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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

EL COCINERO BY CHEF ARNALDO, TAGAYTAY

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

3 Saturdays ago, the husband and I discovered by faith a fine dining place ~ El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo which is located inside La Bella Residences in Tagaytay City - (sending our special thank you to my long time friend/ schoolmate/ former colleague Apple for the recommendation. )

Here are some tips and our restaurant's review.


© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

It was the grand opening of El Cocinero at the time of our visit.

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

The co-owner, Mr. Gino Palaca together with Chef Arnaldo’s wife, Ms. Mariecel Dampog and Chef Arnaldo Limeta himself was there.

Talk about Filipino Hospitality - they have showed it to us at the maximum level. We got so pampered that I told my husband I wanted to dine there everyday. :)

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

The restaurant’s co-owner, Gino Palaca was there to assist us. From the restaurant’s background, history and the menu, he was always there to share us the story- (my husband and Gino got along so well that they even talked about life, struggles and success of having a business, guy stuff and more...)

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

From the moment we set foot at the door, I fell in love with the place. It seems that it has transported me somewhere in Spain. 

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

The restaurant has a number of tables that could accommodate quite a handful of guests. Couples or even families could enjoy an intimate sojourn as you indulge El Cocinero's distinct specialties.

The restaurant also has an outdoor alfresco dining area.

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

The seats outside would give you a scenic fresh ambiance of lush greenery as you chill out while sharing your stories as you feel nature and the cool breeze of Tagaytay.

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo


© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

El Cocinero's specialties are mostly Spanish dishes like paellas and the like but you may also find pizza, pizcado, calzones etc. in the menu. Chef Arnold spent 14 years of his life living in the wonderful island of Ibiza, Spain. During those years he was able to master mediterranean menus and brought home his own take of the best Paella Valenciana.

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo
photo via El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

What we had:
-Welcome drink (in citrus-y flavour)
-Pinchos (pica-pica)
-Cochinillo
-Pescado Al Horno con Al Lioli
-Paella Valenciana
-Homemade Cheesecake
-Calamansi Shake (specialty shake)

© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo
Welcome Drink
© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo
Pinchos
© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo
Specialty shake: Calamansi Shake
© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo
Cochinillo (Roast Piglet)
© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo
Pescado Al Horno con Al lioli (Baked Fish with Al lioli Sauce) 
© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo
Paella Valenciana
© TheMermaidinStilettos.com - El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

The Good:
From the pinchos that was served down to our last bite, everything was just delicious and tasty. You'll feel the personal touch of Chef Arnold on each dish. The veggies on the side - the greens were all fresh and so is the baked fish. As we savour everything, a group of trio musicians serenaded us which made our stay truly memorable. They really know how to make our dining experience enjoyable.

The Paella Valenciana was the best Paella we ever tasted in the Philippines.  We enjoyed eating it with Al Lioli sauce. It was a secret shared by Gino, he said we'll love eating it more and we did. What a better way to eat a Paella! Even the shake turned out to be outstanding. So outstanding that it got me curious about the dessert which is the homemade cheesecake. The cheesecake has proven the saying "first impressions last" wrong.  At a first glance, the cake would not give you the "I really want to eat you" feeling but the moment I had my first bite, everything has changed.  So it's up to you now to define if it's sinful or not, hah! :)

The Bad:
Turned out our stomach only has a limited capacity. If only we have an extra space, I could have featured some more of the menus.

The Verdict:
El Cocinero is a real gem of a restaurant. The husband and I felt that we have discovered a pearl on a beach. The restaurant menu was excellent as it offered a wide range of dishes at reasonable prices. The staff knows what they are doing, they have a good knowledge of their menu. Overall, Chef Arnaldo and the owners really know how their guests would enjoy each moment - Service was great, Food is more than superb, El Cocinero has exceeded our expectations. It really managed to shorten the distance between Manila and Spain. :) El Cocinero in my opinion can readily beat famous Manila restaurants.

Few more info about El Cocinero
El Cocinero in tagaytay is their second branch that soft-opened last Valentines Day. The first branch is located in Nasugbu in Batangas. El Cocinero, Nasugbu has been operating for over 2 years now but is currently expanding. They are currently constructing a new site for El Cocinero in Nasugbu, which is about 100m away from the old location. At the moment, the Nasugbu branch can only house in maximum of 20 persons (only 5 tables) so for those who have tried it there~ this is good news!

