Here is another tip for you. Bag of Beans is the coffee place to be in Tagaytay. Here you will find the most expensive coffee that is proudly Philippines made! You should try out the roasted Coffee Alamid which has a sweet, chocolatey aroma that heightens the senses — light and naturally sweet. What makes this amazingly expensive is that the coffee beans are digested by the Philippine civet (a cat) which ferments the coffee beans and excreted as whole beans. If you did not get that, these are beans harvested in the civets waste by farmers in the wild forrest. It became known when it was tasted by Oprah who was surprised to know about the origins of this delicious coffee. Now, I guess this is enough trivia for you to impress your date 🙂 Check out the story of –> Coffee Alamid!
This is one of our favorite videoke place in the island. One of the advantage of being on the island on a weekday is that you can expect that you’ll be the only group in this restaurant. Marisquieira O Portuguese have a unique system for their karaoke: You have to buy a bottle of beer which would be equivalent to 2 songs. If you buy a grande size it’s equivalent to 5 songs. Coming from the chinese dinner @ Santa Fe, we decided to hang-out in this popular pub which is known for its pizza. We tasted them earlier in the day during merienda, and it was a home made pizza delight 🙂 This is communal videoke style and oh boy, we are glad that we are the only people in this resto– as if we rented the whole place for P500 sing-all-night! I was inspired to take a lot of pictures while we were singing because of the cool ambiance of the place — check it out!
When you are in the island, you can’t help it but miss the comforts of Manila Style living and sometimes crave for that chinese cuisine. Santa Fe Beach Resort has the answer for you. In fact, this resort is one of the better resorts in the island in terms of amenities. The only issue with Santa Fe to my point of view is that it is near the pier so the beach is actually dirty with oil and some debris. If you don’t mind that, then book here. For me, this is a place for eating the best chinese cuisine in the island and ice cream for dessert! Lastly, this is my first attempt at night photography and check out these night shots of Santa Fe. I love them!
Welcome to Cliff house, Tagaytay. Most people miss this place because of its very simple signage outside the main highway. My wife loves this place because it reminded us of Long Beach, California because of the wind blowing and overall ambiance/ architecture of the place. There are two great restaurants here: Buon Giorno! (Italian Restaurant), and Fire Lake Grill (Steakhouse by Chef Paul Huang). Soon, by March 2006, Cafe Breton will open and this would address the dessert cravings of people going up to Tagaytay.
Check out this photo tour of Cliffhouse, Tagaytay…
Finally, I was able to schedule a Tagaytay trip and check out the highly recommended Fire Lake Grill by Paul Huang. At first, you would think that this is yet another steakhouse in Tagaytay. The food is really good at this place from the steak house to the grilled fish, to the salad and the desserts. This is a small cozy restaurant so you need to reserve in advance and it would be difficult to walk-in here. This shot was taken almost at 1pm+ already so dining al-fresco at this time is not ideal. Although it is so windy at this time and eating outside is perfect for Aidan since he can walk to his heart’s content.
Let me walk you through a Fire Lake Grill Sunday Lunch!
Here are suggested itinerary and must do stuff while in you are in Santa Fe, Bantayan. Of course, don’t expect a shooter’s bar or a sophisticated night life. You’ll find simple pleasures here and this is how a beach vacation should be 🙂
Buon Giorno’s Opium Bed is starting to be one of the most reserved spot in Cliff House, Tagaytay. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you are missing on the latest discovery in Tagaytay. I got the tip from Grace last November who was kind enough to share with me her review (Thanks alot Grace!). Here’s an excerpt:
“The food in BuonGiorno is okay. I guess it’s nothing compared to Amoroma or L’Opera, but for the price, it was well worth it (Which made it great! hahaha)! We ordered two glasses of white wine, parma ham antipasti, their specialty salad, salmon and asparagus risotto and chicken saltimbocca and only paid 1k. I’d recommend the food except for the dessert and the wines. (the risotto was around 250, the chicken was 400 [but that’s their specialty], but on the whole, the dishes cost around 150-250 each) (pls don’t get the desserts! The sansrival had too much butter, while the panna cotta was runny). The nicest thing about it was my boyfriend reserved the “opium bed.” It’s this wooden chair that had hanging curtains overlooking the view which was absolutely beautiful and romantic. If you’ll eat in BuonGiorno, you SHOULD have that seat reserved.” (review by grace)
We decided to eat @ Fire Lake Grill (I’ll share in a separate post) instead and we had a firm resolution to go back and reserve this Opium Bed when we eat here @ Buon Giorno. By the way, I was surprised that the valentines weekend is still open versus when I ask a reservation in Antonio’s. That tells me that not a lot of people still know about this place which has been in operation for 6 months+. By the way, Cliff House Tagaytay is just along the main highway in Tagaytay right before the fork road @ Petron Gas Station. See more detailed photos…
Al fresco dining… powdery white beach… cool breeze… waves crushing on the shore… fantastic cuisine… excellent service! This is the perfect dining experience for me and we found it surprisingly in White Sands Restaurant-by-the-beach in Santa Fe, Bantayan. This was a favorite and highly recommended by Tara Cebu (our official guide for the trip 🙂 You can notice that the waitresses are trained very well, from the setting of the utensils, to the way the food is served.
We were so excited that we ordered a lot of the grilled foods and we ended up with P700/ person in our bill!! No doubt, that it would be a plus if you have a cebuano accompany you, otherwise, the prices are touristy expensive about 2x the normal cost in Manila (imagine that). They have a wide assortment from pizza, pasta, Filipino dishes, breakfast menu, international cuisine aside from the grilled variety. On hindsight, we should have looked at the prices and ordered pizza and other dishes. You can reasonably eat for P200/ head (according to Tara Cebu)
I’ve always longed to go back to this place! I first discovered the Bantayan and Malapascua Beaches almost 5 years ago. I fell IN LOVE with the beach. Both the islands have a different attraction — Malapascua is so charming that it is regarded as Boracay more than 10 years ago… while Bantayan, is how the beach should be and where you can find peace and serenity. I’m starting this [Bantayan+Malapascua Series] to share with you this joy and my love affair with these beaches. In fact, I’m planning to buy a beach lot in Malapascua — that’s how I love this place. I do hope this remains to be a secret paradise in the northern tip of Cebu… For now, only foreigners know about the secret, a few locals, and now my readers of Awesome Planet 🙂
The adventure starts as you travel to the northern part of Cebu where these beautiful islands are located. We decided to go to Bantayan first then Malapascua (although I would recommend the other way around). It takes two and a half hours (2.5 hrs) from the Cebu City to the Hagnaya Port where you will need to ride a ferry or a fastcraft to go to Bantayan island.
I’ve always wanted to take pictures of these hot air balloon or even ride in one of them. Lets see! Feb 9-11, 2006 — mark the date 🙂 Here is the official website–> http://www.philballoonfest.com for those of you who are interested to go as well. Leave me a comment, maybe we might see each other 🙂 9/22/06 Update: I heard from my friends that you should really go there early to see the balloons fly out as early as 5am. After the balloons fly, you can try the ultra lightweight plane ride. After than, you should just go to Clark or Subic 🙂