Our Awesome Planet

Our Awesome Planet

April 10, 2012

HILL STATION & Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Baguio

April 10, 2012

HILL STATION & Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Baguio

[Update 03/06/13]HILL STATION: One of the BEST Restaurants in Baguio! (Revisited)

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Hill Station Tapas Bar & Restaurant is one of the hottest restaurants in Baguio. It was voted as one of Asia's finest restaurants in The Miele Guide 2011/2012.

Mitos, the owner (and also the secret behind the success of Mario's in Baguio), decided to set up her own restaurant in the old Casa Vallejo hotel. It serves the best of Asian and Continental cuisines from other Hill Stations around the world.

I met Mitos in an Artist Mafia gathering in Baguio. The people there are the ones who are campaigning and giving life to the authentic Baguio (vs. the commercialized Baguio) experience.

Mitos is a close friend of the owners of Cafe by the Ruins, so it's no surprise then that a visit to Baguio is not complete without dropping by Cafe by the Ruins and Hill Station.

Here is a glimpse of our trip to Hill Station...

Awesome Baguio Experience Series:

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Hill Station is located below the Casa Vallejo hotel, just literally below SM Baguio along the busy Upper Session Road on top of Luneta Hill.

You enter via a cafe and bar area where you can see a lot of people lounging around, enjoying the free wifi. :)

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We found the ambiance a bit intimidating but still inviting, like a casual fine dining place that uses the view of Baguio and its cool breeze as a backdrop.

Hill Station Menu:

Tapas, Homemade Soup, Salads for Two, Pasta, House Favorite, Paella
Slow-cooked stews & curries from Famed Hill Stations, Sandwiches, Desserts
Beverages, Teas, House Cocktails, Cafes
Liquer, Vodka, Tequila, Rum, Brandy & Cognac, Scotch & Bourbon, Gin and Beers

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The large windows around the restaurant make the place maaliwalas and give visitors the impression that they are in the center of a garden.

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To start the meal, a refreshingly different bread basket is served with olive oil and an Egyptian Dukka dip made from various nuts, seeds and spices.

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Baked Spinach & Artichoke Dip (P135 +10% service charge) with Melba Toast.

This is one of the best Spinach & Artichoke dips we've ever tasted. Our sons loved the crisp Melba Toast so much that we had to order a third serving just to satisfy the growing boys. :)

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Fresh Mushroom Cream Soup (P120 +10% service charge) A medley of fresh mushrooms with a dollop of cream.

We usually order soup each time we dine because the boys love it just as much as we do. It's also perfect with the Baguio weather. Unfortunately, the mushroom soup was not as fresh as we envisioned it to be; this was the only thing we did not like in our meal.

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Beet Soup (P110 +10% service charge) Soup of the day, always fresh, ask your server.

It's better to order the soup of the day, so that you are assured of getting the freshest serving like this beet soup.

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Raphael just loved the soup. Our little boy asserted his independence, showing us that he can enjoy it on his own.

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★ Mediterranean Salad (P240 +10% service charge) Organic greens, "Malagos" artisanal feta cheese, hard-boiled egg, black olives, onions, tomatoes, anchovy-balsamic vinaigrette.

When in Baguio, we like ordering salad because it is always fresh -- not like the tired-looking vegetables in Manila. The greens are crunchy, vivid in color, and served with a signature dressing.

I love the use of local ingredients (like the Malagos cheese) throughout the menu.

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★ Spinach & Mushroom Ravioli (P320 +10% service charge) on a bed of pumpkin puree & topped with Malagos blue cheese sauce.

We also liked the pasta combination of spinach, mushroom and pumpkin flavors. The ravioli was very soft and the blue cheese sauce was just enough.

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Green Thai Chicken Curry (P320 +10% service charge) with Homemade Mango Chutney.

We love ordering dishes with sauces that can be partnered with rice for the boys. This dish was mildly spicy.

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★ Fish Fillet with Five Spice Chile Tea Rub (P340 +10% service charge) in Hoisin Lime sauce on a bed of Scallion Lemon Rice.

This was a somewhat exotic combination for us, which was perfect since we're always looking for something new. Although we found it a bit salty, we still loved the combination of flavors with the lime sauce and different spices.

Hill Station-84.jpg★ Homemade Ice Cream Palette Sampler (P150 +10% service charge). Dark Chocolate with Cayenne, Benguet Coffee with Choco Chips, Vanilla Cinnamon, Mango Rum, Dulce de Leche.

For dessert, you can't go wrong with their homemade ice cream sampler! My favorite was the Benguet Coffee and Dulce de Leche.

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The boys' meal is never complete without dessert, and it's always our bargaining chip for good behavior. :)

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One of the best things about Hill Station is that it is beside one of the coolest bookshops for kids in the Philippines called Mt. Cloud Bookshop. (Note: It is open from 10.30am to 8.00pm only.)

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Before our trip, I read Rache's sister-in-law Tet's nice review of Mt. Cloud Bookshop (My Quaint Life | On cloud nine at Mt. Cloud) so I was excited to explore the store with our boys.

We had to resist buying these cool dinosaur pop-up books for the kids.

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The shop has a second floor for other book interests. It is well-curated and relevant like Fully Booked. You can also ask the bookstore keeper for any interesting titles you would like.

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Here's a view from the second floor. It's cool and quaint -- how I wish Tagaytay would have a neighborhood store like this! :)

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Overall, Hill Station with Mt. Cloud Bookshop is one of the best stops in Baguio for any foodie family. You can literally spend hours here (and to think we haven't tried the 24-hour spa beside this place yet!).

Best to eat here during lunch or a sunset dinner with the kids. It gets full on weekends so make sure you have a reservation.

Tapas Bar and Restaurant at Casa Vallejo
Luneta Hill, Upper Session Rd., 2600 Baguio City, Philippines
Telephone: +63 74 424-2734, 423-9100, 423-9558
Website: HillStationBaguio.com
Facebook: Hill Station
Operating Hours: Monday - Sunday: 7:00 am-11:00 pm

★ - Recommended

Related Blog Posts on Baguio:

BAGUIO: Your Awesome Journey to Baguio Food Trip (Infographic)

Awesome Baguio Experience Series:

Awesome Baguio Experience Series II:

Flavors of Baguio: Discover Baguio, One Bite at a Time!:

Live an Awesome Life,

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Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

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Full Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our meals. We are not connected with the establishments and any organization promoting them.

P.S. We weren't able to try the meat dishes in Hill Station because we ate there on Good Friday. Any recommendations from the slow-cooked stews menu?


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