Saturday, August 6, 2022

All-Day Dining With a View at The Veranda of Taal Vista Hotel

Breakfast, lunch and dinner, all-day dining at the premier destination down south in Tagaytay becomes an experience in itself with its lavish buffet spreads and sumptuous a la carte menu. With its impressive views of the lake, Taal Vista Hotel adds one more layer to your memorable stay with its culinary offerings... 

For over eighty years, Taal Vista Hotel welcomed guests to the scenic ridge for magnificent views of the lake. Dining has long been part of the experience at Taal Vista Hotel and just one of many reasons to visit and stay at the iconic destination down south of Manila. Showcasing a wide variety of international and local cuisine at the Veranda all day long, you can enjoy the picturesque views and satisfy all your cravings in one place (see more of Taal Vista Hotel on my earlier post, Here for Always: A Picture-Perfect Getaway at Taal Vista Hotel from a recent staycation a few weeks back). Take a virtual step inside Taal Vista Hotel's Veranda for a peek at its culinary offerings...

The aptly-named Veranda at Taal Vista Hotel is an elegant space leading out to the sloped garden with views of the serene lake. The relaxed and casual vibe at the Veranda makes it an ideal spot for a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner with its extensive buffet spread and specialty a la carte dishes (for more on the Veranda, see my previous posts, Culinary Gems at Taal Vista Hotel from 2014 and #ChristmasforAlways: A Christmas Holiday Weekend Staycation at Tagaytay's Iconic Taal Vista Hotel from 2019). 

Just a few steps away, the gently sloping gardens lead you to the iconic ridge overlooking the lake. It's the perfect preview to a satisfying dining experience at Veranda. With access to the finest local ingredients including garden fresh produce, Executive Chef Jay Natividad weaves a tempting tapestry of rich flavors showcased in all the dining outlets of Taal Vista Hotel including the Veranda. At the Veranda, diners can enjoy traditional local dishes from the curated Heirloom Section of the menu featuring all-time Filipino favorites.

It will take more than a day to enjoy the diverse culinary offerings at Taal Vista Hotel, so why not book your reservation for a relaxing getaway from the city? And here's even better news: Enjoy 15% Off best available rates for weekday stays (Sunday to Friday) when you use the special promo code DudeForFood for your online booking at good until October 28, 2022 (terms and conditions apply). Ready for your picture-perfect getaway at Taal Vista Hotel? 

Arriving just in time for lunch, an entertaining serenade by the Veranda's musical trio kicked off our dining experience at Taal Vista Hotel's all-day dining restaurant. A variety of regularly scheduled cultural performances and live entertainment are held at the Veranda adding to the casual dining experience. If you have a song request, the musical trio will gladly indulge you with their own rendition. 

Known for their fresh vegetables with many grown in their very own gardens, it's always a good idea to start with one of the Veranda's specialty salads like the Chef's Salad (P 430) with mixed greens, Farmers Ham, grilled chicken breast, red onions, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, boiled egg and Emmental Cheese drizzled with Mustard Vinaigrette.  

The crisp greens deliver a subtle sweetness followed by the distinct notes of tomatoes, red onion, carrots and cucumber. The Farmers Ham and grilled chicken breast add savory notes to the salad, perfectly finished by the egg, Emmental cheese and sweet mustard dressing for contrasting yet delicately balanced flavors. Other salad options include the Veranda (P 430) with Roquefort Cheese, caramelized walnuts and orange with a tart balsamic dressing and the classic Caesar Salad (P 400).

No trip to Tagaytay would be complete without a taste of the native tawilis. Sadly, uncontrolled overfishing placed the native species on the endangered list. The Crispy Salinyasi (P 360) is a tasty alternative and a distant cousin of the tawilis, lightly breaded and deep-fried for that subtle crunch. The salinyasi from nearby Nasugbu is served with crispy kangkong and a spicy vinegar dip with fresh chilies, garlic and peppercorn. 

