My husband and I always loved driving up to Tagaytay for lunch or dinner dates and staycations. Even now that we have a toddler, we make the drive to this cool destination so close to Manila just to dine at our favorite restaurants or try new ones and check out new staycation spots.
One of our favorites is Nurture Wellness Village, which I’ve been visiting for spa treatments and the most relaxing staycations since I was single back in 2008. I have also been a long-time fan of their arroz caldo, which I wrote about in detail here. So when I learned that a new restaurant opened during the pandemic right where the spa’s in-house restaurant used to be, I was intrigued. No thanks to the pandemic, I was only able to check it out when I visited Tahana recently. As they say, better late than never!
Farmer’s Table is managed by the Raintree group of restaurants (which brought us other popular dining concepts like the new Jones All Day and the now defunct Mr. Jones). This fully al fresco restaurant, bakery, and bar offers fresh farm-to-table cuisine, which you will enjoy while surrounded by the beautiful, lush gardens of Nurture Wellness Village in which it is nestled. Fur parents will be happy to know it is a pet-friendly establishment.
It has been so popular since it opened during the pandemic that even on a random Wednesday night, it was fully booked! (I couldn’t even get proper photos of the place, there’s a crowd in every shot.) I was told there’s a long wait on weekends, so trying it on a weekday (if you can) is definitely recommended.
Because Tahana doesn’t have its own restaurant (yet, I heard), we ordered most of our meals from Farmer’s Table throughout our recent two-day stay in the villa. We dined in once for dinner and ordered breakfast for delivery to our villa on both days of our stay (more on this in my upcoming review and vlog about Tahana).
According to Nurture Wellness Village President Cathy Turvill, who hosted us for dinner, Farmer’s Table is that place where you can get the best of all worlds when it comes to dining that Tagaytay is known for. You have a good mix of healthy dishes made of the freshest greens and vegetables sourced right from their farms and gardens; sinfully delicious Filipino comfort food like Bulalo and Crispy Pata; and fun, creative dishes that mix the two opposites and make you wonder: Am I really eating something healthy? When you’re at Nurture, you likely are (wait ’til you try their crispy cauliflower and broccoli—I’ll get to that later).
We immediately ordered two familiar dishes on the menu: Nurture’s Famous Big Bowl Arroz Caldo has a Farmer’s Table iteration (PhP320), complete with chicken, of course, and all the fixins we love like garlic chips, chives, egg, ginger, and chili, with black pepper, patis, and calamansi that you can add to season it according to your taste. It’s just as rich and comforting as I remember, and even my husband (who was just my boyfriend when we first tried this together, haha) agrees. One order was obviously not enough for us now because even our 3-year-old loves it! We had it for both merienda and breakfast, that’s how much our family enjoyed it. Just like the original, it’s perfect for the rainy weather we’ve been experiencing lately.
The second familiar dish is Mr. Jones U.S. Beef Tapa (PhP450), which we selected for our Good Morning Tagaytay breakfast that is part of Farmer’s Table’s Brunch Faves served all day. This typical Filipino Tagaytay breakfast is served with garlic rice, two eggs any style, & house-pickled atchara. My husband first tried the tender and flavorful Beef Tapa at Jones All Day in Serendra, BGC, and has loved it since. Other options for Good Morning Tagaytay include Plant-Based Beef Tapa (Php450), Amadeo Style Garlic Pepper Longaniza (PhP420), Daing na Bangus (PhP425), House-made Chicken Tocino (PhP420), and Fried Danggit (PhP395).
But what I’ve really been looking forward to trying—and whose photos have been making my mouth water each time I see them on social media—is Farmer’s Table’s bestselling Hothouse Crispy Cauliflower & Broccoli (PhP420). It certainly did not disappoint. Covered in spicy buffalo sauce and served with bleu cheese dip, you wouldn’t think you’re actually eating vegetables! They were able to turn cauliflower and broccoli—which I won’t normally eat at a restaurant, haha—into something I couldn’t get enough of during dinner. For someone like me who’s not really a fan of veggies, I’m grateful for this creatively delicious way of making me enjoy my vegetables. It’s so crisp and every bite feels so sinful, you could really fool me into believing I’m eating maybe heavily-battered chicken or fish, or maybe even something you can make crispy like potatoes—anything but the fresh cauliflower and broccoli that makes up this great appetizer that could have easily been my main dish of choice. It’s pretty filling too, without making you feel bloated afterwards.
