Food Trip: Chef Tatung’s Garden Cafe

Last Sunday, I was quite insistent that hubby and I try out a resto that we’ve never been to, some place where we normally wouldn’t go, so while I was at my favorite nail salon (California Nails, by the way), I googled away and read some good reviews about Chef Tatung’s Garden Cafe.
Normally, I wouldn’t drag hubby to such a far-flung place – it was located in Sikatuna Village, QC – which was across the metro from where we live, or more specifically, at the end of the metro from where we were lounging around that day in Intramuros. But the reviews and the thought of eating choc-nut cake overpowered our tendency to be Juan Tamad.
Getting there was quite easy thanks to Google Maps, but it would otherwise have been hard to find if you’re not familiar with the place. As soon as I saw the garden and the house turned cozy cafe, I knew we were in for a treat.
Inside the cafe

You can opt for al fresco dining

We were the only customers when we got there at 7, but the place soon filled up – a pity I didn’t take photos before eating (note to self: keep hunger in check!), perhaps a testament to the good food and service at this place. And the chef was right there in another table at the cafe with us

I got myself a glass of home-brewed iced tea – I was expecting the usual iced tea, but this one was good. In fact, I think it’s one of the best iced teas I’ve had. Very refreshing and not too sweet, it had that distinct aftertaste of fresh leaves (and so I didn’t feel cheated – it probably really was brewed right there).

Since it was just hubby and me, we settled for one dish each – he chose the Adobo Bisaya while I got the Prawns in Aligue Sauce. In case you haven’t noticed, those are our favorites. Hubby has in fact, mastered his own brand of adobo which we eat every weekend. 
I couldn’t decide which was better. The adobo was seriously to die for. It was different from your usual adobo, since this one had the pork deep fried. Come to think of it though, the adobo was actually a cross between lechon kawali and adobo.  The meat was so tender it kind of melted in my mouth. And the pork skin was very crispy. The entire thing was so tasty right down to the last morsel.
Bisaya Adobo

served with achara and a vinegar/soy sauce mix with onions and a bit of chilli.

The prawns, on the other hand, were cooked so perfectly that the shell would come off where my pork touches. I kind of appreciated that fact because some restos tend to overcook to shrimp and it’s hard to peel them off with the meat sticking. And the sauce was so good – aligue (crab fat) with lots of chilli (the labuyo variety included). Not exactly the healthiest option that night but who’s counting calories when the food was this good?

The actual highlight of the evening though, was the warm tsoknut chocolate cake. I can’t even describe how good it was – the moist chocolate cake, the choc-nut topping, the chocolate syrup dripping along the sides. It was so good that hubby was berating me for getting only one slice and for not ordering another one for take home.

Warm Tsoknut Chocolate CakeI would gladly come back for more of this
Prices are quite alright – our bill was only around Php1,200. And the service was good, not obtrusive at all (which is one of my pet peeves). Check out their website here and treat yourself. As for me, will definitely be back!

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