Almost similar in flavor to its distant cousin, the tawilis is a tasty appetizer highlighting local flavors at Veranda. Other appetizers at the Veranda include the Calamari (P 520) and Buffalo Chicken Wings (P 500). 

When in Tagaytay on a cloudy day, the Bulalo (P 830) is a mandatory dish to warm the palate. The light yet flavorful broth is enriched with the flavors of the different ingredients like tender braised beef shanks, corn, pechay and string beans. Deep inside the clay pot, you'll find the prized bone marrow adding its own richness to the broth. There's just nothing like a steaming pot of bulalo enjoyed in the cool weather of Tagaytay.

Another bestseller from the specialty Heirloom Section of the menu is the Chicken Inasal (P 960 Whole/P 520 Half) with grilled and marinated chicken infused with anato, garlic oil, lemongrass and calamansi served with a vinegar dip. Perfectly grilled with a lightly charred layer for bold smoky hints, the juicy chicken releases full-on flavors with every bite from the marinade blend. 

The subtle nutty hints of the anato are kicked up by the distinct flavors of lemongrass and calamansi tempering the savory richness of the juicy chicken. A dip in the spiced vinegar blend completes the flavors. 

The Gising-Gising na Kangkong (P 300) is an inspired twist on a popular staple with stewed water spinach instead of the usual winged beans. Smoked mackerel, ground pork, crispy garlic, fresh chilies and coconut milk complete the dish with a generous topping of crunchy chicharon as the finishing touch. The freshness of the water spinach delivers mildly sweet hints followed by an indulgent creamy layer of fresh notes from the coconut milk. The smoked mackerel and ground pork bring bold flavors for a complex play of savory notes rounded out by the textural contrasts from the crunchy chicharon and lingering soothing heat from the fresh chilies. It's one of the many delightfully surprising finds in the Heirloom Section of Veranda's menu and an absolute must-try.  

The Heirloom Section of Veranda's a la carte menu features other popular Filipino dishes including Crispy Pata (P 890), Kare-Kare (P 790), Sinigang (P 650), Tinola sa Buko (P 550), Adobo ni Tatang (P 550), Embutido (P 420) and Pinakbet (P 420) along with comforting noodle dishes like Miki Bihon (P 460), Pancit Hab Hab (P 460) and Pancit Luglog (P 460). You'll find all the familiar staples from your all-time list of favorites as well as tasty new discoveries for a memorable dining experience at Veranda. Cap your feast of local flavors at Veranda with the Fresh Fruit Platter (P 300) with assorted local fruits in season...

...or indulge with the decadent Leche Flan (P 220), the local traditional custard made with organic egg and carabao's milk drizzled with sweet caramel and topped with macapuno that's perfect with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. 

A satisfying lunch with a view of the lake enjoyed with freshly brewed cup of coffee. It just doesn't get better than this...

Back at your room on the Lake Wing of Taal Vista Hotel, the views from your own balcony feeds your eyes with yet another visual feast. Sunny or cloudy, the scenic views from your Lake Wing room continue to captivate the senses throughout the day changing with the shifting light.

Later that evening, Chef Rico of Veranda prepared another lavish feast showcasing the all-day dining restaurant's other specialty dishes featuring international flavors... the Seafood Pasta (P 660) with succulent clams, mussels, squid, fish and shrimps on spaghetti draped with rich and tart pomodoro sauce. Each bite brings bright and tart notes to the palate...

...followed by the briny sweetness from the medley of fresh seafood. The fresh cherry tomatoes ties everything together with its freshness. Other pasta dishes at the Veranda include the Linguine Carbonara (P 460), Spaghetti Bolognese (P 450), Penne al Pomodoro (P 430), Penne Pesto (P 420) and Lasagna Bolognese (P 420). 

