Patio Vera: A Secret Paradise
A hidden-house-turned-into-restaurant, this place is definitely worth your visit
By Regine Santelices
Marikina is famously acknowledged as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, but what most of us don’t know is that the city is enchantingly stealing food lovers’ hearts as it’s slowly becoming yet another food haven that’s definitely worth the “dayo.”
“Hidden-house-turned-into-restaurant”, that’s what people refer to the Patio Vera Restobar that’s neatly tucked along the residential street of Calumpang in Marikina.
It’s not the typical fine dining restaurant lined up along other diners, one has to have a keen eye to find this one. It’s like a secret garden covered by high walls and trees, and if it wasn’t for the huge tarpaulin plastered on the walls outside the house, you would surely miss the place.
But the trouble of finding Patio Vera fails in comparison once you’re inside. A romantic, laid-back diner that not only offers fancy dishes, but will let you experience an eclectic, serene setting in the middle of the busy metropolis.
The old house or the restaurant itself is the ancestral home of the Vera’s, a well-known family in the shoe-making business in Marikina. But due to the declining shoe industry in the city, the family business folded. It was the son of Prop Vera – the shoe maker – who decided to try their expertise in the food industry. After the catastrophic typhoon Ondoy that almost cost them the house, the Vera’s decided to fully restore the place, retain its beauty and ancestral design, hence resulted to the garden-paradise Patio Vera.
Dining at Patio Vera is truly a unique experience. Traces of the family’s history are presented in the most aesthetic way. Old photographs on dining tables, paintings hanging on walls and antiques on every corner. Really, it’s like dining in a museum. And what’s another great thing about it is that you can choose where to dine, from the air-conditioned dining area, the bar, backyard, and everyone’s favourite Al Fresco where the enormous floral canopy is on display. You’re not only satisfying your stomach when you’re here, but also feeding your eyes with perfection.
The restaurant serves Filipino-Spanish dishes, and their very own “lutong Marikina.” Sophisticated and intricately made dishes are worth every penny, from the presentation to the actual taste. Even the utensils, serving platters and table centrepieces are attractive.
Their main dishes and best sellers are Paella Valenciana, Menudo de Meya, and Longganisa Carbonara.
- Paella Valenciana – A mouth-watering seafood dish. Turmeric rice, chicken, pork, shrimp, mussel, fish, squid, and peas.
- Menudo de Meya – Famous in Marikina, but instead of tomato sauce, they used annatto sauce or achuete. A dish cooked to perfection with the sauce blending perfectly with the tender meat.
- Longganisa Carbonara – Not your usual creamy and saucy pasta carbonara. It’s more in oil and Yes, not ham, but longganisa. It’s definitely a must-try dish!
Patio Vera is not only famous for their food and unique setting, but it’s also a place for events, pre-nuptials, reception place, and photo shoots. They were featured a couple of times in different television shows, showcasing the place’s uniqueness and as one of the pillars of the rising food industry in Marikina.
More and more people are falling in love with the place despite the trouble in parking – since it’s located at a residential area, parking is quite a problem. But regardless of that, people are coming back due to the romantic and homey feel of the restaurant.
For four years now, Patio Vera, the old house turned into a restaurant, is “talagang dinadayo.” It’s like a little secret, only that anyone can know about it as long as they are looking for it.