This beloved Greenhills steakhouse will surely miss its favorite VIP customer 2
House of Minis manager Fran Syquia Villaroman and sister Isa Syquia flank the steakhouse VIP. Photo courtesy of Fran Syquia Villaroman
Food & Drink

This beloved Greenhills steakhouse will surely miss its favorite VIP customer

The House of Minis manager on serving PNoy: “When my waiters would see me there in the evening, alam na nila sinong darating.”
JEROME B. GOMEZ | Jun 25 2021

Every restaurant has its own VIP customer, and Fran Syquia Villaroman’s favorite VIP at her family’s House of Minis just happened to be a former Philippine President. 

Fran’s family has been running the casual dining joint in Greenhills for 48 years now, and yesterday, June 24, they lost a regular visitor when Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III passed away. “Still can’t believe PNoy is gone. I still remember how he loved House of Minis. How fortunate was I to serve him?” Fran, who manages the steakhouse, wrote on her Facebook status. 

This beloved Greenhills steakhouse will surely miss its favorite VIP customer 3
“Whenever PNoy would enter the resto he will look for our waiter Felix Esplago (the waiter beside him) and he would say, alam na niya ano order ko,” says Villaroman.

“I usually work only during the day at HOM so when my waiters would see me there in the evening, alam na nila sinong darating—and that’s because my Dad would always say to make sure I’m there and to check everything goes well,” Fran offered. 

She described the former President as “very simple.” And his maiden visit immediately revealed this quality of PNoy to her. “The first time he dined with his friends I made sure his steak will be the first to be brought out.” The VIP, however, preferred that the people in his company get their orders first. “I was worried his steak will get cold,” recalled Fran. But that first encounter taught her to always serve PNoy’s steak last.

This beloved Greenhills steakhouse will surely miss its favorite VIP customer 4
“I still remember this pic when he said, sabi ng kapatid ko na si Kris para mag-mukhang payat kailangan tumingin sa taas,” says Villaroman.

“When it was paying time, we weren’t supposed to charge him but his bodyguard said, ‘Ayaw ni PNoy ng ganyan, magbabayad daw po siya,’ so we just gave him a discount.” 

What Fran thought would be just a lucky one-time visit was followed by another and another. “To the point that when I would work in the evening, my daughter Sophie would say, ‘Do you really have to always be there?’ And I would say, ‘Yes. He is my VIP Customer.’” 

This beloved Greenhills steakhouse will surely miss its favorite VIP customer 5
PNoy with his shooting range friends. “You will notice he is the only one left eating coz he made sure his friends would get their steaks first,” says Villaroman.

Fran says not even the pandemic was able to stop the former President from enjoying his House of Minis steak. “Last January, I spoke to his Aide and he said the President was craving for Porterhouse so nag-takeout na lang.” 

Thursday’s news clearly saddened the House of Minis manager who would now have one special person less to look forward to when she’s at the steakhouse. “I will surely miss this VIP Customer of mine,” Fran wrote on her emoji-peppered tribute. “Thank you Mr. President. I will pray for you. May you Rest In Peace.” 

[Photos courtesy of Fran Syquia Villaroman]