Dinner at Hacienda Isabella

There are many restaurants in Tagaytay but we’re not that adventurous, we always end up going back to the same restaurants. Lagi na lang kasing tawilis at bulalo ang gusto namin. Lately the bulalohan are noisy and always full of local tourists. We don’t get to enjoy our meals when it’s chaotic and noisy. Part of the relaxation is a quiet and relaxed atmosphere.

I wanted to have something unique for dinner, not necessarily fancy, but something that would wow Edmund and I.

I phoned Hacienda Isabella before leaving Manila. I’ve been there twice and maybe their food is good. Yes, they are open for dinner. The manang who answered suggested to be there at 5 pm while the sun is still up. Magical daw according to her. Wag daw gabi na kasi madilim. That said, I told her we would be there between 5 to 5:30 pm for dinner.

Kuh Ledesma’s over five hectares of private resort is actually not in Tagaytay. It’s in Barangay Carasuchi, Indang, Cavite, some 10 kilometers from the corner of Aguinaldo Hway and Maglabe Drive in Tagaytay City.

Edmund and I attended a garden wedding here some three years ago.   He didn’t have a recollection of how the place looked like that’s why I convinced him to come back.
Hacienda Isabella entrance door

The kusinera and assistant neeed some time to set up the table and prepare for our food. Okay lang we told them, we’ll go around the garden.

Hacienda Isabella dining room

This sprawling garden is for wedding receptions. Because it’s rainy season, there are no bookings.

We noticed the unmistakable smell of taing kalabaw. The very bantot scent was overpowering. Sayang yung garden, ang baho. I was thinking maybe they put horse manure for fertilizer.
Hacienda Isabella sprawling garden

While they were setting up the table, Edmund and I explored a little bit of the hacienda’s garden
Hacienda Isabella gardens,

This ivy grows very fast. In six months, they could cover the whole roof. I planted something like this in my mini spread. After two months, they’re already crawling on the metal trellis.
Hacienda Isabella, ivy

We went back to the main dining hall. We’re both hungry.
I was excited to try their food. They have set menu very similar to Sonya’s Garden. Soup, salad, pasta, fish, chicken, dessert. No need to choose from a menu book. Just sit and eat.
Hacienda Isabella main house

Here lies pumpkin soup. It’s bottomless but Edmund and I were contented with one small bowl each.

We could not concentrate on our food because there were lots of giant mosquitoes trying to bite us. The candles were supposed to shoo them away but they didn’t go away. The jungle lamok and giant langaw distracted us from enjoying what could have been a romantic and new dining experience. We didn’t feel relaxed, para kaming nagmamadali, nai-stress kami.

Edmund killed two mosquitos. Pak pak pak. “Ang laki!”
Hacienda Isabella, pumpkin soup

Their salad was yummy. I particularly liked the sesame dressing.  Downside,  we still could smell whiffs of horse manure.    Daming lamok,  langaw, amoy mabaho,  we could not enjoy our meal.   In fairness,  the food was really good.
salad,  Hacienda Isabella

I asked the food server where that smell was coming from.   He said there’s a horse ranch behind the hacienda.  That’s why it smelled horse manure.  Wow, that’s a total killjoy.  Imagine spending so much money and effort developing a resort,  tapos  merong neighbor na rancho.   Pano pag merong wedding?  Eh di amoy mabantot yung bride. Amoy kabayo yung groom.

I ate three servings of pasta, super bundat talaga.
Hacienda Isabella, pasta

The fried fish fillet went perfect with the linguine. I finished all of this.
Hacienda Isabella, fried fish

Back to the Taal Vista Hotel with bloated tummies, I fell asleep with my lipstick still on.  Plastado ako talaga.  Imagine,  I had no activity for the past three weeks.  Uupo-upo lang ako sa bahay, higa, upo, lakad,  nood ng tv.

Eto,  4 hours in the traffic,  whole afternoon getting on and off the van, walked back and forth,  plastado,  tulog ako at exactly 8:30 pm.    Zzzzzzz
Room 363, Taal Vista Hotel


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