I was part of corporate Makati for just a month. Though my office previous to that was in Makati, it was a semi-government organization and the people in it were not corporate at all, so the six months in that office do not count.
After that one month in Makati, the then town and now city meant one shopping area for me. Before Power Plant came to be, there was Makati where Glorietta and Rustan’s were/are. Quad too. Then in 2009 we had to get a Schengen visa and that was my next brush with corporate Makati. We went to the French embassy and it felt like a different world. I was fascinated when before we proceeded to the embassy we had breakfast in the fast foods joint on the ground floor. Four years later, that is, today, I was again in corporate Makati, not by choice but by circumstance. Destination: Ayala Tower.
My appointment was at 2 pm. But I was advised to get there by 1 pm. What to do? I had the Wheelmobile come at 10:30 but I dilly-dallied and was ready at 11. Last night I thought of having lunch with HHB in Power Plant which is a shopping area to my mind and not corporate Makati. Lunching at Ayala Triangle was an option but the place being unfamiliar, I wasn’t too keen. But as traffic was bad on our way to Makati, I decided to google in search of a resto in Ayala Tower. I saw Cafe France was on the G/F. Then on the 25th was Romulo’s Lounge. Oh my, I thought, the latter sounded intimidating but was the seemingly better option as it would be close to the venue I had to be at by 1 pm.
When we got to Ayala Tower 1, I asked the guard at the entrance if there were any resto on the ground floor. He seemed floored by my question. I asked, “what about the second floor?” Someone I had spoken to said there was a cafeteria there. The guard prevaricated and said I’d have difficulty there. He asked where I was going. I said 25th floor and as he seemed as confused as I, I decided to take a risk and go to the 25th, ergo Romulo’s, hoping the place wasn’t too formal and expensive. Though, come to think of it, when I googled, one comment on the place was that it wasn’t to be “feared” – I put that in quotes as I now forget what words were used to describe it. You get the drift.
When we entered, I asked the waiter if HHB and I could go in. HHB as usual was in walking shorts. He nodded and led us to a table, asking if we had reservations. I said no, he said it was all right. The table he led us to had someone’s name. I pointed that out to him and he said he’d just transfer it. The place wasn’t very full but it wasn’t empty.
I ordered for HHB and myself: crispy pata wasn’t available, so I ordered lechon kawali (P350) and lumpiang hubad (P90). The waiter recommended our ordering soup (Pancit molo – P80 per). I ordered rice as well – can’t recall how much. And Coke.
The lechon kawali was good, the lumpiang hubad was okay except that the bowl was filled to the brim rendering the dish difficult to scoop out. Rationalizing – but I didn’t get too much of that. Neither did HHB. In fact the bowl was half full when we left. That came with peanut sauce and had two shrimps and some tofu atop togue, carrots and cabbage. I think there was half a lettuce leaf as well.
I asked about dessert thinking that as the food was basically Filipino, they’d have Filipino desserts. Instead they had cheesecake, strawberry short cake and sans rival. So we had no dessert but had one mentos mint each which I had brought with me.
The meeting was not intimidating but friendly, it occurred to me I shouldn’t be too scared about corporate Makati. When will my next time be? I don’t foresee any in the horizon actually.
Incidentally, Romulo’s Lounge is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.