Noms

More Than Just a Bag of Beans

Bag of Beans in Tagaytay is known far and wide for their coffee- the house blend, the wide selection of local beans, and the sale of the rare Alamid coffee (aka cat poop coffee). Because they have stayed put in Tagaytay all this time, many traverse the roughly two hour drive from the metro to partake of their wonderful all day breakfast meals and of course, their coffee.

Tagaytay's Bag of Beans: More than just cat poop.

But more than just bacon and coffee, Bag of Beans also triple as a bakeshop. They’ve got pies, biscuits, breads, loaves- all baked fresh daily. They even have homemade peanut butter and other various spreads. With all the variety to choose from and the quality of their goods, it’s no wonder why Bag of Beans is one of the favorite tourist destination spots in the country’s second summer capital.

Tagaytay's Bag of Beans: Coffee, bacon, and more!

 

Noms

Get your Rice Fix at Kanin Get It!

Here’s a confession- I’m cheap. It’s not that I don’t like shelling out money for good noms, it’s actually the opposite. What I don’t like is paying good monies for sucky noms. When trying out new nomsplaces, we sometimes end up getting our money’s worth, other times we get ripped off. It’s those times when I get good value for money do I get giddy like a ten-year-old girl seeing her crush wave hello. I’m always on the lookout for nommy but fairly inexpensive eateries out there.

Their restaurant name is a play on the saying "Come and get it!"

Kanin Get It! is one of such place. On our way home from Tagaytay one weekend, my family and I found ourselves near Nuvali. Away from the busy main building in Solenad, where the major stores and restaurants are at, is the building where Kanin Get It! is. Its happy yellow sign and bright interior is a welcome sight to the famished. We proceeded to get comfortable and looked at what they offer.

From the name alone, I had guessed they were offering unlimited rice on their meals. They don’t. Instead, majority of what’s on their menu are meals served with rice or viands that go perfectly with the steaming white grain that we Asians adore. The mostly Filipino selection includes silogs of all kinds, which made me a happy little ladybug.

Local dishes: Longsilog, Fried Chicken, Tapsilog, Tortang Talong

I ordered a Longsilog meal which was huge, hot, and homey- it warmed me up in all the right places. It also came with a side of coleslaw, as did most dry meals, which I appreciated. The serving was also rather large, I was hungry but I could only finish one of the huge longganisas on the plate.

The rest were alright. At the very least, they’re home-cooked meals without the hassle. Prepared and cooked for you then served to you, plus you don’t have to worry about the dirty dishes!

Foreign fare: Beef Salpicao, Chap Chae, Fish Fillet, Korean Barbecue

They also offer other Asian specialties, one of the the standouts is the Chap Chae- a Korean noodle dish that’s predominantly sesame oil flavored. It could easily have been a disaster, many highfalutin restaurants can’t get it right but Kanin Get It’s version was good. Really good in fact, if you factor in that it costs less than 100 bucks and the serving can be good enough for two.

Considering that Kanin Get It! serves mostly Filipino fare, the serving sizes are huge. Because of the big serving sizes, many of what we ordered were shared to each other. And most everything was only in the p75-p150 range. Sulit!

BaconTunaMelt Rating: For the hefty servings, affordable price, and good old good noms, Kanin Get It! gets a 4.5! Minus points for not having more branches (specifically in the metro).

Kanin Get It!

Address: Ground Flr, One Evotech Bldg, Solenad Nuvali (Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Rd), Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, Philippines
Kanin Get It! Foursquare Map

