This New Tagaytay Restaurant Will Convince You to Skip Your Usual Bulalo Place
Why not have kansi instead?
Summit Ridge Hotel, Gen. Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City
Contact: (02) 240-6816 loc. 7118
Open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. (breakfast only for hotel guests), and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Just a few hours’ drive away from Metro Manila, Tagaytay City is the perfect destination for impromptu road trips. Given how accessible the city is, you’ve probably been to Tagaytay numerous times—and we’re not surprised if you’ve developed a list of reliable favorites through the years. Because these getaways are precious, you wouldn't want to waste your time dining somewhere that might end up disappointing, after all.
Sartin at Summit Ridge may be new—they opened in June 23—but the Versoza family are no newbies to the food scene. For one, they’re also the folks behind Josiah’s Catering, the famous catering service that’s been around for more than two decades. They also run Jet’s Bistro, which serves the best of their catering service but with a modern twist, in Quezon City, and Marikina-born Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse. So you can pretty much assume that when it comes to whipping up unforgettably tasty dishes, they’ve pretty much mastered the formula.
Even without all that history, you’d still find yourself drawn towards Sartin because of their understated but elegant interiors—and the array of freshly baked bread displayed by the entrance. Nothing screams Pinterest or Instagram-worthy, at least not in an in-your-face way. But the space, designed by Kim Lim of Magnifiq Interiors, is quietly beautiful, with elements in its décor that'll remind you of the sea like wooden accents, blue hues, and wave-like patterns, working together to create something soothing for the eyes and soul.
For the more adventurous, try the Kilayin Kapampangan (P325) with spicy pork bits
Sartin also has more modern takes on classic Filipino dishes like Longganisa Bao (P219) stuffed with Kapampangan longganisa and pickled cucumbers
It’s just the right match for a menu full of no-fuss Filipino dishes that have the comforting effect only good ol’ fashioned home-cooked food can offer. “Here at Sartin, we highlight three kinds of cuisines: Tagalog, Ilonggo, and Kapampangan,” says PR officer Alma Cala. The menu was developed by chef Jasper Versoza, who has a special connection with all three regions. “Their mom comes from Tarlac, near the Kapampangan region,” shares Cala. “Chef Jasper’s wife is Ilonggo, and the whole family is Tagalog.”
Their kansi has glistening bone-marrow chunks!
While any trip to Tagaytay means a hearty bowl of bulalo, Sartin’s Ilonggo influence means having Bulalo/Kansi (P655) on the menu instead. It's probably bold of us to say this but you’ll understand once you have a sip of the energizing soup, with the fruity sourness of batwan balancing out the beefy savoriness of the butter-soft beef shanks: You’ll forget all about bulalo, even if just for a while.
The classic Jet’s Kare-Kare (P545) is proof that you shouldn’t mess with a good thing. Their take on the kare-kare is based on matriarch Jet Versoza’s recipe—the vegetables are served on the side of the peanut-sauce-covered beef pata and tripe to keep them on the right side of crisp. Have this with the bagoong alamang and fluffy white rice—or go a step further and order the Taba ng Talangka at Hipon Fried Rice (P359/for two to three persons), the crab fat almost intoxicating in its richness.
Prito/Inihaw na Hito
The kitchen makes everything in house: The sauces, dips, and the wonderfully tangy buro that comes with the Prito/Inihaw na Hito (P445). It’s the perfect bite of acidity that complements the fresh, clean flavor of the catfish.
Lechon na Ulo ng Baboy
The real showstopper at Sartin, though, is the Lechon na Ulo ng Baboy (P949). This spread is the kind you have brought out when you want to impress balikbayan friends with a golden-brown, crispy lechon, glistening with succulence. The recommended way to have this is stuffed in pillow-soft pita with house-made sweet-tangy mango salsa, though we wouldn’t judge if you’d rather have your lechon with rice instead. (Note that this dish is so special, it must be ordered two days in advance.)
It’s almost impossible to leave Sartin without feeling absolutely stuffed, but leave space for Tibok Tibok (P245). Made with carabao’s milk and a hint of lime zest, this pudding-like dessert is melt-in-your-mouth smooth, creamy, and luxurious. It’s the perfect sweet note to cap off what’s sure to be an unforgettable feast—one that’s sure to make Sartin a permanent part of your Tagaytay itinerary.
Photos by Hans Fausto