If you ever have the unfortunate fate of meeting yours truly, you might find it hard to believe that I am actually a very shy person. Don't get me wrong, I DO talk a lot, sometimes even to strangers who would look at me funny. Heck, I even talk sometimes in my sleep. I am very good at being wacky or sharing wild stories with my close friends but put me in a ballroom with hundreds of people... now THAT'S when I shut up and act all aloof or distant. Big parties are just not really my cup of tea (or coffee? He he he he!) So as much as I had fun in our last High School Reunion held at a ball room at this hotel, I'm still having second thoughts at planning my presence on the next one. I could just get very shy that's all. No matter who is there!
That is why when there is an invite to get together with some of my High School mates, I really make it a point to attend because it is my favored alternative over a big bash of a reunion. I would rather have everything close and cozy PLUS I get to bring my little rascals along. So when our Singapore-based HS friend visited Manila most recently, I was glad to catch up once more with some of the ladies I practically grew up with. Best thing of course was that we were able to meet up and merge each other's families.
HOWEVER... seeing these gals for even just a short period made me miss my other school mates all over again. So yes, I might... just might... overcome that weird bipolar shyness of mine and face a whole ballroom of familiar faces.
Oh dear! I'm changing my mind again! Can't it just be close and cozy like in GRACE PARK???
Interiors of GRACE PARK are very rustic bordering on that Italian countryside feel.
For some reason though, it reminded me of the setting for the book "A Year in Provence" except that was actually in France. He he he he!
However, I've never been to France but this is how I imagined where the lead guy ate a lot foie gras in that book. Tee hee! Talk about imagination!
Walls of GRACE PARK are unpainted and the stairs going up to the second floor was of dirty metal. But somehow the additions of these little touches, like this chandelier, makes for an overall folksy yet chic vibe!
I'm not really fond of taking pictures of restaurant restrooms but the GRACE PARK toilet also exhibited that same feel!
We settled in the second floor of GRACE PARK and got ourselves a LOOOOONG table.
If we wanted to have a bit of privacy in GRACE PARK, we could have reserved this nook which was further inside the second floor but it was just too "closed" for comfort especially with our little lords around.
Before even taking our seats, I immediately chatted up with High School buds Corina, and Elaine (the one from Singapore) with cutesie patootsie baby Maria. It was like back in HS again, not just because nobody seemed to age a year, but like before, I mistook Corina for her twin sister, Tricia. Ha ha ha ha!
By the way, GRACE PARK is very near our place that lazy me only took a bath before meeting up with them. Check out my wet hair. Yup! Blow drying is not in my system!
And speaking of the you know what, minutes later twin sister Tricia arrived with little Andie!
I'm sure you would understand why even at 28 (ahem ahem) I could still get confused. He he he he!
After much deliberation, my TEAM YAP finally settled in their seats. Andrei was initially going to sit beside me so that I could feed him but then he demanded that he be at the head of the table!
Pretty "nice twin" Corina with hub JT!
Andie, Raffy, and evil twin Tricia. Ha ha ha ha!
I always playfully refer to her as evil twin but don't worry. I set the bar on "evilness". Ha ha ha! Dear Tricia is a Chef/Instructor of CACS (Center for Culinary Asian Studies) and is actually one of the nicest ladies from our batch.
Remember how I said that Andrei demanded to sit at the head of the table? Well he was made to sit beside me again because he was, as usual, being naughty to his Kuya Mati. Check out his very exasperated face.
Later on he begged to be seated besides his Daddy so we pulled another switcheroo.
He he he he! Yup! That's why we always need some sort of "deliberation" on the seating arrangement before every meal.
NOW LET'S ORDER!
GRACE PARK meynuh one...
GRACE PARK meynuh two...
GRACE PARK meynuh three...
You could also check out the GRACE PARK offerings at their chalk board.
TIME to eat!
