Sunday, August 7, 2022

A Fresh Feast at Taza Fresh Table in Taal Vista Hotel...

The serene and tranquil views of the lake from the iconic ridge is the perfect setting for an array of equally impressive dishes masterfully prepared with the freshest produce at Taza Fresh Table in Taal Vista Hotel...

Since it opened way back in 2015, Taza Fresh Table in Taal Vista Hotel has been serving up some of the most delectable dishes with the finest and freshest ingredients highlighting each tasty course. The name of the elegant dining outlet helmed by Chef Jay Natividad is inspired by the descriptive Arabic word "fresh," "newly harvested" and "freshly cooked." The menu features a selection of garden-fresh salads, a mix of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, local flavors, flatbreads, pizza, pasta and sumptuous premium steaks. During a recent stay at Taal Vista Hotel, we sampled a festive lunch, an elegant dinner and a hearty brunch at Taza Fresh Table (see more on a memorable stay at Taal Vista Hotel on my post, Here for Always: A Picture-Perfect Getaway at Taal Vista Hotel). Read on for a tasty peek at Taza Fresh Table... 

Taza Fresh Table is one of Taal Vista Hotel's specialty dining outlets drawing inspiration from the abundance of fresh produce in Tagaytay, elegantly transformed into delectable dishes that add colorful layers to your stay at the premier destination down south of the metro. 

The unique structure enclosed in glass allows diners to take in the the magnificent views of the lake while enjoying a comforting meal at Taza Fresh Table. Surrounded by the lush gardens of the expansive property, Taza Fresh Table is like your hidden sanctuary in Tagaytay.

In step with the new normal, Taza Fresh Table also offers al fresco dining options so you can enjoy Tagaytay's cool breeze with your meal.  

Inside Taza Fresh Table, the stylish multi-level configuration with its raised central dining area makes it ideal for intimate gatherings with more tables lining the circular glass enclosed structure. Since my very first visit seven years ago, the rustic charm and subdued elegance of Taal Vista Hotel's signature dining outlet still impresses with the promise and guarantee of an excellent meal (for more on Taza Fresh Table, see my previous post, Global Flavors with the Freshest Local Produce at Taza Fresh Table from 2015).

Located further down the slope on the extreme corner of the property, the short walk down the steps takes you close to the ridge with its picturesque views. And on a clear day, it's a sight that will leave you in awe. And hungry...

Executive Chef Jay Natividad helms all the dining outlets at Taal Vista Hotel, including Taza Fresh Table. I first met Chef Jay back in 2014 during a visit to Pico de Loro for a memorable encounter with his famous Bulalosso or beef bone marrow cooked osso bucco style (more on the dishes of Chef Jay at Pico de Loro on my post, Lunch at Pico de Loro's Pico Restaurant and Bar from eight years back). Chef Jay brings the same creative inventiveness along with tradition to the menu at Taza Fresh Table. 

Our lunch began with the Taza Salad (P 395), a bountiful and fresh medley of quinoa, cherry tomatoes, wild arugula, farm-fresh romaine, microgreens, Cebu dried mangoes, radish and beets dressed with a la minute tarragon white wine for the smooth yet mildly sharp and sweet finish. 

The contrasting textures and flavors come together seamlessly with each component complementing the other for delicately balanced notes. From the quinoa to the Cebu dried mangoes, the crisp garden-fresh greens to the radishes and beets, the Taza Salad is the perfect start to a feast of fresh and clean flavors at Taza Fresh Table.   

In between bites, enjoy refreshing sips of freshly squeezed fruit juices like the soothing Watermelon Juice... 

...and sweet and tart Pineapple Juice to open up the palate for the next courses at Taza Fresh Table.  

The Roasted Cauliflower Soup (P 350) with puréed and roasted cauliflower, herbed Cretors and olive oil warms the palate with a subtle smoky sweetness with the Cretors adding a popcorn like crunch to the dish. The salad and soup dishes are the opening act in a lavish play orchestrated by Chef Jay setting you up for the main courses...

