With all I had heard about Leslie’s Restaurant Tagaytay I was left feeling disappointed after our lunch. It is not all good in the city of Tagaytay… Find out why…
Leslie’s Restaurant Tagaytay
Tagaytay is a popular holiday town in Manila south. With it’s mild climate and majestic views of taal lake and volcano, it is an easy draw card fir sightseers an those wanting a quick getaway from the big city. It is also near the province of Batangas which is known for its bulalo.
Regarded as the signature dish of the province, Bulalong Batangas (or bone marrow soup) has beef shank boiled in water with garlic, black pepper, onions, and salt. It also has added vegetables, like cabbage, potatoes, corn and beans.
Leslie’s Restaurant Tagaytay Review
Leslie’s Restaurant is one of those well known, ‘Must visit’ restos for couples, families and large groups when visiting Tagaytay. Reading other reviews it is easy to see they have become well known for their good food and great location and I will admit, Leslie’s serves the best Bulalo I have tried in a long time!
Disappointment from the start…
After we visited the Peoples Park, we went to Leslie’s Restaurant Tagaytay for lunch. Upon entering, and standing at reception, no one greeted us. We waited… nothing… so we decided to show ourselves to where we want to be seated. It was only then that a waiter approached us, not to greet us but to tell us the table we wanted was reserved. Finally they found us us a table where we could see Taal Lake.
Oh, but that was not the end of it.. once we ordered we were told it takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour to prepare our meals. OMG… I was so hungry by this time… but we agree to wait while enjoying the view.
From the outside the Resto is a combination of modern Filipino and Spanish styling. This mainly wood and stone architecture sets it apart from other establishments in the area.
Not So “Free” Music At Leslie’s Tagaytay
Leslie’s Restaurant has a selection of souvenirs available at the counter as well as resident musicians that will serenade you. But be warned… As the song finished, they kept on standing by our table, not leaving. Then we realized they were waiting for what they call a “donation”… but what I call “enforced payment”!
We didn’t ask for them to sing for us, we thought it was part of the restaurant’s entertainment provided for their guests. I mean I wouldn’t mind giving a tip if we actually had requested a specific song… but we didn’t.
Anyway, I am always amazed at the caliber of talent, and these singers along with the guitars in the background were another addition to one of the best lunches.
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ― Dr. Seuss
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Food At Leslie’s Tagaytay
Here is what we ordered:
Bulalo Special (₱695)
I loved this dish…
A soup dish consisting of beef shanks and bone marrow. The original way of cooking this dish is to simply stew the beef shanks and bone marrow with added salt and pepper to season. Variations come into play when you use ingredients you may not have cooked before, such as adding oxtail and depending on what vegetables you would like to add to the dish – may it be corn, plantain banana, string beans, onions, bokchoy, cabbage, garlic, ginger, potato, carrots, or pechay.
***Just a fair warning: always be mindful of your heart. Bulalo is high in fat content so better ask your doctor if it’s ok to sip the delicious and suck the marrow out of life, errr, bone. But just like any of our favorite foods, moderation is the key.
Grilled stuffed squid or nihaw na pusit (₱245)
The Nihaw Na Pusit was not that good. It was rubbery and over-cooked. An easy dish to make but they seemed to do it badly.
This dish is one of the simplest to cook Filipino dish that is also incredibly delicious. The result is a tasty and tender grilled squid. The stuffing made the dish more appetizing. I think that the dipping sauce also made a huge difference in making the dish stand out.
You can eat Inihaw na Pusit as an appetizer, pulutan, as an entrée for lunch or dinner. When it’s as fresh as can be, marinated and grilled just right, inihaw na pusit makes a perfect pulutan choice to accompany beer or the best companion for a steaming hot cup of rice. Good grilled squid should always be tender yet moderately chewy and should be tasty even without being dependent on lots of dipping sauce.
Buko Pandan Salad ((₱145)
A dessert consisting of pandan flavored gelatin cubes, shredded Fresh coconut mixed with cream and some condensed milk to sweeten. This is a dessert recipe I enjoy more than fruit salad, it is my favorite Filipino dessert served during any kind of party and special occasions in the Philippines. You can add ingredients like tapioca pearls (sago), kaong , nata de Coco and Ice cream topping.
While waiting for your orders or even after dining, you can enjoy the great view of Taal and take a few Instagram-worthy selfies because this place offers an unobstructed view of Taal.
After we finished dining, we went to the cottage – where we able to see full view of Taal Volcano while chitchatting and enjoying a buko juice or two.. The view is just breathtaking, with the cool wind blowing, the sun shining down while bonding, it’s truly a magnificent experience.
Poor customer Service
After eating, the waiter just tossed our bill on the table and left after getting the payment, not even bothering to say thank you. Seriously, Leslie’s staff needs some customer service training, particularly those manning the door… To think, they charge customers 10% on top of the bill.
During peak hours, waitlist lane usually gets quite long and is nearly always slow moving. But this isn’t about having too many butts and only a few seats. This is simply the lack of necessary skills and a bit of critical thinking from their staff.
Here’s an example, a very common scenario in Leslie’s:
- Waitlist #1 is a group of 12.
- #2 is a pair of guests,
- #3 a small group of 5,
- and #4 another group of 4.
There are 3 big groups currently dining and lots of seats will be freed up as soon as they’re done. A table for 4 gets vacated. Since people are waiting — and hungry to be frank about it — the reasonable move is to allow #2 to sit and start taking orders.
But the staff don’t seem to understand this reasoning…. They will wait for the additional 8 seats to get vacated so #1 can move in. That’s going to agitate those waiting for sure. The staff seems to feel fulfilled when they appear to rearrange tables in a hurry but totally missing the point of proper table utilization. Difficult to express through words but people who are familiar with restaurants should be able to understand my point.
Overall impression is BAD.
The view is good and the restaurant ambiance is good and the quality of food is good.
Customer service is VERY BAD. Good thing, Leslies has a viewing deck on top with a short hanging bridge when you’re stressed by their service. LOL!
Now it is your turn
If you have been here please help us rate Leisley rest
Address: Nasugbu Hwy, Tagaytay, Cavite, Philippines
Tel #: +63 (46) 483-4271