Chef Tricia ordered the GRACE PARK Dalandan shake (P140.00) which just had the right acidity and sweetness to it. I should know because I took a sip when she was not looking.
Tee hee... Kidding.
Or am I?
Dan dan dannnn....
My little lord Mati ordered the GRACE PARK Cauliflower Clam Chowder (P225.00) which he was able to finish in a flash.
What you see here is the Creamed Brocolli soup because I was not able to take a picture of the chowder. Tee hee! Sorry.
We ordered 2 sets of the GRACE PARK Sardine Spread (P250.00) because we just can't stop picking on it.
The sardine spread did not smell ickily fishy at all but was very creamy and packed with a lot of flavor. Perfect for the crusty bread!
Chef Tricia ordered the GRACE PARK Squash Flower Prosciutto (P274.00) which was just meh for me. The breading and the squash flower were really bland and lacked seasoning.
I am not sure though if it was done on purpose because if you take in a whole bite with the prosciutto, you would get a little TING of saltiness in this appetizer. Would pass up ordering this next time.
JT had the GRACE PARK Organic Duck Brown Rice (P450.00) which he shared with us. Mati and I loved this because it was like fried rice with rich adobo sauce mixed into it. I think even Andrei got a taste of it and asked for another serving as well.
My yub was in the mood for some burgers and had the GRACE PARK Patty Melt Rye (P400.00).
My husband enjoyed his sandwich because the patty was meaty and extra juicy. He let me have a bite (of the sandwich what were you thinking you pervert) and yes it was pretty good.
Our kids munched on the fried shoestring potatoes that came with the burjer... este... "burger".
Andrei wanted some spaghetti so we had the GRACE PARK Spinach Bolognese (P400.00) split into 2.
Now I know that we had this cut for 2 people but imagining 2 servings of THIS still won't make up for that P400.00 don't you think? Or am I being sorta stingy again?
Anywho... Andrei gave everything to his Kuya because he did not feel like eating "green noodles". Oh well... my plans of subtly feeding him vegetables for lunch was THWARTED.
It was different though for the GRACE PARK Chicken Parmigiana (P580.00) because it just occupied the whole platter!
I forgot who but somebody ordered this GRACE PARK Gramigna Pasta with smoked white cheese (P380.00) which smelled awesome.
I'm not a fan of the twirly wirly pasta noodles though but I do like simple noodle dishes with fresh greens and veggies.
GRACE PARK Spinach Fettucini with Prawns (P575.00) was raved over by Elaine.
The same goes with GRACE PARK Organic Pork Chops (P695.00) that were so thick yet tender. This is like a vikings meal on a platter!
Except of course, vikings might not eat veggies. Just my theory though.
The GRACE PARK Muscavado Beef Belly (P510.00) was very moist with sweet flavorings.
GRACE PARK Pot Roast Green Salad (P295.00) could be every carnivore's dream!
Food! Food everywhere!!
Hey Andie are you checking out Mati? He he he he! Kidding!
We should've ordered extra bread for that heavenly spread!
Pretty Elaine with Andrei, her son Lucas... AND ME!
The famous Ignacio twins from our batch!
The pogi boys...
... and the VOLUPTUOUS and pretty girls.
Ha ha ha ha! Sorry it's my blog anyway.
Thanks dear Elaine for the boys' gift! Hope to see more of you again in 2014!!!!!
Yub, stop smiling. You won't get ANY of it.
Our GRACE PARK bill!
SPCP gals with families volt in!
This was so fun that I already asked Chef Tricia, "Now when's the reunion?"
It IS time to "HARK the daughters of the great St. Paul" anyway!
He he he he!
G/F, One Rockwell, Hidalgo Drive
(02) 843 7275
He he he!
Remember how I said Chef Tricia was the "evil twin"? Here we are recreating our RUSTIC MORNINGS picture where she said I could act like the "mean one" this time. See she has a spark of goodness after all! Ha ha ha ha ha! Check out Elaine's photobombing peace sign!