Precious Moments Manila: Showroom, Gift Shop & Tea House

Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Whether it be for Christmas, birthdays or anniversaries, we Filipinos are known to go all out just to celebrate our special day. We love gathering our families, closest friends and loved ones not only to share our joys and milestones in life, but to also bond over good food. And recently, I've discovered a lovely dining space perfect for life-loving people, whatever the occasion. It's Precious Moments Manila in a quiet corner in Makati.
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Located along Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) in Makati, Precious Moments Manila is a showroom, gift shop and tea house in one owned by Mr. Jojo Sonillo and Mr. Samuel J. Butcher, creator of the world-renowned Precious Moments brand. Of course, as a brand known for its cutesy, lovable and adorable image, the restaurant and showroom itself is an epitome of Precious Moments -- warmly-lit, with trinkets, displays of nostalgia-inducing dolls and figures, and adorned by timely and festive holiday décor.

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Cafe and Dining Table at The Ground Floor
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Dining Area and Showroom at The Second Floor

Precious Moments Manila actually has two floors -- the ground floor being a cafe with a big dining table at the back, and the second floor being the showroom and gift shop with dining tables and function rooms for private parties. And while the second floor has more dolls to ogle at, I can't deny that even the ground floor has a lovely charm of its own.

Precious Moments Manila Dolls
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Dolls, dolls and more dolls at Precious Moments Manila

Of course, ambiance is but one part of a memorable experience. So after taking a few snaps (okay, a lot) of the cozy and cutesy place, it was finally time to sample the Asian fusion, prominently Chinese-Pinoy, offerings of Precious Moments Manila's kitchen.

Chicken Asparagus Soup P210

To start off our lunch, we had the Chicken Asparagus Soup (P210). While I've already had my fair share of green soups from Chinese restaurants, I can honestly say that this bowl was good. It was subtle and delicately meaty with a beautiful vibrant green color.

Seaweed & Century Egg Platter P310

We then enjoyed this Seaweed & Century Egg Platter (P310) which are two of my favorite items in Chinese restaurants. As expected, this platter brought a no-brainer satisfaction that had me returning for second, third and even fourth helpings.

Korean Squid P330

Another appetite whetter we got to try was the Korean Squid (P330). While I loved the presentation, I didn't find these squid pieces too special. The skins were crispy and drenched in a sweet, savory and spicy sauce that me and my companions really dig. However, the squid meat itself came off as a little tough for my personal preference.

Baked Spareribs P310

Next on the table was this plate of Baked Spareribs with OK Sauce (P310). I may have not shared this yet, but I love spareribs whether it's steamed with tausi, barbecued, maple-glazed, and what-not. Fortunately, my love for spareribs continued even after trying out Precious Moments Manila's sweet, savory and succulent rendition.

Butterfly Prawns Szechuan Style P390

One of the highlights that afternoon, well at least for me, was this plate of big, plump and juicy Szechuan-Style Butterfly Prawns (P390). Coming from a Chinese-Filipino family which thrives on devouring seafood, I've learned how to appreciate these yummy sea dwellers when I see them. A forkful even reassured me that these prawns aren't only pure looks, but also got the taste down. The prawns themselves were cooked to a perfect tender, while the sauce was flavorful. I just wish it was a tad bit spicier though.

Sweet & Sour Lapu-Lapu P110 per 100g

We then had the Sweet & Sour Lapu-Lapu (P110 per 100g). To be honest, I'm not a big fan of anything sweet and sour. I'd prefer hot and sour, but I'd totally skip sweet and sour. However, in this case, while I still didn't dig the sauce, I liked the fish. It was cooked nicely to a crisp, yet retaining its moistness and tenderness despite being fried.

Braised Pata Tim P465

The superstar of the day was the Braised Pata Tim (P465). It didn't only please my palate, but made everyone in our table giddy in delight. Every spoonful was a joy as the pata tim was cooked to a beautiful tenderness and succulence. The sauce was also very savory and complemented the natural flavors and juices of the pata tim really well.

Crab with Sotanghon P90 per 100g

Our table was excited for the Crab with Sotanghon (P90 per 100g) which was presented stylishly with the crab shell resting atop the noodles. However, no matter how good this dish looked like, I still wasn't as excited as my companions because of one reason. I don't like sotanghon and bihon. (I'm not really a picky eater, but I just can't seem to learn how to appreciate them.) Anyhow, our table seemed to be satisfied with this dish though, and I can personally vouch for the yummy crab served with the noodles.

