Tagaytay used to be a quiet place where people from the Metro can go to escape the buzz. The weather is nice, the breeze is cool and there's no stress and traffic. Today, Tagaytay has morphed into a foodie destination. Everyone has discovered it's charm and weekend road trips became stressful and the traffic had gone bad. A trip to this place has become a second thought for me especially since a weekday getaway is quite impossible.
|Table setting and some wine at Amacena in One Tagaytay
|A wonderful feast prepared by Chef Luigi Mulach!
The setting of the restaurant was simple but elegant. Long tables, white table top and plates on top of round wooden chopping boards. The chairs were cushioned and I loved the play of warm colors from the wood accents.
|For a more rustic holidays feel - this room is perfect!
It was like being transported into a nice dining room in a very cozy home. They also have this semi private room that had a rustic feel.
Their 5 Cheese Pizza should have Blue Cheese + Parmesan + Mozzarella + Feta + Cheddar but they run out of Blue Cheese when we visited. The mix of melted cheeses gave this pizza a beautiful gooey-ness but it somehow lacked a distinct or sharp cheese flavor. Maybe if there was Blue Cheese, it could have been better. The crust was so-so. Obviously the frozen type, it was thin and too crunchy for my liking.
Pinakbet Pizza was not my type. If it had bits of alamang, making it a little closer in taste to the dish itself, maybe it could have been better. But veggies like talong, squash and okra on a pizza - no thanks!
Tawilis Pizza was okay. I was looking for a saltier taste from the fish or cheese - something similar to anchovies but nah! They also added Kesong Puti here. Good job though in trying to incorporate local ingredients plus there was a generous heaping of both the fish and the cheese!
Appetizers: Dinakdakang Chicharon, Tuna Kilawin
Dinakdakang Chicharon: small chunks of pork belly, liver, lots of chicharon, onions and mayo, served with egg to be mixed right away!
This was good. Tasty, good acidity from the lemon, just the right saltiness.
|Tuna Kilawin for 380Php
Tuna Kilawin was good and presentation was unique. Served in a coconut husk with some coconut meat, loved the spicy kick and the coconut milk sauce. And oh did I tell you that it had chicken skin too? Such a nice play on flavors and texture!
Onto the mains: Smokin' Bistek, Bulalo, Sizzling Bulalo, Crispy Pata, Caldereta
This Smokin Bistek had tender bacon like cut of beef, flavorful sauce, topped with crispy onion rings - do not skip this!
Bulalo - a signature dish of Tagaytay that should always always be in your list! Theirs had a good tasty broth, tender beef, veggies cooked just right.
Sizzling Bulalo Steak was such a lovely dish! A genius twist to a classic favorite, this had tender chunks of beef in a thick tasty mushroom sauce served with bone marrow that's topped with garlic bits.
Something that I would urge you to order!
Crispy Pata - the very Filipino sinful dish of tender deep fried pork leg! It was tasty and oily and crispy!
I wasn't able to take a picture of their Caldereta Pot Pie (for 600Php) but was able to try it and I would say that this is something that you should try here. It's not your usual Caldereta but it was delicious! Imagine this - tender chunks of braised US Hanging Tender with a rich tomato based sauce x mashed potato crust and lots of cheese! It's one for the books!
Then came dessert in the form of chocolate cake. Belgian Chocolate Eruption. I thought it was your usual moist and fudgey cake but as took a slice, warm and gooey chocolate sauce came gushing out!
Here are the other dishes that were served ---
Longganisa Corn Dogs for 200Php - Longganisa x Bibingka Batter x Honey Mustard x Red Slaw
Adobo Flakes Bruschetta for 230Php - Adobo Flakes x Foccacia Bread x Kesong Puti Sauce
Half Roast Chicken for 285Php - Half Oven Roasted Chicken x Peppercorn x Roasted Potatoes
Honey Bagoong Wings for 230Php - 3-4 Pieces Chicken Wings x Honey Bagoong Dressing x Ranch Sauce
Duo of Tacos for 270Php - Flour Tortilla x Crispy Pork Belly x Crushed Boy Bawang x Red Pepper Aioli x Chicken Inasal x Mango Salsa
The wait staff of this restaurant were attentive and smiled genuinely the whole time we were there. We had lots of requests but they patiently helped us in every way possible. Also, loved the use of natural light through glass walls. Lets you dine with a view as well.
I shall see you again, Amacena!
4 out of 5 Stars for Amacena!
--- Amacena - One Tagaytay Place Hotel: One Tagaytay Place, 445 Tagaytay-Calamba Rd., Tagaytay, Cavite