My brother was telling me about this new place at Greenbelt 2 which looked interesting. I don’t recall telling The Boyfriend anything about it, but when we passed by the place one afternoon and he saw that Japanese restaurant, he didn’t even think twice about entering and having lunch there.
We took our time browsing through the menu and deciding what we should try out first. We were served complimentary breadsticks while waiting for the food, but I only took a bite off one of them since we noticed that the bottom part of the glass where the sticks were served was wet – and it wasn’t olive oil covering the bottom; it was just water. We weren’t sure if it was clean or not. 🙁
While we were amusing ourselves with the menu, there was one thing which caught my eye straightaway and I knew that it was something that we were going to order, no matter what:
The Escaargots baked with garlic butter (Php385)! I used to dislike the mere thought of eating snails, but I think I warmed up to the idea after watching my Dad and brothers munch through several of them when we used to eat in one of the local Filipino restaurants. Dad has always said that they were delicious.
Here’s a look at the snail once it’s out of the shell. I really loved the chewy, meaty texture and how the garlic butter sauce was just light enough to complement the snails. The Boyfriend and I had three pieces each.
For his main dish, The Boyfriend chose the house specialty: Beef Strogranoff with Buttered Rice (Php375). The buttered rice is being covered by the blanket of egg. The Boyfriend said that it was a pretty good dish, but that the beef could use a little less salt. He was raving about the buttered rice though.
The photo above is the Garlic Chicken Steak served on a bed of mixed vegetables (Php295). This was just an okay dish; it would have definitely been better if the vegetables were served freshly cooked and if they still had that crispness to them, rather than at room temperaure and already wilted. When this dish arrived, I was a bit surprised. I remember specifically ordering for the Chicken with Cream Sauce so I was wondering where the cream was. After taking a bite and confirming that it definitely wasn’t the dish I ordered, I decided not to complain or have it changed to avoid any more delays. We’ve already waited for quite some time.
The Boyfriend enjoyed his refillable Iced Tea (Php110). It tasted like it was home brewed so it’s a two-thumbs up for him!
My drink was one of the restaurant’s specialty drinks, and if I remember it correctly, it’s called Orange Black Tea (Php125). It was very refreshing and not too sweet. I’d highly recommend this to other people.
There were several things which I liked about our experience, but there were several others which irked me to the core as well (I’m going to try to be a bit more understanding than usual, since I learned that the place just officially opened the day we visited and that the staff just underwent their training the day before):
The place itself was pretty nice; I found it very homey and romantic, but there weren’t really a whole lot of space to move around in, so it was a bit cramped. It would also be nice if the doors could be closed most of the time to avoid having flies buzz around the dining area. We managed to have two of them flying near our table and landing on the wall next to The Boyfriend’s seat.
The staff were okay, but our server was just too eager to serve/please that it was already bordering on annoying. I wasn’t too comfortable with the fact that she was hovering near our table the entire time and that she interrupted the conversation I was having with The Boyfriend several times. There’s a very thin line between being helpful and being intrusive; I hope Ma Maison’s management learns to properly train their staff about this.
Service was a bit slow, but still tolerable. This will probably (hopefully!) improve once everyone gets used to how the business runs. I am hoping that the servers would also ensure that they serve the complete set of proper utensils to the customers, depending on the dish that was ordered. The snail forks were not provided until after we’ve already consumed half of the escargots. I honestly don’t mind using toothpicks, but it would be nice to have the forks ready if they’re available.
Will I still go back? I might. I’m still thinking of trying their other dishes anyway, and I’m curious to see how much they could improve after a couple of weeks. It seems that the Ma Maison in Singapore has quite a big following, so I’m hoping that their branch here in Manila would perform pretty well too. 🙂
**Ma Maison is located at the ground floor of Greenbelt 2, right next to Cyma.