Tagaytay Food Tripping: Tootsie’s

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I still dream of their Chorizo Adelfa – spicy and crispy, the leftovers I took home.  The chorizo pasta I made from it when I got home was unforgettable too.

I have yet to return to Tootsie’s for this (by far my favorite here).  But more than the chorizo, they serve excellent family dishes passed on from generation to generation as told on their menu.  Here are some of what we had and totally enjoyed.

Inihaw na Maliputo (grilled seasonal freshwater fish found only in Taal Lake).   The fish is ever so fresh and sweet.

Kulawong Puso ng Saging (Banana blossom spiked with vinegar) – always loved this dish and this particular one is wickedly good.

Sugpo sa gata (Prawns in Coconut Milk).  I’m always biased with dishes cooked in gata.  This did not disappoint.

Turon Halo-halo – with leche flan (caramel custard) and ube (yam), drizzled with a special langka (jackfruit) sauce.  This was calling my name but somehow, this dessert didn’t measure up.  The turon per se was really good but the sauce (for me) was not necessary.  The only dish that was sort of but not totally disappointing.

Tarragon and Mint Tea:  Absolutely refreshing.

Quietly tucked along the Aguinaldo Highway, Tootsie’s is definitely a restaurant screaming for attention if lovely home-style Filipino food is what you’re after.

Useful Info:

Tootsie’s
J. Abad Santos, cor. Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City
Tel: (046) – 4834629 / 0917-TOOTSIE (866 87 43)

 

Antonio’s

Clockwise:  One of the many dinning halls, Steak Tartare, Pumpkin or Squash Soup, Panna Cotta with Vanilla, Caramel and Chocolate Notes, Sorbet, House mesclun salad with blue cheese and Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing, Crispy Deboned Lamb Ribs.

One restaurant that never fails me is Antonio’s.  A lot has been written about the restaurant and its chef-owner Tony Boy Escalante and recently, it was named the 5th top restaurant in Asia by the Miele Guide.  It is in fact the only Philippine restaurant included on their Top 20 list for 2010/2011, sharing the stage with Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore on the top 5.

Most trips to Tagaytay would entail a sumptuous meal at Antonio’s, whether it be dinner or lunch.  Lovely food from starter to dessert, great service, throw in a welcoming ambience and you get an experience worth every buck each time.  Never fails.

Useful Info:

Antonio’s
Bgy. Neogan
Tagaytay City, Cavite
(0918) 899-2866

 

Tagaytay Food Trippin’: Marcia Adams

A reliable go-to if one just seeks for a relaxing time away from the metro is Tagaytay.  Nice charming restaurants abound and there is a buzz going around foodies of this new charming place called Marcia Adams.   I think it is such a secret that only those in the know would be able to find this place – without any sign that inside is a beautiful garden and a very charming restaurant that serves good food to boot.  Close to the main highway at the border of Tagaytay and Alfonso just across Villa Somerset, you will come across a gate, orange I think it is.  Stop and ask, most likely it is the place.

Once inside, you will be ushered in through the garden that leads down to the restaurant.

One can also choose to sit outdoor surrounded by a country cottage styled garden.  We chose to stay inside overlooking the beautiful scenery of hills and plains.

The interior is rustic, very Tuscan.

The food?  Beautifully cooked – all of those we chose at least.

We started with this Amalfi Prawns that is perfectly cooked, succulent and crispy.

We then shared a bowl of Aegean salad, which had a grilled pear on top of mixed greens with roasted pistachio and Italian ricotta cheese dressed in a herby tangy dressing.

For our main, I chose this Grilled Aromatic Pork, which was heavenly.  Soft and juicy and packed with so much flavor.

The Fish Souvlaki A chose, a Tanigue kebab marinated in olive oil, lemon and herbs, is also mouthwateringly good.

M chose Chicken Kebab marinated in cumin and yogurt.  Tender and delectable to say the least.

Left to right:  Panna Cotta with lemon Sauce, Guava Shells in Syrup with Crème Fraiche, Grilled Orange with Dairy Ice Cream

All their desserts sounded so good so we each decided to choose one so we ended up with these delightful beauties – the Panna Cotta with lemon sauce turned out to be our favorite and the Guava Shells was quite interesting too.  They’re all good!

Next time you’re in Tagaytay, make sure to pay a visit to Marcia Adams; she will definitely delight your taste buds.

Useful Info:

For reservations and directions:
Call (63) 917-801-1456

 

WS# 14: Ilog Maria

Let’s take a break from Negros and head off to Silang, Cavite for now. On our way home from Tagaytay today, we passed a honeybee farm which has been on my radar screen for quite sometime now.  A friend even swears by their products and regularly orders on-line.  And me being a lover of all things natural and organic could not in the world pass this up could I?

ilog-maria-bee-farm-2

Ilog Maria is a honey farm that produces a wide range of natural and organic honey-based products from beauty essentials, candles, and insect repellants to even products for ailments in which their Virgin Honey tops the list.  Other products include Honey Cider Vinegar, Frozen Royal Jelly to even a sore throat spray. 

ilog-maria-products

Unfortunately, since Sept 2008, their Virgin Honey has not been available.  Not only is natural honey seasonal, weather started to change and is no longer predictable.  Blame it on global warming, bees are disappearing all over the world and this phenomenon has been called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).  Honey has been scarce for Ilog Maria this year.

ilog-maria-bee-farm

To know more about the farm, its products and how it is coping with the worldwide phenomenon, click here.

