If you’re in Manila, and you’re the type who notices details of things around you, then you’re bound to have noticed the proliferation of the tear-drop eyed characters of Precious Moments. These “angels” adorn all sorts of things, from greeting cards, to cutlery, and even umbrellas, all with a discernible Christian theme to them.
If you happen to be one of those who couldn’t get enough of these cute little characters, then you should also be glad to know that they now have a showroom (cum cafe, cum restaurant) hidden somewhere in the side streets of Makati. If you’re a man, and you have a wife, or a date who falls head over heels for these things (more than for you), then all the more should you schedule a visit to this place.
Tucked, rather discreetly, along Laredo Street in Barangay Palanan, Makati City is a place called the Precious Moments Showroom, Giftshop and Teahouse. The showroom sits inside a nice looking brick house that wouldn’t look out of place in Europe or the old colonial states of the USA. It does actually complement the Precious Moments theme pretty well.
As you go inside, you are greeted by no other than a congregation of Precious Moments memorabilia, like dolls, decors, bags, mugs, etc., some of which are for sale. The place does have an astounding collection of these, and will surely delight any fan.
The interior of the house is dominated by a large and cozy dining area, and the whole place does invite you to relax, and enjoy a quiet snack, or meal. Consistent with its exterior, the inside of the house also has a rustic, country feel to it. Combine that with the subdued lighting, the mellow piped in music, plus the quiet environment, and you could actually forget for a while that you’re in the middle of the country’s busiest city.
Despite being a “showroom” though, it actually gives the impression that it is primarily a place to eat, and should you decided to drop by and see the place, be prepared to sample their meals and desserts.
They have quite an extensive menu, though the typical Filipino would be no stranger to its variety. To simplify things, our group just ordered “Set Menu 2” which comprised of Chicken Asparagus Soup, Sweet and Sour Pork, Squid Chopsuey and one-half of an Oriental Fried Chicken, plus Fruit Cocktail for dessert and one 1.5 liter bottle of Coke.
The menu says the set meal is good for 4 people, but it felt like it could have fed 5 of our average countrymen, or maybe even 6 in a stretch. The bill rang up to 1012 PHP, which isn’t so bad, considering the quantity of the food that was served, and the level of service of the staff.
Quality-wise, we had no complaints about their food, though it’s something that a good cook, or a kitchen-savvy housewife can also do at home, so don’t expect any “haute cuisine” here. If you’re familiar with Filipino parties held at home, with home-cooked “specialty” food at the center of the activity, then that’s what you’d expect to get here.
You might be tempted to say “My tiya from our far-away barangay can cook that herself”, but she doesn’t have an old brick house that has tons of cute memorabilia in it, does she? * In Filipino culture, there’s almost always at least one member of the extended family who is a “culinary expert”, usually an elder, like an aunt (“tiya” in our language).
The food here will satisfy most, except for the pickiest ones, and if you’re one of those who have an “adoration” for Precious Moments, then you might just find heaven in the middle of Makati.
Directions: Coming from Makati CBD, take Buendia (Gil Puyat) heading towards the direction of South Super Highway. Go past the intersection of Buendia and South Super then turn right at the first corner (Filmore St.). Go past Cash & Carry then take a left to Casino St., and then a right to Laredo St. You’ll find the showroom at your right side.
* We dined here on April 2011. All photos taken with Sony DSC-T300.
* Update on May 2012: Precious Moments has recently relocated to a new place just along Buendia Ave. (Gil Puyat), very close to the intersection with the South Super Highway. I have now pictures yet of the new place, and I been to the old location to see if there’s still something there.