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Kalamunda by Sylvia Miguel

Kalamunda-1

"Dear, it's Kalamunda and not Sylvia's Garden...," Sylvia Miguel corrected me last Sunday. Kalamunda is an Australian aboriginal term, which means "home in the bush." (Yeah, Sylvia's Garden could be easily confused with Sonya's Garden...)

You have to literally drive to uncharted Tagaytay area with no signs and just views of one farm after another. Kalamunda is right beside the new Massimo in Tagaytay, hidden just behind the borders of Tagaytay and Silang, Cavite.

The main highlight of this foodie trip is the cleanest-tasting lechon by Sylvia and Carlos Miguel.

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It was a Sunday trip with 23 fellow foodie friends and 6 kids in Tagaytay. We had a convoy of 6 cars going to Kalamunda (which Aidan described as a train of cars) and 3 more cars that followed later on.

To start the feast, we were served with Sylvia's signature paté with crackers or melba toast as the appetizer. It is a popular giveaway during the Christmas season.

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Sylvia is also known for her Vegetable Paella, which is a healthier accompaniment to the main highlight of our lunch -- lechon. It was turmeric rice with toppings of bell peppers, young corn, mushrooms and beans. I think it would have been better to serve it on the usual paella pan to get the tutong on the bottom.

This reminded me of the yellow rice and the sweet organic vegetables of the Ivatans in Batanes.

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I loved the Kare Kare. I'm glad I asked Sylvia to prepare white rice, which went really well with this dish. The oxtail was soft, abundant and swimming in sauce. People were raving about the bagoong, which was a bit on the sweeter side.

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The tilapia was served still wrapped, straight from the grill. It was so delicious because the fish were still swimming in the morning before they were served for lunch time.

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The grilled shrimps were equally good but acted as a supporting role to the main heavy dishes. Maybe serving the shrimps with a home-fermented vinegar or pinakurat would add to the "wow" factor.

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The lechon was cooked from 6:30 a.m. until it was served with smoke coming out of its butt. Most people commented that the lechon was different because it tasted like "dark meat" all throughout. The meat itself was tasty already, but not as salty as the Cebu lechon. The skin was crunchy with only a thin layer of fat.

The secret of this cleanest-tasting lechon lies in its organic diet, which is fed to the young pig months before it is served. There is also a secret process of purging the pig to clean it.

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The dessert was not that impressive, compared to the main course. Simple turon was served.

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Another dessert was the chocolate with cream cake. Just looking at it could increase your blood sugar.

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The kids had a fun time role-playing as farmers around Kalamunda. They would occasionally inspect the farm animals and the vegetables around the hacienda at 12noon.

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Carlos Miguel takes care of 4 cows, 2 pot-bellied pigs, 1 sheep, a few roosters/chicken and a number of duck and geese.

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We had fun meeting new foodie friends, including Rona and family, who were visiting Manila from Canada.

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Kalamunda by Sylvia Miguel
Reservations: Sylvia +63917 8810032
P1,500 per head for the Lechon Lunch (minimum of 20 people)

Driving Directions:

Go to SLEX and exit in Sta. Rosa. Continue all the way up to Tagaytay until you reach Ming's Garden. From Ming's, slow down because you will make a sharp right down an unpaved road. This road can easily be missed and its only landmark is that it is right before a bridge and the first right after Ming's garden.

After a while, you'll see a road sign that points to Chateau Hestia on your left. Turn left going up the backroads in Silang, Cavite. This is a long scenic route where you'll see a few houses, pineapple plantations and a few vegetable farms.

This path leads to a forked road where there is a sign that directs you to go straight to Chateau Hestia. Don't go straight but turn right instead to the Home Villas. This is a long winding road. Soon enough, you should see these landmarks on your right: Home Villas, then the new Massimo and then the red gate of Kalamunda.


Live an Awesome Life,  


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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2009. 
blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
prof. blog: AntonDiaz.com
mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) 
email: [email protected]

PS. There's really nothing to do other than to eat and chat in Kalamunda. Also, Sylvia will hold you to your confirmed reservation. We confirmed 24 adults and 3 paying kids but 23 adults came and 5 paying kids. We still paid 24 adults and 5 paying kids. 