Noms

Stories and Snacks at Tagaytay Highlands
A few weekends ago, my family and some friends were en route once again to Tagaytay to do a bit of R&R. One of the best places to do just that is Tagaytay Highlands, where the greens are lush, the air is fresh and the crowd is thin. Tagaytay Highlands is a country club where you can swim, fish, play golf, tennis, basketball, among many other recreational activities.
The sights at Tagaytay Highlands
After using up some energy on swimming and fishing, the group gathered at Toscana, one of the restaurants in the area, for snacks and stories. It was mid afternoon so we settled on a couple pies of pizza and a round of drinks.
Toscana serves Italian food, gooood Italian food
Pizzas from Toscana are the best pizzas I’ve had so far in my entire life, no contest at all. The closest commercial pizza I can compare Toscana pizzas to is Big Apple pizzas, but they’re still a pretty far second.
Toscana’s Pepperoni Pizza – have a slice of heaven
I’m partial to pepperoni pizzas because I don’t want too much fuss on my pizza. Man oh man, pepperoni pizza from Toscana is like heaven on earth, I was so in love with it that I forgot to take a picture of the other pie. Their pizza was made of soft and chewy medium crust topped with good quality pepperoni and generously spread with thick mozarella cheese. Omnomnomnom!
Mango shake, Sarsaparilla, and Watermelon shake

The drinks:

  • Mango shake- In a country that exports mangos by the bulk, mango shake is usually a failsafe drink, they’re usually good to go all year round. This one was thick and fruity, the fruit was a little on the sour side but it was still pretty good.
  • Sarsaparilla- An interesting drink, as it’s imported from some other country. The bottle looked like cough syrup with it’s small mouth and wide body. It was alright, it tasted like a watered down Sarsi.
  • Watermelon shake- This drink is made of win. The fruit was ripe and sweet and they used more than enough to make it tasty rather than just sugary. It was just a lovely blend, that’s all that can be said.

Good food, good drinks, and good company make for another awesome R&R day in Tagaytay.

Pepperoni Pizza on Foodista

Noms

Amira’s Buco Tart A La Mode – Perfect Rainy Day Breakfast
It took a while to peel myself away from my comfy bed and covers this morning. Rainy mornings make for perfect snuggling-under-the-covers bed weather, dont they? When I was finally able to unglue my face from my lovely pillow, I headed straight for the breakfast table to find something to eat. And because of the weather, I wasn’t in the mood for the conventional cereal and milk.

 

Rummaging the fridge, I found a couple of Amira’s buco tarts left from my recent trip to Tagaytay (Amira’s makes the most delightful blueberry and buco tarts!). I thought it would make for a lovely breakfast. Soon, I was enjoying the best buco tart in the world. After a while felt like it was missing something. It was then that I had a lightbulb moment- why not make it ala mode?
The very special buco tart a la mode
I popped the tart in the microwave for a minute at low heat and then topped it off with a scoop of Selecta Creations Pistachio & Cashew ice cream. Voila! Homemade (sort of) buco tart a la mode for breakfast! The end result was delicious; the nuts in the ice cream gave every bite a nice crunch while the ice cream itself provided just enough sweetness. Yummy!
Who said that ice cream wasn’t good to have for breakfast? This made me start my day just right. ^^,
Noms

Tagaytay Classics: Heartwarming Bulalo at Leslie’s
Last weekend, I found myself making a third roadtrip to Tagaytay for the month of August. The Baguio of the South lived up to its name, providing pleasant weather throughout the day. Because we were with a first-timer this time around, it only made sense to show him famous landmarks of Tagaytay. 

It was nearly lunchtime when we arrived and for our first stop, we decided to head for the most famous bulalohan in town- Leslie’s Restaurant located along Tagaytay’s main highway. Overlooking the lake, it provided quite a spectacular view of the volcano.


The nomz-

Leslie’s Restaurant is most famous for their bulalo. Leslie’s bulalo is a heartwarming bowl of choice beef shank and bone marrow simmered in hot clear soup with a handful of corn cobs and some greens. Nothing beats hot soup on a cool Tagaytay day.
Leslie’s Famous Bulalo Special (p499)
Doesn’t that bone marrow make your mouth water?
For a complete Tagaytay experience, we ordered the classics in addition to the bulaloinihaw na pla-pla, inihaw na pusit, buttered prawns, liempo, laing and a round of fresh buco juice. (Tagaytay bucos are the sweetest!)

Inihaw na pla-pla (p299)
Laing (p175)
Liempo (p250)
Buttered prawns (p375)

These yummy Filipino dishes from Leslie’s Restaurant made up our classic Tagaytay lunch. For us who’ve been in the same setting many times, it isn’t something to marvel at anymore. For first timers, it’s a lovely experience to have a hearty lunch in a cool hut with a view of a volcano in the middle of a lake while being serenaded by a band of local singers. Our guest was naturally wowed.

