A must-visit restaurant offering delectable Spanish cuisine is nestled inside La Bella Tagaytay for foodies to enjoy. El Cocinero is accessible by everyone even without a booked stay in La Bella, making it a perfect spot for lunch or dinner whenever you find yourself having a time-off in Tagaytay.
About El Cocinero
El Cocinero established its name in its first branch in Nasugbu, Batangas. Putting up another branch in one of people’s favorite vacation spot such as Tagaytay is definitely a good move. El Cocinero displays a Mediterranean concept and serves authentic Spanish food. This is all thanks to Chef Arnaldo’s 14 years of staying in Ibiza, Spain. This allows us to have a taste of authentic Spanish cuisine without having to spend all our income in flying to Spain.
Our Experience at El Cocinero, La Bella Tagaytay Branch
We had a quick family staycation in La Bella Tagaytay last end of October which I talked about in my previous post. So it was a great chance to try this Spanish restaurant that people have been raving about. We all agreed to have our dinner at El Cocinero.
Actually, I’m already getting used to dining at overrated restaurants and it’s quite disappointing. So upon deciding to try El Cocinero, I tried not to set my expectations too high. But you know what? Those positive comments that I’ve heard all made sense upon experiencing it firsthand!
I mean, just looking at the interiors and colorful artworks spread all throughout the place is already a satisfying experience. I loved how the Mediterranean touches have all been laid out. The dominating colors of red and orange somehow boosts our appetite!
The food took awhile to be served but at least it’s a guarantee that the food is freshly cooked. We just took few photos and strolled around the place while waiting for our dinner. It was a chilly night inside an artsy place. For the background music, it was the relaxing symphony made by choirs of crickets as if they were all singing for their king. The 30-minute waiting game felt like 5 minutes.
The food arrived and served nicely by the wait staff. Took few photos of the food before devouring them simply because I knew I signed up for this the moment I’ve decided to become a blogger 😅. We were the only guests by that time as if we rented the whole area for few hours.
The El Cocinero Pizza may not look much but it’s a bomb! I mean look at the greens, you know this is not the color we usually want to see all over our pizza. It did not look delicious—that’s for sure. But it’s the best pizza I’ve tasted so far! Replacing the Crispy Quadro Pizza of Bill’s Bear Cafe which now goes down to 2nd place. It comes in thin crust hence the crispness.
The staff said it’s 11-inch but it looks even bigger than the 12-inch pizzas in commercialized restaurants! Note that it’s also filling to the tummy despite being thin. It has a strong taste that I cannot point out, I ain’t an expert in Spanish cuisine. But everyone of us confessed this is totally worth it! In fact, we agreed in dropping by this resto on our future trips nearby.
For the El Cocinero Paella, I did not expect the sea foods to be that generous! And apart from sea food there were also mushrooms (lots of it!), beans, sausages, etc. I liked the round rice, it’s firm and so filling! The sea foods and veggies lend flavors to the rice, making it so addictive! Now I’ve found another comfort food worth craving for. The menu said it’s good for 3-4 people, but the rice is so filling which made all five tummies full!
Of course, these delicious premium quality food comes with a price—but worth every penny! We spent a total of 2,164 including 1 Pitcher of Iced Tea and service fee. That’s quite high of a price (but still not too high).
We left the restaurant with satisfied tummies, eyes, and hearts. What a great way to cap-off the day. Will definitely go back here with other members of the family and more friends!
How about you? Have you experienced the same? Don’t be shy, share it in the comments!