For a lot of young professionals such as ourselves, work can be really stressful most of the time. As such, we tend to maximize the weekend to do something that will keep our minds off our work whether it be relaxing or going on an out of town trip. One of the more popular out of town destinations at least for people living in the Metro Manila would be Tagaytay thanks to its cooler than usual temperature. Besides the cuddle weather, Tagaytay is also home to a lot of really good restaurants, some of which are really hidden so you have to rely on Google maps or Waze to locate it. An exquisite restaurant that we think everyone should know about is The Domaine.
The Domaine is owned by Chef Robbie Ripalda, who we were very blessed to meet. Besides being a restaurateur, he is also the Chef de Cuisine or “Head of Kitchen” so he is the heart of The Domaine.
We were very inspired by his dedication in achieving his dream of being a chef. He told us that his journey started at a young age of fifteen (15) where he washed dishes so he can see food being prepared and cooked. Several years later, he went to France to further hone his culinary skills and pastry craft making by studying at Le Cordon Bleu and working at well-known French restaurants. He then returned here in the Philippines to have his very own restaurant, The Domaine.
The “domaine,” which means an ‘estate’ in French, and ‘vineyard’ in English aptly describes The Domaine restaurant.
When you arrive at the place, you’ll be greeted by an expanse of greenery with a huge house that is actually a restaurant itself. I’m not much into architecture, but I can appreciate its concave roof and its stylish appearance.
Upon entering, looking to the left, there is a waiting area and a television that promotes the restaurant’s mobile applications that we heard will be launched by this September. Awesome!
To the right is the dining area. The wooden furniture gives the rustic feeling that is reminiscent of a vineyard restaurant but still gives off a homey atmosphere. Meanwhile, the wine displays added the refined touch to complete the restaurant’s interior. Simple elegance at its finest as it is open-air indoor dining for customers to enjoy the fresh Tagaytay air.
We can imagine that the place will be more romantic during dinner time with only the lighting fixtures illuminating the place.
By the way, we heard that special occasions can also be held here. Well, not just this dining area, but the entire place. The Domaine offers different kinds of packages and special prices from weddings to afternoon tea parties.
Since we dined here for lunch, we chose to sit at the window side so we could enjoy natural lighting.
For those who are into wine and cheese pairings, you can choose to sit in the bar area.
As Chef Robbie has mastered French culinary techniques, the food offered are world class that will excite anyone. What is great here is that almost all the ingredients are locally sourced.
Similar to other restaurants, The Domaine offers complimentary appetizers to their customers. I must say that theirs is one of the best I’ve tried yet.
They served GARLIC BREAD WITH 3 DIPS: GARLIC PUREE, BALSAMIC CARAMEL & SMOKED FISH TAPENADE. If they hadn’t told us that it was a complementary appetizer, I would have thought that this is also one of their offerings because of the way they presented it.
Unlike the garlic bread that you may find in a common bread store, their bread was toasted perfectly, had real garlic on top, and the dips that came with it are wonderful. Out of the three dips, I liked the Balsamic Caramel the most because it was unique and I love the taste of Balsamic vinegar in general. Who knew Balsamic vinegar and caramel can go well together?
Anyway, we heard they change their complementary appetizers from time to time, so there is something to look forward to in every visit.
Moving over to our salad, we went with the SOLO SERVING OF FRESH MOZARELLA AND GRILLED SWEET BELL PEPPER SALAD WITH TOASTED CITRUS DRESSING, PhP 325 (or 17.73 USD). Please take note that this wasn’t the actual serving since they already divided the salad for the two of us. How nice of them.
The name might be a mouthful, but after trying it, our mouth was literally full of it. We loved the fresh mozzarella cheese because it was made from Carabao’s milk. Plus, it was milky, smooth, tender and just really delicious that works well as the centerpiece of the entire salad.
When we ate the combination of mozarella cheese, fresh lettuce, sweet bell peppers and onion topped with the citrus dressing, it was healthily satisfying. According to Me-An, she can have salad for all her meals everyday if this is what she is having.
For our main course, we ordered the SOLO SERVING OF ROASTED RIB EYE À LA “BLANQUETTE” WITH SAUTÉED PARSLEY RICE, PhP 645 (or 35.19 USD). The solo serving was already good for sharing for us since we had a salad and we would still be having a dessert. We just ordered an additional parsley rice.
We loved that the rib eye was cooked in medium-well and it was made into a “blanquette” which means a stew made with a white sauce. Don’t expect it to be creamy since it shouldn’t be. The blanquette enhanced the juiciness of the rib eye. Meanwhile, the added lemon juice made it zesty so we kept craving for more. The other ingredients in the stew such as the onions, carrots and mushrooms were flavorful on their own as we think they were cooked separately. When we ate the combination of everything, the dish was sensational for us. We can imagine eating this every special occasion.
