Entertaining visiting relatives can be quite challenging. It’s easy to fall into the rut of eating out and hitting the mall, especially when said relatives are grandparents that are happy to just spend time with their apo.
My husband’s parents make it a point to visit at least once a year, and I make it a point to take them somewhere new and special!
We’ve gone on road trips, day trips and food trips — but I get the inkling they are not so fond of the first two, so to shake things up from just alternating between Greenbelt and PowerPlant Mall this year, we went to Antipolo.
Antipolo has plenty of options for sightseeing and dining. Considering that we are based in the south of Manila, it also has just the right amount of out-of-town feels without the anxiety of a 5-hour road trip.
Hopefully, C6 gets finished at the soonest possible time so that Southeners like us can conveniently venture out and explore the east more. Waze will recommend you take C6 as a shorter route, but stay away when it has rained the day before or during the rainy season in general. Portions of the road remain unpaved and it can get very dusty.
Fondue and more in Vieux Chalet
My mom has mentioned a nice restaurant that they have tried in Antipolo before that’s owned by a Swiss-Filipino couple. It’s a by-reservation-only restaurant, but the food is very good.
She forgot what the name was, but a quick ‘Swiss restaurant in Antipolo’ search will lead you to Vieux Chalet. Directions to the restaurant is available in Waze, so that took care of an otherwise big headache. It’s in an elevated, hilly residential area, which not only gives a panoramic view of Metro Manila, but is also nice, cool and breezy. It’s a good alternative to crowded Tagaytay, especially in January.
Should you be the only group of diners at the time like us, take a moment to explore the entire property as well. It’s a good way to pass the time while waiting for the food as everything is apparently prepared from scratch (willing to wait, if that is the case). They have their own smokehouse, herb garden, and I think a bed & breakfast is in the works (or under renovation).Tasty, filling food
The food is worth the drive. I’m not well versed with Swiss cuisine – just a big fan of the cheeses and rösti – but what we had was very tasty; full of flavor. The staff is helpful in steering you towards what you prefer also, and will explain what each dish is all about and what it consists of. I’m just happy there’s something for everyone – pizza for the husband, salmon and chicken for the health-conscious grandparents and lots of cheese for the kid and I.
They had a holiday set menu, but you can order the item that you like à la carte. Prices here are a bit on the expensive side, but expect good quality. The servings are filling but good for one only. Credit cards are accepted.
Pretty, enjoyable, and prepared upon ordering. It would’ve been enough to command an above average price tag compared to other European restaurants in the Metro, but next time maybe, the management can also give more attention to diners’ comfort and overall dining experience.
A pesky problem
It wasn’t clear to us if they preferred to keep the air-conditioning off as part of the mountain-y ambience or if they were cutting overhead costs since we were their only guests at the time, but there were a couple of nasty-as-hell giant flies buzzing around the restaurant already when we came in, and it would have helped a lot if the windows were just closed and the aircon was turned on to keep more from coming inside. Their windows had no screens and the tealights weren’t enough to keep them away.
Forget the view, forget the pretty plants: nobody likes to shoo bugs away while eating, especially if we are talking about a Php500 and above (US$11.24) meal. All of the niceties from the staff feel a tad artificial if it’s like the job is done once the food has been set on the table and the dirty dishes has been bussed out.
I brought this up with the lady I spoke with in making the reservation, so I hope it’s something they can address. I was hoping for a wonderful first-time experience to share with family, but for now, all I can vouch for is the food.
Hoping for a better experience next time, especially since my mother also said the ambience and view is better at night. To think the little one had such a great time ‘cooking’ too:
Vieux Chalet is in 456 Taktak Road, Sitio Sampaguita, Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Antipolo City. Contact them through +632 6970396 or +639282888584