We were in Tagaytay over the weekend and I was giddy with excitement because the family hasn’t been here in ages!!!
The bad news was that the weather was hot instead of chilly; in fact, no different from Manila. The good news is that we were able to discover new, cool haunts and one of these is Cafe Amacena in One Tagaytay Place Hotel Suites (formerly Azalea Restaurant).
I wouldn’t have known about this place if I didn’t see the sign board along Tagaytay-Sta. Rosa Road. It’s just a small, rectangular resto seating about 30 to 40. Ambiance is business-like but even if everything looked casual, I loved our dining experience and how tasty everything was.
Celebrity chef Luigi wasn’t around and I had the impression he conceptualized the menu and then taught the kitchen staff. In any case, the execution was flawless. The servings were also generous for the wallet-friendly prices of the food!
I was really curious about the Tawilis Pizza but had to hold off on that one because my 6-year old only eats cheese pizza. We ordered the Five Cheese variety with cheddar, feta, parmesan, mozzarella and blue cheese. Only P280 for this one.
The Dinuguang Bihon really got me curious. FYI, I don’t eat dinuguan or anything with blood! But the stewed pork blood mixed with noodles at Cafe Amacena was really dee-li-cious,lol. What more, it had this huge chunk of crispy pork belly which we hardly touched because of the other food. All this for only P230??! Bring it on.
Listed on the appetizers was the Honey Bagoong Wings (also P230) but hey, we transformed this into ulam because it went well with rice. Sauce was flavorful and the bagoong or shrimp paste did not overpower the taste buds. This was finger-lickin’ and the ranch sauce is optional, I must say.
Finally, we feasted on the Smokin’ Bistek (P260) which went well with the rice too. The dish had this addicting soy mansi gravy and a nice topping of onions fried and breaded to a crisp.
My daughters and I were happy diners because nothing disappointed us with what we ordered. We could have ended our meal with the tempting desserts but we just came from Starbucks. Saving more for the next visit.
I don’t know Chef Luigi personally but the culinary rendition at Cafe Amacena is brilliant. Pinoy comfort food all the way!