Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Birthday Surprise Part 1: TAGAYTAY

I honestly had no plans on what do to for my birthday. I was already satisfied for the Brazil getaway I experienced with my Mama. Little did I know, Mike was preparing something for my special day.

It was Saturday, August 31 (2 days before my birthday), he told me to prepare early the next day and wear a smart casual outfit. I was kinda confused because days before he was giving hints on what his surprise would be, hints like scuba diving in Anilao or going to The Farm in San Benito or visiting Coritos Garden which is also in Batangas. Isip ko, if he will bring me to Anilao & Coritos Garden, he should have told me to bring a bikini and if he'll bring me to The Farm, I should wear something very casual and comfy. And because I don't want to spoil his surprise all I did was follow.

Fast forward to Sunday, he picked me up at around 9am in my house in QC then my Surprise Birthday began. While driving to SLEX, I got so anxious I kept on asking him tons of questions but he kept mum, so when we passed by Paseo & Nuvali I became rowdy, I knew right away that he is taking me to Tagaytay but still kept quiet to where exactly he's taking me. 

Going South

It was only 11am when we arrived at the rotunda proper so he told me to stop over at Cliffhouse (I actually was really clueless why he did it but I'll figure it out later on). We were just there sitting and taking pictures which was a bit awkward because the restaurant staff around the area were confused as to why we were there-tanong ko rin yan.

at Cliffhouse

So when we were about to leave, the parking guard asked us for a receipt (syempre wala naman kaming receipt kasi tumambay lang kami) because we have nothing to present, he asked for a regular parking fee of P100! We both exclaimed in disbelief but we couldn't argue anymore. I seriously wanted to ask Mike why he did something completely senseless but I didn't want to turn the mood down.

While we were at the car, he finally told me that he'll take me to Sonya's Garden for lunch. Weeh? I felt kinda weird because I know that the choices of food there are mostly organic & healthy which was not Mike's type but I just shut my mouth and just went with the flow.

Then we passed by Antonio's signage. I told Mike that I just saw Antonio's signage (we were planning to eat there years before), he looked at me and asked me if I was sure, I said yes of course, then after a few minutes he stopped over at a local fruit stand- isip isip ko, ano kaya ang koneksyon ng prutas sa surprise nya sakin.. Yun pala he made a U-turn! Haha! Alam na!!!

Antonio's is a fine dining restaurant set in the most romantic part of Luzon. Antonio's is known for the excellent reviews of foodies from the Philippines and even from different parts of the world. It boasts on serene & romantic ambiance, world renowned dishes and excellent service. That's why Mike and I had long been planning to go here to experience the best of Philippine dining. 

We were one of the early birds to arrive, we stayed at the receiving area to check our reservations. According to Mike, they don't allow walk ins and require to reserve days before. They start accepting customers at 11:30am so that was the reason why we stopped at Cliffhouse first.

Receiving Area

A lady then asked us to proceed to our seats and introduced us to two wait staff. 

In just a few minutes a dashing middle aged guy greeted us and introduced himself, the name was Chef Antonio Escalante! In the flesh!!! Gosh!!! My jaw dropped and suddenly wanted to gush but of course I kept my composure. He then introduced us the menu and recommended dishes of one of his bestsellers and new ones we might love to try. While he was talking I began thinking that Mike might have a surprise with Chef Antonio's participation so I was just waiting the whole time we were talking (Haha! I was so assuming, Mike was also surprised we were greeted by THE Chef Antonio!) And because we became so star strucked we forgot to ask for a picture (major fail!!!) I just hope he is reading this now baka he might grant my request the next time we're in Tagaytay. Hahaha!

We ordered Chef Antonio's recommendations & bestsellers.

Complimentary Whole Wheat Placid Bread were served. The bread is crispy and yummy though we didn't ask for additional serving, we were saving our tummies for the next dishes.

Whole Wheat Placid Bread
For the drinks we ordered 1 1/2 karaf of Freshly Squeezed Dalandan Juice P315. This was the best tasting dalandan juice I've ever tried! The unique thing about this drink is that the ice is made out of dalandan juice so the consistency of the juice when the ice melts is still the same. 

Dalandan Juice
For appetizer, we ordered one Steak Tartar with Gorgonzolla P850. As recommended by Chef Antonio, this is one of the new dishes on his menu. Mike loved this so much! The coldness of the raw meat added savor to the dish. 

Steak Tartar with Gorgonzolla

When you order the set menu it comes with a soup, salad, main entree, coffee/tea and dessert. 
Here is the Spanish Style Garlic Soup

Spanish Style Garlic Soup
Antionio's Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette and Basil Oil

Antonio's Salad
For the main entree, I ordered Antonio's Trio P2,200, a bestseller.
Grilled Beef Fillet Gratinated w/ Cepes-morel, Black Truffle & Mashed Potato 
Beef Fillet Plancha Topped with Seared Foie Gras, Gratin Potato with Port Wine Sauce
Honey Glazed Lambloin Gratinated with Goat Cheese

Got to taste a foie gras once again. Everything is cooked to perfection & every bite titillates your senses. Heavenly! So heavenly! :)

Antonio's Trio- foie gras we meet again

Mike's main entrees- Duo of French Poultry Roasted Duck Breast & Squab, Mixed Berries in Red Wine Jus & Confit Potato on Duck Fat with Pan Seared Foie Gras P2,300
This flavorful duck dish is another one of Antonio's bestsellers. As equally delectable as Antonio's Trio.

Duo of Duck Breast and Squab

After eating our main entree, the wait staff asked us if we like coffee or tea, I asked for a tea and she served me a Tarragon Flavored Tea while waiting for our desserts.

Tarragon Tea
For Mike's dessert, he ordered Dark Chocolate Souffle with Cardamom Creme Anglaise. Reminded him of MasterChef US Whitney's memorable dish.


For my dessert I got Panna Cotta with Honeycomb Caramelo. Simple yet tasteful, order this if you don't want something heavy for your dessert.

Pana Cotta
Then a Flourless Chocolate Birthday Cake surprised me! Thank you to Mike and Antonio's staff for making this day extra special :) We were so full we didn't get to finish this cake  and when I asked the wait staff if I could bring it home, he graciously said he'd give me a new one, now that's what you call superior service! :)

Floureless Chocolate Cake

Birthday Wishing

Thank you Mike for the unforgettable date (as usual!) Going to Antonio's Tagaytay is one of the places you need to visit at least once in your lifetime :)

After our lunch, Mike then drove to Sonya's Garden to treat me for a full body spa, I haven't mentioned I was suffering from jet lag at that time so a relaxing Sonya's Signature Massage was a perfect way to cap off the day. 

Sonya's Garden and Spa

Spa Room

And so I thought my birthday celebration was over... but wait, there's more :)

Related Post:


You Might Also Like


  1. The famous sonyas garden. Super sweet. Lovely couple! God bless you both. Love love love :))

  2. The famous sonyas garden. Super sweet. Lovely couple! God bless you both. Love love love :))


Like us on Facebook