Contact Info:
Leslie’s Tagaytay

Aguinaldo Highway Crossing, Silang

Tagaytay City
(046) 413-1065

Noms

Bag of Beans, Tagaytay’s (In)Famous Coffeeshop & Bakery
Still on a Tagaytay hangover, we went back just a weekend after the last roadtrip, with family in tow this time.
One particularly interesting stop that weekend is a quaint (not so) little coffeeshop along the main road of Tagaytay called Bag of Beans. We weren’t particularly hungry then but we stopped by anyway for a coffee break and light snacks.

Clockwise from top left: Bag of Beans storefront, bags and
bags of coffee beans, one of Bag of Beans homey garden set,
and Bag of Beans resident kitty cat

What’s a coffeeshop without heartwarming coffee? The shelves at the bakery were lined up with bags and bags of coffee beans of different flavors with prices ranging from p200 to p300 per 500g packs. And although they didn’t have it that weekend, Bag of Beans is the only place I know of that sells Civet (cat poop) coffee. It’s what they’re actually most known for.

Bag of Beans’ Freshly Brewed Baraco
(p90 per cup; p105 for bottomless)

If you’re a coffee junkie, you’d surely enjoy the option to go bottomless on their strong coffees for a reasonable price. Not bad if you’re going to while away the time reading the newspaper or chatting while enjoying your coffee and the cool Tagaytay weather.
Some pastries and pies that we ordered to go with the coffee-

Breads & pastries of Bag of Beans:
Cinnamon loaf, Choco roll, Chicken empanada

Desserts: Apple Pie Alamode (p135) and Strawberry Cheesecake (p135)

Everything was delicious, special mentions deserve to be made for the Apple Pie Alamode and the Strawberry Cheesecake. The Apple Pie Alamode arrived freshly baked and warm, it was a whole mini pie instead of a regular slice of a bigger pie. The Strawberry Cheesecake is noteworthy too. While the strawbery jam topping isn’t anyhting special, the cheesecase was meltingly good.

Bag of Beans would be/should be a Tagaytay staple from now on. Loved it! <3

Noms

Tagaytay Getaway (3 of 3): D’ Banquet is a Surprise Find
The day after the overnight stay in Andanita Taj, we started making our way back to Manila around noon. Traffic was horrible along the main Tagaytay highway because of a bicycling tournament that blocked an entire stetch of the road. Because of this, we decided to stay away from the popular restaurants along the main highway and postpone lunch for later.
From the Tagaytay-Calamba road, we took a left to Aguinaldo Highway in search for Amira’s (a pasalubong place that deserves an entry of its own because they make the best buco and blueberry tarts in the whole wide world) before grabbing a bite to eat. After a good 15 minutes or so of searching for it with no luck, we were about to turn the car around when the orange sign of D’ Banquet caught our eye. We decided to stop by and have a look-see.

The setup in D’ Banquet’s reminded me of
preschool chairs and tables

The parking lot was near empty at noon, it turns out that the power was out when we got there. But the weather was cool and the menu was interesting that we decided to stay in for lunch. We ordered most of what the helpful waiter recommended starting with Xandro’s Instant Kapeng Barako (p40).

Instant Kapeng Barako (p40)

The goodies store in D’ Banquet was also selling these in boxes at p200 per 10-bag box. Xandro’s Kapeng Barako work much like tea bags, all you need to do is to plop it in hot water and wait a while to have instant barako coffee. It was a bit weaker than expected, but it was alright, considering the fact that there’s no need for brewing.

The perfect Calamares (p105)

To get started, we ordered an appetizer of crispy Calamares. It took a while to arrive but it was well worth the wait. Perfectly fried, the squid wasn’t at all rubbery and the coating was just the right amount of crunchy. The best part about it was the sauce, it wasn’t your run-of-the-mill mayonnaise dip, they paired it with a soy sauce/vinegar mixture that complemented the squid rings well. It was a spectacular combo.

