Monday, September 11, 2017

Taal Vista Hotel's Intimate Celebrations: A Night of Romance She'll Never Forget

A few weeks back, I was in a very difficult situation. My girlfriend I were about to celebrate our first year as a couple and I wanted to surprise her with a lovely evening together. Truth be told, I had a hard time making up my mind on how we should celebrate this significant milestone. I had a few ideas in mind and a staycation at Taal Vista Hotel, one of Tagaytay's premier hotels, stood out because I have been meaning to take her to Taza Fresh Table so she could try the exceptional dishes there.

When I checked Taal Vista Hotel's Facebook page, I came across a post on the Intimate Celebrations Package and from there I made up my mind, we were definitely going to Tagaytay. I have to admit it was one of the most romantic evenings of my life, and I have absolutely no regrets. If I was given a chance, I'd do it all over again. It was perfect.

Here's a glimpse of our romantic evening, celebrating our first year anniversary with Taal Vista Hotel's Intimate Celebrations...

It's a good thing Taal Vista Hotel decided to promote the Intimate Celebrations Package. It's a special package that guarantees a night filled with romance and amazing food. The table for two is set along the Taal Vista grounds with a beautiful view of Taal Volcano. With your very own butler and a bottle of Italian Sparkling wine, the package is well worth the Php 8,000 being charged per couple.

The hotel provides a basic package, but if you would like to upgrade some of the inclusions to make the evening even more special, the hotel staff will be happy to accommodate your request.

The Basic Intimate Celebration Package includes:
  • A Curated Intimate Celebrations Menu from Taza Fresh Table (shown below)
  • Praline Chocolates
  • Personal Butler
  • Bottle of Italian Sparkling wine
  • 3 long stemmed red roses
  • Floral and candle table arrangements
The package is valid only until 31 December 2017 so better plan your trip to Tagaytay soon. If you have any inquiries, please call (02) 917 8225.

Unfortunately, it was raining outside when we had the Intimate Celebrations Package at Taal Vista Hotel so we had to celebrate our anniversary indoors. We were given a nice quiet corner inside Taza Fresh Table where we can enjoy the food and each other's company.

It's really because of circumstances outside of the hotel's control. This is far better than getting drenched outside due to the rate. We still had an amazing evening nonetheless!

To set the mood, I started off the night by giving my girlfriend this beautiful bouquet of roses prepared by the hotel. The package includes three long-stemmed roses, but you can definitely have it upgraded to a full bouquet - especially if you know your significant other's favorite flower - depending on your budget.

Just make sure to inform the hotel beforehand so that you give them enough time to make a beautiful bouquet.

Here's a photo of the Intimate Celebrations Menu. You can open the image in a new tab to see it clearly, but the package includes two servings of soup, two servings of salad, an intermezzo, two main courses (to share), and two desserts (to share).

The menu includes some of my favorite Taza Fresh Table dishes, including their bestselling New York Strip Steak. One look at the menu got me very excited for the evening ahead. 

We started our meal with a bowl of warm Mushroom Soup (Php 290) each, which is a trio of Tagaytay mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, and buttom mushrooms). The thing I love about it was the rich bursts of mushroom in every bite which gives you an idea how many mushrooms were used to prepare this dish. It was my favorite soup back then and it remains to be one of the tastiest mushroom soups I've had. 

If your significant other loves mushrooms as much as I do, she'll be weak in the knees after a few bites of this. A great way to start the meal! 

After the soup, we were then served with a plate of Taza Salad (Php 390) each, which is an original Taza Fresh Table creation made wih quinoa, cherry tomatoes, wild arugula, farm-fresh romaine, microgreens, Cebu dried mangoes, radish, beets, a la minue tarragon-white wine vinaigrette. I have a riveting review of the Taza salad in a previous blog post and it was just as good as I remember it. 

The salad was very addicting and that's not a word I've usually use for salad. I loved every bite! 

To cleanse our palate before the main course, an intermezzo of Citrus-Basil Sorbet was served for each of us. I love the intensity of flavor in every spoonful, with a very pronounced tartness in each bite coupled with the freshness of basil.

Overall, it did what it had to do which was to cleanse our palate for the main course ahead. I did finish the entire glass though. 

The New York Strip Steak (Php 1,900) was definitely the star of the evening, cooked medium-rare and served with homemade fries, sauteed spinach, maitre d' butter, au poivre sauce. We had the steak cut open so that it would be easier for us to eat, and I recommend you should do the same. 

