GMA News recently published a review of QiWellness Living, Tagaytay’s newest upscale spa and dining experience right up on the ridge overlooking Taal Lake. Article and photos by Nikka Sarthou-Lainez.
A gastronomic journey of East meets West
There’s a plethora of dining options in Tagaytay, but Qi is far from any other ordinary dining destination. First of all, it has a tasting menu that changes seasonally, going with the four seasons of China. I had a chance to sample the 9-course Yin-Yang menu for spring, which featured colorful greens and relatively lighter meal options.
It started with a series of attractive appetizers. First was an elegant plate of eel, apple, turnip and banana heart. I thought the presentation seemed like something that you would see in a hotel. It’s fine dining without the stuffy ambience. Then came the soup appetizer and salmon gravlax, which I found interesting because of the citrus pearls that looked like salmon roe.
“Nothing is traditional. It’s fusion all the way,” (Ken) Tuason (co-owner of QiWellness Living) said of the cuisine. “The intention is to give another alternative to Tagaytay.” Qi’s fine food features locally sourced ingredients cooked using modern techniques.
The tofu soufflé was one of my favorites of the night because I’ve never had tofu like this before. It was baked in a pastry shell and the consistency was like soft cheese. Yummy and less fatty! My palate also found the pasta dish fascinating because it was served with a 63-degree egg yolk that oozed into the sauce once you break it. It made the sauce rich and it incorporated well with the salty flavor of the sea urchin.
Meat lovers would relish the flank steak served on top of a hot stone, the duck served in a pancake sandwich with plum sauce, and the breaded lamb breast with risotto and veggies.
I’m not really a carnivore; in fact, I have been avoiding meat for health reasons, but I finished everything placed in front of me. I didn’t expect the lamb to be my top dish of the night, but its melt-in-your-mouth texture won me over.
The finale was a light dessert of sorbet with fruits, nuts and edible flowers—a good way to end a memorable meal.
The tasting menu is perfect for first-time visitors who want small bites of the establishment’s a la carte offerings. Make sure to get some wine to fully enjoy your meal like what we did.
Guests may still catch the spring menu until mid-June, before Qiwellness Living changes to its summer menu with more cold starters. It’s best to make a reservation in advance for either lunch or dinner. Maybe next time, I’ll set a date with my hubby for a romantic getaway there. I could imagine dining under the stars and basking in the cool weather while we treat ourselves to a gourmet supper.
Read the rest of this restaurant review on GMA Network News here.
Aguinaldo Highway, Brgy. Maharlika East, Tagaytay City, Philippines
For inquiries and reservations: