On the hunt for a new place to eat at Tagaytay, we decided to try out the restaurant that has been tickling my curiosity ever since my first visit to the city (my mind wonders what that far off resto is whenever we pass it on the way to the more popular strip near Magallanes).
Located quite a way from the main road, one has to walk some minutes through a small roadway that made me spontaneously sing The Long and Winding Road by the Beatles before reaching the Filipiniana-themed restaurant.
There were hardly any guests when we arrived and we had the place to ourselves. The interior was very cozy, wood furnishings, wide capiz windows, colorful window pane accents, quaint chandeliers, Filipino-themed paintings, it was really nice.
The place was also very cool even if it wasn’t air-conditioned; the fresh wind from the Taal totally takes care of the ventilation system.
We seated ourselves outside for a grand view of the Taal Lake and proceeded with our orders.
I ordered their Taal Longanisa but it was not on the menu (it was posted on their roadside poster though), our waiter confirmed first if it was available and luckily it was. We also ordered a custom version of their Guinataang Kalabasa; minus the bagoong and pakbet ingredients, since L is not that crazy over anything seafood and I don’t really dig Pakbet.
We watched as the other table gets serenaded by their in-house singers while waiting for our food. We liked watching these guys play, but we’re not too crazy on being serenaded upon while eating. Our food arrived after a brief while and we started digging in while worrying about the Filipiniana band that was just lurking at the corner waiting for our first bite.
I love garlic longanisa’s, this has always been my favorite food whenever I go out of town and sadly, Taaleña’s version was not up to par with my very simple expectations; the meat was chunky, was too hardy and not crispy fried. The Guinataang Kalabasa was also a disappointment; the sauce was lacking and was too dry, the kalabasa was undercooked and was too hard, the flavor was flat, no tangy flavor that we so love about this dish.
Disappointed with our fare, the serenaders made matters worst. If you guys have any tip how to prevent being serenaded upon while eating, I am very open to suggestions.
Finally, we asked for our bill. We were aghast as to how much the Longanisa dish cost. Since it was unlisted on the menu, I totally forgot to ask how much it is before ordering (my bad). The two pieces of Longanisa cost Php220.00, that’s without rice. Php110.00 for a piece of longanisa is just plain outrageous.
We asked why it was priced as such and they couldn’t come up with any answer other than that was how much the cook said it was. After complaining that the price was too much, they lowered it down to Php150.00, which was still too expensive.
I’m not one for bashing restaurants but besides the nice architecture and view (which can be found on most restaurants in Tagaytay anyways) I really cannot find no redeeming factor with Taaleña, they unfortunately do not do justice to the name they carry.
The fact that there were hardly any diners in their restaurant when we arrived should have been a clue for us already.