Sunday, November 29, 2009


Okay, so this post is about a restaurant I went to earlier in the week, but it's just one of the most amazing places ever.

Antonio's is found in Tagaytay, about an hour and a half drive out of Makati (without too much traffic that is).

I had been here once and immensely enjoyed myself, so when I found out we were going again, I was counting down the hours until I was going to be leaving the office!

To not even touch on the food yet, one of the most beautiful things about Antonio's is just it's surroundings. When one spends so much time in Manila, which is just a concrete jungle (as my friend's ALWAYS hear me rag on), to go up to Tagaytay and and grass and trees and be able to smell a bit of fresh air, is just a joy. I think the fresh air gets to your head and just enlightens you.

One of the most amusing things about going to Antonio's is the drive into the actual restaurant, off the main road you turn once you see the massive sign (our driver missed it initially because he was too busy overtaking a truck...) but then you continue driving down this tiny little rickety dirt road for a good 10 minutes, following signposts telling you to turn left and right, right and left!

You really wonder if you're being taken to a restaurant or going to be driven off a cliff...

After all that though, you get to a set of beautiful wooden gates which pretty much open into an oasis in the middle of nowhere. A beautifully preened garden awaits you and...what can I say, the place just takes your breath away.

The whole place has a bit of an European feel to it really, lots of wide open space, lots of white, but still very charming and old world.

The above area is for breakfast (which is apparently until 4pm)...I really must come up during the day sometime so I can really enjoy the beauty of the place!

Shortly after being seated and handed the appetizer menu's, Antonio himself came out and suggested some of the appetizers himself! My dad was most disappointed that Antonio wasn't a fat, old, lively, animated Italian man! But he was still very charming and quite lively, or so I thought.

I made sure to very quickly order one drink here which I discovered is absolutely amazing...their frozen mojito. I still remember the first time I got this, I was shocked at how green it was....and then even more shocked at how absolutely minty and delicious it was! It's easily one of the easiest and most refreshign cocktails I've had to drink....and I got the waiter to teach me the recipe, so that I can duplicate it back in Melbourne, just in time for summer! I'll share the recipe if it does come out well!

We ordered 4 appetizers to share, (in picture order), bone marrow (I can't remember the exact details...), angus beef steak tartare, truffled baked oysters and portobello mushrooms (not pictured).

As expected really, everything was delicious. I took extra delight in the bone marrow and oysters personally!

For mains I ordered the seafood sampler, which was a lot smaller than I expected, which let me tell you, is a good thing! As with every main ordered, they serve the house salad and soup of the day as well! So add everything up it gets to be a lot! The house salad had a spot of blue cheese and walnuts in it, which I go absolutely crazy for!

But back to the seafod sampler, it came with prawn thermidor, grilled sea bass on boiled potato and seared scallops with lumpfish caviar.

I hate to sound repetitive, but everything was again delicious. The sauces weren't too creamy, so were light and flavourful and the scallops and sea bass were moist and cooked perfectly.

My uncle ordered the minced duck and pork trotter wrapped in savoy cabbage. I sampled a bit of this as I was considering ordering it, the cabbage gave a lovely crisp texture and was fresh and sweet...which I think distracted me a bit from the proteins inside!

My dad ordered the organic chicken, which apparently comes from their local farm and my dad's friend ordered a steak, neither of which I tried, but the two men both completely cleaned their I assume this is a good sign!

Dessert at Antonio's is a small affair, but it's just the right size to cap off a meal and not leave you rolling out the door!

I had the mint chocolate parfait, which, although I love mint, was a little too minty for me, I would've enjoyed it if the chocolate was a bit stronger and flavourful. It essentially was just like eating mint flavoured ice-cream really!

My uncle had the flourless chocolate cake, which I think I should've gotten, as it was moist and oh so decadent!

My dad had the chocolate terrine with...grand marnier I think, it's essentially a chocolate mousse with some oranges on it, but again, they did this very well. Very light and airy, mmm!

My dad's friend had the pannacotta (which is not pictured) with just a dash of chocolate and caramel sauce on it. Again, I hate to be repetitive, but yummmyy!

I think Antonio's is one of those places that I really enjoy, not just because of the food and atmosphere, but the serving staff are absolutely immpeccable as well. Any question you have on the menu, they answer swiftly and succintly, unlike in many places in Manila where the waiters have you repeat your question several times and enquire with several of their colleagues or take a few minutes to answer you. They are also very hospitable and incredibly friendly. Take note Manila waiters, SMILING DOES WONDERS. REALLY.

During the course of the evening, my uncle had a glass of water spilt on the back of his chair, getting his shirt a bit wet, which didn't bother him, but we got multiple apologies from multiple people and at the end of the night were even gifted with complimentary grappa!

I honestly don't know what other restaurant I've been to in Manila, where I smile as much as I do when I'm at Antonio's.

Is and always will be highly reccomended from my end. Still have to come here during the day one day...

Antonio's Restaurant, Tagaytay
Bgy. Neogan
Tagaytay City, Cavite
(0918) 899-2866

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