Posted on May 6, 2012 - by Vic
“A part of dining out is having a fresh experience and seeing things in new and different ways,” this is the impression chef and Tatung’s Garden Café owner Myke Sarthou wants’ to implore when dining at his newly expanded restaurant along 17 Matipid Street in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City.
It is no secret that Filipinos love their food and like many successful restaurants, Tatung’s Garden Café started out small, serving only to friends and family members until word of mouth spread reflecting the restaurant’s unexpected success. Tatung’s (as friends fondly call him) delight found a niche were customers longing for familiar taste with a twist was largely underserved market in metro manila’s dining scene and Tatung’s Garden Café seems to have given them reason to go out and eat.
“For years I’ve spent hours on our kitchen preparing sumptuous meals for my family and friends to savor and enjoy. And as I continue to pursue this passion, I have been introduced to a deeper meaning of nourishment and the pleasure of sharing food at the table,” according to Chef Tatung.
Like many successful restaurants, Chef Tatung started out small , serving only to friends, friends of friends, leading him to open his residence to diners “and serving them in ways that would nourish the body and enlighten the senses” added Chef Tatung. The façade of Tatung’s Garden Café can be quite deceptive as it jutes to be part of the residential landscape of Sikatuna Village in Quezon City. But once inside, it splits into the main dining area with a mini bar that has a separate section with red interiors accessorized with modern art works ideal for small meetings that can fit up to 12 guests comfortably. There is also the new Tatung’s Patio which covers the growing number of dining guests .
The façade of Tatung’s Garden Café can be quite deceptive as it jutes to be part of the residential landscape of Sikatuna Village in Quezon City. But once inside, it splits into the main dining area with a mini bar that has a separate section with red interiors accessorized with some modern art works ideal for small meetings that can fit up to 12 guests comfortably. There is also the new patio area to cover the growing dining guests to the restaurant.
It is surprises many of Tatung’s patron to know that the chef has never undergone formal culinary training. What experience he has learned from his foray in the family kitchen, and constant exposure to different cooking techniques from their own household chefs. However he has also made his own interpretation of different cooking techniques and the adherence to the best way to cook these dishes.
“The Filipino palate deserves to be treated once in a while to new and exciting fare,” quips Chef Tatung and that is what Tatung Garden Cafe would like to accomplish with its one-of-a-kind menu spread of otherwise typical regular Filipino dishes but with a unique twist! It also has a host of other familiar heritage dishes that he grew up with and will surely satisfy one’s Pinoy cravings, whether these are local residents, balikbayans or even expatriates and business travelers visiting the country.
Good thing that Tatung’s Garden Café only uses only the freshest ingredients available daily in the local market with their dishes, allowing fresh and natural ingredients to enhance the flavor of each serving. The result has been rewarding with a consistently growing number of clientele who keeps coming back for more of the various choices on the menu spread. Drive troughs are a common sight in the restaurant coming from nearby Quezon City offices as well as residential villages and celebrities.
High on the list of must-try starts from the menu’s appetizers including a good start of Chicken Sisig Lettuce Wraps, minced grilled chicken fillet with chopped onions, green chilies, taro chips with mango sauce, There is also Balut ala Pobre, duck egg embryos sautéed in butter and garlic, there is also the café’s own version of the popular shrimp okoy, an intriguing mix of small shrimps, dipped with farm egg batter and vegetable fritters fried to a crisp and served with vinegar.
For health buffs and diet conscious diners one can try their salads including Seafood gising-gising ,spiced fresh local vegetables with seafood in Tatung’s special coconut sauce dressing or the Shrimp and Mango Salad, served over mixed greens with cucumber, tomatoes, onions topped with peanuts and taro chips drizzled with a sweet tangy citrus dressing These salad selections are highly recommended for diet and health conscious individuals considered a filling meals by themselves.
For the adventurous noodle lovers, one should not miss their Indonesian inspired interpretation of Bami or Palabok Negra, rice noodles with squid ink, On the main course, there are a number of suggested dishes worth trying including Chicken in Roasted Coconut and Yellow Ginger Sauce, tasty pan sired chicken in a smokey coconut cream with fresh yellow ginger and okra or the Tamrind glazed butter flied Tilapia served with home made atchara. One should also try the Grilled Gindara in Mama’s Coconut cream sauce or the rich tasting prawns in aligue sauce sautéed in Chef Tatung’s spicy crab fat based sauce. One of the Chef’s best seller too is the Honey Glazed Slow roasted Pork Belly in a brick oven or the Slow roasted Pork Sinigaang cooked with tamarind – tomato broth served with kangkong leaves and bagoong. The Kalderetang Kambing with Quezo de Bola served with button mushrooms, potatoes, carrots with grated Edam cheese is a great dish worth the taste for mutton lovers. Other dishes worth trying on the menu is their Callos Con Garbanzos, Beef Tenderloin Salpicao or Lengua Adobo.
To match these rich courses are complimentary rice selections including the chef’s own take on fried rice which he named Tatung’s Fried rice cooked with shrimp, carrots, peanuts, scrambled egg, turmeric with Baguio beans and Paella sa Palayok served on a clay pot.
The restaurant’s dessert selection is the final offer that can go well with their own specially brewed coffee or tea selection. Or cool summer offers including the house favorites of warm Tsoknut chocolate cake, caramel sweet leche flan, Banana – Buko sundae or their specially prepared Fresh fruit Halo-halo with gata in ice cream.
With what little is left of one’s regular monthly salary in these hard times, Tatung Garden Cafe is one of the few places where you can put your hard earned money to its best use – recharging your batteries over the restaurant’s sumptuous menu spread in the restaurant’s comfy and new functional cozy surroundings.
Thankfully, word-of-mouth and blogs in the internet has continuously drawn more people by the day attracted by the great eats and the reasonable price (expect to spend around pesos one thousand one hundred pesos(for a satisfying dining experience for two persons) Nothing is as it seems at this restaurant where Filipino cuisine is taken to new heights, and where customers can expect a different dining experience with each visit – the essence of dining at Chef Tatung’s Garden Cafe.
For further details: Chef Tatung’s Garden Café is along 17 Matipid Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City. Operating hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For reservations, call 352-6121 or 0915-846-3234.Check out their website at www.cheftatung.com.