Fed-up, tired and cloying from staying indoor due to the pandemic, me and 3 of my close colleagues decided to sneak out of the metro. Despite the continuous spike in coronavirus cases, we agreed to break the monotony of staying in our respective houses and drove up to the scenic city-province of Tagaytay, an hour and a half drive south of Manila just to have lunch.
We nevertheless took extra precautions prior to leaving the metro. We were wearing face-masks and face-shields, brought along bottles of alcohol and I even have a huge pack of disinfecting surface wipes!
But only about five minutes away from our destination, we encountered a highway check point. To make the story short, we were prevented from entering Tagaytay because we do not have the local government’s required travel pass to enter the province. Yeah, this is how strict it is here in the Philippines due to this ridiculous pandemic.
We made a U turn yet decided to still have lunch someplace else. And when I turned on Google to check for the nearest highly recommended restaurant, it responded ‘Asiong’s’.
I remember having dined at Asiong’s in the past. I know that the food is really good but the atmosphere is something I really do not admire especially that moment when it would be the first time after a very long time of not dining out. I know Asiong’s is not even a casual dining restaurant but some sort of a low-grade canteen or a roadside eatery which in the Philippines is called carinderia.
I nevertheless still suggested to proceed to Asiong’s because of their great food! But I warned my colleagues that the ambiance is not like the typical snooty restaurants found in Tagaytay.
But when we followed and let the GPS navigation app point us to our destination, the road we were taking was totally different. It seem no longer the same road I took when I last dined at Asiong’s eight long years ago. (Click HERE regarding my 2012 blog post about Asiong’s)
pose first (the obligatory photo taking session)
a collage of photos i took (with jb, willy and mj)
The location of Asiong’s now is a totally different spot in Cavite! And the establishment is totally dissimilar from the way it was! The concept and its aesthetics has impressively been improved. Their alfresco dining is no longer by the dusty road side but a cool garden dining set-up. We actually settled alfresco for we did not want to be confined in a closed area during this time of pandemic.
The only akin and parallel to how Asiong’s was in the past was the marvelous food! The awesome gastronomic experience was still the same.
asado de ignacio (braised meat and innards) an authentic savage caviteño dish
adobong pula (pork adobo in annatto sauce)… a must in asiong’s
pancit pusit (rice vermicelli noodles cooked in squid ink)… a house specialty
crispy tawilis (a fresh water sardine exclusively found in the philippines)… this dish is gone in 3 minutes!
a filipino meal will not be complete without the rice. this one is “binagoongang rice” (fried rice in shrimp paste)
Thanks to the valiant military men manning the highway check point. Hahaha! If not for their being so rigorous in implementing the pandemic rules and protocols of the province, I would have not rediscovered the fineness of the present Asiong’s restaurant.