En route to Tali Beach in Nasugbu, Batangas, we stopped over at RSM Lutong Bahay Restaurant along Aguinaldo highway for lunch last Saturday. Specializing in “lutong-bahay” or home-cooked Filipino dishes, this “garden restaurant” is located at the heart of Tagaytay City. Think open-air dining tables, luscious garden, multi-level outdoor seating, and a magnificent view of the Taal Lake and the Taal Volcano, and you’ll get RSM Restuarant in the picture. We couldn’t really ask for more beyond these, but of course we did in an attempt to check out the food, and again, no big complaints.

Review of RSM Lutong Bahay Restaurant (Tagaytay City)


Romance is in the air in this tropical garden ambiance. RSM Lutong Bahay looks like a great venue to hold photoshoots for prenuptial weddings and a lovely restaurant for baptismal, family reunions, and other special occasions. The interior is filled with wooden furniture that makes the environment more charming, a little rustic, and homey.

Outside, the al fresco setup is surprisingly spacious, an oasis of calm that reminds one of why Tagaytay is looked upon by many as a retreat and recreation area. Bold decorative touches and plants are present throughout. Every corner is Instagram-genic! We snagged the highly coveted spot in a cozy bahay kubo at the back for more privacy.


Tagaytay has restaurants left and right offering and highlighting “bulalo” on their signage. There’s no question that it’s the city’s specialty. At RSM Lutong Bahay Restaurant, the case is no different. The main attraction of the menu includes bulalo, crispy tawilis, crispy pata, sisig, and adobo among others. We made sure to have the best recommended dishes covered. Well, pretty much.

Lunch started with Fried Tawilis (PhP 195), a type of fish that’s found exclusively in Taal Lake. Best served with spiced vinegar, the tawilis is notable for its taste and texture. This freshwater sardine is believed to be one of a few former marine species trapped within the lake that have evolved into purely freshwater species. It can be eaten whole, including the head, scales and tail, since the fish bones are soft, small, and entirely edible. The tawilis was a bit salty but not fishy. It made an excellent pairing with atchara (pickle made from grated unripe papaya) which lend a tinge of sweetness.

For our vegetable entree, we had Tinutong Laing (PhP 210) made with dried taro (gabi) leaves, coconut milk, shrimp paste and chili peppers. It’s really creamy. Eating it with rice—Kanin sa Dahon (PhP 45)—will be hard to say no to, especially for the diet-conscious.

Pork Binagoongan (PhP 385) is pork cooked in shrimp paste. It’s one of the all-time favorite Filipino dishes with pungent, tangy and savory notes. When you crave for flavorful and extravagant Pinoy food, this must be a palpable choice.

Bulalong Tagalog (PhP 685) was well prepared and delivered. The bone marrow within the tender beef shanks were plentiful, but I thought the broth lacked richness. The soup was lightly seasoned and mildly salty. This may be okay for others but it did not capture the attention of my taste buds overall.  Veggies were crisp and fresh.

Price for Value:

Established in 1987, RSM Lutong Bahay Restaurant in Tagaytay City was given the Most Outstanding Home-Cooked Restaurant Award by the Philippine Quality Award for Business Excellence—and for good reason. Authentic “lutong bahay” food on the a la carte menu are wholesome, all familiar to the eyes and comforting to the palate. Prices are on the expensive side though, considering that the portions were not served in mandatory abundance as expected for group sharing.

Maybe next time, it’s worthy to try their buffet offering. Weekend buffet is available from 11am to 3pm for lunch and 6pm to 9pm for dinner. A huge buffet selection ensures that everybody will walk away happy. Buffet rate is PhP 650 per person (ages 9 and up) and PhP 350 per child (ages 4 to 8).

Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Maharlika East, Tagaytay City, Philippines
For inquiries, call (046) 860 2297
Date Published: 02/07/2017

Review of RSM Lutong Bahay Restaurant (Tagaytay City)
Price for Value
4.5Overall Score


Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

29 Responses

  1. Nikki

    Wow what a beautiful place. That view is phenomenal and the food looks delicious. I’m not sure I would have been able to eat the Fried Tawilis, but overall everything else looks so good. I’ve also never heard of this location before so you’ve really opened up some new possibilities for me travelwise!

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      It was my first time to try fried tawilis actually because we don’t often go to Tagaytay anyway and this fish is said to be exclusively or mostly just found in this area. 🙂

  2. censie

    Looks like a fantastic place to enjoy some fresh food. The weather in your photos look amazing. Must be warm. I am so ready for some sunshine and warm weather.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup, it’s almost summer season in the Philippines. This is the best time to go to the beaches and explore places outside the city. 🙂 Food tripping and restaurant hopping are also fun activities to do since there will be no troubles about floods or getting wet in the rain.

  3. Franc Ramon

    I’ve tried RSM in Tagaytay and it’s really a great place to eat for a large group. They have big servings and really nice views.

  4. Kat Centeno

    I would love to try the Tawilis. I am the sardines kind of person. 🙂 Be it in can, fresh (kinilaw, fried, paksiw) and the spanish style ones. 🙂

  5. Kristy @ Mommy Hates Cooking

    I can’t say that I’ve ever eaten a Filipino dish. The views and gardens of the RSM Lutong Bahay Restaurant are beautiful, though! I can just imagine myself sitting outside with a nice lunch taking in those views!

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      RSM Restaurant in Tagaytay can be your first venue to try out Filipino dishes in the Philippines. Head to the buffet stations for more delicious dishes with different tastes that stand out in every bite. 🙂

  6. Bhushavali

    Wow! The place looks great!!! Love the wooden detailing. The view from the outer seating area with those seas and valleys and mountains look so incredible!

  7. FArrah Less G.

    Your post makes me want to visit my homeland Philippines. I miss it so much I remember our last trip to Tagaytay way back 2010 (gezz that long!) anyway we had a great time with my family. All the food they serve are my favorites.

  8. Pal Raine

    I love the ambiance of the place and the food are indeed authentic Filipino dishes! No wonder they got the award of the Most Outstanding Home-Cooked Restaurant Award by the Philippine Quality Award for Business Excellence.

  9. The Graceful Mist

    The tropical garden looks like a beautiful area to eat with the fresh air and morning sunlight. The restaurant seems like a great place to eat with family and friends especially those who aren`t familiar with Filipino cuisine. This will allow them to try a variety of Filipino foods.

    ❀ Grace ❀

  10. Elizabeth O.

    This is a beautiful place. It looks very relaxing and spacious. A nice place to stay and unwind.

  11. Fred

    That laing looks so good. I want to make a trip to that restaurant just to try that one out. If only traffic going to Tagaytay is not so formidable.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Their laing was good but not enough to invite your palate for a visit. I think the ambiance and the overall dining experience are reasons that can make RSM Restaurant invite more guests to come. 🙂


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