Ending our meal on a sweet note, we tried their TRIO OF HOMEMADE ICE CREAM, PhP 365 (or 19.91 USD). From the name itself, they offer three homemade ice creams that came from natural ingredients. Well, we honestly found this pricey since the serving was tiny for us.
The first on the ice cream was their GINGERBREAD ICE CREAM. I and Me-An didn’t really know the actual taste of Gingerbread but thankfully, my best friend and his French boyfriend, YM, followed us to The Domaine.
YM attested that the ice cream really tasted like a real gingerbread. He loved the spices in the ice cream and he loved it the most of the three.
Next was the ROSE ICE CREAM. Yes, you read that right. They used actual roses to make into a syrup then they used it in the ice cream. Well, that explains the price of the ice cream. I heard from Chef Robbie that this flavor is actually quite popular in Islam countries. It was very sweet and creamy much but I haven’t tried rose flavor before. Me-An, on the other hand, drank rose milk before in Malaysia so she stated that it really tasted rose. She was so happy about it.
Finally, the last of the trio is their SALTED CARAMEL which is quite a staple in a lot of desserts. We couldn’t taste the salt in this one, but since Me-An and I love caramel, we preferred it that way.
Our meal was supposed to be done, but Chef Robbie insisted that we should try out their signature dessert, MADELEINES, PhP 395 (or 21.55 USD). According to Chef Robbie, Madeleines pronounced as [mad.lɛns], are a very known tea cake for French people, and there is no French person that doesn’t like madeleines. I guess we could agree to that as our French friend was definitely excited about those Madeleines.
The Domaine’s madeleines are made to order. Indeed, it is freshly baked with a waiting time of at least fifteen (15) minutes. This is to ensure the quality is consistent as well as the flavors that they offer differ depending on the demand and season.
As of this writing, the Domaine offers Jasmine Tea with Mango, Earl Grey, and Four Berries flavors. Madeleines are basically small sponge cakes. As I’m not very much of a tea person, I really couldn’t comment much on the Jasmine and Earl Grey. Our favorite out of the three was the Four Berries since we like berries.
For our drinks, Me-An ordered their CINNAMON ICED TEA while I, on the other hand, got the CALAMANSI VANILLA both cost PhP 120 (or 6.55 USD). The Calamansi Vanilla might look like an ordinary calamansi juice at first, but if you look closely, you’ll see grounded Vanilla bean. This is one of the ingredients that isn’t locally sourced since we don’t have vanilla here. It was imported from Tahiti. The vanilla taste was ever so slightly that might not be tasted at the first try, but it was definitely there.
Like my drink, Me-An’s Cinnamon Iced Tea might look really ordinary at first, but they put cinnamon stick instead of cinnamon powder. It was my first time seeing the real thing and it was a nice treat since it really added flavor to the iced tea.
We mentioned above that The Domaine will be launching their own mobile application called “The Domaine” app. It enables customers to order on the go even while they are not yet in the restaurant. After confirming their order and scheduling a time, it can ensure the customer that their food will be ready upon arrival.
The said app is also used for their menu. Customers can just choose by pressing and they will see how much their total bill will be. That was the case for us.
I will make a separate post about their app once it goes live. For now, you can see the expense in the photo above.
The Domaine is Reasonable
Honestly, we were initially hesitant when we checked their menu that was uploaded in Zomato. This was because we thought The Domaine offers food that is normally served in other restaurants. We were proven wrong since they have food on their updated menu that is unique. The names of the dishes itself are mouthwatering for us as we scanned the menu.
While the prices may turn off some people, do note that this restaurant goes head to head with the top tier restaurants in Tagaytay that charge way more than what The Domaine charges for. Their exquisite food is truly comparable if not superior. They have impeccable staff that is not only attentive and respectful, but also knowledgeable. Go ahead and ask them, they can answer you since they’ve tried the food themselves. This is significant for us since a recommendation is helpful when choosing what to eat.
We deem The Domaine as reasonable from special occasions, romantic dates to casual dining. The Domaine as we mentioned above serves some of their food according to the season. Thus, it raises the food experience for customers. Most of their ingredients are locally sourced. Best of all, they have four kinds of servings to choose from: solo (for 1-2 people depending on the kind of eater), small (3-4 people), medium (6-8 people), and large (10-12 people).
Finally, Tagaytay may be a bit far from Metro Manila, but we assure you it is worth the drive when you dine at The Domaine. We had such a superb food experience that is one for the books.
And for those who prefer watching a video rather than watching, this one is for you…
Patindig Araw Street, Purok 1, Malabag, Silang, Tagaytay City
Operating Hours: 11:30AM to 10:30PM daily