It all started with pavlova, a meringue dessert that Mrs. Carmen Aguila used to make. It was so good that orders came pouring in. The Aguila family later decided to just open a restaurant where they could formally take customers in and that’s how Gayuma ni Maria, considered as one of the top date places in the metro, was born. I had a chance to check out the place myself with two of my girl friends, Ana and Christine last July. It is situated in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City.
Gayuma is a Filipino word for “love potions” but it may also mean seduction, charm or allure and the restaurant has the idea down pat. Everything about this place spells romance; from the interior, the love-related names for the foods, the souvenir shop in the corner that sells sex toys and love potions, to its patrons, mostly couples out for a date.
Aside from the PDA-ing couples and the food, there are other interesting things to see at Gayuma ni Maria. Given the theme of the resto, it’s almost a requirement that it has actual love potions. If only they weren’t too expensive, I’d probably go home with a bottle or two hahaha… Also, they have sex toys up for sale, the kind that would blush the conservative ones.
Now let’s go to the food. To sustain the love theme they have quirky names for their dishes, when I say quirky I mean ridiculously long love-related names. Let’s start with what I had; Please be careful with my heart (PHP 240), I kid you not, that’s how it’s named. In simple terms, this is twice baked chicken in olive oil and garlic . It comes with a slice of lemon and this big chunk of garlic.
We cracked up upon seeing the rice, as you can see, it has a freaking nipple. I wonder if it was deliberate; I mean if they really intended to make it look like a woman’s breast. Anyway, the chicken was tender and highly seasoned. My only problem with this dish is that it was too darn salty!
Ana ordered the Holding Hands While Walking Pa Sway Sway Pa (HHWWPSSP) (PHP 185), whew! That was a mouthful! It’s chicken breast with cheese, mushroom, and asparagus. This one is salty too albeit not as intense as Please be careful with my heart. It was crispy, a bit hard but flavorsome. Christine liked it so much, Ana was surprised to see that her plate was almost done when she returned from a bathroom break.
Now this is what Christine had (and she requested to be in the picture), Unrequited Love (PHP 185). Why was she wearing a long face? ’cause her rice didn’t have a nipple, yeah I know, poor girl hahaha… This one is actually a Thai dish called, tom yum. It has mushroom, fish, littuco (rattan), tamarind, and strawberries. Out of all the dishes that we had, this was my favorite. It tasted like this Filipino dish called tinola but a bit sour, salty, very spicy, and had that strong ginger taste.
By the way, we had an appetizer, the Kala ni Mare (PHP 135), which is calamares with spicy sauce. This was also good but as you can see, the squid rings are small.
For drinks we had Avocado Shake (PHP 85) and Iced Tea (PHP 60 – bottomless). I highly recommend the avocado shake, it was smooth and creamy, not too sweet.
When we went there we intended to interview the owner, just to know a little bit more about their business. Unfortunately, the owner, Eirene, daughter of Mrs. Carmen was not around, but her father, Mr. Boy Aguila was gracious enough to talk with us. We even had complimentary cakes, yummy!
Out of all the things that Mr. Aguila told us, this one stuck with me, “Do not go here on Valentine’s Day.” Well if you are single, that is.
Gayuma ni Maria
123 V. Luna Ext. Sikatuna Village,
Telephone no.: (02) 441-4872
Business hours: Monday – Saturday 10AM – 11PM
Sunday: 10AM – 10PM