Last weekend, my wife and I decided to drive to Tagaytay for fun. We saw a Phonebooky article that named 20 of Tagaytay’s Best Kept Secret Restaurants and were disappointed that we’d only been to two of them (Lime & Basil and Narra Hill). We picked The Dining Room at Gourmet Farms as it was conveniently located on our route.
We were driving on Daang Hari in Muntinlupa when we decided to head to Tagaytay. From Daang Hari, I followed Waze and headed toward Emilio Aguinaldo Highway. The drive took about an hour (on a Sunday) and was a lot more fun compared to SLEX/Sta. Rosa – Tagaytay Road. Only a few cars take that route, so I got pretty good fuel mileage heading to and from Tagaytay. However, once you hit Tagaytay’s main road, you’re back to bumper-to-bumper traffic with little reprieve. We did a short stopover at Bag of Beans to buy ground coffee (much better than what you can find at the grocery store) and to grab a quick bite. We didn’t stay long since we were seated on the balcony and we feared that bugs would bite our two-month old daughter.
Latte Art @ Bag of Beans
We arrived at the Gourmet Farms around 4pm. The Gourmet Farms is a local company that plants, harvests, and packages organic produce and coffee beans. Their products can easily be found at any of the famous grocery stores in the Philippines. Inside their property is a restaurant called The Dining Room. The building resembles Santorini and they serve Italian and Mediterranean food. When we arrived there was ample parking and they were only entertaining a few guests. At one point we found ourselves to be the only ones there, but we appreciated the attentive service of the waiters.
My wife ordered their Chicken Parmigiana (P380) to satisfy a lingering craving for Banapple. As the name suggests, it’s baked chicken in tomato and cheese served with mash potato. It’s also served with pesto. The serving size felt small but the chicken was perfectly baked. It had an amazing texture and the tomato, cheese, and pesto rounded out the flavors. The mash potato was ordinary, but my wife enjoyed her food very much.
I, regretfully, just ordered the Putanesca (P290). It’s what I default to when I order a pasta, and looking back I wish I had ordered something Greek instead. That’s not to say their pasta isn’t good. On the contrary I enjoyed the putanesca. They didn’t go overboard with capers and the tomatoes were very, very fresh.
Afterwards we briefly roamed the grounds and saw the farm behind a fence. A bug had landed on my daughters cheek so my wife rushed her out to the parking lot. Later we dropped by their coffee shop: Gourmet’s Cafe. We were still full and didn’t want to order another round of coffee so we just scanned their offerings. But surprisingly, even if it’s your first time there, there’ll be a sense of familiarity as they display the same products they sell at the grocery store. The coffee shop itself is quite cozy and well lit. The only drawback is that it’s so close to Tagaytay where the coffee shops have more splendid views and more comfortable chairs.
I probably won’t return to The Dining Room until I’ve checked off a few other places from Phonebooky’s list. But it was a great place to start and conveniently placed on our route back to Manila. At the very least, the Cafe is worth a visit.
The Dining Room can be found at Km. 52, Aguinaldo Highway, Buho, Silang, Cavite