CHECK IT OUT: Amacena at One Tagaytay Place, Tagaytay
Forget bulalo. The kare-kare here is a must-try.
(SPOT.ph) Tagaytay has always been the best solution for impromptu road trips, cool air, and mini adventures. Great food, of course, plays a grand role in that plan. What is a drive to Tagaytay, after all, without a steaming bowl of bulalo?
This is what Chef Luigi Muhlach considered when he took over the kitchens of One Tagaytay Place—specifically its new Amacena Restaurant. “There are a lot of Filipino restaurants here, there are so many places to get bulalo. I had to think outside the box.”
The old Azalea has been reformatted to rendezvous old-fashioned Filipino dishes with unexpected elements. You’ll find longganisa in the macaroni and cheese (P300) and chicharon enrobing corn on the cob. Boy Bawang journeys inside tacos (P270), while pinakbet makes itself at home on pizza (P230).
Longganisa Mac and Cheese
Chicken Inasal (P270)
Honey Bagoong Wings (P230)
Duo of Tacos
Chef Luigi’s kare-kare (P1,010) comes with more upscale beef ribs that are both soft and crispy at the same time. The thick and sticky sauce imparts a sweet flavor into the deeply flavored meat. The components are so on point, you won’t even look for the sharp contrast from bagoong.
Sizzling Bulalo Steak
Kaldereta Pot Pie
Smokin' Bistek (P260)
Dinakdakang Chicharon (P330)
Bulalo is exalted as a Sizzling Bulalo Steak (P600), dripping with nostalgic sweet-earthy flavors of mushroom sauce and garlic chips. It comes with fried potatoes, but you’ll be craving garlic rice (maybe doused in that sauce?) as you dig through the buttery goodness lodged inside that bone.
You’ll think shepherd’s pie when you see the kaldereta (P600). Braised U.S. hanging tender forms the base of the mashed potato crust and cheese. The elements naturally fit well together and it’s a clever rearrangement of two pretty well-loved dishes.
Always a scene-stealer at any dinner table, the lechon kawali (P350) is just as exciting as ever. Chef Luigi opts for imported beef for the quality, but there is absolutely no fault in this porky affair. The fat to meat ratio is impeccable, giving you all the right juiciness and bite. Then, there’s the bubbly gold blanket of skin. The monggo puree is the subtle balance you won't know you’ll crave.
Crispy Beef Short Rib Kare-Kare
Steak Benedict (P700)
Adobo and Kesong Puti Bruschetta (P230)
Tawilis Fried Rice (P230)
There’s only one way to finish a meal at Amacena: leche flan turon with vanilla ice cream (P90). The flan is light but creamy, with just the right level of sweetness that will make you want to scoop up more and more of that ice cream.
Chef Luigi tells us that there’s one simple process to coming up with his dishes: “The things I serve are things I enjoy eating. They’re things I eat every day.” Boy, we want to eat them every day, too.
Amacena is at One Tagaytay Place Hotel Suites, 445 Tagaytay-Calamba Road, Sungay West, Tagaytay City. For more information, check out the One Tagaytay Place website.
Photos by Sasha Lim Uy