I can’t imagine how an authentic Italian restaurant exist and able to survive in an island called Malapascua. When the first time I visited here, 4 years ago, this place does not exist– it is only about 2 years+ old. This is run by two Italian couples who fell in love with Malapascua and spends 6 months in the Philippines each year. La Dolce Vita, also boast of a sugary fine beach sand that rivals Boracay’s station 1 beach sand. All of us were surprised at how good and authentic the food really is, in this far far away island of Malapascua. Although, this is located at the south beach and you have to walk all the way to the end of Malapascua’s main beach (there are alot of signs along the way). After eating here, we decided to extend one more day in Malapascua — we just fell in love with it!
It was tough leaving the island of Bantayan. As much as we want to savor the serene ambiance of Kota beach, we have to leave as early as possible so that we don’t catch the big waves enroute to Malapascua. The boat trip took us 2 hours+ and it was a rough, wet boat ride. Also, the biggest banca in Bantayan is small compared to the banca in Malapascua. It was just enough for the six of us to seat under the trapal covers. One of the problems I had was it costs us P4,000 for the one way boat trip and I know that this is too much (should only be around 2,500+) if we went from Malapascua to Bantayan. Check out this photo tour of the trip from Bantayan to Malapascua trip.
Massimo is one of those restaurants in Tagaytay where it is very homey with a country feel to it, having a siesta atmosphere while indulging in the excellent cuisine of Chef Hazel Yu-Galvez, who sharpened her culinary skills in Italy. It is a european type of dining experience where you savor the food and each dish is served one by one without any hurry. I love the al-fresco dining outside where you can savor the tagaytay cool weather and sweet breeze. Although, this is also the smoking section where you could savor tabako smoke if you are lucky 🙂
Anyway, I’ve eaten here almost two years ago and I just started my blog January of 2005 so I don’t really have a detailed post on this. But I’ll just leave you with a sample of her valentine’s menu from feb. 11-15, 2006 for P1,995++ per couple. I don’t mean to promote it but just check this menu out and if I have not eaten here yet, I would be sure to reserve on these dates…
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…