Creating comforting memories in Talisay


Talisay, The Garden Cafe in 44 Maginhawa St. in Diliman, Quezon City is definitely such a homey, refreshing and relaxing place to dine in. Chef Myke Tatung Sarthou's newest creation, Talisay, promises to "create memories you can look back on with fondness."

Such a lofty promise, but I would say that from the moment I entered the place, up to the time I left, every experience was truly something to "look back on with fondness."

The large glass windows that spans the breadth of one side of the place overlooks a lush and relaxing garden full of greens, with wooden benches for those who may wish to laze around outdoors. I can just imagine how elegant the place would be at night, with all the garden lights.

The adventure started with the lumpia fresca. I swear, this is not an appetizer as it is a meal in itself. It comes in three crepe flavors which, subtle as they may be, adds distinct flavors as the fillings are the same. The peanut sauce is so decadent - rich and creamy, but the overall taste profile is just amazing. The sweet nuttiness of the sauce adds sophistication to the fragrant sautéed coconut ubod subtly complemented by the mildly flavored crepes. The lumpia fresca is absolutely filling as it is delicious.

I then went directly to the main course with the Jamon de Talisay, a "cured slab of pork belly slowly roasted in a brick oven for 5 hours and finished in a pineapple glaze." The effect is a slightly sweetened flavorful dish that melts in your mouth. It is sinfully and satisfyingly decadent. And let me add that the fried potatoes that came with it is so so so so amazingly exquisite.

And then of course, there's the Fish Kinilaw, which is cubed tanigue cured in spiced coconut vinegar, served with slices of cucumber, onions, and tomatoes. The vinegar adds drama to the dish, and nostalgia at that, as rarely could we get authentic coconut vinegar in this part of the country.

As if you are already at the peak, but no, the highlight of the meal comes at the end.

The Talisay Signature Cassava Cheese Cake may look so ordinary, but, oh my God, it is heavenly!

As your fork breaks the caramelized top, then the super fluffy cream cheese, reaching the cassava layer and finally breaking the polvoron crust, oh my God, you know you are in for a treat. And as you put it in your mouth, oh goodness, speechless. A tear or two shamelessly fell from my eyes as the jewel that is Chef Tatung's cassava cheese cake melted in my mouth, and the beautiful textures blissfully teasing with every bite. Oh lord, it was bliss. An explosion of textures and flavors. But mind you, the flavors are very subtle, not one ingredient overpowering another. They just blend so well together creating this totally pleasurable experience.

In the end, Talisay does meet its goal of creating good memories to reminisce on and to crave for.

My compliments to the chef. Thank you for the wonderful experience. Looking forward to the day that you will bring Talisay's famous lechon to the metro.


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