The Tomahawk Pork Chop (P 890) is an impressive slab of bone-in pork topped with caramelized onions and bananas pairing well with the natural sweetness of the pork chop finished with the rich au jus for fresh and bold notes laid on buttery mashed potatoes. One slice and bite excites the palate with its savory richness that just needs to be satisfied with another. 

From the caramelized onions and bananas to the mashed potatoes and pork jus, the supporting elements of the dish enhances the natural flavors of the juicy sliced slabs of pork. At Taza Fresh Table, the fresh ingredients are the stars of each dish allowing you enjoy all the natural flavors bite after bite. Fork-tender and juicy with just the right layer of fat, the Tomahawk Pork Chop at Taza Fresh Table is idea for sharing. But this can go real fast in a table with hungry people so keep this close by your side.

The day's freshest catch is served next, the Roasted Market Fish (P 900) with olives, marble potatoes, roasted garlic, balsamic and olive oil. The whole pampano is masterfully roasted, delivering fresh and clean flavors followed by the nutty hints of roasted garlic and the distinct notes from the balsamic, olives and lemon smoothened by the olive oil. 

The deceptively simple dish lets you enjoy pure, fresh and natural sweet flavors of the pampano enhanced by the lemon and balsamic. With fresh ingredients, you really don't need to overly complicate a dish like this. 

A fresh squeeze of lemon brings out the natural briny sweetness of the fish, pairing well with the marble potatoes. Halfway through our lunch, Chef Jay continues to impress at Taza Fresh Table once more. 

A comforting bowl of pasta is then served with the Pappardelle Primavera (P 450), with handmade flat noodles topped with grilled vegetables, basil, thyme, Parmesan cheese and a trio of peppercorns. 

The smoky sweetness from the assorted grilled vegetables brings a flavorful punch to the handmade pasta, perfectly finished by the sharpness of Parmesan and peppercorns with the subtle herbal play from the basil and thyme rounding out another perfectly executed dish at Taza Fresh Table.

For dessert, Chef Jay serves up the Molten Chocolate Cake (P 320), a rich and decadently moist cake made from Alfonso Tablea Chocolate topped with Pato Queso de Bola ice cream for that indulgent sweet and salty pairing...

...and the silky smooth Olive Oil Gelato (P 300) with Don Papa Rum glazed Tagaytay pineapples for contrasting yet balanced flavors. It's the use of fresh ingredients, creatively prepared, that bring all the richness with each dish from starters to mains and desserts at Taza Fresh Table

A short walk along the ridge of the Lake Wing at Taal Vista Hotel becomes one of many favorite activities at the property. You can also let your eyes do the walking, scanning the pristine lake from your very own balcony in your room. You just can't spend a half-day at Taal Vista Hotel. Give yourself that much needed break from the city and book your reservation for a well-deserved escape. 

And here's some good news that will finally convince you to click and tap on your mobile device. Enjoy 15% Off the best available rates for weekday stays (Sunday to Friday) when you book your reservation on the Taal Vista Hotel website at simply by typing the special promo code DudeForFood. That's right, 15% off on a picture-perfect getaway to Taal Vista Hotel. Game? The offer is good until October 28, 2022 (terms and conditions apply) but why wait?

Later that evening, a special table was set up at the Lobby Lounge with live entertainment for a special dinner from Taza Fresh Table. You can check the concierge for the live entertainment schedules at the Lobby Lounge and below at the ridge so you can enjoy dinner with some cool vibes. 

Our feast that evening began with the classic Caesar Salad (P 430) with farm-fresh Romaine wedges, local Ricotta cheese, homemade Pancetta and anchovies. Freshness is flavor, and the gentle sweetness of the crisp lettuce wedges come through with each bite followed by the sharp notes from the pancetta and anchovies mellowed by the creamy dressing and Ricotta.  

The Mushroom Soup (P 350) brings the celebrated trio of Tagaytay mushrooms namely oyster, shiitake and button mushrooms together in comforting palate-warming dish. The nutty, deep and earthy notes from the trio of mushrooms drapes the palate with rich flavors like a comforting hug. 

The Mushroom and Spinach Maltagliati (P 650) brings back the trio of Tagaytay mushrooms this time paired with fresh spinach on homemade flat noodles draped with silky smooth créme fraîche made richer with indulgent truffle oil. Pure pasta perfection.