(EDIT: Tagaytay date told me to add more praises for the calamares. His take- “Best fucking calamares IN THE WORLD MUDDA FUKKA!”)

Lengua Estofado (p120)

The house specialty that is Lengua Estofado was one of the things we ordered. The ox tongue had a slightly bitter taste to it but it was tender and tasty. It was pretty good, and it also came with a nice mix of potatoes and carrots and a cup of steaming white rice.

Mechadong Bibe (p120)

This was another recommendation made by our waiter for the day and am I glad we took his advice. This is the best duck meal I’ve had in a long while. I usually don’t like duck meat because it’s stringy and rougher than chicken, it can also be chewy and dry if not cooked right. D’ Banquet’s Mechadong Bibe, which also came with a cup of steaming white rice, was nothing short of fantastic, I tell you guys. The duck meat was very tender and juicy and it was very tasty right down to the bone. This has got to be my second favorite preparation of duck meat (next to peking duck with hoisin sauce).

o(^v^)o

D’ Banquet is a really, really great find. The ambience was relaxing, the service was good, the price is right, and most importantly, the nomz were delicious. Try to find it next time you’re in Tagaytay, you won’t regret it! Luckily for us too, we found Amira’s only a short distance after D’ Banquet. We got some pasalubong and headed home with tummies happy and hearts content. It was an enjoyable Tagaytay getaway of good noms and good company. I will most definitely do a Tagaytay roadtrip again and again, and again.
D’ Banquet, Tagaytay
Location: Aguinaldo Highway, corner Pink Sisters road, Maitim II East, Tagaytay City
Contact number: (046) 483-0345.

This ends the Tagaytay Getaway series; read parts 1 & 2 here and here respectively. 🙂

Noms

Tagaytay Getaway (2 of 3): An Indian Dinner at Andanita Taj
Part two of the three-part Tagaytay series is all about Andanita Taj of Tagaytay:
After visiting the animals at the Residence Inn Zoo and the yummy lunch at Residence Inn’s Gazebo, we headed to the hotel to check in and get ourselves settled. We were pre-booked for an overnight stay at Andanita Taj of Tagaytay.
Andanita Taj is an Indian-Mediterranean Bed & Breakfast boasting of a gorgeous view of the lake. Taj is located along Aguinaldo Highway in Tagaytay, just a few hundred meters after Residence Inn. The facade is different from expected, either the place looked weatherbeaten or the gloomy weather made it appear so.
The view from the viewing deck of Andanita Taj
Taj’s accomodating staff ushered us in, scheduled us for the free massage that came with the room and guided us down through a Mediterranean themed stairway leading to the rooms. The rooms smelled strongly of mold and mildew, we were sneezing shortly after we entered. A couple hours later, spent lounging and getting used to the smell, it was time for more relaxation as we were called to transfer to the spa area to get our treatments done. I had opted to get a free body scrub and it was oh-so-relaxing, the sound of the rain pitter-pattering on the windows made it even more calming.
Interior of Andanita Taj
The spa treatments left us feeling lazy so we just popped in a DVD (Grown Ups– it was trash, btw), leaned back, and whiled away the time. The rains hadn’t stopped by dinnertime and the weather was perfect for staying in. So instead of heading out, we decided to head upstairs, use the free WIFI while having an easy dinner at Taj’s 24-hour restaurant.
NOMZ! 

We ordered two kinds of Indian bread to munch on while updating ourselves with online life- buttered naan and the chapati with curry dip.
Naan (p140)
Taj’s Buttered naan is truly a must try. It is unleavened bread brushed with a light coat of butter and smothered with all kinds of awesome. The bread was fresh, chewy and warm; the butter gave it a creamy taste. Perfect to nibble on while checking e-mail or while tending to your farm in Farmville.

 

Chapati (p90) with curry dip (p100)
The Chapati is unleavened bread much like the naan, but is folded into half and has no additional flavor. That’s what the curry dip is for. The bread is warm and perfectly baked to a chewy crisp (contradicting I know, but that’s the description that comes to mind). To eat, you peel off a piece and dip it into the very tasty and spicy curry sauce. ‘Twas a pretty good combo. 

