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A Quirky Tagaytay Road Trip With The 2017 SsangYong Tivoli EXG

A roadtrip to Tagaytay to visit a Filipino-Spanish restaurant and a cafe with... cats?

The SsangYong Tivoli is a stylish small SUV that’s perfect for millennials based on my last review. Millennials like us here at Go Flat Out love to travel, and what perfect way to explore the SsangYong’s quirks and features by taking it through a road trip up to Tagaytay. To tell you frankly, I’m not exactly unfamiliar to Tagaytay, as I live in the Sta. Rosa Nuvali area, where my place of residence is peaceful and quiet during the weekdays, and chaotic as hell in the weekends when people from Manila flock to our place for reasons I don’t even know why. Perhaps to many, Tagaytay is just another city on a plateau just like Baguio, but look carefully along the roads you’re going through, and you might see something quirky. We’re not concentrating what’s on top of Tagaytay, since I’m pretty sure you, the readers, are already aware what’s there. Instead, we’re concentrating the weird and wacky restaurants along the slopes of Tagaytay, namely, a Filipino-Spanish restaurant and a cafe with… cats?

Climbing up Tagaytay with the SsangYong Tivoli EXG was a synch. Though I last said that the gearbox was overeager to downshift, this proved to be an advantage going up to the slopes of Tagaytay. It provided a darty driving experience going up the slopes, with no feeling of the car being lethargic despite the 1.6 liter 128 hp petrol engine. Its firm suspension proved to be a joy in the bends, as the car stayed planted and agile with just a hint of body roll. If you want to see my full review, just click this link.

Rekados Cafe and Restaurante

As I come down all the way up from Tagaytay through the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road I first stop at Rekados to have a quick meal, which then turned out to be my dinner, since I got carried away with their menu. Upon entering the restaurant, you’ll be offered some drinks if you want to, and some peanuts, which do taste really good. They offer Filipino food fused with Spanish cuisine, which is why I am here ordering Calamares (P235) as my appetizer, and Salmon in Malunggay Pesto (P295) as my main course. Who knew something as humble as malunggay would make it into a gourmet restaurant.

Firstly, my Calamares. At P235, I had an initial sticker shock as to why something merely as calamares would cost that much, but when it was served to me afterwards, I can see why it costs so much. The serving size is pretty large, but then, I’m pretty large, too, so that’s something that size-appropriate to me. LOL right? Apart from just looking large it actually tastes pretty good, too. The squid meat is tasty and very soft. I was surprised on how they managed to avoid making the calamares feel rubbery when I tried to make a bite, which is a difficult feat in the first place. A decent amount of what I think is tartar sauce is drenched on the side, and perfectly matches the calamares.

After I’m done with my Calamares, it was time to chow down the Salmon with Malunggay Pesto. I personally love pesto, and it’s what I usually eat in an Italian restaurant apart from the cream-based pastas. Just like the Calamares, the serving was very generous, and though I had reservations on how it would taste like due to the malunggay, I never expected it to blend well with the pesto. This is immediately my favorite dish from Rekados, and I soon would like to go back and eat their Salmon Malunggay Pesto again. Honestly, I’m not a great food critique, as I’m more on cars and Japanese food is practically second nature to me, but well, I do hope you find my food review to be quite informative.

Not only is the food great, but also the place itself. Rekados is perfect for a debut, a wedding reception, or whatever event that floats your boat. Rekados Cafe and Restaurante is about 18 minutes away from the Nuvali area, and about 48 minutes away from Manila without traffic, and I sincerely do stress “without traffic” on this road. Better visit here during the weekdays if you have the time.

Location

Purok 2, Barangay Pasong Lankga, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, Silang, Cavite


Tabby Town Cat Cafe

Tabby Town Cat Cafe is part of a new wave of interesting cafes and coffee shop popping up along the sides of Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road. We’ve known places like Angelfields Nature Sanctuary, Rekados, Sonya’s Garden, Rowena’s, and Green Olive, but a cat cafe? Now that’s something different and interesting, particularly for me!

I’m a cat person, and a dog person. I like both, and I don’t choose one over the other, so when I heard from a friend of mine that he saw a cat cafe is under construction somewhere up in Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, I was already excited, since the nearest cat cafe I’ve been to is all the way up north at Quezon City. I am not going to traverse EDSA just to visit a cat cafe, so my visits there were only around once or twice a year.

Tabby Town Cat Cafe is pretty interesting in its own right. While it may just seem like another trendy cat cafe sprouting from nowhere, Tabby Town Cat Cafe’s cat breeds are not the usual ones you see running around in your village or the ones sneaking in your backyard.

I’m particularly a huge fan of the Scottish Fold breed, with their big eyes, rounded faces, and folded, cute small ears. Any cat lover would be familiar to a Japanese YouTube sensation named Maru, a Scottish Fold. Maru is known for its love to hide in boxes, and that sole weird trait of Maru has made it an internet sensation. As it is my favorite breed of cats, I was immediately excited when I found out that they take care of a lot of Scottish Folds.

There are plenty of cool breeds at Tabby Town Cat Cafe, many of which are the rare kind that are considered highly desirable here in the Philippines. Apart from the Scottish Fold, there’s also a Persian, Siamese, Ragdoll, British Shorthair, and a Sphynx Cat. The sheer amount of special breeds that Tabby Town Cat Cafe has makes it a huge standout among other cat cafes in the Philippines. Thankfully, it’s just about 15 minutes away from Nuvali, which makes it extremely accessible for me, and about 45 minutes from Manila without traffic, and I sincerely do stress “without traffic” because it’s so annoying to pass by this road during the weekends.

Statistics by The Conversation show that cat videos are one of the most viewed videos in the whole internet. There are 12 million cat videos all over YouTube, with the total number of views amounting to 25 billion. Combined, cat videos have more total views than car videos, because, let’s face it, almost everyone like cats and think they’re strangely funny.

Oh, and they have food, too. I’m sorry I got distracted by the overwhelming amount of cool cat breeds. Like what I said, I like cats, which is why I want a fast and pouncing cat like a Jaguar F-Type SVR. Kidding aside, the food choices are interesting. I did like my matcha cooke, though the other dishes are a bit expensive to its taste and serving size. Nevertheless, I already had dinner at Rekados, and all that I’m wishing for is to have cats to cuddle around with.

One thing to watch out for in the near future is the Corgi Cafe! YES! Those cute fluffy potatoes are going to be concentrated in one cafe, and you can stare and cuddle with them corgi butts all day!

Location

Purok 5, Barangay Lumil, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, Silang, Cavite


Travelling up to Tagaytay? How about bringing your family, friends, or your car club with your fun runs at these places and consider this a unique stopover when going up Tagaytay. You’ll surely be enjoying your time here.

 

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