South Drive’s Secret Garden

Often friends ask me recommendations for places to eat. My response would always be “Well, it depends what you’re eating out for”. Our choice of food, or in this case , place to eat, depends on your purpose. I won’t recommend going to McDonalds for your wedding anniversary. Unless of course, you proposed in McDonalds. My follow up question would be what their budget is. Surely, I wouldn’t recommend going to that pigar pigar place in Palma where you dine with kubradors, kundoktors, drivers and sweaty basketball players — if you’re willing to spend an arm and a leg to impress your date.

So, what would I recommend “Secret Garden” for? Dates, quiet , secret meetups and if you’ve got a loooooot of time to burn.

I took my family out for lunch one Sunday and we decided to try something different and far from the maddening Sunday crowd. Recently on my Facebook feed, I’ve been seeing pictures of this place. Got me intrigued so I gave it a try.

It was tucked in a private road just off the main South Drive road. There were two signs at the entrance – Red Orange and Secret Garden. I guess this was Red Orange before.

It was a visual treat going in. Plus, the weather was warm and perfect.


Here’s a pic of the cute little walk to the cafe. All pics in here were taken from the Secret Garden FB Page.

A group of Japanese friends were the only patrons inside. We took our seats and marveled at the interiors and tried to figure out why their floor was so shiny. Dad said they probably put varnish. Hehe.


Glass Walls and Glass roof this side of the cafe. 

So we ordered Pepperoni pizza, Carbonara, Honeycured beef , beef tapa and chicken breast bbq. I wanted to try their pesto but it wasn’t available at that time. Too bad.

It took a while for us to get our order. I had to follow up with the waitress and asked her to serve us the pizza, at least so we can munch on something while we wait. Not surely after that nudge, the paper-thin crusted pizza landed on our table. My camera’s battery was uncooperative so you’d have to take my word for it. I liked the combo of crispy crust and the melted mozarrella cheese and pepperoni. I thought it was lovely but I’ll probably order something herby on my next visit. Twas a wee bit too salty for me.

Lovely Fish Tank counter

Next was the rice meals. Between beef tapa and honeycured beef. I pick beef tapa, which I think is their signature dish. This is  must try. Often I equate tapa with dry and salty. Theirs isn’t. It’s like a super upgraded version of pigar pigar. 🙂 But seriously,, it was pretty good. And the plate was huuuuuge…I think it was like 12inches across. It made your meal look bigger than it really is.

The chicken breast BBQ was quite a disappointment. There was nothing BBQish about it. And I can tell they used the ready mix Jufran Sweet and Sour sauce.

So, that takes care of the visual and gastronomical. Now one to the aural. You probably don’t notice this much but if you were in a “secret garden”, surely, you wouldn’t expect Usher on the background. And he was along with Adele, a jazz artist and there was an 80s ballad too. It was aurally confusing. Imagine dining in a secret garden away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Now imagine, Usher’s very bassy jam. There’s something not quite right. Their playlist was probably on shuffle my brother said.

So all in all, Secret garden is — visually stunning, aurally confusing and gastronomically pleasant.

Check em out on Facebook:

As off press time :), The only pictures they have up on their FB account are what the place looks like and not what they serve. Well, I think I saw a coffee cup there somewhere. This tells me that they’re prouder of their looks than of their food. And this is true. 🙂

Or take a walk on South Drive: #34 Paterno Street, South Drive Baguio City

Ph: 4420406 / 09158723268


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