Sometimes Impressions Don’t Last

My first impression of the restaurant La Maison in one word was “expensive.” A friend disabused me of this notion by saying they offer meals for a group of people which are budget friendly. Being creatures of habit, my friends and I keep going back to our favorite Greenbelt 5 restos John & Yoko and California Pizza Kitchen, always relishing our usual orders. It was only recently when I was out with my mom & daughter that I felt adventurous enough to veer from these favorites and give La Maison a try.

Located at the 3rd floor of Greenbelt 5, my mom was a bit surprised to find some restaurant at this level. It was early Sunday evening and there were only two other tables occupied by couples when we arrived. Upon getting the menu, I barely read the choices for appetizers, soups, salads and steaks and zeroed in on the section labeled “for sharing” which offered good selections on ribs, seafood and chicken. The menu offerings with their accompanying one liner descriptions all looked tempting, making it difficult for me to decide what to order. Since there were only two of us adults, the seafood platter was out of the running even if it was enticing since we wanted to try a broader selection. We ended up ordering half a portion each of La Maison ribs and their version of fish and chips.

When our orders came, I was pleasantly surprised at the large servings. Even half an order was really good for sharing. The place touted ribs, steaks and seafood as their specialties and they did not disappoint on the ribs and seafood part that we tried. We are not steak lovers so we passed up on that. The pork ribs were tender, juicy and flavorful even without the sauce. I found the honey bourbon sauce too sweet for my taste. I suddenly longed for Racks steak sauce to accompany these tasty ribs but had to settle for Knorr seasoning. I alternated the accompanying sauce with Knorr seasoning to offset the cloying sweetness. I had a side order of garlic rice which was the best accompaniment for the ribs to sate my hunger.

As for the fish and chips, the fries are those you could expect in other dining places. But the fish, wow! One bite and it seemingly melts in your mouth. It tasted divine, prompting my mom to recall what we had ordered. It was just plain fish and chips on the menu but it was a delight to the taste buds. It had four different sauces, two of which we dismissed: the hot sauce and curry. The other two we wiped clean were the one which looked like it had pesto and the other which looked like sandwich spread but which did not taste at all like sandwich spread.

I almost forgot… for starters, they served free black bread that were to be dipped in olive oil and vinegar. I found the black bread unusual and worried that some would get stuck between my teeth, so when I smile… you get the picture. Its dark color, however, did not deter my brave little girl who chomped them down unhesitantly.

To illustrate how generous the servings were, we were able to finish three quarters of the fish. Amara took care of the fries which were one of her favorite snacks. Thankfully, they made her settle down and stop banging on the table and throwing her toys from her high chair. We were able to bring home one and a half slabs of the ribs (there were two enormous slabs for half a serving). It’s very satisfying to get value for your money.

La Maison taught me that some impressions don’t last. We will definitely go back.

P.S. When we did go back a few weeks later, we ordered the fish and chips again. They changed the fries to potato wedges but what’s a bit disappointing was the fish was not the same melt-in-your-mouth good although it was still good enough. The second time around, we ordered desserts which were, again, very affordable. For those who want to satisfy their sweet tooth, I recommend passing on the soft drinks or juices and trying their sweet concoctions to end your meal. They were not to die for but were okay.


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