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Taza Fresh Table in Tagaytay should be your next foodie destination

2 months ago

Taza Fresh Table in Tagaytay should be your next foodie destination

The Pizza Sampler

The Pizza Sampler

Tāza is the Arabic word for “fresh,” and the restaurant does its very best to live up to its name by offering only the brightest, freshest produce and meat from local farms and ranches. From the crisp and dewy kale from the restaurant’s very own garden to plump prawns from Iloilo and tuba vinegar from Quezon, every ingredient is thoughtfully and carefully sourced before it makes its way to diners’ plates.

Helmed by Chef Jayme Natividad, the Tagaytay restaurant offers an exciting mix of global dishes inspired by Chef Jayme’s nearly twenty years of experience working for some of the most acclaimed restaurants in New York. (Some of the chefs he’s worked with? Michael White, Mario Battali, and Wolfgang Puck, to name a few!) It was during the great recession in 2008 when Chef Jayme decided to move back to the Philippines. In 2009, he traded the hustle and bustle of the big city for country living. He was tapped by the Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay to help create a proposal for a dining concept, and by January 2015, Tāza Fresh Table opened its doors to the public. The restaurant, which draws inspiration from country gardens, overlooks the Taal lake and volcano, offering guests a stunning view as they dine.

Watermelon Salad and Squash and Black Rice Salad

Watermelon Salad and Squash and Black Rice Salad

“Working on this project, I got to meet a lot of farmers all over the country. It’s better than going to the market!” Fresh ingredients take center stage in Chef Jayme’s dishes and, as much as possible, everything is made from scratch. Start your meal with the Mezze, small plates of appetizers. Go for the Boquerones, anchovies cured in vinegar, or the Spinach with Bacon Jam which has creamed spinach with homemade candied bacon. For those looking for something light yet substantial, the Squash and Black Rice Salad offers the perfect interplay of textures and flavors. Pickled onions, ricotta, pesto, cashew nuts, and creamy roasted squash are livened up by a tangy lemon lime dressing while black rice sourced from Mt. Kanlaon add body as well as an addicting nutty, faintly sweet flavor profile to the salad.

Papardelle Bolognese

Papardelle Bolognese

For the pastas, the sinfully rich Lobster Fettucini is the restaurant’s bestselling dish. Made with lobsters from Batangas, this has a rich tomato sauce with an herby, bittersweet kick thanks to tarragon, topped with breadcrumbs for added texture. The Papardelle Bolognese is another standout. Light and chewy papardelle make for the perfect backdrop to the hearty and meaty bolognese sauce (a hundred year old recipe that Chef Jayme learned from an Italian chef he had worked with in New York!).

Tomahawk Pork Chop

Tomahawk Pork Chop

If you’re looking for heartier mains, the Tomahawk Pork Chop is a must-try. Consider a meltingly tender slab of pork topped with caramelized onions and pork au jus, served over a bed of cauliflower and potato mash. Sweet señorita banana slices round off the master dish—it’s just pure indulgence. For dessert, order their homemade ice creams (we love the Olive Oil flavor!) or the Napoleon, with homemade mascarpone cheese spike with barako coffee and layered with otap.

Homemade ice creams and Napoleon

Homemade ice creams and Napoleon

Possibly the best thing about Tāza Fresh Table, however, is that each trip is more exciting than the last. While the restaurant has its staple of old favorites, it also has an ever changing seasonal menu. “Aside from being local and farm-to-table, we’re seasonal as well. Every month, we have different produce in season, so we have our summer menu coming out. I’ve been going to the market and checking what’s available,” Chef Jayme says. “For my dishes that are regularly available on the menu, I make little changes depending on what’s seasonal.” Chef Jayme’s unique brand of comfort food cooked with flair—all served in front of a breathtaking view—makes Tāza Fresh Table a breath of fresh air in a sea of restaurants. If you need another reason to visit Tagaytay, this is it.

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Tāza Fresh Table. Taal Vista Hotel, Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City. Call (02) 917-8225, (046) 413 1000 or (0917) 809-1254.


Words by Janelle Año

Photographed by Ron Mendoza

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