Friends who go to Subic end up usually asking us where to stay, where to eat or what to do when they’re here. So I decided to start posting about our favourite places in Subic. Disclaimer though: I am a creature of habit and comfort. So if you are a backpacker, an adventurer or just someone who likes hole in the wall places, I am sadly not your girl. People end up really liking my recommendations however, so I guess I do have some credibility when it comes to these things. For my first ever favourite places post, I decided to do a feature on Gourmet Garage. It’s one of the first places you’ll hit when you enter the Freeport. Because like I said, we’re the kind people who don’t like having to scour side streets for a decent meal, Gourmet Garage was the first ever Subic restaurant we tried (chains like McDonald’s and Shakey’s don’t count). Honestly, we weren’t really expecting much since we literally just hit the first place we saw. We had no idea that we would stumble upon a gem however. Who would have thought that our laziness would eventually pay off and lead us to one of our all-time favorite hang outs.
THE PLACE Gourmet Garage is a deli where you can buy well, gourmet food. They have a nice selection of good quality meat, cheeses, chocolates, truffle oils and salts, saffron and all that fancy shcmancy cooking stuff that I know nothing about. To showcase their products, they turned a part of their place into a cozy, comfortable restaurant. So all the ingredients that they use in their food, you can actually buy in their deli.
WHAT TO EAT They have a small but really good selection of comfort food ranging from salads, sandwiches, rice dishes, pasta and classic desserts that is a bit more upscale than your usual family restaurant. So it’s one of those places that is classy enough to take your discerning not-so-easy to please Tita but is also simple enough for your picky nephew’s 3-year old palette. You can order straight from their menu or pick up a steak or pork chop from their freezer and ask the counter to cook them. They also like going for themed specials, so occasionally, they would add seasonal all-Persian, all-American or all-Filipino menus. There’s even bibingka every Christmas season. MY FAVOURITES: gourmet bacon and eggs, tapa and eggs for breakfast, the raclette spread for merienda and javier’s burger with parmesan truffle fries for lunch or dinner.
The ambience is comfortable, casual, quiet and cozy. The setup is perfect for nice, intimate meals with family or friends or even small productive meetings. I like bringing my laptop there and working alone too. (No wifi though so you have to steal from other establishments). Their smoking area outside is shaded and cool so you can stay there for hours without feeling the need to sneak in for aircon. Servers are also really friendly, polite and efficient. They belong to the dying breed of waiters who actually anticipate your needs before you can even ask for anything. Even the manager is really nice and is willing to accommodate special requests and reservations. I remember recommending this place to a friend who wanted to have a special brunch for her barkada’s birthday. She called them and was surprised that the manager was willing to create a special menu just for them. Not only that, THEY SERVE ALCOHOL!!
PRICE POINT That’s the only thing. Food is pretty pricey especially when you consider portions. Most of the dishes range from 250-700, with steaks setting you back up to 1000++ php, depending on the size of the cut.
Gourmet Garage is located Rizal Highway cor. Argonaut St., Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo, Zambales. You can call 047 250 2672 for reservations.