Antonio’s was born not as restaurant, but as a farm. Apparently Chef Tony Boy left the airlines industry and with his wife Agnes started up the farm supplying Manila’s higher-end restaurants with fresh produce; and eventually providing the ingredients for Antonio’s eclectic menu. Chef Tony’s has a strong pedigree: Gaucho Argentinean Restaurant, Hilton Adelaide, and Mandarin Oriental’s prestigious Tivoli Grill.
Chef Tony’s fine dining Antonio’s, set up in the picturesque rolling hills of Tagaytay, opened in November 2002 to much critical and popular acclaim. Antonio’s was listed as one of the top twenty restaurants in Asia in the 2013 edition of The Miele Guide. Antonio’s also made it into San Pellegrino’s 2015 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
The restaurant is housed in a lovely colonial bungalow with sprawling grounds.
There’s even a amazing garden where you can host weddings; we happened to be there while they were preparing for one.
Quirky landscaping and decor is part of the fun experience walking the grounds.
I love the open concept and the stately decor of the restaurant with natural cooling form the highland breeze.
We opted for the lunch tasting menu, and ordered a carafe of freshly squeezed Dalandan juice, a refreshing drink made from local oranges.
The berry sorbet got us off to a good start.
The creamy squash-like soup was light and tasty.
The garden salad from their farm was fresh and very refreshing, whetting our appetite.
The next course was the most anticipated one, as I’d read it’s raves on Chubby Hubby blog – the Foiè Gras Potato Truffle Tempura. A truly innovative heavenly delight of complimentary ingredients.
The pasta course of Steamed clams, saffron garlic confit tagliatelle was very well executed; fresh seafood with al dente pasta, where the portion is small enough to leave you yearning for more.
The main course was Griddled Dry Aged Prime Ribeye Steak Certified Angus Prime Roast Beef, served with Cream Pepper Sauce and Spinach Casserole; done just medium rare with the sauce served on the side in a neat little copper pot.
The intermezzo before dessert was the Dalandan slush, an excellent palate cleanser.
Alan and I shared 2 desserts. The Souffle was beautifully baked; a truly test of a baker’s skill to get it to rise fluffily.
The second dessert of home-made chocolate ice-cream was good too.
We were so stuffed that we decided to explore the bungalow to walk off the meal. The interior is very elegant and regal as befitting a building of this stature, yet quirkiness abound as you explore the place. Case in point is the toilet; rather interesting that there’s a couple seat. I wonder how that works?
My favourite discovery on walk of the grounds, and again to do with the toilet, is the signage, which I’m sure women would agree heartedly. Overall Antonio’s is a great culinary experience and it’s easy to understand why it is so revered, by locals and all.