The steak itself was impeccable and it was just heaven in our mouths. No wonder this is one of Taza's bestsellers! The steak was cooked to a beautiful medium-rare, and it was very juicy and tender throughout with the maitre d' butter adding a beautiful intensity of flavor. I have a lot of steak mileage in my belt and this was definitely one of the best pieces of steak I've had at this price point. 

Even the homemade fries was nicely crisp and seasoned. Neither the steak nor the fries needed ketchup or sauce, that's how good they are. The sauteed spinach was a nice complementary component to the dish and we finished up everything on the plate! 

This is one dish I would highly recommend and it's now my favorite dish from Taza Fresh Table. 

We were also served with a plate of Pan Seared Chicken on a bed of Tagaytay mushrooms, marble potatoes, and drizzled with rich chicken jus. We were very much surprised when this dish arrived because it seemed like we were getting one entire chicken for the two of us, which speaks to the generosity of the food served at Taza. The chicken itself was beautifully cooked, still moist and flavored well to the bone. 

The chicken jus itself was so good and it tied the dish together! I honestly wish there was a bit more of it, because I would really lick the plate clean of it if I could (unfortunately we were on a romantic date so I had to be at my best behavior). 

As the great Greek Playwright Euripides once said, "Where there is no wine, there is no love." So it's a good thing the package comes with a bottle of Italian Sparkling Wine to add a bit more romance and flair to the air.

We had a few glasses of Italian Sparkling Wine, which complements all the food we ate quite beautifully. As soon as our wine glasses were nearly empty, our very attentive butler would fill up our glasses again. He did a great job! 

The bottle was a Spumante, Magia Fiore Bianco Sweet Sparkling Wine (Php 1,500) from Italy. I'm not an expert on wine but I thought it was a light, delicious bottle of wine.

A decadent Warm Chocolate Cake (Php 225) made with Alfonso Tablea, topped with queso de bola ice cream, was then served to cap off the wonderful evening. This is for those of you who love a rich, decadent finish to a great meal. It was still quite warm inside and was oozing with delicious chocolate when we sliced it open. 

The contrast between the richness of the warm chocolate and the cold queso de bola ice cream on top was heavenly. I absolutely love the quezo de bola ice cream and I think I can eat a lot of it on my own! 

We also had a serving of Olive Oil Ice Cream (Php 215), made with Tagaytay pineapple glazed in Don Papa rum. I loved the uniqueness of Olive Oil ice cream and the pineapples just rounds out the sweetness and complexity of this dish. 

My personal tip here is that if you can get your hands on a bit of sea salt and sprinkle it on the ice cream, it will enhance the flavor and make it even more tasty! 

At the end of the evening, this decadent Chocolate Meringue Cake (Php 1,500) made from The Cakeshop inside Taal Vista Hotel was presented to us in celebration of our anniversary. This was an upgrade to the chocolate pralines that is part of the basic intimate celebrations package.

Of course, we were already so full that we didn't get the chance to enjoy it during the night but over the next few days it was a pleasant reminder of the wonderful evening we had at Taza Fresh Table. The cake was layered with decadent chocolate and it also had a layer of chocolate mousse inside. I loved it!

The photos I took do not give justice to the beauty of both the food and the table arrangements. A romantic evening meant our main source of light was candlelight - not the best light source for photos. Nonetheless, the food looked and tasted impeccable when it was served in front of us. 

Food Quality: 5.0
Service Quality: -
Ambiance: 5.0

Overall Quality: 5.0

The Intimate Celebrations Package from Taal Vista Hotel is a great way to show your significant other how much you love them. Conversations filled with sweet words, the sparkle in her eyes, and a dazzling selection of impeccable food from Taza Fresh Table - I can't think of a better way to celebrate a year spent together. 

Come to think of it, Php 8,000 doesn't seem too bad compared to the amazing experience we had that night. It's a night we'll never forget, and that in itself is priceless. 

It's not often I give out a perfect rating, but Taza Fresh Table deserves it. One of the best restaurants not only in Tagaytay, but the Philippines!

Taza Fresh Table
Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway, Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City
Tel: +63 (02) 917-8225
Further reading you might like:

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Chef Jay

Taza Fresh Table - Taal Vista Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review. The author did not pay for any of the dishes mentioned in this article. This, however, does not impair the unbiased opinion of the reviewer. 

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