August 19, 2018

Mozu at Ming's Tagaytay: Dining Amidst Greens and Cool Breeze

I’ve always loved going to Tagaytay, I’ve went up there one too many times already. 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. All the green surroundings, the soothing sceneries and the crisp cool breeze is just one to two hours’ drive away from Metro Manila, which is one of the reasons why a lot of people go to this mountain retreat.

The last time I was in Tagaytay, it made me realized that there’s so many changes that already happened in that mountain getaway and that it is continuously being developed and establishments continuously sprouting everywhere. You can do a lot of things there for relaxation and fun. As to dining options, you will never run out of choices in Tagaytay. There’s so many new and old 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. But it’s nice to try something new once in a while. Very rarely do we actually try new things for the purpose of engaging a unique experience. After all, there are many benefits to doing new things so we must not cheat ourselves out of them.

On the many times I’ve driven up to Tagaytay, I’ve always passed by Sta. Rosa-Calamba Road and I also noticed there are a lot of restaurants lining up along the road. One of them is Mozu at Ming's Garden. Whoever I am with on that trip to Tagaytay, would always agree to dine somewhere up in Tagaytay proper because of the view of Taal Lake and volcano; never in many several occasions that it occurred to check out any of the restaurants leading to there. 

So when I was invited to join my foodie colleagues to try Mozu at Ming's, this time around, I couldn’t decline. Especially that I want to pry myself loose from the jaws of commonplace. Don’t get me wrong, Tagaytay City proper boasts of many good restaurants but trying a restaurant outside of that vicinity is a silent commitment since it will probably give me fresh experiences. 

Mozu at Ming’s is the rebranded Ming’s Garden. It began humbly as the private plant collection of former Philippine First Lady, Amelita “Ming” Ramos. Over the years, the garden has been opened up to the public and was developed into a nature-focused, family oriented business. This award winning restaurant and in-house caterer, Mozu at Ming’s serves home style classic Filipino dishes; comfort food that reminds you of home. They offer a comfortable and relaxed dining experience, surrounded by the garden’s natural beauty.

Owner and Chef Enzo Chavez with the collaboration of his talented kitchen team and amazing staff welcomed us with a sumptuous lunch which featured Mozu at Ming’s best sellers which included the following: 

Gambas Al Ajillo - fresh market shrimps, paprika, olive oil, garlic. The shrimps were plump, sweet and fresh and the garlic and sauce was very flavorful. This is not just an appetizer, if you ask me, because it is packed with flavor, it so perfect to eat with steaming white rice. 

Ox Tail Kare-Kare - ox tail, tripe, beef short ribs, peanut sauce and homemade bagoong. The number of ox tails and tripes in it is also generous. they were also very soft and easy to chew or munch on. When it comes to Kare-Kare, I usually enjoy the ones that have a strong peanut flavor. And this version of Mozu at Ming's delivered just that. Just take a look at how rich the the color of that sauce.  I liked how it tasted just like how my grandmother cooks her Kare-Kare. Because of that, this Kare-Kare receives my two-thumbs up and my recommendation.

Bangus Ala Pobre - boneless bangus belly, butter, garlic, crab fat. I must say this is my favorite of all the dishes that were served to us. I love that it is boneless and that they used the best part of the bangus (milkfish) - the belly. The generous toasted garlic with crab fat toppings was out-of-this-world great! It was so tasty and flavorful. This was just so good to eat with freshly cooked hot white rice. I loved it so much! Like 200%!

Bagnet Salad - air dried pork belly, mango, tomato, homemade bagoong syrup. I love the play of sweet, sour and savoury play of the sauce of this dish. The Bagnet was also so good, the skin was super crispy, the fat melts in your mouth and the meat was tender. A must try, most definitely!

Gising Gising - wing beans, coconut milk, bagoong, sili labuyo. Gising-Gisng is one of those local Northern dishes that I love to eat whenever I have the chance to. This version had super rich sauce and had a good spiciness level to it. I love that the sigarilyas (winged beans)  was still crunchy and not overcooked. Coconut cream based dishes always never fail to put a smile on my face.

Frozen Braso De Mercedes - meringue, yema, Mantecado ice cream. This frozen Brazo de Mercedes is a must-try dessert if you happen to dine at Mozu at Ming’s. It has three layers made of a graham crust, rich custard and sweet, creamy Mantecado flavored ice cream. I don’t know if it was just me but the custard or yema part was on the salty side that I first I thought it was made of cheese. But either way, it was a delightful and impressive sweet treat. 

Turon Ala Mode - Turon Ala Mode - banana saba, mango, vanilla ice cream, apple sauce. The turon had jackfruit inside which I really love when it comes to turon. The combinations of vanilla ice cream, apple sauce and turon, did not fall short of what a good and well-loved Pinoy merienda should be.

Mozu at Ming’s is a family owned and operated business and take great pride in supporting local community, as well as promoting the cultivation of plants. That is why they also sell a wide variety of local ornamental plants, herbs, vegetables, as well as other garden essentials. The foreign species are sprung from the seeds former First Lady Ming Ramos brings home from her overseas trips. You can find them being sold at the garden at the back of the restaurant.

Since the property boasts of three hectares of sprawling, lush landscape, Mozu at Ming’s also offers variety of spaces for all types of events, from intimate functions, to weddings, ceremonies and receptions, as well as private celebrations. Their large open spaces and a covered glass venue are perfect venues for special occasions. Mozu at Ming’s open spaces, punctuated by blooming flora, also provides the perfect backdrop for photo and video shoots, as well as the ideal ambiance for peaceful walks and quiet contemplation. I personally love their courtyard with stone paths leading up to the romantic fountain at the center. 

I truly enjoyed all the dishes that we ate at Mozu at Ming’s, not only that I got to try a new place, I also enjoyed the company of old and new foodie colleagues. Dining and being served refined, traditional and hearty Filipino dishes accompanied with a garden dining and cool Tagaytay breeze caressing me all over was an experience that I will truly reminisce. 

Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road, Tagaytay City, 
Tagaytay, Cavite, Philippines
Contact Nos: 02 2469069 ext:231 

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Mozu at Ming's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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