For the main course, Taza Fresh Table's specialty Porterhouse Steak (P 6,000) perfectly grilled to medium rare with a juicy pink center was served. And this one's a serious steak. 

The beautifully marbled Australian grass-fed Angus beef is prepared sous-vide before romanced by the fiery grill for that butter-like finish and richness. Good for two persons, this Porterhouse is served with two sides. Go for the Onion Rings and Potato Wedges for that perfect pairing with the Porterhouse of Taza Fresh Table

And with beef this good, richly seasoned with salt and pepper, you don't need any sauce at all. The Porterhouse is a popular cut, a composite steak with tenderloin and strip steak for sharing. Time on a fiery grill can be tricky, but Chef Jay and his team served up a fork-tender slab with just the right amount charring for that subtle smoky finish to complement the buttery richness of the Porterhouse. Enjoy your steak with a glass, better yet, a bottle of wine. 

For dessert, Chef Jay presented his trifecta of indulgence starting with his novel take on the Cannoli with a local twist filled with ube...

...followed by a crisp layered spin on the Napoleones drizzled with chocolate...

...and a rich dark Chocolate Mousse to end the feast on a high and sweet note. An impressive feast by Taza Fresh Table with live entertainment at the Lobby Lounge capped another memorable evening at Taal Vista Hotel.

On our final day at Taal Vista Hotel, the sun made a more permanent appearance over Tagaytay presenting the lake in an image we remember from childhood bringing back countless memories from so many summers past. And it's time for brunch at Taza Fresh Table...

That morning, Chef Jay prepared a hearty brunch featuring a mix of Filipino and Western flavors...

...with the Chicken Tocino (P 400) made from tender chicken breast marinated in beet juice, coconut sugar, bay leaf and garlic served with garlic rice, a pair of sunny side-ups, pickled vegetables and vinegar dip. The marinated chicken breast has a comforting sweet finish from the coconut sugar for familiar notes...

...while the Tapang Barako (P 900) brings bold and robust flavors to the palate. Made with Hanger Steak marinated in coconut vinegar, coco amino, coconut sugar, garlic, soy sauce, bay leaf and local barako coffee, each bite brings a savory richness with the familiar sweet finish as the local coffee rounds out the flavors adding depth.   

Then there's the Southern Fried Chicken (P 550), marinated chicken thighs in homemade buttermilk, breaded and deep-fried to a golden juicy crispness. Served with gravy and French Fries, the Southern Fried Chicken showcases the wide range of tasty and tempting offerings at Taza Fresh Table to satisfy any mood or craving.

Call it comfort food, even soul food, you'll want one more bite of this juicy and crisp fried chicken goodness. 

Clearly, good food doesn't have to be complicated. It just needs to be executed well. And using the freshest ingredients helps a whole lot. Meanwhile, have another bite of the Southern Fried Chicken...

But Chef Jay isn't done just yet. The French Toast (P 380) made from baguettes topped with crisp bacon, cashews and sweet bananas is one more gem on the menu of Taza Fresh Table. The soft and moist baguette with lightly crisp edges delivers an indulgent burst of buttery sweetness with each bite from the maple syrup. The sweetness becomes even more intense with the bananas tempered by the smoky and salty notes of the crisp bacon. 

Chef Jay weaves his own culinary style transforming comfortingly familiar dishes like tocino, beef tapa, fried chicken and French toast into something special at Taza Fresh Table.

And that's why dining at Taza Fresh Table should be on your list during your stay at Taal Vista Hotel.

Way past lunch, one last look at the lake in the shifting light ends a memorable experience at Taal Vista Hotel.

Generations of stories from memorable experiences as far back as 1939 and even earlier can fill up infinite volumes, but Taal Vista Hotel has even more stories and experiences waiting to be told and shared. 

Taal Vista Hotel is located at Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway, Kaybagal South, Tagaytay City, 4120 Cavite or call 02 7917-8219 and 02 7917-8220 for inquiries. You can also check out their FB Page at and their website at for more updates.

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