New restos to check out in Tagaytay

Tagaytay is easily everyone’s happy place because of its close proximity to Metro Manila, especially for a Southie like this writer.

As children, we often associated the place with horseback riding because this was how the adults introduced the place to us. With the construction of a theme park a few years later, we saw it as a place of expensive recreation because each ride had its own fee.

Growing out of those things made me see Tagaytay’s full potential and redefine its happy place aspect.

My recent trip to the area introduced me to three restaurants — Klara’s Bulalo Kafe, Gregorio’s Restaurant and Hello Café.

Klara’s Bulalo and Kafe.

Klara’s Bulalo Kafe

Klara’s serves the quintessential Filipino dishes with a little Italian influence. Its setup is casual, family-style dining that can sit up to 90 people.

During our visit, we sampled the deep-fried dilis served with atsara; the All-Meat pizza that is generously topped with marinara sauce, cheese, ham, olives, bacon bits, mushrooms and green and red bell peppers; kare-kare with the pata served upright; beef salpicao on a sizzling plate; and, the star of the show, beef bulalo.


All-meat pizza from Klara’s.


Klara’s takes pride in its beef bulalo because the fat doesn’t solidify when it gets cold. It offers soup refills for free to warm it up again.

It sources its ingredients locally. It has partnered with a local farm for vegetables and beef. Klara’s gets its coffee beans from Amadeo. Desserts are also supplied to them.

Klara’s Bulalo Kafe is located along Mahogany Avenue. Visit @klaraskafe on Facebook.

Gregorio’s Restaurant.


Gregorio’s Restaurant

Upon arrival at Gregorio’s Restaurant, I couldn’t help but admire the place’s rustic and very masculine interior design with a touch of femininity on the exteriors from the faux sunflowers scattered all over the entrance.

It’s perfect for people who are looking for a nice ambiance and good food.

Gregorio’s filled our stomachs with a mix of Filipino and Chinese dishes: chicken skin, deep-fried chicharon bulaklak, prawn crackers, cheesy dynamite and lumpiang shanghai for starters; pancit, deep-fried shrimp, their own version of adobo and laing for main course; and turon topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce for dessert.

Dr. Kim Fajardo, the owner who chatted with us during our visit, told us that he named the restaurant after his ninong (godfather) as a sign of pride because “you wouldn’t name your business after you or your loved one if you’re not proud of it or if you don’t hold accountability for your services, right?”

He also takes pride in how hands-on the family is in the business. His father, Reynaldo, sometimes acts as the welcoming committee at their other restaurant. He even chats with the patrons and asks them if they’re having a great time.

Gregorio’s restaurant is located at Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Kaybagal South, Tagaytay.


Hello Café

Hello Cafè.

Aptly situated at the entrance of Tagaytay — before the rotonda and near schools and other establishments — is Hello Café.

Great ambiance is a given for coffee shops and it’s no doubt that Hello Café is rich in that. But good coffee is rare and this small hub’s offerings pack a punch.

This writer got the Crème Brûlée coffee which followed what the dessert is known for — torched sugar on top. Its aesthetic equates to the taste and strength of the caffeine — not too sweet but will keep you on your toes for the whole day. Just how I like it.

I also ordered the banana cake with cream cheese in the middle — a slightly sweet snack that pairs well with my drink. Then there’s also the pesto pasta. The pasta is made fresh daily.

Head on to Hello Café on Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. for good coffee and movies as they roll down the projector screen and play well-beloved films.

Hello Café is located at Lot 2F-8, Polivel Subdivision, Maitim Second East, Tagaytay.