Less than 2 hours outside of Manila is Tagaytay. A countryside that is slowly becoming the suburbs.
Nevertheless, it is a perfect day trip out of the craziness in Manila.
My family and I went to Leslie's Restaurant where they are well known for their Bulalo; a traditional Filipino dish. It's an open-feeling-type restaurant overlooking the Taal Volcano, Mt. Maculot, and Binintiang Munti. I'm such a sucker for gorgeous and breathtaking views. There are areas where you can eat in the huts, which are situated on the edge of the overlooking area. If you can grab a seat in this area, I would def recommend it! The view is stunning!
My family and I sat inside because we came in with such a big group. The food is amazing! My trip to the Philippines back in August was lacking the traditional Filipino food experience. I'm really thankful that I was able to have it this time around. This restaurant exudes Filipino culture from the food to the interior/exterior style. They definitely didn't disappoint.
Sliced Mango with Bagoong (shrimp paste)
Ginataang Alimasag (crab cooked in coconut milk)
Chopseuy with Seafood
All the dishes are delicious. My favorite are the Crispy Pata (pig trotters), Bulalo, and Chicken Barbecue. The Sliced Mango with Bagoong is crispy, sour, and sweet paired with the bagoong. If you haven't tried green mangoes with bagoong, oh man.. you haven't lived (just kidding). It is one fruit that can't be overlooked. Crispy Pata has always been my favorite Filipino dish because it's not something that's always available to me. So, when I get the chance to eat it, I devour the hell out of it. I can see why Leslie's is known for their Bulalo because the meat literally falls off as you eat it. It's soft, silky, and tastes like heaven.
I really appreciate restaurants such as this that still sticks to the culture. I feel like restaurants that open up for the sole purpose of attracting tourists because of the lucrative market don't do justice to the culture of the country. I don't just say this because of my tied ethnic background to the country, but it applies to all the countries I've visited in the past. I enjoy learning about history and culture through food and this restaurant meets my expectation.