Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay recently introduced the new brunch menu of its Restaurant Verbena. The menu has classic offerings such as smoked salmon served in bagels, prosciutto and soft eggs in fresh English muffins, crispy pork belly in English muffins with hollandaise, country ham served with sweet corn pudding, and eggs en meurette.
Weekend day trippers and overnight guests of the pioneer bed and breakfast destination in Tagaytay City will surely love the new brunch menu, especially since the balcony of Restaurant Verbena offers unobstructed views of the Taal caldera. It’s the most sought-after area in the restaurant.
Restaurant Verbena executive chef Celmar Ambida wanted to combine Filipino and American cuisines. “We incorporated Filipino and American comfort foods and used the readily available produce in Tagaytay—lettuce, edible flowers, micro greens, tomatoes,” he said. “All of these grow in the area due to the cool climate. We wanted to make a continental menu, but with familiar Filipino tastes.”
Brunch is usually served from late morning until 3 p.m.
Pork Belly Benedict
The menu tasting started with a prodigious selection of butter croissant, an assortment of breads and jam, banana bread, pan de sal, duck fat biscuits, Danish pastries, fruits, juices, coffee, hot chocolate and tea.
There was also a ham and cheese pie, and a dessert spread. We tried out all the signature mains. The Pork Belly Benedict stood out—crispy pork belly with pickled red onions, soft poached eggs and salted egg hollandaise, served on fresh English muffins.
The plating was impressive, the dish garnished with colorful edible flowers, micro greens, and lettuce. Chef Celmar wanted all his dishes to have a “Tagaytay signature look,” and with his garnishing, has achieved it. Tagaytay is well-known for its numerous hydroponic gardens and farms.
The Brunch Burger is a must-try—grilled USDA Angus beef with crispy double-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, one over-easy egg, and paprika mayonnaise. It’s served with a delicious siding of parmesan fries—so good, you can’t stop with just a bite or two.
The Corned Beef Breakfast Sandwich has house-made corned beef, melted onions, fried egg, white cheddar and signature parmesan fries. The beef is sourced locally.
For seafood dishes, there’s the Bouillabaisse—Chilean sea bass, salmon, snapper, shrimp, mussels and clams poached in Provencal fish broth. It is served with rice pilaf and saffron aioli. The dish is suited to the cool winds of Tagaytay. The hot Provencal soup is a perfect way to warm you.
The other featured dishes were Eggs En Meurette—soft egg poached in red wine, mushroom duxelle, garlic toast, and Cabernet bacon jus; Steak Frites—USDA beef tenderloin, bordelaise, petite organic greens, served with paprika-parmesan fries; Spanish Broken Eggs—homemade chorizo, tomatoes, peppers, soft eggs and house-made sweet potato chips; and Smoked Salmon—farmer’s kesong puti, pickled red onions, Tagaytay tomatoes, capers and house bagels.
There’s a dessert buffet that can satisfy even the most exacting sweet tooth. The new resident manager of Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay, Rhea Sycip, herself a chef who specializes in baking, takes special pride in the offering.
We enjoyed a slice of the Apple Pie Skillet à la Mode.
The dessert buffet also includes Strawberry Shortcake, Cranberry Muffins, Lemon Lime Parfait and an assortment of cupcakes and sweets.
The brunch menu is available every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Restaurant Verbena is at Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay, 300 Calamba Road, San Jose, Tagaytay City. For inquiries and reservations, call 5298172 or e-mail [email protected] Visit www.discoverycountrysuites.com.