At the start of 2015, I planned on taking my family to a hop-a-meal fiesta extravaganza via buffet dining. I'd pick a place, we'd reserve seats and eat out every 4 or 5 days within the next two weeks. This was before the whole holiday season was over and people would be back knee-deep with work. One of my choices was Guevarra's by Chef Laudico.
It's an old house, said to be built in the 1940's; that it could have been home of a former president of the country. It looked like one of those heritage houses you find in Quezon or Ilocos. What's more interesting was, this used to be a spa called Tian Di Spa which fell from alleged mismanagement. It was said to turn seedy with gambling at the side. The spa folded eventually. Enter Chef Laudico. The rest is history.
Two years later, Guevarra's is a gastronomic hub that, on most days, easily fills up. In fact, reservation is important - or you would hardly get a walk-in seat. A day before your reservation, you'd get a text reminder; i.e. that you will be allowed 30 minutes from your reserved time. Or your reservation will be cancelled. Fair. On the day of your dinner, you'll get a call reminding you again. They're that efficient - or segurista? :)
The chef is Rolando Laudico, educated at the Culinary Institute of America (New York), a culinary school with a lot of history (it was founded in 1946 originally conceptualized as a vocational institute for returning veterans of World War II). In the succeeding years, Laudico worked in France (he apprenticed at "L 'Essentiel") and Australia before deciding to come home and pursue his culinary craft in his country.
Food really concentrates on Pinoy cuisine. There's lechon and there's bagnet. There's a tender and mouth watering stock of baby back ribs, and everything else, including non-alcoholic drinks. Pizza, pasta, and a sinful regional dessert selection are in place as well. Due to the onslaught of customers, Guevarra's is said to follow a strict "2-hour meal" so they can accommodate other customers. I didn't get this impression of guests being rushed away, to be honest.
The place has white-washed panels and a gracious wooden arch at the central hallway. Rooms are named after heroes: Abad Santos, Recto, etc. Outside this ancestral home is a lawn decked with tables and chairs as well, and a garden. There's ample parking space to its left. Unlike hotel buffets with a tag price of PhP2,000 to PhP3,500, Guevarra's is exceedingly generous at PhP500+
Guevarra's by Chef Laudico is located at 387 P. Guevarra Street, San Juan, Metro Manila. For more information, please call (63-2) 705-1811.
Their Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/ChefLaudicoGuevarras.
If you want buffet dining rich in old-world charm, a homely atmosphere and a sumptuous selection that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, look no further.
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|Our table at the Recto room.|
|This photo only courtesy of Guevarra's Facebook page.|