Restaurant Verbena is the multi-awarded in-house restaurant of Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay. They have been part of the prestigious Miele Guide for 2009/2010 and 2011/2012. This was our first time to try Restaurant Verbena, not including breakfast or the wine and cheese tasting. The place is very romantic, especially with a nice, cool breeze blowing in. Pristine white tablecloths, heavy cutlery and attentive waitstaff exude the country fine dining atmosphere. The menu has a nice selection of meats and seafood, balanced out by using fresh Tagaytay produce.
They served us delicious complimentary bread with tomato sofrito, chicken liver butter and white bean dip. I recommend the tomato sofrito but the chicken liver butter is divine. Lauren enjoyed the bread, with plain butter only, that we asked for another loaf.
An amuse bouche of Watermelon Summer Salad was served while awaiting our orders. This was so pretty visually with red and green hinting of the coming festive season. The taste was more a reminder of the past summer, fresh and juicy.
Irene and I decided to do a little sharing, one of us orders salad and the other orders soup and then just swap midway. Our salad choice was the Tagaytay Salad “Caprese” (P395), organic mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, baby arugula, basil and orange. Super fresh vegetables from Tagaytay supply the sweetness in each bite while the mozzarella is soft and moist. The basil and orange add aroma and citrus hints. This is another dish that will have you hankering for summer.
I have loved bisque ever since I first had a taste of it, but I’ve since influenced Irene to love it also. The is why the Creamy Lobster Bisque (P395) was a no brainer pick for us. Generous pieces of lobster in the smooth and strong lobster flavored with a little cognac and milk froth.
Lauren is a very picky eater, so we settled on the Verbena “Surf and Turf” (P1400). Since she eats prawns in tempura form only, we asked the kitchen to serve it on the side. 200 grams of perfectly grilled US Angus Beef, 2 big grilled prawns, mashed potatoes and Tagaytay vegetables. While the beef was perfect, the prawns were left a tad bit overdone.
Irene had the Braised Australian Lamb Shank (P895). We were in for a surprise when it was served, the shank was humongous, can be shared by two people easily. Homemade herb pasta with Kalamata olives, tomato conift and parmesan on the side. The lamb meat was gamey and tender with the nice savory sauce. Irene did not even finish half of this, since she had a bit too much bread like Lauren. This dish was so homey, you’d be looking for some rice to go with it.
I could not decide so I chose the Verbena’s Sampler Plate (P895). It is made up of Australian lamb riblets with bbq sauce, Beef Goulash and grilled salmon. The riblets was tops with corn bread, the goulash with mashed potato and the salmon with an arugula-mushroom salad. This is quite a big serving, especially with the additional carbs and salad. Each part of the sampler was well done, the meats were tender, the salmon had a crispy skin but soft, flaky meat.
We were too stuffed to even look at the dessert menu let alone order some. We decided to rest up and just go for a little night cap at the Starbucks beside Discovery Country Suites.
Restaurant Verebena is a great restaurant option both for in house guests and walk-ins in Tagaytay. Each dish is well crafted, skillfully executed and contains the freshest ingredients you can imagine. Service and ambiance just add to the homey, country charm.