For those who are asking for the price range, here's El Cocinero's menu ~



Where to find it: 
Open daily 10.30am to 10.00pm For Reservations : 09163412489
El Cocinero Tagaytay - Inside La Bella Residences in Brgy. Neogan, Tagaytay City
El Cocinero Nasugbu - 164 J.P. Laurel Street, Nasugbu Batangas (across St. francis Xavier Parish Church)


Xoxo,

Jaimie 

xx THE MERMAID IN STILETTOS xx
All my images copyright to THEMERMAIDINSTILETTOS.COM

DON'T FORGET TO CONNECT WITH ME! 


35 comments:

  1. That sounds like a lovely place to eat. I would have enjoyed eating there.

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  2. What a cute little restaurant. It looks so cozy and the food looks delicious!

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  3. I love the bright colors in this place. The food looks delicious too.

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  4. Beautiful little restaurant the food looks good

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  5. What a gorgeous place to eat and the Paella Valenciana and cheesecake look heavenly!

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  6. Love the colorful drinks....I am a sucker for bright colors. Restaurant look very cozy and intimate so lovely!

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  7. What an adorable little restaurant!

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  8. That is a cute little place. Looks like some really good food too!

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  9. What a lovely restaurant to go to for lunch with the family. The view outside is breathtaking and so is the view inside. The decor is just full of life! I love the splash of colors! The food looks just as good. I'm glad you had a great time!

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  10. Interesting place. I tried searching more about it's menu in zomato but couldn't find their menu and price. Can you share more about the price? Roughly, how much would a meal cost per person?

    Jen Villarosa
    of Invest MNL
    http://investmanila.com

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  11. Thank you for sharing! I usually hang out in Tagaytay with my friends. Now I will have a new spot to recommend. I'm pretty excited about the paella too. It sounds really good. More power to you!

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  12. Great find! The dishes look mouthwatering! I'm thinking the price is jawdropping though. What's the price range here?

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  13. Tagaytay is one of my favorite places in PH, I've missed it so much! I love all your pics.

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  14. A must visit place in Tagaytay. Would love to drop by soon! Amazing food.

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  15. They did very well decorating the place with all of the bright;y colored murals and painting! I love the dining patio. The food looks scrumptious!

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  16. What a lovely place, looks so cozy and peculiar, the food also looks amazing, id love going there!

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  17. Such a beautiful and vibrant restaurant. Their food looks delicious. Thank you for sharing

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  18. The outdoor Alfresco dining area is love! I can imagine myself with my partner enjoying a delicious meal, a glass of wine, and a great view! Nice resto!

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  19. Amazing place! Love, love the write-up! WE HAVE TO GO BACK!!! :) xoxo

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  20. Great place! I live in Cavite but I haven't heard of this restaurant. Thanks for sharing, will try it out the next time I'm in Tagaytay :)

    airinaapril.blogspot.com

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  21. Wow! I didn't know there is like this place in Tagaytay. Will visit this soon. Thanks for blogging! :)

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  22. I'll definetly add this on my insta-worthy place to visit in Tagaytay. Thanks for sharing this! :)

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  23. The place looks great! The interiors are something to look forward to and the structure of the resto. For the menu, I would definitely go with Paella!

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  24. This restaurant looks good and the food looks delish. I love your photos.

    www.wishingbelle.com

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  25. Wow!!! I haven't been to this resto yet. It looks lovely! The interiors are so cute and colorful while the outside looks like a great place to just chill. Thanks for the recommendation! Will definitely check this out.

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  26. What a beautiful restaurant and lovely view. The food looks delicious!

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  27. Glad you enjoyed your paella I love how the place is influenced by Picasso, the colour is beautiful.

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  28. wow, I love the whole ambiance! The food looks really yummy. Thanks for sharing!

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  29. I like that it has outdoor dining. That's my fave. :)

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  30. The restaurant looks very cute, I like a lot the design and mostly, the terrace and the back garden. It's nice they have live music entertainment. That paella looks delicious too!

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  31. I absolutely love the Picasso-inspired interior of this restaurant. He is one of my favorite artists. The outdoor seating area provides a gorgeous view.

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  32. This looks like an awesome place to eat!

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  33. This place looks like a must visit. I'd go there when I visit Tagaytay again soon. Thanks for the tip.

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  34. Very cute place. My friends will love these. Oh the colkorful drinks add a happy mood. I have to visit this place soon :)

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  35. I love your photos, especially the ambiance and the food. The food looks so delicious and tempting. Tagaytay is just near where I live, I'll check that restaurant soon

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