Classic Carbonara P247

While I didn't expect a Classic Carbonara (P247) to be served in the restaurant since it seemed like their menu is focused on Chinese-Pinoy cuisine, I personally think that this is a good option for the kids. At first glance though, I thought this pasta dish was puttanesca because of the capers, olives and seemingly-tomato bits (which was actually bacon). However, after getting a serving, it turns out that this isn't puttanesca, but carbonara. And while this tasted decent enough for my palate, it can still be improved.

Yang Chow Fried Rice P235

Among the carbs, the Yang Chow Fried Rice (P235) was the most enjoyable for me since it went really well with the viands. I give it to Precious Moments Manila for putting up a flavorful fried rice rendition. However, it doesn't seem to be at par with those served in Chinese restaurants since it lacked that distinct Yang Chow taste.

Cookies & Cream Latte P125 Mango Tiramisu P132

For a sweet ending, I enjoyed the Cookies & Cream Latte (P125) which I found quite good for a sweet and sinful iced coffee. I also had a slice of Mango Tiramisu (P132) which was simple (Graham, cream and condensed milk, anyone?) yet equally good.

Sumi The Purple Doll on Breakfast Magazine
Celebrating Life's Precious Moments -- my short article on Breakfast Magazine
Sumi Go The Purple Doll on Breakfast Magazine
Yours truly together with Richie, Yedy, Guia and Peachy for Breakfast Magazine's Bloggers Section

Oh by the way, I've written a short article about Precious Moments Manila on Breakfast Magazine's Bloggers Section for the December 2012 - January 2013 issue. (Grab a copy now! This mag has tons of easy-to-follow recipes, resto features, interviews and more.) And since my article there was brief, much like a teaser, let's consider this blog post my in-depth restaurant and food review on Precious Moments Manila.

THE VERDICT

From all the restaurants I've been to, light, cute and simply inspiring dining spaces always have a special place in my heart. And Precious Moments Manila radiates such a strong positive energy to all those who visit it, that individuals, families, friends, business partners and peers who come to look around, shop and eat can enjoy an intimate space where they can relax and reminisce, and even develop, mend and strengthen their ties.

As for the food, I was actually surprised of how good the quality of their dishes were. I was proven that a lovely spot such as Precious Moments Manila isn't all looks, but also got the flavors down. So doll enthusiasts and foodies, this is a destination worth a trip!

Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Precious Moments Manila, Buendia
95 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. (Buendia)
Cor. Osmeña Highway, Palanan, Makati City
Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 387-1092; (02) 887-5252
Official Website
Facebook Account
Facebook Page

22 comments:

  1. i'm a big fan of precious moments...they are just so cute. i wish i can get to see this exhibit

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  2. I love precious Moments as well. The food looks so delicious!

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  3. Yum, the place is perfect for showing and dine in.

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  4. That's a beautiful place with lots of yumminess! Gosh, sana makapunta ako dyan someday!

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  5. The place is homey and cozy and look at all those foodies, wow! nakakagutom...

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  6. Who wouldn't love to eat in such a cozy atmosphere? To people like me who are very familiar with Precious Moments, it can be a trip to memory lane.

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  7. i'm a precious moment lovers. hope i can visit this place..

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  8. It was nice seeing you at Precious Moments, Sumi! I so love the Korean Squid and my daughter loved the prayer book I got for her.

    Thanks for the mention in this post =)

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  9. Ahhh those are so pretty especially the food making me hungry!

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  10. i read about this place in some other blogs i frequent + would definitely love to visit! those food sure looks delectable plus i'd love to look at the precious moments + hopefully buy a piece or two! :)

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  11. awwssss...looks homey Sumi..and ilove the dolls..food is mouth watering..just perfect for family bonding..

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  12. It was nice seeing you at Precious Moments, Sumi! I so love the Korean Squid and my daughter loved the prayer book I got for her.

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  13. It was nice seeing you at Precious Moments, Sumi! I so love the Korean Squid and my daughter loved the prayer book I got for her.

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  14. It sure is precious To eat there, Wow!

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  15. So the Precious Moment Figurine I saw outside Sen. Gil Puyat is also a resto My first thought was that they are selling cross stich pattern. Have to try it one day. Look delicious

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  16. It would be a delight to dine in this place, with the good food and the homey ambiance, this would truly be a precious.... moment!

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  17. Wow. Never saw this kind of atmosphere before :) Would be a food blogger now. You inspire me! ♥

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  18. This is one of the quaintest places I've ever seen. :) Looking forward to dining in this place soon with my family...

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  19. Wow nice exhibit. Precious moments is such beautiful place that offers wonderful dishes. I wish to visit this soon!

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  20. Carl: I love the aura of Precious Moments, it's very peaceful. I love the Angels/dolls specially the Aquino dolls, they're so cute. Your post is very detailed. Whoever needs information about their food must read this. Precious blog post!

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