Metro Magazine

apt 1b

MEETING PLACE: A favorite nook at 1B; the best selling Eggs Benedict with Canadian Bacon and Spinach.

POWER breakfasts may be best for your health, but sometimes the term conjures images of tasteless mounds of grain and a lot of bland, boring stuff. Happily, even the power breakfast at Apartment 1B, the newest stop for “gourmet comfort food” in Salcedo Village, Makati, is a treat, a granola parfait ringed with fruits and topped with delicious yoghurt. But you won’t be blamed for straying into the other offerings to kick-start your day, including pancakes, hearty servings of Canadian ham and bacon, and the bestselling Eggs Benedict served with potatoes, more bacon, spinach, smoked salmon, and more.

“The idea of ‘gourmet comfort food’ is food I would cook in my own home to serve my guests, with quality ingredients,” says owner-chef Marivic Diaz-Lim, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and was involved with such restaurants as triBeCa, the Spanish resto n, and Gram’s Diner before opening this new “baby.” Diaz-Lim had actually thought she was done with the restaurant business for a while, living in Sydney with husband Bobby and becoming a mom to 19-month-old Mauro.” Then I realized that I missed this—that food was my passion.”

Fortunately, earlier apprehensions about juggling time between domestic bliss and kitchen joy were unnecessary, as ‘things just fell into place.” The location is a short walk from where the Lims live, and Diaz-Lim found the ideal sounding board in architect Popi Laudico, who designed, built and helped decorate the two-story space that fits some 60 people, plus another dozen al fresco.

Laudico created what she calls a “homey, cozy space that would feel just like Marivic’s own apartment,” thus the name. With comfy couches, mismatched chairs picked up in Evangelista St., and durable jute-sack walls decorated with changing art---Laudico’s stoneware ceramic tiles with different glazes are currently on display---the place is indeed an extension of home for both the hostess and her guests.

And that goes for what’s on the menu. True to the quest for quality, Diaz-Lim serves first-class steaks, throws authentic shaved parmesan cheese and pancetta into her Caesar’s Salad, and tops her grilled blue marlin with tomato relish that’s laced with chorizo.

Neighbors are already trooping to Apartment 1B for daily meals, and its cozy tables have become favorite meeting places. Which is just fine with the hostess, who’s more than ready to accommodate special requests. “I’m not fixated on what I want to cook,” Diaz-Lim says. “Tell me what you’re craving for, and we’ll see what we can do.” It will be worth your while to take her up on the offer."

Apartment 1B (Unit 1B, G/F One Lafayette Square, Leviste corner Sedeno Streets, Salcedo Village, Makati, tel. no. 843-4075) is open from 7am to 11 pm from Mondays to Thursdays, and 70 to 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays.