Afternoon coffee at Bag of Beans

We were getting tired of lounging around, so we decided to head to Bag of Beans for coffee and to try out their English pies. I’ve heard nothing but praise for Bag of Bean’s coffee and pies, so I was really looking forward to it as Peter drives us through Tagaytay.

Bag of Bean's Iced Mocha
Iced Mocha – Php 85

As we walk to the entrance, we were met with half a dozen kids all trying to sell us something. Politely declining their offer, we made our way down the stone steps and into their garden. The transformation was amazing. Though Bag of Beans is along the highway, you can hardly hear the traffic when you’re inside. Most of the tables are under the shade of a tree, though there’s also a covered and screened area if you prefer that.

Bag of Bean's Mocha Frappe
Mocha Frappe – Php 95

There are trees that give plenty of shade, flowering plants that give the place a touch of color. There are birds in a big birdcage, and a mynah that whistles and talk. It was the kind of place that makes you want to just sit and enjoy conversation with friends.

I hear that the Kapeng Barako is their specialty. As much as I wanted to try this local brew, I opted for a safer, cooler choice: iced mocha. I paired it off with a Beef and Vegestable pie. The iced mocha looked pretty, and tasted okay. I love how thick the chocolate syrup at the bottom of the glass is. The pie I ordered was a disappointment though. The crust was too dry, and the filling tasted as if it was loaded with MSG. Ming’s Steak and Mushroom pie was so much better though.

Bag of Bean's Beef and Vegestable Pie
Beef and Vegestable Pie – Php 95

Over all, I’m satisfied with Bag of Beans. The ambiance of a place really does add a lot to the dining experience, and I’m looking forward to go back. Though this time, I’ll be sure to order the Steak and Mushroom pie, and maybe try the Barako coffee.

Bag of Beans
115 Aguinaldo Highway
Mendez Crossing West
Tagaytay City
Phone: +63 46 413 4356, +63 46 413 2724
Mobile: +63920 954 6369, +63920 954 6370

Cocktails @ T House

Before heading down to our final destination, we made a stop at T house for some cocktails. It’s late afternoon, and by now, everyone was hot, sleepy and tired.

Upon entering the property, we were greeted by warm smiles from the staff who had some cool moist face towels for us to wipe our tired faces with. That really perked us up. And as if that was not enough to cool and jolt us awake, they served us with a very refreshing welcome cocktail. The drink is a sweet concoction made from kamias (bilimbi), ice, flavored with sugar syrup and a hint of mint. Fully refreshed and with drinks in hand, we wandered around for a bit and took in the sights.

T House Tagaytay 05

T house is a welcome retreat from the busy and bustling city life we are so used to. With an Asian-inspired modern architecture, the Zen-like atmosphere created by the streamlined interiors and lush green surroundings, paired with the gentle trickling sound of mini-water fountains, and delicious food,T house is definitely the place to go if you want to get away from it all.

After a while, our hosts ushered us into the dining hall. We were greeted by a cozy dining area, with a wet bar on one end, and a big buffet table laden with scrumptious canapes’ and one of the best-tasting puto (rice cake) – Mang Rudy’s – I’ve had on the other. The canapes’ they served were made with fresh pan de sal they baked, topped with toppings of grilled chicken, salmon, cheese, liver pate and fresh greens. We washed it all down with refreshing glasses of lemon grass iced tea.

T House Tagaytay 04
Mang Rudy’s Puto


After filling ourselves with delicious food, we lounged about some more before heading out to our final stop.

Relaxation. Serenity. Tranquility. That is the T House experience.

Being gastronomically satisfied is just a bonus. 😉

T House
3195 Calamba Road, Tagaytay City
(046) 483.0011, (046) 483.0012
(mobile) 0922-8THouse

Location map
Map to T House Tagaytay
Click on the map to see the larger version.

Thank you to T House for the warm reception; and also to Verdana Homes and Anton for inviting us to experience this awesome Tagaytay food tour. It truly was a wonderful experience.

Desserts at Chateau Hestia

After our delicious and hearty Vietnamese lunch, our troop headed down the road for dessert.

Just around the bend from Bawai’s is Chateau Hestia, a restaurant and B&B named after the Greek goddess of the hearth, which specializes in European cuisine. Johannes Zegethofer, one of the owners of Chateau Hestia, offers his favorite European dishes in a restaurant with an elegant country- style design that is surrounded by lush gardens filled with exotic tropicals.

A very interesting trivia I’ve learned about Chateau Hestia is that the frame of the structure is actually made from recycled cargo containers.

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Johannes Zegethofer


I am a self-confessed dessert lover. To me, dessert is the best part of any meal!

So when they brought out and served the dessert platter I got so exited I didn’t even bother to take any photos. We were served a trio of equally sinful desserts: Panna Cotta, Mousse Au Chocolat and , Ferrero chocolate ice cream.

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Dessert sampler, from left: Panna Cotta, Mousse Au Chocolat topped with Red Wine Poached Pear, and Ferrero Chocolate Ice Cream


The Mousse Au Chocolat is a chocolate ganache made from bittersweet Belgian chocolate, and topped with a slice of poached pear in red wine. It was so good! I love the taste of the bittersweet chocolate with just a hint of sweetness. I am a bit biased though because I love dark chocolate. =D

The 2nd dessert on the plate is the Ferrero Chocolate Ice Cream, a home-made treat made with Ferrero Rocher at Chateau Hestia.

