12 April 2013

Day 1 of 3: Cecil's Cafe

1st Stop: Cecil's Cafe

Cecil's Cafe was the first stop on our 3-day vacation getaway. Gus discovered it by accident while he was browsing through various travel blogs. We didn't know whether this stop would break or make our first day on the road. We've been going to Tagaytay since college, but not once did we notice this quaint little cafe on the side of the Sta. Rosa Road. Being the adventurous duo that we are, we decided to just try it out and see if we made the right choice.

Cecil's Cafe is located along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road. You can find it on the right side, if you're coming from Manila, just a few blocks after Nuvali.

The interior of the cafe had a very homey feeling. It had paintings, pictures, and decorative signs on the wall, reminiscent of grandma's living room. The small size of the shop also made it feel cozier than most cafes. But because of the limited seating of Cecil's, it would be advisable to reserve a table. Gus and I were just lucky enough to arrive after some guests had left.

Now let's go to the main reason why we stopped over. Light lunch.

Cecil's Cafe is known for quite a few dishes, but the most popular (based on the travel blogs we saw) was the fresh lumpia, Xiamen style. I love, love, love fresh lumpia, ever since I tasted one from grandma's birthday celebration. I usually try out a restaurant's version of fresh lumpia whenever we eat out. And since Cecil's Xiamen style lumpia has received a lot of praise from those who've tried it, I decided to find out for myself if it really was worth praising. (Note: Cecil's Fresh "Amoy" Lumpia is from Green Patio, her mom's former restaurant in Greenhills.)

Waiting for the food

The lumpia was huge for PhP65. I was actually expecting something smaller so this definitely surprised me. I didn't know how to start eating it because it was just big and fat. Once I cut it open, more surprises. It was filled with so much vegetables, shrimp, peanuts, and everything one would find in an authentic Chinese lumpia. Even my boyfriend was surprised to find all the ingredients his amah would use in their version of fresh lumpia. If this were served in a cup or bowl, it would be overflowing with stuffing. The sauce of the lumpia was a great complement too. I usually prefer a sweet but garlicky sauce over my fresh lumpia, but their sweet sauce was very good. Too good to resist.

Fresh "Amoy" Lumpia

Gus ordered steamed dumplings simply because he was fascinated that an 8-piece order only costs PhP80. The dumplings were freshly cooked when it arrived on the table. It came with a garlicky vinegar dip, similar to the xiao long bao sauce Chinese restaurants used. Despite the small size of each piece, it tasted amazing. The sauce was something new to us since dumplings usually came with a more Filipino sauce like toyomansi (calamansi and soy sauce) with fried chili garlic or hoisin sauce.  Nevertheless, we really enjoyed the dumplings very much that we considered ordering another one, if only we weren't preparing for a dinner buffet that night.

Steamed Dumplings

Aside from these common Chinese dishes, Cecil's Cafe also serves rice dishes, salads, pasta, dessert and coffee. We wanted to try their vegetable lasagna (but we were too late, the last slice was already served), salpicao and pork belly but we wanted to make sure we got the most out of our dinner buffet later that night so we stopped ourselves. We promised we would go back just to try these next time. Yes, driving all the way to Sta. Rosa just to eat at Cecil's Cafe is worth it.

Our total bill was just PhP195. We also spent PhP50 for a can of coke. I would say we got good food at a very good price. If only our tummies could handle it, we would've eaten half of what's on their menu. The staff was also attentive. There were just two of them but they attended to all the customers' needs efficiently. The owner was also helping out, something we rarely see in Manila. She didn't just tell her helpers to do this or do that, she was actually working too. No wonder her business is so successful! She's one hands-on owner.

Price: PhP65-300/person

5 out of 5 for Cecil's Cafe

Cecil's Cafe
CVI Building, ATI Complex
Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road
Contact Number: (63 920) 915 7517

Open Tuesdays - Sundays from 11 AM to 8 PM

Click here for Stop #2.

Contact details courtesy of: http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2013/02/cecils-cafe.html 

No comments:

Post a Comment