I did leave enough room in my tummy to sample the other dishes our gracious hosts ordered for our dinner.
A meal in Tagaytay would not be complete without a salad made up of fresh produce from the land, and Farmer’s Table Salad Patch offers four different options. Since we were four adults and a child, we had A Big Bowl of Salad (PhP750), which is good for 2-3 people. The hefty salad is loaded with ingredients sourced fresh daily from the farm and market in and around the Farmer’s Table, like seasonal lettuce, local vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains, then topped with parmesan. It comes with two dressings that you can mix together or pick one according to your liking: Mango-Passionfruit Herb Vinaigrette and Dill Honey Ranch Dressing, both of which had the right blend of sweetness and acidity while showcasing flavors your palate may not be accustomed to enjoying but end up relishing.
Another dish I surprisingly enjoyed is Pancit Hacienda (PhP520). While it’s a popular dish to order among pancit-loving Filipinos, I’m not particularly fond of pancit—yet I couldn’t resist having a plateful of this one; good thing the serving is great for sharing. While I’m not initially sold on the base ingredients of Bam-I noodles mixed with fresh garden vegetables and leafy greens like kale, cilantro, and basil, I was definitely lured by the wide variety of delightfully savory proteins they threw into this heaping dish, including Chinese chorizo, pork belly chips, scampi, chicken, squid, and Shiitake mushrooms.
As if all the carbs I’ve listed here aren’t enough, we also had to try one of their Hot & Crispy Stone-Fired Pizzas, which are big enough for 2-3 persons or more. The Margherita’s Garden variant (PhP475) is made of fresh tomatoes topped with fresh basil, oregano, arugula, and malagos pecorino. All those fresh herbs from their farm made this pizza truly aromatic, and it made every warm bite wonderfully refreshing, too.
For more protein to pair with all the carbs, we had the California-Style Roasted Rosemary Lemon Garlic Chicken (PhP720) from their selection of Roasts & Grills. It’s a whole chicken stuffed with roasted root vegetables and kale, served with griddled lemon and olive-rosemary jus. I loved the familiar taste of rosemary chicken with the refreshing zest of lemon and kick of garlic, all tied together by the mildly savory sauce. It paired so well with the white wine we enjoyed over dinner.
Speaking of drinks, Farmer’s Table has three Signature Sangrias, all made with tropical fresh fruits, herbs, brandy, and wine: Rosé (PhP375/glass, PhP1,250/pitcher) and Red or White (PhP350/glass, PhP1,100/pitcher). We tried them all, and the Rosé is our hands-down favorite, perfect for lounging by the pool right outside our villa at Tahana.
They do have Farmhouse Coolers, which are refreshing non-alcoholic drinks made with ingredients fresh from their farm. We recommend the Signature Pineapple Kale Smoothie (PhP195/glass, PhP695/pitcher), made of Nurture Farm’s Curly Kale, fresh pineapple, and fresh mint.
If you’re looking for a good dessert or something sweet for breakfast (like I normally do), we recommend their famous Ube Champorado (PhP320). I initially just ordered this for my daughter who loves anything purple, but it turned out to be the comforting breakfast I never knew I needed. It has the rich champorado taste I love, but besides the twist in color, the delectable twist in its sweet flavor comes from the coconut tres leches mixed in, balanced out by the fried danggit toppings. We had to bring some home, it’s that good, don’t miss this happy food!
We’re definitely coming back to Farmer’s Table to try the rest of their must-order menu items (I really wish we tried their Laing and Bulalo) and to have more of our favorites: their Famous Big Bowl Arroz Caldo, Hothouse Crispy Cauliflower & Broccoli, and Ube Champorado.
Farmer’s Table Tagaytay is open for dine-in daily from 7AM to 9PM. It’s located within Nurture Wellness Village at 7310 Pulong Sagingan, Maitim 2nd West, Tagaytay City.