables. Looking at these kind of gives you an eerie feeling.

Going down the hallway, we could also see old antique waffle makers and hairdryers (photo bonanza!!) which gave me a wow feeling... coz it was after all the 1930s. They also had a collection of antique electric fans, tea servers and telephones.

telephone, radio equipment, hair dyer and old key

electric fan, tea server and key again

waffle maker and paper mache box

The most "eerie" part is the clinic. Since Dr Aljandro was a gynecologist, he had a clinic inside his house.... with an actual human skeleton hanging from a hook (probably purchased from some local morgue)... spooky.... kindda reminded me of HH HOMES (the murder he committed in 1893 chicago world's fair. and selling skeletons to medical schools).. eeewww... I couldn't get put of there fast enough.

It just gave me the heebejeebees..... I was afraid if I stay a little longer, I would lose my appetite.
So off we went to the second floor. (my husband actually quipped that he didn't "feel" anything in the clinic but actually had a hair raising feeling in the library... an my husband can "feel".. if you know what I mean.)

the antique bonanza continued upstairs.... (to be continued on next post)

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