By Hiedi Ermitaño
After being based overseas for many years, the first thing I do after coming home is put down my maletas and go eat all the Pinoy dishes that I have missed. Thinking about Crispy Pata, Sinigang na Baboy, Pancit Lomi and Lechon makes for a very long, torturous plane ride.My family knows well enough to leave the boxes of pasalubong unopened until I get my Pinoy food craving satisfied.
This time, my loving family took me to nearby Jaytee’s Filipino Cuisine restaurant. Seeing their sign “Home of the best Bulalo and Kare Kare” whetted my appetite all the more. My family, they really know me. How I love them! Coming home to Tagaytay and enjoying my first meal with the people closest to my heart is something I’d like to share with you.
Jaytee’s original branch is located in One Destination, a big area along the main road in Tagaytay that houses several other restaurants, including good ol’ Starbucks (a lot of that where I came from so my eyes were trained only on the one serving Pinoy fare). Jaytee’s simple looks is the perfect frame for fabulous Taal Lake, another thing I miss about home. We opted for a table on the
restaurant’s breezy and bright second floor, a better vantage point to view the view, you know? My family had a mad time taking selfies with me while we waited for our orders. Everybody knew my favorites (heck, I was emailing them what I want to feast on weeks in advance) and they proudly shared that their favorite Filipino restaurant, Jaytee’s, now offers Lechon. As my grandmother hails
from that lovely Southern province of Cebu, we have fond memories of summer trips to visit her. And she never fails to serve the best lechon in the world.
I was mighty glad that I was in town when Jaytee’s is offering the newest addition to the menu: crunchy and flavourful Lechon. It is, in my opinion, the all-time favorite celebratory dish of Filipinos, especially during holidays and festive seasons. Even if I have tasted other versions of this porcine treasure in other parts of the world, I still believe our very own is the best. Fortunately for those living in this part of the country, you can actually have it all year round here at Jaytee’s. To be honest, I had to have it every weekend while I was on vacation in the Philippines. Jaytee’s version of the Lechon is a must-try because of its delicious crispy skin and the tender and well-seasoned meat inside. Memories of happy lunches with Lola and the whole clan made me smile. I may not get to visit Cebu this time but at Jaytee’s in Tagaytay, I felt connected to the people and that time in my life in a good way.
The Lechon was cooked to perfection and I am confident that Jaytee’s is the place to satisfy your cravings for Lechon in Tagaytay. My family actually believes that eating Lechon during hot days cools the human body. They say that people who are doing hard manual work especially in summer may take lechon to maintain the body temperature. As a Lechon-lover, I’ll take that logic anytime. Of course, as with everything, it has to be in moderation and make sure to take the necessary meds if necessary. There are, of course, other delectable Pinoy favorites on the menu such as Adobong Pusit, Kare-Kare, Bulalo and many more. I have actually lost count of the number of dishes that arrived on our table during my first family lunch back home.
Owners Jessie Mojica and Tess Sibal Mojica is the husband-and-wife entrepreneurial duo behind Jaytee’s. They are well known for creating exemplary Filipino dishes with, as I would like to describe, the “best flavors of home”. I am proud that my hometown has this family-friendly dining place that encourages get-together over a spread of comfort food from family recipes of the very proficient cook, Ms. Tess. My family are loyal customers and they tell me that the restaurant has consistently stood out among others along the ridge. After enjoying my all-Filipino lunch, I can see why. Jaytee’s Filipino Cuisine ranks high in terms of food excellence and pricing. This family-oriented joint with its simple open layout attracts the young and the young at heart. It is also easily one of the most scenic restaurants offering a panoramic view of Taal Volcano and the lake which makes for long leisurely meals. It is one view that is very hard to leave. Now that Lechon is on the menu, dining at Jaytee’s becomes an even longer family occasion.
While traveling inevitably results in the evolution of personal tastes and the discovery of new flavors, part of me is comforted with the reality that some things never change. Otherwise, coming home will never be the same, right?
Visit Jaytee’s for a taste of home at One Destination Emilio Aguinaldo Silang Crossing West (3.36 mi) Tagaytay City 4120 and Maharlika East, Tagaytay City (perfect for holding big family parties and events). For inquiries (or to get first dibs on that sublime Lechon), please call 0929.613.0678 or 0921.319.3233.