Lasang Pinoy Sundays: Fine Dining

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Lasang Pinoy, Sundays (or LaPiS) is a weekly food event that showcases Filipino Tastes focusing on food photography.  This week, the theme is fine dining.  Going out to fancy dinners is a very rare occasion for us.  Even birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated at home–with a huge party with several of our friends.  It’s not that we don’t enjoy it.  We just enjoy staying at home more.  The few times that we go out, it is usually with friends.  Like last Valentine’s Eve, we went to Edgewood Restaurant here in Lake Tahoe with 2 other couples for a pre-Valentine celebration.   Or last summer when my husband celebrated a milestone birthday.  We took the family to La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, CA. and enjoyed a seafood buffet at the famous Mediterranean Room. And I don’t have many photos of this events so I was racking my brain for something to share.

I was chatting with my friend on the phone and I mentioned to her my predicament when she blurted out, “I know the best fine dining we’ve had in the last 12 months!” I thought, well, I already blogged about Edgewood I don’t have anything more to say.  She said, “No.  It was in the Philippines. At that place we went to after you took us on the Intramuros tour.  And then three days later, we went to that fantastic restaurant with the view of the volcano.”

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It was really embarrassing when you start having ‘senior moments’ like this. By golly, she’s right!  Last November, we took 30 of our friends from the US and Europe for an island celebration of my husband’s milestone birthday.  We went to Grande Island in Subic for three days but prior to that, we took our friends on a city tour in Intramuros seeing that it was their first time in the Philippines. The tour was excellent and something I would recommend if you are taking guests. Carlos Celdran and his Walk This Way tour was amazing and to this day, our friends were still talking about it and exchanging notes about the historical facts they learned.  Anyway, the restaurant my friend was talking about was LA COCINA DE TITA MONING near the Malacanang Palace.  It was the ancestral home of the Legarda’s and they turned it into a “reservations only” dining.  And I know why my friends remember it very well.  It was really an old house which was partly turned into a museum.  During our lunch, it was explained to us that the dinnerware we are about to use are the same ones that the Legardas used when they still lived there. In fact, the same house staff is still staying in the guest house with the same “cook” overseeing the kitchen.

So there you are…my version of Fine Dining.  I must say to this day, our friends couldn’t stop talking about the trip.  Inspite of the fact that it rained non-stop for three days.  They did enjoy “showering in the warm rain” and just lounging around and enjoying the islands.

And the restaurant she was talking about that has a view of the volcano?  It was Josephine’s Restaurant in Tagaytay.  The day of their flight back home (which wasn’t leaving until 10PM), we took a short trip to Tagaytay for lunch and we were so lucky it was a clear day.  We had a fantastic view of Taal Volcano from the restaurant.

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As my friend said, “That’s going to be tough to top! Where are we going for his next milestone birthday?”

How about McDonald’s?


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» ces said: { Mar 22, 2009 - 12:03 }

I remember Josephine’s but not of LA Cocina…it looks like it is really a place to try, huh? and wow! what a grand celebration that must have been with guests all the way from here and Europe! lucky friends!:)

» Pinky said: { Mar 22, 2009 - 01:03 }

Hi Raquel! I’ve heard so many good things about Cocina de Tita Moning from friends who have been there but sadly hubby and I still haven’t been able to sample it’s much-talked-about fare yet…will have to make a mental note to visit during our next home leave ;)

What a nice gesture for you to treat quite a number of your friends for your husband’s birthday – it must’ve been quite a milestone huh? ;)

» virtual chef said: { Mar 22, 2009 - 02:03 }

yes, it was! and it took 5 years of planning. i was glad they all enjoyed it. you should visit Tita Moning the next time you get a home leave. I was pleasantly surprised, too.

» Zriz said: { Mar 22, 2009 - 03:03 }

Wow! The place looks awesome! I haven’t been there myself but if I will, I’ll check that place out!

Happy SS!

» Thess said: { Mar 22, 2009 - 03:03 }

How’s the food at LA COCINA DE TITA MONING? The table sure looks very nice indeed!

And that Taal view, goodness! What fantastic view!!! I must remember the two restaurants you mentioned for my next Phil. visit..thanks for sharing :)

» virtual chef said: { Mar 22, 2009 - 03:03 }

THESS: Tita Moning’s food was fantastic! I even got a couple of their recipes which I intend to attempt in the next few weeks.

Zriz: They even give you a tour of the house while the ‘cook’ prepares the meal. it was really a wonderful experience.

» julie said: { Mar 22, 2009 - 05:03 }

La Cocina looks like a great place to go to. I don’t know how come I never heard of this one, hehe.

McDonald’s is a good one, my kids absolutely love it there ;)

» virtual chef said: { Mar 22, 2009 - 06:03 }

i’d take anything on the dollar menu anytime! i love the taro pie at McDo in Manila. I wonder if anybody has the recipe…

» Tita Beng said: { Mar 23, 2009 - 12:03 }

That concluded extravagant celebration of Matt’s birthday here in Manila is really unbeatable! Extremely memorable for everyone. I wish we could be included again in that next milestone celebration in McDo. Looking forward to that day!

» Elyse said: { Mar 23, 2009 - 01:03 }

Mmm, that place looks totally delicious. P.S. what fabulous pictures, what a view!

» iska said: { Mar 23, 2009 - 01:03 }

Love that 1st photo. So classic Spanish… alta sosyedad ang dating!

» FoodieJenn said: { Mar 23, 2009 - 08:03 }

Ay ang taray! Fine dining talaga ito! Grabe ang ganda!

My entry is here. Hope you can check it out. Have a great week ahead.

» Munchkin Mommy said: { Mar 23, 2009 - 11:03 }

it’s the first time i’ve heard about la cocina de tita moning! it sounds like a must visit place for a fine dining experience. i’d be scared out of my wits to use the dinnerware! i wouldn’t want to accidentally break any of them! hahaha! :)

» virtual chef said: { Mar 23, 2009 - 08:03 }

Munchkin Mommy: I know. It was scary to even use the knives and forks on the beautiful porcelain plates!

FoodieJenn: I was pleasantly surprised. And the food, mataray din! Carabao cheese, paella valenciana, queso de bola cheesecake, caramelized saba bananas with vermouth…yumm!

Iska: when we got there, feeling ko maria clara! spiral wooden staircase on the way up to the living room, then the adjoining dining room was full of antiques. they even have tita moning’s wedding gown on display, together with the wedding gowns of her daughters! sosyal talaga! :)

» Jay said: { Mar 24, 2009 - 12:03 }

i love the fist pix’s table cloth & setting

sorry late comment me to youmy entry is here

magandang araw ka-lasa-ista :)
Salamat sa pagbisita :)

» paoix said: { Mar 25, 2009 - 09:03 }

ooo la cocina de tita moning was quite an experience! how i wish i can go back


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