 

 

 

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it's not just the cleanest lechon but also the best tasting one for me. I think it's better than the well-known cebu lechon. you also don't need the sarsa for this, the meat is very tender and flavorful. but for us, who loves sarsa, the sauce only enhances the flavor of the meat.

the dulong and the paté are both great tasting. the lechon is not as salty and as fatty as the other kinds of lechon. it is very tasty and I opted to eat it without sauce. kare-kare is good, as well as the shrimp paste, with bite of spice to it. another great discovery anton and rache !

It's too bad we couldn't join you, Anton. The food sounds fantastic! And that chocolate cream cake looks scrumptious; was it?

I didn't know that Massimo had moved. Or is that a new branch? The original Massimo wasn't far from our house.

Can we order the lechon and deliver to Manila?

Thanks Maong for the comment! I missed the taste and since they are the ones
roasting their own pig, I'm not sure if we can really get this anywhere
else.

hi anton! when will the next one be? and how do i link this to fb? would like to share with my fb friends as well. thanks! tj

They have a new and bigger Massimo Branch. Can't wait to check it out...

Hi Tj,
Specifically for the Sylvia Manuel Lechon, I really plan to try it for the
first time. Maybe we might integrate it to our Tagaytay tour but medjo
mahirap yung logistics. Maybe if we an arrange an overnight Tagaytay trip,
we could check out all the foodie places in one weekend.

Anton

Hmmn, it is best eaten in Tagaytay right after it is cooked. Since they
don't have a commercialized operation, I don't think they would be ok with
the arrangement.

That tabletop sure is overflowing with f-o-o-d! For 1.5K/person, that sure ain't bad.

An overnighter would be a good idea Anton! Since Tagaytay is a trove a foodie spots, a day trip will not suffice.

Sige, I'll do an itinerary nga on a Tagaytay overnight food trip! Thanks for
the push on this concept....

are there organized visits to Kalamunda? this post made me drool and the thought of a whole lechon tasting like "dark meat part" and the kare-kare made me want it.

gads, the lechon and the chocolate with cream cake looks absolutely gorgeous...

great going, Anton... just came back from Cebu and what were the highlights of that trip? Jay Aldeguer's ISLANDS BANCA CRUISE with two of the BEST "hard" masajistas of Cebu on board to give us a terrific massage while the V8-engined huge banca (40-passenger capacity) purred and glided through the smooth, calm waters of Mactan towards a long white sandbar beach in Pandanon (already a part of Bohol but its only some 45 mins away from Mactan).. and the fabulous dinner we had at Acqua, the Italian restaurant at the Shangrila Mactan (order Chef Luca's antipasti sampler, the seabass, and the to-die-for ravioli with cepes (mushroom) and gorgonzola - what a delicious feast!)

i also loved the dinner buffet at Marco Polo Plaza (which used to be Cebu Plaza, my favorite hotel in Cebu), which included lechon de leche from Rico's.. wow! that was a superb introduction to Cebu lechon
for me. On the penthouse of the Marco Polo is BLU, the hotel's steak restaurant and bar, which, at night, affords one a glittering panoramic view of Cebu City and all the way to Mactan...BLU's also one of the best places for steak in Cebu and its desserts (particularly the lemon cheesecake, molten chocolate cake and apple crumble) are likewise excellent. i also dined at Abaca where i thought its bouillabaisse was very good and its desserts, including home made mint and chocolate icecream by pretty Chef Aimee Tran likewise noteworthy.

Maybe we can integrate it into our Tagaytay tours in the near future. But
for organized trips going there, I just did it once because you need to get
a big group for the lechon lunch.

Hi Teddy,
We were suppose to go on the ISLANDS BANCA Cruise last time but my group
decided to not proceed with it in the last minute. I want to try it and I
heard a lot of good things about it.

Acqua and BLU is now on my blogging list. Thanks for the tips!

Anton

yes i have to agree with you here. tita sylvia is a relative. everything and anything they make are yummy!

this place is overrated. The food is very expensive but not so yummy...

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