March 26, 2016

Batangueño Comfort Food at Taaleña Tagaytay

For me, Tagaytay is still one of the best places to go to if you want to have a quick getaway and a change of scenery from the everyday city life. It is also, still one of the romantic places in the Philippines, in my opinion. All the green surroundings, the soothing sceneries and the crisp cool breeze are what people from the nearby towns and cities escape to this mountain retreat.
 
When it comes to dining options, you will never run out of choices in Tagaytay. There’s so many restaurants and cafes that you can find in that area. I’ve been to Tagaytay so many times already, yet I still haven’t tried most of them. A lot times, we will go to where we would usually eat or have coffee. Well, we can be that way, especially when a resto is your go-to place, like every time… But that way of thinking kinda sucks (well for me at least) because there’s a great chance you might miss out on a lot of great things and gastronomic experiences.
 


So when I was invited by Zomato to check out Taaleña’s offerings, I was pretty much excited. I pretty much know what to expect from a Filipino restaurant in Tagaytay: the ambiance and the type of food that they’ll serve. But trying a new place made me giddy because I know, they have something to offer that the other restos in that area might not possess.

 
Taaleña, just like any other major restaurants in Tagaytay sits on one of the ridges overlooking Taal lake and volcano. It was named as such because the owners are inheritably from the towns of Taal and Lemery – two well-known locales in Batangas which are heavily Spanish-influenced with a big traditional Filipino heart.

 
The restaurant’s atmosphere and over-all design resembles an old Tagalog-Castillan house of an elite family, complete with beautiful old-world chandeliers, majestic open spaces, wide-open verandas, Capiz-shell or stained glass windows and a vast manicured  backyard over-looking a view that will surely captivate anyone.

 
Now let’s go down to business: food! This is why I love our local cuisine and how we Filipinos eat, because when it is time to eat it’s always like there’s a huge party happening. I also have to say that this is one of the most fun Tagaytay trips I’ve ever had this year. The group of people I was with is super fun to be around, some of them I’ve met already and some of them only for the first time. Yet it seemed we already know each other already for longer than we’ve spent that day. So besides the good food, there’s good company and good fun – a perfect combination to a hearty meal at Taaleña.
 
Tortang Talong

 Pancit Bihon and Canton

 Crispy Crablets

Ensaladang Mangga't Talong

Buko Fried Rice

Calamari Rice

Adobong Dilaw and Balayan Bagoong

Crispy Pata 

Taaleña Fried Chicken

Crispy Tawilis

Kare-Kare

Bulalo

House Iced Tea

Suman Sa Lihiya

Suman Sa Gata

Leche Flan

Ube Halaya



So let me discuss then my favorites and why.
 
-The crispy crablets were the most popular among the foodies. What I can only tell you about it is that they were sooo good and that’s already enough reason.
 
-Even though the some of the food got cold, the Bulalo and the Kare-Kare were still super tasty.
 
-The Fried Tawilis was perfectly fried and you can eat the whole fish and felt like you’re eating chicharon, I even ate it with the fish scales still on them and it didn’t bother me at all.
 
-Taalena’s version of the all-time Filipino favorite dish is called Adobong Dilaw because it is cooked with turmeric which gives its yellow color. It is also paired with Balayan bagoong (fermented fish paste) to add saltiness to it. I was surprised of this combination, but to be honest, the pairing was unique and very tasty. This is definitely a must-try!
 
-Their iced tea is one of the best that I’ve ever tasted and all the Zomato foodies agree on that one.
 
-For the desserts, my favorites were suman sa gata, suman sa lihiya and ube halaya. The suman sa gata was deep fried and had a crunchy and crispy coating which was a treat to eat. The suman sa lihiya was good too, just like any old-fashioned suman which was wonderful chewy, gooey and sticky which was well complemented by the coconut jam that came with. As for the ube halaya, I love that it was just pure purple yam without all the added flavorings of condensed milk or butter; it was perfection!



 
Every dish served to us was great Filipino comfort food and I don’t think I can say anything negative about any of them. Will I go back? You bet your life I will! Definitely!
By the way, Taaleña also accepts reservations for big groups, corporate meetings and events like birthdays and weddings. Their vast garden that over-looks the Taal lake and volcano would be such a lovely venue for a destination wedding. As usual, I will put the restaurant’s details at the end of this post for reference.
Taaleña Restaurant and Bar
Casa Taal, Silang Crossing, 
Km. 54, West, 4120 Tagaytay City, 
Philippines
Contact No: (02) 246 9069 Ext 846
Email: taalenaresto@yahoo.com.ph
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Taalena.Restaurant
 
For more information and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Taaleña Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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