Mutton Biryani (p390)

We ordered the Mutton Biryani to serve as our main dish, at the recommendation of a friend. And it was a great choice- this dish is good for 2-3 hungry people, the mutton was tender, the rice mix was very tasty and was perfectly spicy. This is another must try!

Indian ice cream (p120)

For dessert, we tried the only one on the menu that was available- Indian ice cream. It’s frozen milk mixed in with bits of beans with a consistency not unlike popsicles. It’s an acquired taste, and my tastebuds have not grown fond of it. The picture on the menu is also a bit of a lead on, it looked quite larger than the actual size.

To cap the Indian-Meditteranean feel of the restaurant (and the whole place) with its sparkly curtains, curved arches and patterned seats, the hotel staff also wore Indian inspired uniforms. They also play Indian music for the guests unless you request them to change it (which we did). I would like to note the excellent service of the hotel staff, they were all very accomodating and good-natured, and had ready smiles.

~

When you’re in Andanita Taj, you feel serene- the tasty food, the low lights, jazz music and the non-stop rain painted a romantic and very relaxing setting. My only gripe is the allergy-inducing smell of the rooms. Other than that, Andanita Taj, including the spa and the restaurant, is a fantastic place to spend a cool Tagaytay night.

Hurry and book now while they’re on sale, their rainy days promo runs until September! Check out Andanita Taj’s website for more information.

Next and last in this series will be about a new find- a lovely restaurant called D’ Banquet. Read about it soon here on BaconTunaMelt!

Noms

Tagaytay Getaway (1 of 3): First Stop – Residence Inn
Last weekend was spent in cool Tagaytay for a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Manila life. It’s everyone’s favorite weekend destination to relax and unwind, with good reason. Tagaytay is wonderful in August- the weather is cool even during daytime and most places have rainy day promos but the rains (if any) don’t start until late afternoon to night giving you plenty of time to go around.

This is the first part of a three-part Tagaytay series. This one’s all about Tagaytay’s Residence Inn. To get there from Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, you take a right to Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway and head towards the direction of Batangas past the rotunda and Taal Vista hotel until you see the entrance sign. Soon as we got there, we made a beeline for the zoo and proceeded to coo at the cute one-month old tiger cubs right by the entrance (you can feed them baby formula!).

 Tiger cubs, owls, alpacas, goats, miniature horses 
and various amphibians at Residence Inn Mini Zoo (Entrance: p100)

While the animals were adorable (most specially the energetic tiger cubs and talented baby boars), we’re here to talk about the nomz! It was around lunchtime when we arrived, so we decided to eat there to be able to  go around the zoo while waiting for the food. At Gazebo, the restraurant in Residence Inn, you experience al fresco dining while overlooking the pretty Taal lake.
Cool weather comfort food
What better way to dine in cool weather than 
to be slurping on hot soup?

Because of the cool weather, we just had to order hot soup. We settled on the classic Sinigang na Hipon (p220 +/-). Served in a palayok, it was exactly how sinigang should be, hot and tasty. It was surprisingly seasoned well, like yummy home-cooked sinigang, with plenty of shrimp and vegetables to go around.
Music sets the right tone and feel-
Residence Inn’s resident crooner had a nice baritone

During the meal, you get serenaded by Gazebo’s one-man-act with songs of your choice. Because we had no particular song to request, he sang for us three feel-good classic love songs which made the meal even more enjoyable.

Something new-

Half a Honey Glazed Chicken (p160 +/-)
One of newer dishes in their menu is the Honey Glazed Chicken. We decided to get just half a chicken to try it. When the plate arrived, it looked like a lot and we had to ask them if they incorrectly gave us a whole chicken. They didn’t. Their half chicken order was more than enough for 3-4 hungry people. It was fried chicken coated in thick honey sauce, it was good but it was tad bit too sweet and overpowering for my liking. There was too much of it and the leftovers lasted us until breakfast the next day.
~

The food was delicious, prices were more than affordable, the staff was very accommodating, and the service topnotch. There’s absolutely nothing to nitpick on. Residence Inn’s Gazebo is an excellent first stop.

Up next would be about tasty Indian food from Andanita Taj. 🙂