Tagaytay City dubbed as “Second Summer Capital of the Phillippines” is located at the south of Manila. The province is known for its mild climate (not anymore), great parks with views like Taal Volcano, beautiful churches and of course food. When we talk about food Tagaytay City is known for their “Bulalo” which is a Beef soup dish that has vegetables and accompanied by Fish sauce, Calamansi or Lime with Siling Labuyo or Chilies (personal preference). Back when i was still a teen, we often go to Leslie’s Tagaytay to eat. The place boasts their Bulalo and the view of the Taal Volcano while you are eating in a Nipa Hut Table and you feel the cool breeze. Time has passed and you wonder, Leslies Tagaytay is it still worth it?
A two weeks ago, we traveled to Tagaytay to pick up our Aunt who visited a friend. It was night time and I expected the cool weather of the province basing on my memories hence me bringing my jacket. Once we arrived, the province has a different feeling. Three to four years ago, me and my colleagues went there and I still can remember the cool climate, but now, it felt like I am still in Manila.
We then decided to eat before heading back to Manila. I recommended the Mahogany Market, because in my opinion they serve the best Bulalo in Tagaytay, because their beef came straight from the market so you can guarantee the freshness plus the price is very affordable. Unfortunately it was closed when we went there.
The next place would be Leslie’s because if you say Bulalo in Tagaytay, Leslie’s comes to mind. Went there and they do not allow pets, luckily the front desk personnel offered as a seat near the entrance where no other patrons are seating. The place is still the same from the last time I visited.
Of course we ordered their 2 Special Bulalo (PHP 695) then we added 2 Bistek Tagalog (PHP 375), Enseladang Talong (PHP 275), Sliced Mango with Bagoong (PHP 225), Miki Bihon Special (PHP 399), 2 Fried Tawilis (PHP 275) a must have when you are in the south area, and 2 Family Rice (PHP 259). For the food alone we spent PHP 4107 for a group of 10 which is not bad.
I was not able to take pictures of the food individually as we are all so hungry! Now here is my two cent about the food (my personal opinion). No complaints for Ensaladang Talong and Sliced Mango. Their Fried Tawilis is OK, I prefer a little more crispiness but it’s alright, for the price of PHP 275 I would expect more serving. Bistek Tagalog tasted fine, nothing special. Now for the highlight which is their Bulalo Special priced at PHP 695. It was very disappointing! Here are my complaints:
- The soup was not hot when served
- The meat is a little bit in the chewy side
- The price is I think is not worth it for the quality of the dish
Now again, this is just my personal opinion. Also, we went there during night time, I don’t know if they are understaffed but the service was a little bit slow and you would feel like they are tired of something. Again I would like to thank the lady in the front desk personnel for allowing us to dine in even with my dog being there. I am writing this article not to bash the restaurant but for them to use this for improvement.
Now the big question is, is it still worth the travel. For me Yes and No. Yes because the place is cozy and you would have a great view while eating (during the day) and No because for me, it became so commercialized that the quality of the food became so-so (just to reiterate, this is just based on my last visit). And I would recommend Mahogany Market if you really are looking for a Bulalo Dish that is tasty, affordable and worth every penny.