Grace Park in One Rockwell


Yes, not in Caloocan City, but in One Rockwell. This resto of Gaita Fores is the only one I’ve been to aside from Cibo. Haven’t been to Lusso and her other creations either because it was not in a place we frequent (Araneta Center) or it sounded intimidating (read: classy and expensive). But as we go to Rockwell rather often, I decided we had to check out GP.

I called Saturday night for a reservation because it seems such is de rigueur in OR restos. And luckily I did because shortly after we got there Sunday lunch, people began to come in as well, and those without reservations were woefully turned down, among them a family of foreigners. There just was no room (table) in the inn any longer. Incidentally, when I reserved, I asked about accessibility. One should never presume such and it’s fortunate I asked. The person who took my reservation said, “ahhh… sige, ibigay ko na lang sa inyo ang isang table sa baba” (he’d give me the table downstairs). I realized why. GP has only two or three tables downstairs, the rest are at the mezzanine (loft) and therefore, are inaccessible. Also, when I asked the man where exactly in OR GP was, he said beside Apartment 1-B. Wrong. When we got to OR, with that info in mind, we proceeded to Apartment 1B. Oops, not there.We backtracked and looked at the other building where we had seen Bizu earlier. GP was there, the signage not too stark, hence barely noticeable.

The interiors of GP are quaint, I read a review describe it as shabby chic. The floor is what one might see in a parking area, a bit dry muddied up. But one knows it’s not dirty but clean. What doesn’t feel icky looking at it. Nice.

The food… of course it’s great. Son liked his apahap very much, it was the fish for the day. I enjoyed my muscovado beef very much – it was tender and had some fat in it. Husband was okay with his three cheese meatball. I almost said but why are there four meatballs? Dumb. Three cheese meatballs means three types of cheeses are in it; three does not refer to the number of meatballs.

For dessert we had cassava, but it wasn’t outstanding. Cafe Juanita’s is better, I think. Oh, I forgot, we had the chicharones for our appetizer. It’s not listed in the menu, I had read about it. Sarap. It had chive mousse on it, topped with salmon roe or prosciutto ham.

Interesting about this resto, as far as I’ve read. is that it tries to bring farm produce fresh to the resto every time and what is served is what’s available/on hand from the farmers. That Gaita has Negrense roots is apparent: her use of muscovado and her steamed white rice from Bacolod or Negros, was it? Her lolo used to own 3 or 4 sugar centrals (or more?) in Negros. One of them was in my hometown and we’d see it each time we’d go to Bacolod. (Yikes, but that’s so much trivia when it’s GP I’m supposed to have discussed.)

At any rate, do try it out.

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gp4I think there were 10 pieces of the chicharones but they were so good I thought of taking their photo when they were down to just two.
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But again, make a reservation at 843 7275. For a better review and pictures of the resto, check out Cecile’s blog

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