Neri Miranda's Newest Venture Is A Rustic Restaurant With A Panoramic View Of Taal
This rock star wife isn't endearingly nicknamed "wais na misis" for nothing.
Neri Naig-Miranda, once an actress hopeful turned successful entrepreneur, is now the proud owner of several businesses, the newest of which is most reflective of her life's biggest passions: cooking delicious homecooked food!
The venture is aptly called Neri's Not So Secret Garden, a café and restaurant, outdoor picnic space, and scenic viewpoint all in one nestled in Laurel, Batangas.
It's a project she's been dying to introduce in the local dining scene for months, and one her husband, Parokya ni Edgar frontman Chito Miranda, is incredibly proud of her for. (He simply visited from time to time to admire the restaurant's progess as it was in the works; all of it, from conceptualization to decorating to staffing to menu selection, was all born out of Neri's heart and mind).
Neri's Not So Secret Garden opened earlier this month, initially only accepting diners who have made prior reservations.
But in a matter of days, the picturesque enclave has expanded to accommodate much more patrons including walk-ins, many of which are families, couples, and groups of friends that travel all the way from Manila to experience the new F&B destination. (And yes—there's parking!)
That's because the menu itself, though focusing on traditional Filipino fare and comfort bites from flavorful burgers and fries, traditional Pinoy barbecue, to tender and succulent oven-roasted pork belly, is a whole other passion project of Neri's.
This mom of one does the marketing herself, often cooking up the day's featured dishes on her own too, to ensure the freshness and tastiness of every bite served.
"Ano pa kayang masarap na isama sa menu bukas? Mamamalengke ako bukas at parang gusto ko ng inihaw na bangus! Tuna steak? Syempre oven roasted pork belly andyan! Sino ang pupunta bukas? Ano ang gusto nyong lunch, merienda, at dinner? Baka isa sa mga requests nyo ang mailuluto ko bukas," she gamely wrote on Instagram as an invitation for more diners to come visit.
Designing Neri's Not So Secret Garden as a versatile hangout, it's really not strictly limited to being a café and restaurant.
It's outdoor seating area, for example, has been transformed into a mini performance venue for acoustic music nights (yes, Chito plays Parokya Ni Edgar hits on occasion!), and she even once suggested that a projector and screen can easily be set up to mimic a drive-in movie theater of retro days gone by.
Neri is very open to suggestions, and given her fun-loving, adventurous personality, so much more events and setups can be expected in the future.
Of course, also worth noting is the restaurant's ambiance; its very location inspires romance and dream-like thoughts be it day or night, an atmosphere highlighted by colorful blooms and rustic details that Neri picked out herself. Think a quaint farm on a hill just high enough for diners to appreciate the fresh breeze and still enough for them to detach from busy city living while in the company of great people.
For those looking for their own space, wooden benches are positioned by the restaurant's edge for them to view the city lights below them while sharing a moment, whereas those in a more social mood are free to share a picnic table with others to make new friends.
Make sure to be on top of Neri's Not So Secret Garden's online posts as it currently does not have a regular operation schedule and might be full with reservations on the day you plan to go! It's always best to make plans ahead to make sure you get your fill of one of Neri's edible signature creations.
And once you're there, make sure to extend your thank you's to the crew that help Neri run her restaurant; they're a team of dedicated individuals that Neri herself looks out for her and shares their ambition with, and together, they make one heck of a team that's sure to keep guests coming back.
Ginataang susô ngayong lunch hanggang dinner? Tara na! Pwede reservations at walk-ins. May bbq, isaw, adidas, helmet, chicken steak, may tuna steak, roasted chicken, roasted lechon, inihaw na bangus, syempre may milktea, pastries, soda, at ang homemade iced tea namin na talaga namang binabalikbalikan. May fishball, kwekwek, kikiam, chicken balls! Tara! Tambay tayo dine sa @nerisnotsosecretgarden Brgy. KM 68 Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Laurel, Batangas. Sa Highway lang siya ng Alfonso. Katabi lang ng Wild Juan. At tapat ng La Prairie Tagaytay. #NerisNotSoSecretGarden #WaisNaMisis #VeryNeri
Proud of these kids! Naks! Maka kids naman ako! Parang ang tanda ko na! Haha! Sila po ang mga bumubuo ng Neri's Not So Secret Garden. Nakakabilib sila! Kahit dinumog kami kanina at ngarag ang lahat sa di inaasahang dami ng mga tao, nanatili pa ring masasaya ang mga bagets na 'to, haha! Actually ninenerbyos sila nung Friday kase baka daw magkamali sila at mapahiya daw ako sa mga darating na bisita dahil sa kanila. Sabi ko, basta nagtutulungan, basta may team work, bawal hilahan pababa, magiging ok ang lahat. Yung iba daw sa kanila, kinakantyawan na rin daw sila ng mga ibang naging katrabaho nila na ano ba daw alam namin sa resto? Tinatawanan na daw kami kahit di pa kami nagsisimula. Naiinis sila saka nagseself doubt na rin sila sa mga kakayahan nila. Sabi ko, tingnan nyo ang team natin, ano ba ang nakikita nyo? Di lang magkakatrabaho di ba? Pamilya tayo at nag eenjoy tayo na magkakasama at nagtatrabaho. Ang importante yung bonding, respeto sa isa't isa, at nag eenjoy tayo sa mga ginagawa natin. Hilahan pataas. Hayaan na lang yung mga taong walang magawa kundi kutyain ang mga taong nagsisipag sa buhay. Basta ako, kami ni Chito, bilib at proud kami sa inyo. ? PS sarado po kami bukas, pahingahin ko muna sila, hehe! Sa Tuesday na po ulit! @nerisnotsosecretgarden #NerisNotSoSecretGarden
Neri's Not So Secret Garden is located in Brgy. KM 68 Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Laurel, Batangas.
Photos from @nerisnotsosecretgarden @mrsnerimiranda