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 🙂
Malapascua is described by the lonely planet as “The Thinking Man’s Boracay” and is the next greatest beach discovery after Boracay. It is like Boracay 5 /10 years ago or I would describe it as Boracay less the nightlife (very quiet at night!) . The sand is sugary fine and the waters are calm such that you can imagine you have a large swimming pool that you can swim for miles. I’ll be writing a series on Bantayan/Malapascua adventure in time for the summer season and specially holy week which is the peak season for these beaches.
I’ve been here about five years ago and now there is an authentic Italian Restaurant (La Dolce Vita) and new resorts (Blue Corals) have been established. Night life is still quiet, although a disco bar, Maldito, was established 3 years ago but it just recently closed. Overall, I’m happy that its charm has been kept intact over the years. This would change once the roads have been developed and the port established. This continues to be one of the best kept secret beach for a select few to enjoy. Normally, you would only see foreigners in this island because it is promoted by Lonely Planet.
This is one of my favorite beach in the Philippines! I’m glad I was able to go back here for the second time almost after 5 years… I like its rustic charm where there is no TV, the clocks seems to slow down, you are like watching in an omni-theater about beach nature at its finest. Kota Beach is located in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island and on the tip end of the Sta. Fe beaches. You could walk along the beach to the left and find Marlin’s Beach Resort, White Sands, and Santa Fe Beach Club. On the right of Kota Beach, you can also find Budji Resorts and other smaller resorts.
Unfortunately, this island is full of irony because they got exposed to tourist price early so some of the food are expensive specially if it is owned by a foreigner. However, you can have Karaoke with drinks already for P100/person. Danggit sells for half the price here in the Bantayan Market because it is produced in the island. Also, Bantayan is known to be the “Egg Basket of the Visayas”. More than 100 tons of eggs per day are produced on the island and sent out to the nearby regions (quote from Tara Cebu). They don’t have diving resorts but Marlin’s Resort would have water sports available and ski-boarding since the beach faces the open sea. Lastly, Bantayan Island is the only place where you can eat meat or Lechon during the Holy Week and this is recognized by the Church!
I’ll be writing a series on Bantayan/Malapascua adventure in time for the summer season. Stay tune for that series.