Part of The Bistro Circle, which includes, among others, Italianni's, TGI Fridays, Fish & Co., and FlapJacks, Ma Maison serves French and Japanese-Western dishes. The place sits on where FlapJacks used to be.
Cozy and dimly-lit interiors.
The restaurant sports a dimly-lit yet warm and cozy atmosphere (which makes it quite hard to work with a cellphone camera, although my Samsung Galaxy S-III delivered somehow). The interiors feature brick walls, wood, lamps, floral table cloths, and even copper pots and pans. It's quite charming, so to speak. Seating options include a couple of diner-type seats, a bar-type setting, and the traditional restaurant arrangement.
Bar-type seating also available.
What to try
For starters, we sampled their Escargots (Php 385, 6 pieces). They're buttery and soft, served with flame on the side. I was apprehensive at first but I loved it. This is definitely a must-try.
Common, baby, light my fire...
My Bibe had Curry Udon (Php 325), which came with rice, miso soup, side salad with Japanese dressing, and hot green tea. I had a taste and I liked it. The curry was just about right; not too strong.
I, on the other hand, opted for their Tonkatsu (Php 375), which they claim to be the best in town. I must agree. It came with shreds of cabbage, a light wasabi cream, and a scoop of creamy potato salad on the side. As with the Udon, there was also rice, miso soup, side salad, and hot tea. I don't normally like miso soup but this one is tops! I can't believe I even liked it. And while they egged me to try the tonkatsu with Japanese rock salt, the sauce was just too yummy to ignore.
The best tonkatsu in town indeed!
For dessert, we shared a slice of Frozen Green Tea (Php 185), which is Ma Maison's take on the Brazo de Mercedes. It's got a thin crust as base topped with a sweet layer of some tea-flavored mixture. On it sits a generous layer of green tea ice cream topped with a a slightly-burnt brazo fluff. It's a perfect dessert. The concentrated sweetness of the two bottom-most layers were perfectly offset by the green tea ice cream and the brazo.
Yummy frozen green tea.
Service was quite swift although there's still a little more left to be desired. Our waitress, for instance, was fiddling with the dishes and utensils that it took her forever to finish setting our table when she could have just pulled the empty table beside us so she could fit everything. But apart from that slight annoyance, we were pretty much satisfied -- but I guess it was the food primarily.
Ma Maison has been around since last year but we've only got the chance to try it last weekend. Nevertheless, I'm glad we finally did and it looks like My Bibe and I have found ourselves another favorite spot.
Oh no, another favorite resto!
More dishes to try
Exactly a week later we found ourselves back at Ma Maison. Except for the frozen green tea, we tried other items on the menu.
We ordered Japanese Scallop Carpaccio (Php 295) for appetizer -- a cold dish that did not disappoint. The scallops were tender and with just the right amount of acidity.
Japanese scallop carpaccio.
For my main dish, I tried their Beef Stroganoff Butter Rice (Php 375). It was delicious, no doubt, but it kinda lacked the oomph of the other dishes that I've tried. The beef was tender but I could hardly taste the butter in their butter rice, which was covered with egg, by the way.
Beef stroganoff, my least favorite dish so far.
My Bibe, on the other hand, opted for a tempura medley (forgot the exact name of the dish and the price). It came with rice, side salad, miso soup, a scoop of creamy potato salad, a few slices of fruit, and hot tea. She says the dish was fine. I mean, what can you seriously expect from tempura?
By the way, I believe their Japanese salad dressing deserves a mention. I just love it. Also, try their Citrus Green Tea, one of their specialty drinks. It's very refreshing.
I wanted to bring that bottle home.
Till our next visit!
Ma Maison is located at the Ground Floor of Greenbelt 2, just beside Italianni's; open daily.
Tel. (632) 729-9121 to 22