Eating Out: Tootsie’s | Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines

Last week, on the third day of the new year, we did an impromptu Tagaytay getaway just for the heck of it. What was surprising was finding a place to stay for the night on such short notice that was also pet-friendly!

Here’s the amazing view of Taal Lake from our room at Casa Alegria Bed & Breakfast. I woke up at 7 a.m. and chanced upon that. Very nice and peaceful. Taal Volcano – an active volcano – is in that area. FYI: if you’re considering Casa Alegria, choose rooms 6 and 7. 🙂 Just a note of warning: the place is privately-owned so service can be a little spotty. But if you like peace and quiet, then go for it.

Anyway, the volcano is the main reason for me to go to Tagaytay. The other reason is, of course, food (kinda like the food from Balay Dako and Breakfast at Antonio’s). I used to love Tagaytay when I was younger, but over-development and the corresponding traffic nightmare have caused me to feel reluctant to go there. That’s the down side when you remember the good ol’ days.

Aversion aside, Tagaytay delivered good food once again. My mom brought us to Tootsie’s for lunch. She’s been there before and she wanted to eat tawilis and maliputo, two fishes that can only be found in the freshwater Taal Lake. Hubby and I have only eaten tawilis, so maliputo was worth a try (or a bite).

For this meal, we ordered Inihaw na Maliputo, Fried Tawilis, Tilapia Frita, Nilaga and Adobong Kangkong.

Here’s the untried fish, Inihaw na Maliputo! They grilled it and served it with chopped onions, tomatoes and mangoes with a shrimp paste dip. The taste reminded me of pompano, which I like. Since it’s a seasonal fish, it costs PhP190 per 100 grams. The fish we ate was 300 grams.

Inihaw na Maliputo

Here’s the Fried Tawilis. I was having a tough time eating it until hubby showed me an easy way to remove the bones off the fish. I thought it looked like tuyo.

Fried Tawilis

The Tilapia Frita was a new addition to the menu. This crispy, deep-fried slices of tilapia is supposed to be “Funchy Crunchy!” and it was! Loved it.

Tilapia Frita

Hubby wanted Nilagang Bulalo (Filipino Beef Bone Marrow Soup), but they didn’t have the bone marrow for some reason. They gave us the soup with veggies only, which worked out well. The broth was delicious!

Nilaga

As usual, we ordered the unpretentious Adobong Kangkong. That’s a favorite veggie dish we order in any restaurant when it’s available. I love kangkong, whether it’s adobong kangkong or crispy kangkong.

Adobong Kangkong

Verdict: Eating at Tootsie’s was one heck of a noisy and windy meal. But that’s not on them; that’s on us. We requested outdoor seating so our little dog can sit in his stroller and hang out with us while we eat. They gave us a nice big table, but with the busy road so close, how can we expect some peace and quiet?

Tootsie’s is very accessible right off the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway. They’ve got enough parking spaces for their customers. There’s a comfy vibe going on, perfect for such a family-friendly place. They won brownie points from me when they allowed our little guy to sit with us outside.

They specialize in what I consider legacy dishes – recipes that get passed on from one generation to the next. While we didn’t try their meat dishes, what we did try was delicious seafood in season. With fish sourced from local waters, it was eating local at its best. It wasn’t farm-to-table freshness; it was lake-to-table! Good job, Tootsie’s. Oh, and thanks for introducing us to maliputo.

Address:
Tootsie’s
Aguinaldo Hwy, Crossing Silang East
Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite, Philippines