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Panna Cotta with Orange Jam


The third dessert, which I really loved is the Panna Cotta. The soft and silky texture of this Italian dessert just melts in your mouth! The subtle tartness and sweetness of the orange jam on top gives a nice contrast and finish to it.

Chateau Hestia 08
Dalandancello and Vin de Orange


After having dessert, we were served a sampling of two of their signature house liqueurs : dalandancello- a limoncello made from dalandan; and the vin de orange- a wine wine made out of oranges.

For reservations or inquiries please call or text: +63 929 711-3289/ +63-918-930-5372 or visit their website:

Location map:
Map to Chateau Hestia Garden Restaurant, Tagaytay
Click on the map to see the larger version.

Thank you to Johannes Zegethofer for being such a graceful host; and also to Verdana Homes and Anton for inviting us to experience this awesome Tagaytay food tour. It truly was a wonderful experience.

Bawai's Vietnamese Kusina

I developed a fondness for Vietnamese food since I tried eating at Pho Hoa just for the heck of it. As a noodle soup lover, I went straight for the Pho, a soup with flavorful broth, tender slices of meat and enchanced with herbs like basil and cilantro. The closest I came to tasting authentic Vietnamese food was in Melbourne, not having traveled to Vietnam yet. The huge Vietnamese community in Melbourne meant having plenty of Vietnamese restaurants, each having Vietnamese cooks and staff. So when Verdana Homes took members of the media to a southern sojourn in Tagaytay, my eyes widened with excitement when I saw Bawai’s Vietnamese Kusina in the itinerary.

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Bawai, which is Vietnamese for grandmother, is a homey restaurant inside one of Tagaytay’s retirement communities. It’s actually the home of Ver & Yong Tatlonghari. Yong, a Vietnamese, settled in the Philippines after marrying her Filipino husband. A great cook, her home was always open to her children and grandchildren, who wanted to share their bawai’s fantastic Vietnamese meals. When strangers started showing up at their doorstep, they took that as a sign to open a portion of their home as a restaurant.

Bawai's 10
Appetizer plate: Goi Cuon (Php 145; 3 pieces per order), Nam Nuong and fresh veggies (Php 250; 3 pieces per order)

Anton Diaz, considered as an insider in Tagaytay, discovered Bawai’s through the Tagaytay grapevine. Soon after Anton blogged about it, people started calling in and making reservations. It wasn’t long before tv, broadsheets and magazines started featuring Bawai’s. Mr. Ver said after all these publicity, the phones kept on ringing off the hook. And it was with good reason; Bawai’s really is the best Vietnamese restaurant.

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Inside the Vietnamese fresh lumpia

We started off with a sampler plate with two pieces of Goi Cuon (Vietnamese fresh lumpia), a sampling of Nam Nuong (grilled Vietnamese sausage) for some and for others Chao Tom (pounded shrimp on sugar cane), served on a bed of fresh greens and dry rice noodles. There were two dips for this set: peanut sauce for the Goi Cuon and the special Vietnamese fish sauce for the Nam Nuong and Chao Tom. One bite into the Goi Cuon and we know it’s freshly made. The shrimp is tender and the veggies crunchy. Both the Nam Nuong and the Chao Tom are cooked with just the right amount of flavor.

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Chao Tom (Php 250; 3 pieces per order)

Next comes what I’ve been looking forward to since I learned that we were headed to Bawai’s: Pho Bo. After a several minutes spent taking numerous photos, I finally gave up and started digging into my bowl. It’s really as good, even better than it looks. The broth didn’t really need the kalamansi or the spring onion saw leaves, but they certainly enhances the flavor. The hot soup was perfect for Tagaytay weather; there’s always a fresh, cool breeze even at high noon.

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Pho Bo (Php 195)

We were all full — the rice noodles in the salad, in Vietnamese fresh lumpia and in the Pho were very filling, but it seems Bawai still have a little surprise for us. The waitstaff came out of Bawai’s kitchen bearing trays of Banh da Lon, or the Vietnamese equivalent of our sapin-sapin. Made with pandan and monggo beans, the green layer is like kuchinta, while the yellow layer is like a coarse maja blanca. It is topped with coconut cream and a sprinkling of crushed peanuts.

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Banh da Lon (Php 20)


To go with everything was a tall glass of refreshing Pandan Iced Tea. This is certainly different from the other ice tea I’ve tasted. Different in a very positive way — the pandan flavor made it taste somewhat like gulaman, my favorite Filipino drink.

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Pandan Iced Tea (Php 50)

Writing this post and looking at the photos made me reminisce about that lunch, my mouth watering ever so slightly. I can’t help thinking when I’ll go back to Tagaytay, and hoping it would be soon.

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Bawai Yong and Ver Tatlonghari and their children


Because lola Yong herself cooks all the dishes, Bawai’s kitchen is only open on weekends for lunch and dinner. Also, due to Bawai’s limited space, reservation is a must. For reservations, call 0920-9722924.

Bawai’s Vietnamese Kusina
Brgy. Bukal, Silang, Cavite
+63 920 972-2924

Location map:
Map to Bawai's Kusina, Tagaytay
Click on the map to see the larger version.

A big thanks to Verdana Homes and to Anton for this awesome Tagaytay food tour, and to the Tatlonghari family for welcoming us into their home.