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 stunning view of Taal Lake and Mt. Binintiang Malaki. We have been to RSM Lutong Bahay on two occasions – the first one was for dinner and our recent visit was for lunch. Both instances were to celebrate birthdays.
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. 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 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.
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. Food is composed mainly of Filipino cuisine but there is a Japanese station with sushi and sashimi for anybody who desires it.
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 was fried tawilis, crispy kangkong leaves, onion rings, and what looks like sweet potato fritters.
Who could not resist tawilis? Sardinella tawilis is found exclusively in the Philippines, particularly in Taal Lake. It’s a small fish, around 15cm. 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.
Aside from tawilis, I also helped myself to several pieces of crispy kangkong leaves. Kangkong or water spinach has a lot of natural flavor 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 it similar to store-bought chips.
Moving on to the mains at RSM Lutong Bahay, there were 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.
I missed kare-kare so much that I took heaping spoonfuls of this dish. To those who are unacquainted, kare-kare is ox tail and tripe, string beans, eggplant, and banana blossom, cooked in a peanut-based sauce. It has mild, creamy, and nutty flavors, that 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.
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 for 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.
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 that 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.
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. 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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