RSM Lutong Bahay: a Homey Buffet Restaurant In Tagaytay

December 20, 2018

RSM Lutong Bahay in Tagaytay offers a good balance of affordability and great buffet food.

RSM Lutong Bahay is one of the most popular and easily-recognizable restaurants in Tagaytay. It offers good, home-cooked Filipino food, a soothing ambiance, and a stunning view of Taal Lake and Mt. Binintiang Malaki. We have been to RSM Lutong Bahay on two occasions – the first one was for a family dinner and our recent visit was for lunch. Both instances were to celebrate birthdays.

View of Taal Lake from RSM Lutong Bahay
View of Taal Lake from RSM Lutong Bahay

RSM Lutong Bahay: a Homey Buffet Restaurant In Tagaytay

    Our experience at RSM Lutong Bahay

    On our latest family weekend stay in Tagaytay, we thought of eating out in a buffet restaurant. We were a big group with big appetites so a buffet meal was just fitting to satisfy our grumbling stomachs. 

    A plate of all the delicious food at RSM Lutong Bahay
    A plate of all the delicious food in RSM Lutong Bahay

    RSM Lutong Bahay easily came to our mind because we have already tried their food previously. I did not know that RSM Lutong Bahay served a buffet lunch so I was eager to give it a try. 

    What’s more, reservation is not required so if you decide to eat here on a whim, it would not be a problem provided, of course, there are ample tables available.

    Central gazebo at RSM Lutong Bahay

    It was a good thing that there was a table available when we arrived at RSM Lutong Bahay. We quickly got down to business and went to the glorious buffet spread. The food is composed mainly of Filipino cuisine but there is a Japanese station with sushi and sashimi for anybody who desires it.

    The food

    As with other buffet restaurants, I scanned the food available at RSM Lutong Bahay and picked only the ones that I liked. On the starters section, there were fried tawilis, crispy kangkong leaves, onion rings, and what looks like sweet potato fritters.

    Appetizers at RSM Lutong Bahay

    Who couldn't resist tawilis? Sardinella tawilis is found exclusively in the Philippines, particularly in Taal Lake. 

    It’s a small fish, around 15 cm. in mature length. It is extremely flavorful and its bones can be easily softened. Hence, you can enjoy this fish whole without the tedious task of having to separate meat and bones. Fried tawilis is best eaten with spicy vinegar dip.

    Fried chicken at RSM Lutong Bahay
    Fried chicken

    Aside from tawilis, I also helped myself to several pieces of crispy kangkong leaves. Kangkong or water spinach has a lot of natural flavors so it needs just a little seasoning.

    I think frying it to a crisp with thin breading is one of the best ways to prepare it, aside from adding it to sinigang. Crispy kangkong is extremely enjoyable to munch on because it has a deep crunch that is similar to store-bought chips.

    Lechon belly at RSM Lutong Bahay
    Lechon belly

    Moving on to the mains at RSM Lutong Bahay, there was actually a lot of Pinoy dishes available here that we seldom get to taste during ordinary days.

    There was kare-kare, lengua, crispy lechon belly (available at the carving station), beef caldereta, pork adobo, pork barbecue, roast chicken, fish fillet, pancit canton, and garlic butter shrimps, just to name a few. As for rice, there was plain rice and yang chow fried rice.

    Kare-kare at RSM Lutong Bahay

    I missed kare-kare so much that I took heaping spoonfuls of this dish. To those who are unacquainted, kare-kare is oxtail and tripe, string beans, eggplant, and banana blossom, cooked in a peanut-based sauce. 

    It has mild, creamy, and nutty flavors, which is why kare-kare is traditionally eaten with sautéed bagoong or shrimp paste. RSM Lutong Bahay’s kare-kare did not disappoint; I could not help but eat it with a huge serving of white rice.

    Fish fillet at RSM Lutong Bahay
    Fish fillet

    I also helped myself to RSM Lutong Bahay’s lengua or ox tongue. The meat is extremely tender and yielding to the bite. It has buttery notes to it that further enhanced the flavors.

    For my second plate, I requested two servings of the crispy lechon belly. Despite the cold air in Tagaytay, the lechon belly was kept crisp in a heated enclosure. It was also good; definitely sinful and indulgent.

    Desserts at RSM Lutong Bahay

    By this time, I was already getting quite full but I wanted to save some room in my belly for dessert. The dessert station featured local rice cakes, halo-halo, fresh fruits in season, pastries, and ice cream. There was also a coffee station for those who want to have something to pair their desserts with.

    This year, I made a promise to incorporate more fruits in my diet which is why I ate mostly papaya and watermelon for dessert. Of course, I would not let our meal pass without having ice cream and coffee so I indulged in several scoops of ice cream and a cup or two of freshly-brewed coffee.

    Our verdict

    After our satisfying meal, we went around the garden to enjoy the view of Taal Lake and savor the cold Tagaytay air. Similar to our first visit to RSM Lutong Bahay, our recent visit was equally enjoyable. We loved the food, the ambiance, and the service. 

    RSM Lutong Bahay family lunch
    Enjoying the chilly air

    Best of all, the price was pocket-friendly so RSM Lutong Bahay is definitely recommended for big groups who are looking for a great place to eat in Tagaytay.

    RSM Lutong Bahay is located at Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City.

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    1. Wow! I've had tawilis- miniature fried sardines I call them- once in my life because you really have to be right on the water to get fresh ones. They were so amazing. The food you had looks scrumptious!

    2. Ang sarap grabe! Perfect to sa mga balikbayan na craving for Pinoy food! Feeling ko yan ang best branch nila kasi ang ganda ng view. How much per head sa RSM?

      1. Sobra! Around P650 per head so sulit sya. Actually, parehong Tagaytay ang branches nya.

    3. Iba talaga pag-lutong bahay ng RSM ee :) For my next visit dyan ko dalin mga friends ko :)

    4. I am from Tagaytay and it's my first time to hear Mt. Binintiang Malaki. Yes, this RSM is one of the best spot and offer great foods. While reservation is not required, it can really get full especially on weekends.

      1. The famous small volcano that we see at Taal Lake is Mt. Binintiang Malaki but people commonly know it as Taal Volcano. The actual Taal Volcano is the island beside it.

    5. Haha. Thanks for the trivia! It belongs to Batangas and we from Tagaytay are just blessed to be overlooking it.

    6. Ohhh their food looks good! I'll try the restaurant when I go to Tagaytay one of these days

    7. Whenever I go to Tagaytay, my family and I would always dine either at Leslie's or RSM. Ang ganda kasi talaga ng view!! Haven't tried the buffet though, pero mukhang sulit naman. I always go for their Bulalo, Kare Kare and Pinaputok na tilapia.

      Thanks for sharing this buffet experience. At least now I know, sulit na din pala siya :) Merry Christmas!

      1. Sobrang sulit! The best talaga ang kare-kare nila. Merry Christmas!

    8. I wonder why mostly in Tagaytay you can find many good Filipino restaurants like this. We as costumers should also inform many that it should also be done in the done proper. Filipino foods should not only be available to key destinations.

      1. Exactly, good Filipino cuisine should be readily accessible anywhere around the Philippines.

    9. That small formation that we commonly know as Taal Volcano is actually Mt. Binintiang Malaki. The real Taal Volcano is the crater island beside it.