(This article, “Dining at Chef Tatung’s,” was published in ClicktheCity.com last February 16, 2011)
“Are you related to Chef Tatung?” I get asked this question a lot lately. My standard reply is, “I’m not really sure, but I suppose we are.” It was most likely that we were related since we share the same (uncommon) surname. That was one of my reasons for going all the way to Chef Tatung’s in Sikatuna Village—to find an answer; the other was because I heard through my foodie friends that his “restaurant” is a must-try.
I am not even sure if it should be deemed a restaurant since Chef Tatung’s place is a house that is converted to a dining area. There is no signage out front but the gate is fully open and that is always a welcoming sign, I’d say. My siblings and I decided to check out both the place and the chef, and booked a four-course set meal for each of us one Sunday night.
As expected, the place has a rustic feel to it. Upon entering, we were greeted with a home-style dining room set-up that one would most likely see in typical Filipino homes. Wooden furnishings with solihiya-upholstered chairs welcome the diners. Each table is set with simple yet elegant dining ware. Around the room, there were displays of artworks, religious decors and such—all of which add charm to the place. The comfortable setting was nice but we decided to eat by the patio and enjoy the cool breeze while dining with a garden view.
The gourmet hideaway that is Chef Tatung’s is open daily for dinner (except during Wednesdays) and by reservation only. Its biggest come-on is that you get a four-course meal that is worthy of a five-star restaurant, but at a fraction of the cost. For a mere P500, each diner will get a bowl of hot soup, a serving of salad, a main course, and dessert—not to mention the freshly-baked bread that they serve even before the actual appetizers. The warm and chewy bread is served with butter, and can make you feel full when you nibble on it unconsciously. Save room for the rest of the dinner.
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