Crunchy chicken sandwiches are all the rage these days, and Veranda has its own version with the Crispy Chicken Sandwich (P 470) with tender and juicy brined chicken breast breaded and deep-fried with smoked sweet pepper batter and topped with coleslaw on pickles on a pillow soft potato brioche bun. The richly seasoned batter adds even more flavors to the juicy chicken breast, with that delectable crunch making you go for another big bite.

The Pan-Seared Salmon (P 760) with sweet corn, marble potatoes and mushrooms with lemon caper butter sauce is an elegant and light entrée perfectly executed with the the finest and freshest ingredients. Lightly seared, the slab of premium salmon remains juicy capped by a delicately crisp layer for contrasting textures. The salmon just melts in your mouth like butter, enriched even more by the lemon caper butter sauce. The tasty sides of sweet corn and marble potatoes completes the dish.

The Vegetarian Pizza (P 470) with grilled vegetables, Mozzarella and tomato sauce on a rustic crust is a refreshing alternative to the usual pizza. The assorted grilled vegetables including mushrooms pack a flavorful punch you won't miss the typical proteins. And it's probably just what you need too. 

Garden fresh vegetables are part of the Tagaytay narrative, and you'll find an impressive selection of dishes at Veranda using an equally wide variety of the local harvest. 

Refresh your palate with the Healthy Quencher offerings made with real fruits and vegetables from the Lobby Lounge, like the Workout Fuel (P 290) with its blend of apples, carrots, orange, ginger and honey. Other Healthy Quencher options include the aptly named Good For You (P 290) with yellow and green mango, strawberry yogurt and honey and the Health is Wealth (P 220) with carrots, cucumber, plain yogurt and honey. 

The Lobby Lounge also offers fresh fruit shakes like Banana (P 250), Mango and Banana (P 250), Pineapple (P 250) and Yellow Mango (P 250) along with a selection of fruit juices.  

For dessert, Chef Rico served up a tempting pair...

The Volcano Eruption (P 420) is a decadent combo of dark chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache on rich berry sauce paired with silky smooth vanilla ice cream...

...and the Turon (P 270), sweet and crispy deep-fried spring rolls filled with bananas, ube, macapuno and langka paired with vanilla sauce for a sweet ending to another lavish feast at Veranda.

Early the next morning, low clouds gently cruise past the lake. It's time for breakfast... 

The different stations including live stations for dishes prepared a la minute at Veranda starts your day on a right note (for more on the extensive breakfast buffet spread and a la carte selection of Veranda, see my post, #ChristmasforAlways: A Christmas Holiday Weekend Staycation at Tagaytay's Iconic Taal Vista Hotel). 

From cereals to pancakes, salads, fresh fruits and local breakfast staples like beef tapa, longganisa and the crispy ayungin or dried fish, Veranda compiles all the breakfast bestsellers for that perfect start.

What could be better than bacon for breakfast, right?

At the Egg Station, you can have your sunny side-ups and omelets with your choice of fillings prepared a la minute and served at its flavorful peak.

Coffee, orange juice, pancakes and bacon is enough motivation to get up a little extra early to beat the breakfast crowd at Veranda.

And you can come back for seconds. And thirds.

You can return to your Lake Wing room and enjoy the views after breakfast...

...or take a leisurely stroll on the gently sloped gardens for another view of the lake. It will be lunch soon, so work up an appetite for another sumptuous dining experience at Taal Vista Hotel. Veranda is just one of the dining options at Taal Vista Hotel, with The Lobby Lounge, The Cake Shop and Taza Fresh Table bringing their own unique flavors and offerings (for more on Taza Fresh Table, see my posts, A Fresh Feast at Taza Fresh Table in Taal Vista Hotel and Global Flavors with the Freshest Local Produce at Taza Fresh Table from 2015).

The views of the famed lake are just one of many reasons to revisit Taal Vista Hotel with so much more to offer and experience. And just like the picturesque views, dining at Taal Vista Hotel presents yet another memorable layer to your stay at the premier destination down south of the metro.  

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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