When it comes to quick weekend or day trip getaways, Tagaytay City is always a top choice for those coming from the metro. The refreshing view of Taal Lake and the variety of restaurants always makes Tagaytay a favorite foodie destination. One of the best places for dining with a view is the historic Taal Vista Hotel. After enjoying several buffet meals at Cafe Veranda and dinners by the fireplace at the Lobby Lounge, our hosts saved the best for last with a heavy breakfast/brunch at Taza Fresh Table.
Taza Fresh Table showcases the local produce, meats, and seafood of the surrounding area. The restaurant, located near the kid’s club, gym and game room, has an enclosed dining area and an al fresco section offering its own signature local farm to table cuisine. It’s a lovely space ideal for private events and functions.
Conceptualized by Chef Jayme Natividad, the restaurant gets its name from the Arabic word Taaza, which means “fresh.” Taza believes that the essence of great food lies in the finest quality ingredients and they deliver big on flavor and freshness. The meals here use vegetables sourced from the hotel’s gardens, pasta and sauces made from scratch, and slow-cooked meats smoked right in their kitchen.
The great thing about dining with a group of friends is that you can order something different and try each other’s food. There’s no way I could physically eat all of these dishes in one sitting, so it was great to get to taste a little bit of each.
For starters we had the Taza Salad (P390), a delightful blend of quinoa, cherry tomatoes, wild arugula, farm-fresh romaine, microgreens, Cebu dried mangoes, radish, beets, a la minute tarragon-white wine vinaigrette. The crisp and fresh vegetables topped with the tart dressing went well with many of the meat-based entrees. I suggest you skip eating rice and go for this salad instead.
One of the standout dishes was the Eggs Benedict, topped with a choice of ham (P450), bacon (P550) or smoked salmon (P565). Smoked salmon wasn’t available, so we got the one with ham. Taza’s version makes use of fresh market greens, home fries and a really good handmade subtly cheesy hollandaise sauce.
One of Taza’s signature dishes is their French Toast (P310) served with a tower of homemade bacon, candied walnuts, and caramelized bananas. This provided a sweet contrast to other savory dishes and became the default dessert.
If you like your meats on the sweet side, you’ll love Taza’s Homemade Bacon (P350), a thick and tender slab of pork belly cured for ten days and smoked for six hours with mango tree wood chips. The two slabs of bacon comes with a sweet and tart apple-mango compote. I liked the smoky sweet flavor of the meat paired with the Taza Salad.
Aside from the breakfast meals, there are several options for lunch and snacks including pasta with Tagaytay mushrooms and pizzas that make use of Laguna kesong puti, Laguna mozzarella and homemade pancetta. We found the portions for main entrees very generous such as the Steak and Eggs (P995), consisting of ribeye wagyu, fresh market greens and home fries topped with two eggs in any style you want.
There was also the Wagyu Burger (P650) that makes use of Ground Bukidnon Wagyu, Tagaytay romaine lettuce, mozarella cheese, potato wedges and colselaw. If you’re traveling with kids, they might enjoy the Southern Fried Chicken (P395), a classic combination of crispy fried chicken and gravy paired with waffles and maple syrup.
Hands-down, everyone’s favorite dish was the Tomahawk Pork Chop (P790), which makes use of premium local pork with caramelized onions, bananas, and pork jus. The meat has a subtle and delicate sweetness and tender texture that just goes well with mashed potatoes and sweet caramelized onions. The substantially large serving of bone-in fried pork chop can easily be shared by 2-3 people, even if you aren’t ordering other dishes. I highly recommend this!
I’ve been to a lot of restaurants lately (ex. food parks) where the food looks Instagram-worthy, but falls short on flavor. I can honestly say that everything we had tasted as delicious as it looked. You can tell that the restaurant makes use of the finest quality ingredients and a lot of preparation goes into the flavors, sauces and presentation. If you want to enjoy a good quality meal in Tagaytay, I suggest you pay a visit to Taza Fresh Table. I think this is Tagaytay on a plate! It’s food worth the trip.