Ever since our puppy Cooper joined us four months ago, one thing I’ve learned to consider when choosing a restaurant is their policy on pets. Needy little pup that he is, we bring him along a lot of times–and that includes coming along on a recent weekend day trip to Tagaytay. Wanting a family dining kind of place where we can enjoy Filipino food, we found ourselves at RSM Lutong Bahay, a homey restaurant with a wonderful view of the Taal Lake and Volcano. And even better, a pet-friendly policy.
In fact, that was the first question we asked upon arriving at their parking lot. The affable guard immediately assured us that pets are welcome; they have a garden area where they let diners with pets stay. Relieved that we can finally be accommodated (we were turned away by a similar family-style Filipino restaurant), we made our way to the little garden gazebos overlooking the lake.
When in breezy Tagaytay, one of the things we automatically order is Bulalo. How can you go wrong with a large slab of beef bone, still stuffed with rich, gelatinous marrow, right? RSM Lutong Bahay’s bulalo is satisfying, but I must confess, a more flavorful broth and more generous marrow would’ve made it more than just satisfying.
Grilled goes well with bulalo. In this case, we opted for Inihaw na Pusit (Grilled Squid). The squid was perfectly cooked and flavorful in its salty-sweet basting liquid. The grilled squid, which has a tendency to go gummy when overcooked, remained tender to the bite, while still having some bits of crisp, perfectly charred squid tentacles. NOM.
We rounded the meal off with a serving of sizzling sisig. It had an interesting fine texture that’s not what I usually expect from sisig, but stuffed with squid and rice, I wasn’t able to taste more of it.
Despite the wonderful ambiance and mostly satisfying food, the place is far from perfect though, as service left much to be desired. The people who attended to us were pleasant enough, but it’s apparent that they were undermanned that day. Nevertheless, it was an agreeable enough lunchtime experience.