Chef Tatung’s Garden Cafe
17 Matipid Street, Sikatuna Village,
Tel. No. 352-6121, (0915) 846-3234
Open 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; 6:30-10 p.m. (Monday to Thursday);
11 a.m.–3 p.m and 6:30 p.m.–12 midnight (Fridays);
6:30 a.m.–12 a.m. (Saturdays) and 6:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Sundays)
Enjoy Pinoy food at this gourmet hideaway. Click for more.
(SPOT.ph) What used to be a “by-reservation only,” private dining spot tucked away in one of Teacher’s Village, Quezon City’s more quiet streets is now a restaurant and garden cafe. Newly renovated and outfitted with white walls all over and bright red hues for the ground-floor private room, Chef Tatung’s is tastefully decorated with lamps, a mix of old furniture pieces and refurbished antiques, giving off a cozy, unhurried vibe—perfect for feasting on Pinoy food favorites.
The dining space isn’t the only thing that received a makeover: the menu is now essentially Pinoy, a departure from the European-Mediterranean menu the place was first known for. Shared Chef Tatung, “I realized later on, and because I do a lot of work with organic farmers and use their ingredients for myself, to look into doing Filipino food.” He eased into creating a new menu despite initial qualms about dishing out Pinoy cuisine. “It’s really a challenge to outdo what people grew up with, there’s always someone who will say their lola’s adobo is better. It’s a challenge to do Filipino food that stays true to the essence of the dish without doing ’fusion-fusion’ kuno,” he added.
“Yung idea ko kasi is creativity within your periphery,” he continued. Thus the surprising twists in familiar Pinoy dishes we grew up with and know of: the popular pulutan gets an upgrade and becomes Chicken Sisig Lettuce Wraps (P240), lightly spiced chicken meat cooked sisig-style topped with crunchy taro chips and sweet mango sauce; the Honey Glazed Slow Roasted Pork Belly (P400) is incredibly tender, slow-baked for six hours and lightly sweetened with honey, and the familiar Shrimp and Vegetable Okoy (P140), is crunchy, salty and wonderfully devoid of oil.
According to Chef Tatung, the Kalderetang Kambing with Quezo de Bola (P580) and the Adobo Bisaya (P350) are equally popular. He also has a wine list of Spanish vinos which pairs nicely with the dishes. “No one pairs Filipino food with wine but it’s actually a good pairing,” Chef Tatung shared. The 40-seater restaurant can accommodate up to 80 people during dinner time when al fresco dining come sundown is a more enjoyable option. For Valentine’s Day, Chef Tatung will revert to his Europoean-Mediterranean menu for a day. “Special occasions merit out-of-the-ordinary fare."
Photos courtesy of Chef Tatung’s