The first part of the Tagaytay food trip series was posted last year so this second installment is really long overdue. Reasons are many. I was planning on submitting a Tagaytay feature for the Life & Travel section of Manila Standard Today but the delay in the publication of articles I previously submitted made me procrastinate. Big difference between a blog and a newspaper. With my blogs, I and I alone decide when to publish what I want. In a newspaper, other people make that decision. So, anyway, before I go on with the pili nut entries, let me finish the Tagaytay food trip series. Next weekend will be a long one and I know that many city folks are planning on going out of town. So, for those planning on a weekend in Tagaytay, this and the next entry might be informative and useful.
When we were in Tagaytay in November last year, we ate bulalo in three different restaurants. It was a kind of experiment to find the best bulalo in town. I have written about La Trobada earlier; this time, I’m going to tell you about a diner near the public market intersection and a restaurant called Taaleña.
There is a place, simply called Diner, along the highway very near the intersection that leads to the public market. It isn’t a fancy place. The available dishes were displayed on a glass covered counter, you make your choice(s) and give your order to the lady on the other side of the counter.
The bulalo (above) was very, very meat and several notches more tender than what we had at La Trobada. The other dishes were great as well. I especially enjoyed the fresh vegetable lumpia (below). For picky kids, there’s pork barbecue. For the uber carnivorous adults, there was lechon kawali.
We went back to the hotel very satisfied and feeling we probably had the best bulalo in Tagaytay. All of that changed the next day.
I hosted a small luncheon party (it was my birthday two weeks earlier) and I decided it would be lunch at Taaleña. We hadn’t been to Taaleña before but I chose it because the place was spacious (there were lots of kids in the group) and because it offered a great view of Taal Volcano. I felt so bitin from the previous day’s photo shoots because it had been raining and Taal Volcano was almost always hidden in fog. I figured it was my last chance to get the photos I so craved for.
The bulalo was not so meaty. But that probably made it more authentic since traditional bulalo hardly contains any meat. It was the broth that was really mind blowing. It was fantastic. In fact, we ordered additional broth to enjoy the rest of the food after the bulalo was gone.
We had assorted grilled seafood, fish and pork.
There was crispy tawilis, a fish only found in Taal lake. Those in our group were doubtful, however, if they were real tawilis because they appeared larger than the tawilis of Taal lake. Whatever, they were delicious anyway.
We had crispy pata (above) and adobo sa dilaw (below), purportedly the Batangas style of cooking adobo.
There was kaldereta (above), fried chicken (below), pancit canton and a few other things.
About two months later, my husband was on a business trip in Tagaytay and they had lunch at a place called Joni’s. He swore that the bulalo there was even better than Taaleña’s.
So, you might want to consider all that should you think of going hunting for the best bulalo in Tagaytay this summer.