Philippine Daily Inquirer / 02:15 AM June 04, 2015
Foodies have different ways of looking for dining places. They can take a good word from discerning individuals, or be intrigued by a restaurant’s exposure in newspapers and magazines.
Social media has joined the fray; a restaurant we dined in recently was discovered on the Internet. Relying on something found online has its risks—which could sometimes give the diner an pleasant experience.
We drove through a wooded interior street that led to the Tagaytay highway. But before reaching it, we found our objective, a new restaurant called Voi-La, a name that must be a takeoff from the French word “voila,” which means calling attention to or expressing great, even magical, satisfaction.
In our case that evening, it was gustatory pleasure.
Dining area—The owner and designer must have been so fascinated with Asia’s regional art that the place is heavily strewn with a massive collection of cabinets, frames and decor items from our Asian neighbors. The main piece dominating the air-conditioned room is a round table heavily laden with Oriental artifacts; it was hard to distinguish which came from where.
Service—Efficient kitchen; the orders came swiftly.
Staff—Solicitous and amiable.
Suggested orders—Considering all the Asian elements in the restaurant, visitors would think the place specializes in a cuisine typical of the region. And as Tagaytay abounds with fresh fruits and vegetables, a salad should start the meal.
The wait staff suggested the Special Senator’s Salad (so named after a former senator and real-estate and mall magnate who owns the complex, and whose wife is also now a senator and one son a congressman).
The salad was quite an offering—heavy, with a mix of various types of lettuce, paper-thin slices of smoked salmon, grilled prawns and shiitake mushrooms garnished with shavings of Parmesan cheese in light dressing.
A lot of this resto’s items are labeled “signature.” Whose? Your guess is as good as ours.
Anyway, the group had to have Satay, one of those tagged signature. We chose the chicken, said to have been marinated in an infusion of lemongrass, galangal, turmeric and kaffir lime, and served with homemade peanut sauce. It turned out to be a superb dish with perfectly blended flavors.
The Chicken Curry was a mix of seafood and grilled chicken in red curry sauce, spicy enough to make our nose run but nonetheless truly satisfying. It was served with a side of bird’s eye chili and a medley of grilled vegetables, tofu and zest of kaffir lime.
The group could not get away from the traditional Phad Thai with piquant sauce and toasted peanuts. And, quite surprisingly, we also had an order of Cheesy Pizza with mozzarella, Parmesan and quick-melt cheese. That was quite an unusual choice to end an Asian dinner, but it made everyone feel good.
Government taxes and service fee are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored. Rating – 3 Spoons