From One Garden to Another

So after all that hiking, I’m now dreaming of a sumptuous dinner. But of course! I worked hard and I’m in Tagaytay after all. So we showered, changed and set out to find this chateau.

After driving for about 20 minutes in semi darkness, we turned into a small road that lead us to Chateau Hestia.  It had ample space for parking (not that we needed it as we were the only car there that night), a trellis lead us to the main entrance.  The owner, Johannes Zehethofer is Austrian so it was not surprising to see Schnitzel in their menu but Osso Bucco and Viennese Roast Pork came highly recommended so Osso Bucco it was for me.  

entrance_hestia1

Let me digress a bit and dwell first on this charming bed and breakfast / restaurant.  I really didn’t notice since we were there at night but I read somewhere that the entire place was made of container vans.  The bed and breakfast part, I did not see but the restaurant interiors reminded me of a cozy country style home with lots of wooden furniture, all different in design.  The staffs are well informed and knew a lot about their menu… am impressed! 

interiors_hestia

Where are all the people?  We were once again the only ones there so the service and food was quite good.  My Osso Bucco was tender, cooked in tomato sauce.  Since it came highly recommended, I expected a lot from it.  Well, it didn’t really disappoint (but it didn’t leave a lasting impression either) but I want to go back to try their other specialty, the Roast Pork. From what I gathered, everyone was pretty happy with their food.  Nothing to complain about, really. 🙂

food_hestia

Clockwise:  Osso Bucco, Australian Rib Eye, Poutin, Crema de Limoncelo (melted vanilla ice cream w/ limoncelo & mango bits), Mango Napoleon (graham crust, mangoes, white chocolate)

But the passion fruit topped panna cotta… YUM!  Had to convince K to order it as I wasn’t too impressed with the desserts we had.  Am I glad I persevered! 😀  The sourness of the passion fruit totally complemented the sweetness of the panna cotta.  The best among the dessert lot (for me). 

pannacotta_hestia

Oh and I must mention that they serve dalandancelo (their version of limoncelo which I love, love, love).  Well, you can’t beat the real thing but it was a good version.  Perfect to warm our bodies on a chilly night.

European food products are sold here as well.  Most (ok, some) are available in Santi’s though.

merchandise_hestia

So are you close to done with Christmas shopping coz I’m NOT!

 

Chateau Hestia
Silang, Cavite
0929-7113289
www.chateauhestia.com

A Moon Garden

Apparently is any garden that is designed to be enjoyed at night.  These gardens are planted with a focus in flowers and foliage, which reflects the soft lights of the moon.

Tucked away from the main road, this garden is a wonderful discovery. The place looked promising as we approached the entrance and as promised, the garden is what makes this place.  Old furniture pieces here and there, some floral themed paintings but what caught my eye as I approached the main area was this lotus pond accented by a thatched cabana.  Nice. 🙂

cabana1

We arrived late in the afternoon after our Batulao trek and we practically had the place to ourselves even if there were cars parked outside.  The guests were probably out but even after dinner and during breakfast, they were nowhere to be found.  Honeymooners, you think? 😉

The casita was charming, complete with a welcome herb tea drink, the bed comfortable and the bathroom… interesting, as it does not have a door.  The headboard serves as it’s partition and both sides were kept open.   Good thing we are not shy girls! Haha! 😀

casita

At night the garden transformed into… well, a moon garden.  It was indeed lovelier at night with the lights perfectly positioned to add drama to it.  Love it!  I must say, this place is perfect for honeymooners. 😉

moongarden

Woke up early to take pics of the garden in the morning and to soak up this place.  Did a little journaling too.

moongarden_2

Breakfast was not bad, better than expected.  Nothing great though.  I had the ham and egg scramble with ciabatta bread and pineapple marmalade.  Love the marmalade, not too sweet and it had chunks of pineapple. They served Batangas coffee cooked the old fashion way (the way Barako coffee used to be) hence the strainer (to catch the stray coffee grind).  I love yogurt and the set came with homemade yogurt and honey (which was why I ordered it in the first place) but I was disappointed.  The yogurt was too runny; I prefer it thicker like Greek yogurt thick.  The guyabano juice, I’m not crazy about… I’d rather have it as a fruit.

breakfast

Other breakfast fares:

breakfast_2

Clockwise: Adobo flakes, Cheese Omelet, Homemade corned beef guisado, and Banana flambé

It was a great treat after the hike, beats having to camp out.  It’s a perfect hideaway if you just want to chill out and get away from the Tagaytay crowd.  Not too far from the main road so it is easy access to all the dining places should you decide to come out of seclusion. 

 

The Moon Garden
SVD Road, Bgy. San Jose, Tagaytay
09175023118
www.moongardentagaytay.com