My trip to Antipolo had two places tagged for delicious eats. The second one is a quaint little bed and breakfast called the Vieux Chalet.
To get here you need to go into a private subdivision, climb up some very steep mountain roads, and just when you feel you got lost in the winding roads you’ll see this signage along with some street boys who will watch your car “for a price.”
I hate these kinds of arrangements but it’s better to come to an understanding with them, you can pay them 40 bucks and that should be good.
It’s all good though. Once inside the Chalet you will see an awesome view of the skyline!
The restaurant itself is very cozy, with a warm, lived-in feeling. It completely feels like a house that was converted into a restaurant/resort. You can stay overnight for 6,000 pesos, inclusive of one meal, and the amenities are pretty nice. There’s a pool out back and a little tree house-style hut.
I found the place very relaxing to dine at. I would stay here overnight without a second thought. Well, as long as my wallet was sufficiently padded!
The menu was a treat. It looks like a scrapbook. They seem to have about four copies of them, all looking exactly the same, down to the little beads and trinkets tacked on. A surprising amount of work went into making these menus!
To be honest, the place is rather pricey. Since I’m going out of town next week I thought I’d be a little frugal and not splurge too much. The entrees are all upwards of 800 bucks, the pasts around 200-400 and the pizzas at 500 or more for the small 10 inchers. You can find their menu online.
Still, I couldn’t resist. We mostly ordered the cheaper pasts — we got too much actually, but I could not resist ordering a Swiss specialty, the Raclette.
Raclette is a kind of cheese that Switzerland is well-known for. It’s not the round kind dotted with holes (Emmental), but it is a round cheese wheel that is often melted for fondues. Here you see the cheese melted with some paprika, adorned by onions, pickles, olives and a baked potato wedge.
It may be called Raclette, but it’s a baked potato for me. A very expensive baked potato at 400 pesos, and with a very small serving at that.
However, it just smelled soooo good. When I ate the cheese, it made my lips curl up into a smile and I knew I had found my cheese heaven. The rest of the veggies in the dish were “just there” but it’s the cheese that made me really happy. I must do this at home with more cheese bought from the grocery store. It won’t be quite the same, but I am sure I can concoct something equally delicious!
We also had the Swiss Platter. At 485 bucks it isn’t cheap, but you get a lot of goodness here: smoked ham, bacon, fresh salmon, liver pate, tomatoes, mustard, some ricotta cheese slices and bread. Oh and capers! I love capers! They eat as you’d expect.
The salmon was especially luscious, just like you’d have at a fine Japanese restaurant. The liver spread was delicious! It didn’t have an overpowering liver taste and had that creamy cheese taste to mix into the ham and the bread. The mustard was just right, not too spicy, but with that kick to let you know you were eating something great.
We also had a trio of pastas:
I should note that, by the time they served these pastas, they probably remembered they had to play some music for us while dining. Here we had some old-fashioned tunes, the kind you’d expect to come out of a gramophone and not a modern day speaker. Old tunes from the early 20s, 30s, 40’s and so, whether French, American, I think there were some German songs as well, the kind of stuff that sounds like La Vie en Rose. Really old stuff that fits in the ambiance of the place, though honestly not my think.
Anyway, as we ate our pastas, I realized there’s too much! The pastas, while cheaper than the rest of the menu, had the biggest servings. They are served with two slices of wheat bread each, and are dotted with ricotta cheese squares.
The pastas were reasonably good, but not particularly tasty. They have delicate sauces, but not the kind that tickle my taste buds. I was a bit disappointed, to be honest, considering that Swiss are well-known for cheese, and cheese is what makes a pasta dish superb and flavorful.
The Alfredo was pretty basic, with a mild cream sauce and some ham slices. It was good, but If found the flavor lacking.
The Padilla dish was something I’d never heard of before, but it was basically an Alfredo with extra mushrooms (shiitake and oyster mushrooms according to the menu). Other than the mushrooms, it was exactly the same as the Alfredo, which disappointed me.
Finally, the Florentine. Here is a veggie pasta, with lots of garden fresh stuff like Broccoli, Cauliflower and Olives. You can have it served with an olive oil sauce or a cream sauce. We opted for the cream, of course!
But it also tasted similar to the Alfredo, except creamier — there was definitely more cream with this one. The selection of veggies was also very good; if I were to choose one, the Florentine was clearly the best pasta of the lot.
However, I was not very impressed with the pasta at all. I would recommend not ordering the pastas here as they are not really that good.
Let’s move on to the pizzas. I have to say, these were good pizzas!
Here is their special Five Cheese pizza. It has Raclette, Gruyere, Cheddar, Mozzarella and some huge slabs of Ricotta Cheese on top, garnished with basil, roasted garlic and arugula. It was. Amazing.
The thin crust was quite crisp and tender, just enough to serve as an accent to the symphony of cheeses on the top. The wonderful, gooey goodness of the cheeses, the savory flavors, the fresh spring of basil as you take a bite and the crisp roasted flavor of the garlic all came together for a wonderful, wonderful dining experience.
I cannot recommend this pizza enough. It was just awesome.
We also tried the house specialty, the Pizza dela Casa, which was another vegetarian blend similar to the Florentine.
Now, to be honest, this one wasn’t as exciting as the Five Cheese. But as a cheese lover, I’m a little biased. That said, this was also an excellent pizza. It’s got some meat in it — there’s ham, along with the mozzarella, mushrooms, onions, basil and tomatoes.
Although it’s the house specialty, this did not strike me as a particularly great pizza. I mean, you can get this kind of pizza anywhere, you can make your own at Project Pie! And it would be much cheaper.
That said, it was still a good pizza and helped me forget about the forgettable pastas.
When all is said and done, the place was kind of pricey. Our total bill came up to around 4,000 pesos, and we didn’t really have all that much food. The pastas we ordered were forgettable, the pizza dela casa was okay but not great. The five cheese was awesome, as was the Swiss Platter and the Raclette, but I am not sure I’d like to repeat this dining experience.
Next time, I’ll go and be ready to order their more expensive entrees, which are probably worth eating, but which are also really expensive. I can’t help but feel there’s much better value dining at, say, Friday’s or even Don Henrico’s. The pasta certainly wasn’t as good as the ones served at Pazzo Rolio, and yet was more expensive.
The selling point of this place is its location and bed and breakfast nature. You can stay the night, have some good food, enjoy the beautiful view with friends or a lover, and come back to the busy grind of the city the morning after.
But that location is also its weakness; it was quite difficult to get here, it’s so far out of the way in Antipolo as it is, and it was at one of the most remote places in Antipolo to get to. All in all I was happy to experience the place, but I do not have any immediate plans of coming back. If ever.
Have you tried the Vieux Chalet? Please tell us about it in the comments!