It's been more than five years since I last visited Sonya's Garden. First of all it's located in Tagaytay which is about 2-3 hours away from Manila depending on the speed of the car and the traffic. Secondly, a lot of restaurants have opened up in that area and somehow Sonya's has been pushed back in my priority list of eating places. But then some friends of mine had the brilliant idea of eating a leisurely Sunday lunch at the said place. Sunday was bright and sunny but the traffic was terrible, it seemed like everyone had the same idea of having a short getaway. So after 3 hours and countless sugarless chewing gums, we arrived at our destination. It was a breath of fresh air (literally) and it was like coming home to an old friend, the garden welcomed and soothed us. We had a leisurely lunch and all the traffic was forgotten. Then my friend whispered that we should definitely check if the hopia was available in the panaderia (Filipino for bakery). She said we can't miss the cheese and leek hopia, so we asked the waiter if he could check if it was still available and he came back with the good news. We could hardly wait!
We rushed to the panaderia which by this time was filling up with people on the same hopia-buying mission as us. We jostled our way inside and found spots right in front of the counter, the heat inside which was coming from the oven was enough to make me go right back outside and gulp the fresh air but I wasn't going to leave without my hopia...so we waited and we were rewarded with still-warm cheese hopia but they said the leek hopia had run out but I spied one sitting on a basket and grabbed it, mission accomplished!
I arrived home with my precious hopia which by this time wasn't warm anymore. I was worried that it would spoil so I kept it in the refrigerator overnight and brought it with me to work in the morning. I heated it for a bit in the microwave and we had it with coffee...the verdict? The cheese hopia is soooooo delicious! I haven't tasted any hopia quite like it. I think they used parmesan cheese for this. The flaky layers just fall off when you bite into the warm cheesy center...yum!
The leek hopia was good but I didn't like it as much as the cheese hopia. Next time I go back I'm thinking I should just buy the cheese flavored ones...definitely worth the trip!