New Tagaytay restaurant relives delicious memories of ‘lutong bahay’
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 02:30 AM October 13, 2016
Head south and avoid the horrendous traffic going north or east. That’s what this diner did—dicovering or rather confirming—that lutong bahay (home cooking) was truly masarap.
It was such a pleasure to be served food that one grew up with—and not have to go through the tedious way of personally cooking them.
Dining was enhanced by the cool breeze of Tagaytay and the most beautiful view on the ridge of Taal Lake and Volcano.
The place is said to be a new player in the ever-thriving restaurant scene in Tagaytay, Cavite.
Concha’s Garden Café
The place was really new, by our reckoning. The most pleasant area was to be seated on the garden side for the view of the lake.
Dining area: This was deliberately set up like a garden, with a trellis held up by posts and hanging plants on all of them. Tables were of hard wood and so were the chairs. Truly rustic.
Service: It was a very Tagalog kitchen; specialties were basically from Southern Luzon.
Staff: Men and women wait staff were clad in white and green tops (the better, perhaps to effect the natural ambiance) over black trousers and green aprons. They were friendly without being familiar. Orders were taken quickly.
Suggested orders: The menu evoked nostalgia—Laoya Beef, a version of nilaga but sweetened; Pork Dinuguan (we suspected it was thickened with coco cream), served with finger chili (our group gave it a collective thumbs-up); Crispy Tilapia, which felt like we were having chicharon due to its perfect texture; Wing Beans (sigarilyas), cooked very deliciously in coconut milk.
Also served were Pork Binagoongan, a family favorite; the rare Biya; Morcon; and Embutido, among others that brought back delicious memories of days gone by.
The chef innovated on the turon by using kamote (sweet potatoes) with slices of jackfruit, all of this laced with chocolate crème.
Coffee was bold and soothing, for what else could we expect in a place where coffee is grown?
In the dining room was a Pasalubong Deli, which had original items such as cassava cookies. It also had a freezer containing premium meat for sale.
Service and government charges were added to the meal. Senior cards were honored.