Here's One Reason Why We Envy You Laguna Folks: Socrates' Secret

If you find yourself around Nuvali or Tagaytay, make sure to include Socrates’ Secret in your eat-inerary. Located at Greenfield City in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, this casual-chic restaurant serves sumptuous Mediterranean fare worthy of a planned visit.

The restaurant exudes a homey feel and showcases striking interiors that instantly invite and relax. Blues dominate the space, reflecting the colors you immediately associate with Greece. Each corner is Instagrammable and filled with quirky knickknacks: a shelf on the far end of the dining space holds novelty items and books which diners can borrow; across it, a play area for kids, which is adjacent to a wall displaying customers’ artwork—made from Socrates’ custom placemats.

PLUS PLUS points for having a good selection of books!

The bar has patterned tiles that match the wall colors, and an overhead wooden shelf displays liquor and beer selections—Katipunan local craft among them. On the other end is an aquarium, above which looms Socrates’ Secret owl signage. Restaurant merchandise like tea, coffee, and accessories are displayed as well. Each intricate detail was well-thought of, down to the dinnerware and other table trimmings.

But the beauty doesn’t stop there—the same meticulousness has been given to the food. We started with the Dip Sampler (PhP380): a trio of Greek sauces served with pita bread and vegetable sticks. We got the Hummus (chickpea), Tapenade (olives), and Baba Ganoush (smoked eggplant), which was my favorite. It’s good to order this if you want to sample a variety—a glimpse of Greek flavors. Also, it would keep your hunger at bay while the chefs prepare the rest of your orders.

The Falafels (PhP190) were incredibly good—ground garbanzo beans shaped into a cake, served with tzatziki sauce. These were incredibly tasty. The Potato Cakes (PhP250), however, wasn’t as stellar—I found it too sour and too heavy for an appetizer.

Left: falafel; right: potato cakes
For something filling, try the Moussaka Pasta Bake (PhP295)—the Greek lasagna. Layers of pasta alternate with eggplant, minced meat, and potatoes, then topped with a rich béchamel and cheese sauce. I loved how the sauce was creamy yet not overpowering. Each forkful was substantial; this dish can actually be shared by 2-3 people.

Speaking of filling, gyros are also on the menu. Each sandwich is made with whole-wheat pita, onions, tomatoes, and a meat filling of your choice—we tried the Beef (PhP285) and Chicken (PhP265). It was basically like shawarma. To be honest, I found them delicious but longed for stronger flavors—perhaps it was because of all the bread? It made me curious to try their kebabs though.

The ultimate winner was the Lamb Chops (PhP590): a huge slab of perfectly-cooked, incredibly tender and flavorful lamb with a side of couscous and ratatouille. See the grill marks? Ugggh. The ratatouille was nicely seasoned and pleasingly tangy, while the couscous was light yet flavorful. Not to mention healthy. Of course, this comes with delicious mint jelly. OMG I’m craving for more of this!

Desserts were more than impressive—case in point: the Baked Apple with Granola Filling. The fruit was slightly mushy but still holds well, a dash of cinnamon making it taste like it would have if it were a pie, and the granola adding a nice texture. This comes topped with vanilla ice cream. A stronger, more sinful choice would be the Chocolate Coffee Mousse (PhP180), which was very thick and rich—perfect for dessert junkies craving for bolder flavors.

Left: Baked Apple with Granola; right: Chocolate Coffee Mousse
We also got to try three of Socrates’ Secret’s exquisite drinks. The Pomelo, Grapefruit, Tarragon, and Yogurt Shake (PhP195) was as delicious as it was intriguing. I liked the slightly sour yet invigorating flavors of the Grape and Mint (PhP195), but my favorite among the three was the refreshing and palate-cleansing Apple-Basil Smoothie (PhP195).

Clockwise from left: Pomelo-Grapefruit-Tarragon; Apple-Basil; Grape and Mint
Socrates’ Secret is Alexandra Staley’s first venture after working extensively at an exclusive resort in Quezon. Her expertise with the hospitality industry is evident in almost every aspect of the restaurant: from the food, to the cohesive themes, to the quirky elements, and to the incredibly professional service demonstrated by the well-trained and courteous staff, always alert yet unobtrusive. I couldn’t stop exclaiming about the interiors, and until now continuously craves for a few dishes (lamb, moussaka, falafel, desserts)! And I also loved the fact that they maintain their own herbs and tea garden nearby, ensuring that ingredients are organic and always fresh.

When I got to chat with Ms. Staley, my first question was: when are you opening a branch in Manila? Indeed, Socrates’ Secret is a bit too far from the metro to enjoy frequent visits, but if you’re traveling South, this place is definitely worth checking out. Tasting great food is something I would spend extra efforts for—Socrates’ Secret’s is definitely of that kind.



~*~
Socrates' Secret
Units 9 & 10 Laguna Central, Greenfield City, Sta. Rosa, Laguna
0908.873.7561
Mon - Fri: 11:00 am - 9:30 pm; Sat - Sun: 10:30 am - 10:00 pm
socrates.secret@gmail.com
Budget: around PhP500/head

Have you tried Socrates' Secret? Where's your go-to place for Mediterranean food?

My meal was sponsored by Socrates' Secret. All opinions, however, are my own.

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