After a few visits, I dare to make a few observations. China Blue is consistently good. C Lounge still a great place to watch sunset, except that their coffee service was better before. And the Brasserie I’d rather forget.
This time was a dimsum lunch. Fish lip soup here is tops. (I remember the other 2 soups I tried here before were also good) As for the dimsum, the truffle mushroom buns were still as I remember. The Xiao Long Bao, hakao, pork siomai, taro with scallops and the bean curd were delish. But the top marks go to that basket of “imitation green pears and carrots” bearing duck filling (pears) and pork (carrots). Soooo good. I had one of each on top of 1 piece each of the xiao long bao and other dimsum.
The flavours burst in your mouth with each morsel. Dimsum was never more fun. And I thought I had fun with that mushroom-looking truffle bun! For starters, we had our fill of that fish lip soup which stayed hot the whole time because it was served on a bowl warmed by a tea candle underneath. Oh, China Blue always plates their food soooo well. This served me well as I simply love taking my own sweet time when dining. 😍🍵🥢
The next time I’m back, you’d find me ordering this fish lip soup and basket of pears and carrots plus the truffle buns. I also do remember a great sorbet dessert here but we chose to move to C Lounge for our coffee and later, afternoon tea set for sharing. Scones, tea cakes, spring rolls, etc served in this special wooden tray with all sorts of contraptions. The coffee wasn’t served in a similar “contraption” I remember, though. (Check it out : https://jollybelly.weebly.com/blog/not-so-blue-in-china-blue-conrad-hotel )
Anyway, the C Lounge at 4pm isn’t as good as around 5:30pm. The afternoon sun can be blinding so choose where you’d sit. But come sunset, it’s a superb place to be. You may even choose to step outside right where you have an unobstructed view of the Ferris wheel and the bay. Lovely sunset by the Bay!
We had a very, very late lunch last Maundy Thursday here. After visiting a few churches along the Ridge running from Tagaytay through Alfonso, Cavite, we headed back towards the Junction and found Rolando’s near other favorite dining destinations like Balay Dako and Leslie’s. Our very first time to dine here and we were all pleasantly surprised. First off, the restaurant is so easy to spot — right along the ridge! — and the space and high ceiling are both refreshing and relaxing. Unlike other bistros with cramped space and charmless decor, Rolando’s is a visual feast.
The lunch crowd has gone by the time we got there. It was like past 3pm, nearly 4pm even, but the service staff led by its Manager Neil were all so very attentive. The menu is one huge, irresistible temptation though. An invitation to gluttony. Initially, we thought we’d do with a healthy fare like ordering the baby tawilis and seafood platter. Them crabs and shrimps and squid and mussels always win though. One seafood platter. We were also convinced to order an additional baked fish dish upon Neil’s suggestion, which turned out to be soooo good. You think we had way too much? There’s more!
Our lunch turned out to be a feast. The seafood platter and baked fish with bulalo soup would have been enough. But. And more buts. Crispy Pata is as Filipino as one gets and it’s almost criminal not to have it on the table especially when with balikbayans. A standard fare, if you ask me. Thank God we were able to resist ordering Kare Kare, which is an ubiquitous partner to the Crispy Pata. Plus we “needed” to order Pancit because someone in our group is celebrating her birthday. Not just one order of noodles but 2!
We enjoyed the seafood, and likewise the meat. The shellfish was good, the baked fish done to perfection, the crispy pata and bulalo always a hit, the baby tawilis a crunchy and fresh surprise. I do not know how we found the room for all these delectable dishes. To think that we even ordered appetizers of sisig and we even had our buko shakes 😂😂😂
I wasn’t kidding when I wrote that the menu was an invitation to indulge. How can you resist sisig and bulalo? Why dine in Tagaytay if you couldn’t even enjoy your baby tawilis? Why not order an entire seafood platter if you can’t decide which among mussels, squid, crabs, shrimps and fish to feast on? The big plus though is the service and attention we received. The staff was most accommodating, especially Manager Neil. So gracious and efficient, the rest of the staff take their cue from him. How refreshing!
Nearly forgot. We even had shrimps cooked another way. And Pork Binagoongan which was hardly touched. Not because it wasn’t good, but because we FINALLY reached that threshold! Gosh, I honestly thought we’d never get there. By now, you do take my word re gluttony, right? A bottomless pit? Babette’s Feast. And it was Lent. We sinned. Wayyyyy too much.
Lastly, how can you celebrate birthdays without the noodles for long life? And a birthday cake so you can make a wish and blow a candle? For good measure, we had the option to enjoy Tagaytay fruits as well as some Ginataang BiloBilo just so we don’t go home regretting NOT ordering them. Oh, Lord. Forgive us 🙏🏻
Thank you, Rolando’s. We’re rolling over with satisfaction. We’d be back, perhaps before sunset for cocktails before a sumptuous feast. It must be lovely waiting with a drink while watching the sun set from your porch. 🥂🍺🍷