Decorated like an old-world manor, entering Pamana Tagaytay feels almost as if you’ve been invited to dine at the ancestral home of a wealthy friend. (Except of course, you’re paying lol.) The walls are decorated with dozens of old photographs, and as you go up the stairs you get a glimpse of the lives of the people who live there.
Of course, you are reminded that this is a restaurant the moment you see all the tables arranged on the second floor, but the decor and even the fireplace makes it feel like a fancy dining area in a big house. Plenty of waiters mill about to assist you to your table, but somehow the bubble doesn’t burst.
Because of all the good things I’ve heard, I’ve been wanting to try Pamana Tagaytay out for the longest time. We’ve made a bunch of trips to Tagaytay since this restaurant came into my radar but somehow we never visited up until this moment. Perhaps you can imagine the level of anticipation and expectation I had.
While waiting for the food to arrive, I took a little walk at the veranda and was surprised by how much the restaurant extended beyond what the eye could initially see from the main road. Pamana Tagaytay has a huge backyard garden where you can get the ultimate Pinoy al fresco experience of dining inside bamboo huts.
Weather in Tagaytay is generally known to be cooler than Manila weather, but that isn’t the case during the summer months. I do think this sort of outdoor dining would be a great idea once the -Ber months arrive. This set up would work well for those who are hosting foreign guests too, I reckon.
After seeing more of the place, it’s time to sample the food! The menu at Pamana is pretty extensive. I was actually at a loss as to what to order since everything seemed pretty good, and indeed just from the names and descriptions it seemed like they did some magic on Pinoy classics.
Tweaking classics don’t necessarily always turn out well. Normally, I would be wary when I hear the words “fusion” or “reinvention”, but since the latter is precisely what Pamana is known for, there was nothing else to do but dive right in.
Crispy Pusit in Squid Ink (Php 280)
This was created with the help of Sari Jorge (whose name appears regularly in Yummy Mag), and it’s basically calamari but with a squid ink batter. At a glance it looks like a burnt piece of meat haha! You can either dip it in the vinegar mixture or the crab fat dip. I probably would’ve enjoyed this more had it been crunchier. The squid ink adds a little bit of saltiness to the calamari.
Baked Bone Marrow with Adobo Pate and Toast (Php 250)
I’m not a huge bone marrow eater so this dish was just okay for me, however that adobo pate was scrumptious! I really like how it is just the right amount of sweet and savory, pairing really well with the bread.
Fresh Lumpiang Ubod Salad (Php 225) 🌟
This is basically ubod and mixed greens nestled on fresh lumpia wrapper. As a fan of a good lumpiang ubod, this was an easy sell. The wrapper wasn’t tough and the veggies inside were fresh. The whole thing with the sauce was pretty tasty, and I think I was the one that ate majority of this. It’s a classic that many people love, although I must say it is a little expensive for the serving size.
Kansi (Php 600 for Large order) 🌟
This soup is a cross between nilagang bulalo and sinigang, and you can tell they take perfecting this really seriously. Before they serve this to you, they will actually let you taste the broth first and ask if you find it too salty or too sour before proceeding. They really want to make sure you enjoy this soup and I appreciate that! I love the tang of sinigang but I also occasionally like to enjoy the heartiness of bulalo, and this was like that perfect balance of the two.
Barrio Fiesta’s Pinakbet with Shrimp (Php 295) 🌟
I’ve eaten a lot of pinakbet in my life, and while I can’t really say where I’ve eaten the best version from, I admit to enjoying this one a whole lot. They used Barrio Fiesta bagoong of course, and then a mixture of fresh veggies plus shrimp. The result is something sweet and also salty, the two flavors pushing and pulling against each other in every bite. This was the ulam that I kept coming back to among everything set on the table.
Sizzling Pancit Ivatan (Php 370) 🌟
When this pancit was first set down on the table, my mouth watered looking at how loaded it was: Pancit canton Basco-style, topped with egg and pork adobo, then served with tuba. And of course, putting it on a sizzling plate ensures it stays warm for a long time. Some parts of the noodles will have stronger flavors than the others if you don’t properly mix it up, so before you dig in, make sure you give it a good toss. You’ll find that the noodles hold the flavor of the adobo nicely. This was tasty.
Nilasing na Mangga (Php 200)
I am a bit of a fiend when it comes to green mangoes. There are days when just the thought of them with bagoong makes my mouth water. (And yes, I go for the kalabao mangga or the big sour kind!) I was convinced I was going to discover something amazing with these so I HAD to order the nilasing na mangga (aka drunken mangoes). And well… It wasn’t as mind-blowing as I expected.
Due to being “pickled” in the beer, the mango loses its sourness and its crunch– two things I love about eating green mangoes. Another thing, I wish the beer was part of some sort of a spicy and flavorful pickling mix instead. I feel like it stole all the mango’s thunder away. Not sure if people normally eat this particular dish as a dessert haha!
Eating here at Pamana Tagaytay makes you feel like you’re a part of this family secret that’s been passed down from generation to generation. There’s a lot of care that’s obviously put into ensuring that the each heirloom dish is given justice. I suppose that’s something you’d expect from a place that belongs to a family that’s been in the restaurant business for so long. It’s not surprising why Pamana is so well-regarded.
While I’m pretty impressed with the concept and ambiance of Pamana, I have to admit there were some misses to the dishes we ordered. However the dishes that did work were pretty good, and frankly speaking there are still plenty of other stuff to sample here at Pamana Tagaytay. I get the feeling this won’t be the last time I visit. I have my eye on their merienda offerings actually.
Overall Rating: 3.75 out of 5
Full disclosure: This post is not sponsored in any way and opinions are 100% mine alone.