, APRIL 22, 2007 (STAR) EAT’S EASY By Ernest Reynoso Gala ("Cookery is become an art, a noble science; cooks are gentleman." — British author Robert Burton, 1621)

Only an hour- and-a-half away from the busy streets of Metro Manila, Tagaytay has boomed into a popular tourist destination. Known for its picturesque view of Taal Volcano and its cool, relaxing weather, many have flocked here for the opportunity to have fun and enjoy quality time with family and friends. A haven of sorts for amusement and recreation, Tagaytay is a superb choice to find the simple pleasures of life.

The number of restaurants here has drastically increased through the years as the demand for good food has grown. There are so many options to choose from as the industry is as diverse as the people who come to dine and unwind. Catering to such a market is not easy, yet the options seem endless as countless new establishments are being built. This positive sign is helping the local industry and gives people the incentive to preserve and protect one of the best tourist attractions in the country.

Here are some of the restaurants to choose from when visiting Tagaytay.

• Tagaytay Highlands Steakhouse

Definitely world-class, this restaurant wins hands down as the best when it comes to steak. The quality of meat is superb and the execution of cooking is unmatched and skillfully done. They also serve fantastic oysters and very fresh homegrown green salads. The ambiance is superb and it is a great place to bring the family with its live soothing music to accompany a great meal, as well as a well-trained staff.

• Bonjourno at the Cliffhouse

Serving truly authentic Italian food, Bonjourno not only has one of the best views of the volcano, it also serves an array of excellent dishes. The pizza, seafood risotto, and chicken parmigiana are all highly recommended, and the relaxing atmosphere complements the dining experience. The pictures in the menu are mouthwatering, done by leading food photog-rapher and food stylist Mark and Linda Floro (who are also the restaurant’s proud owners), making food presentation truly unique and classy. It is located along Aguinaldo Highway, restaurant strip, ridge side.

• Breakfast at Antonio’s

Offering the freshest, juiciest, tastiest sausages and the fluffiest omelets, this place has an aura of comfort and relaxation. Overall, a great place, and everything on the menu must be tried. Located along Aguinaldo Highway, after the radar, ridge side.

• Bag of Beans

This restaurant has grown, but the taste has never changed. Bag of Beans is still the best place to enjoy local coffee and an English meal. The freshly baked cinnamon roll and raisin bread are magnificent. (They make great take-home snacks!) Pies, like the shepherd’s pie, are very rich in flavor, and the desserts, like the cheesecake, are noteworthy. Scrumptious meal, a beautiful garden, fresh brewed coffee, Bag of Beans is an experience to remember. Along Aguinaldo Highway, right after Mendez Market, on the right side going to Batangas.

• Mushroom Burger

Many restaurants have arrived, but there is one that has stood firm and calls itself original — Mushroom Burger. The service is the best, very prompt, accurate, and charming with everyone savoring the burgers, spaghetti, and ice cream. Despite being very busy, the restaurant still manages to deliver food on time, and people come here because the place gives value for money. Mushroom Burger is my favorite fast-food joint in Tagaytay. Along Aguinaldo Highway, after Taal Vista Lodge, ridge side.

• Taaleño

Serves the crispiest tawilis, the small freshwater fish species found only in Taal Lake. Similar to the tawilis is salinas, a saltwater fish found all over the world. The view at Taaleño is spectacular, which families would enjoy. Along Aguinaldo Highway, restaurant strip, ridge side.

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Lemon Squares Delight

Broas (ladyfingers)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1-1/2 cups fresh milk

1 teaspoon lemon extract

Line the bottom of a 7x11-inch aluminum pan with store-bought ladyfingers (broas). Top with the cooked filling, and top with another layer of ladyfingers. Cover with foil.

Put in an oven toaster for 10 minutes.

Cool. Cut into 28 squares. Sift powdered sugar on top.

Serve on muffin paper.

For the filling:

Cook for five minutes over low fire, double boiler, or microwave oven on high until thick and creamy the butter, flour, and sugar. Add the eggs, fresh milk, and lemon extract.


To make ube squares, add a teaspoon of ube flavor in place of the lemon extract. Try also melon, langka, mango, pineapple, buco-pandan, and other flavor varieties using the appropriate flavor extract.

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Visit our website www.sylviareynosogala.com.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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