Tagaytay has been a go-to relaxation place of a lot of people from Manila. It’s a breather from the hustle and bustle of the city. In fact, I love to go to Tagaytay to get a massage, to go on a staycation, or simply to eat. I frequent the city almost every month.
Recently, I discovered a new place to dine in Tagaytay. It’s not exactly new. For some reason, I just never noticed it. Why oh why?! What’s wrong with my eyes?! It’s Restaurant Verbena by Discovery Country Suites.
Discovery Country Suites is a bed and breakfast kind of property. It was refurbished and re-opened last November 2014. Included in the renovation is Restaurant Verbena, Discovery Country Suites’ dining area. I’ll be sharing more about my staycation experience at Discovery Country Suites in a different post. For now, let me share how much I was missing a lot every time I go to Tagaytay without satisfying my tummy at Restaurant Verbena.
The moment you enter Discovery Country Suites, you’ll see the dining area right away. As you can see from my photos, the feel is very homey. It’s as if you’re just dining at your own home, but with the view of the Taal Lake and Volcano. Even the servers are so nice. They attend to your needs – even without asking them. They simply know how to make the customers comfortable and feel at home.
The dining area is spacious and it doesn’t feel cramped. It also has a small private dining room, which is ideal for meetings or events.
Now, let’s talk about the food. Restaurant Verbena offers contemporary gourmet country cuisines, created by Discovery group’s Corporate Chef Anthony Raymond and Restaurant Verbena’s Executive Sous Chef Celmar Ambida. It’s an all-day dining menu, wherein the ingredients are sourced from the local community.
WARNING: Make sure you’re not hungry before you scroll down or you might rush to Restaurant Verbena in the middle of this post.
We were first served with complimentary bread with different spreads. The bread was so soft. Honestly, I could finish a loaf if only I wasn’t saving space for my main dish.
We had some croquette-kind of appetizer, 2 salads, and Foie Gras as starters. The vegetables were really fresh. As said earlier, all their ingredients are sourced from the local community. The veggies are delivered everyday. Some are even freshly picked from their own garden. The serving of the salad is good for one, but it could be for sharing if you’re ordering a main dish.
My favorite Foie Gras deserves a separate photo. I’m quite picky with Foie Gras and this one definitely passed my taste with flying colors. Haha! And what made it more special? I didn’t order it! Friends from Discovery Group knew how much I liked Foie Gras. Yes, they did a little research prior to my visit, which made it really special. Anyway, I’ll be sharing more about their surprises in my staycation post.
Now for the main course… don’t tell me I didn’t warn you earlier!
Risotto “alla Pescatera” – PHP 890
It’s risotto with fresh Clams, Shrimp, Mussels, Squid, and Scallops.
Norwegian Salmon Fillet – PHP 895
Spaghettini Pasta with Arugula, Tomato Confit and sun-dried Tomato Pesto
I was able to get a bite of the Salmon and it tasted so good. It was fresh and perfectly cooked.
Verbena’s “Surf & Turf” – PHP 1,685
Prime Grade Angus Beef Tenderloin and two Grilled Prawns with Tagaytay vegetables and Paprika Herb Butter
The Brick Chicken – PHP 995
Verbena’s signature half boneless chicken cooked under a brick. It has Sweet Potato Puree, Haricot Berts, Crispy Capers, sun-dried Tomatoes and Natural Jus
This is not your ordinary fried chicken. It was so tender and juicy that I didn’t need a knife to slice it. Now, that’s the reason why you need to wait for about 30 minutes for this dish to be served. Serving is good for 2.
Chilean Seabass – PHP 1,350
Squid Ink Rice with Mussels, Prawns, Aromatic Vegetables in a Petite Bouillabaisse
This was my order and I must say, it was one of the best. I got two of my favorites in one dish – squid ink and seafood! The fine fillet Chilean Seabass was perfect! It complemented the rich squid ink rice.
USDA Rib Eye Steak (400g) – PHP 2,480
It comes with Celery & Fennel “Giardiniera”, Twice Baked Potato, Slow Bearnaise Onions and Cabernet Sauce.
Honestly, I didn’t need to put sauce on the steak. It was very juicy and tasty. It was also tender that I didn’t need to put effort in slicing. This dish is good for two.
Of course, I always make room for dessert. One of their specialty here is like a pie with crushed nuts a la mode. I normally do not eat nuts or pies, but the moment I tasted it, I knew this was an exception. I found myself dipping my spoon on that plate over and over again! It’s a perfect dessert for those who are not into sweets or chocolate since it’s not so sweet.
They also serve 22 Prime‘s signature dessert, Chocolate Marquise.
Restaurant Verbena has an a la carte breakfast. For guests staying in, the room comes with breakfast already, which they can also choose from their breakfast menu. They also accept walk-ins for breakfast.
We got Pinoy Sampler (PHP 560), which has Daing na Bangus, Longaniza, Beef Tapa, Garlic Rice with Redd Egg & Tomato Salad, and Verbena Country Plate (PHP 560) with two Pancakes, Breakfast Bangers, Scrambled Eggs, Crispy Bacon and Maple Syrup. I find the serving of the two dishes quite small for the price.
Even if you were full at the start of this post, I know I made you hungry. Sorry about that! Well, if you’d ask me if I’ll be back at Restaurant Verbena, without a bias, I would honestly say “YES”! I was so satisfied that I still want to try more dishes in their menu. I guess Discovery Country Suites will be my new go-to restaurant in Tagaytay! 😀