And he is back. CHEF TATUNG is back with a vengeance. Wildly known as the go to guy for PYANGGANG MANUK and BRINGHE, he opted to open a new restaurant. At first he wasn't actually thinking of opening another one but now, he has TALISAY.
TALISAY sits on a renovated house along MAGINHAWA in QUEZON CITY. Here, they make their own bread and everything is done in house.
The food is simple but surprisingly good and straight to the point. Done extremely well, it's all FILIPINO FOOD with a little twist here to make your palate interested. One could start off with the bread of the day. For us it was the sourdough pandesal. Later on, you could go for some FRESH UBOD LUMPIA. With a peanut and garlic sauce, you're transported back to your province.
For the SALAD, you could get the GOAT'S CHEESE. The cheese is locally sourced. It compliments the greens extremely well. Dressing used was a herb vinaigrette. It was tangy and sweet at the same time. The flavor worked well with me.
One could never go wrong with KINILAW. According to Chef Tatung, the fish are all fresh. They never get to spend overnight in the freezer. They use every single one each day.
Initially, Chef wanted to do a small tasting dinner type restaurant. Something with a few seats, when he visited this empty place along MAGINHAWA, he knew he had to get it. A few meetings here and there, brought him to the family that owned the place. There, they became partners and opened up TALISAY. Chef really made each dish from the heart. The dishes are all cooked step by step as they should. No shortcuts according to the chef. The KALDERETANG KAMBING is known as a best seller. This mild spicy goat stew is perfect with rice. A Cebuano Classic, the BALBACUA is tender and quite different. You rarely see Filipino restaurants in the metro serve this. It is oxtail and tendons that really works.
Another perfect dish to partner with rice would be their LENGUA IN MUSHROOM CREAM SAUCE. The ox tongue is spiked with a 3 mushroom gravy. Super delicious.
The PESCADO Y COCO is a whole fish cooked in spicy coconut cream with tomatoes and ginger. This dish reminds me of my childhood when my grandmother would make the same. As I mentioned the meat of the fish was extremely fresh.
Chef's take on DINAKDAKAN was interesting. The flavor profiles were all there. Something different though was his use of pork chop. Rather than having everything cut up, he served it whole.
Something really decadent would be the JAMON DE TALISAY. A brick-oven slow-roasted ham is cooked with pineapple glaze and vegetables. This sweet little thing makes you want to get more rice.
IN TERMS OF SPECIALS, Chef Tatung has a couple. THE PAELLA MIXTA and the PALABOK NEGRA.
The PAELLA MIXTA is his special blend of seafood and chicken. The rice were plump and the socarrat or burnt rice were really good. The PALABOK NEGRA seemed like fideua. It is the chef's take on the classic noodle dish.
These are meals into themselves. No need for viands or other things. Just try them and you will know what I mean.
To top everything off, you have to order dessert. People would usually go for their CASSAVA CHEESECAKE. It is somewhat different but their DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE with YEMA filling is to die for. No, it isn't extremely sweet. It is perfect with a cup of coffee. Just incredible honestly.
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TALISAY THE GARDEN CAFE is a great addition to the bustling food scene in Maginahawa. Located on Number 44 Maginhawa Street, UP-Village, Quezon City. They open at 11am and closes at 11pm. They have available parking infront.
Disclaimer: wrote this based on my experience. was invited to try out this restaurant.