After passing through Tagaytay enroute from climbing Talamitam and Batulao the past months, I finally had the chance to stay a while and enjoy the cool crisp air and atmosphere. Inspite of the hordes of weekend trippers from Manila, I’ve always loved Tagaytay for its view of Taal Volcano and Lake and of course, the true aim of my destination– charming Sonya’s Garden, which really is n Buck Estate, Silang, Cavite.
After about 2 years since selling my car, I was behind the wheel once more driving my friend Jed’s Honda. A few practice maneuvers at the basement parking convinced me I could still drive. So with Ochie and Mark at the back, we were off to Tagaytay last Sunday near noon. Several minutes later, my confidence in my driving skills were restored as we were coasting along the SLEX.
Everyone I bring to Sonya’s always enter and leave the place enthralled and charmed. It’s been ages since I last visited and the compound is bigger now with more dining areas and spa cottages. That also means more people. It was almost 2 when we arrived and the parking area (there are now 2) was filled with cars. Fortunately, there were more people in the gardens than in the conservatory dining area so the late lunch was pleasant and laid back. I generally prefer visiting Sonya’s either early or late afternoon after the crowds have gone. It’s so much quieter much like before when going to Sonya felt more like a privilege.
The panaderia is a welcome addition. What I really made a beeline for was the much vaunted cheese hopia. I also enjoyed the leeks hopia with its peculiar sweet and exotic taste. I should have bought a lot as they were really good when I ate them warmed from the oven toaster.
The menu hasn’t changed but there was now a really good slice of chocolate cake with the usual dessert of turon and sweetened kamote. People have commented on the never-changing array of condiments for the salad and pasta buffet. Honestly, I don’t mind. Sonya’s Garden in the restaurant equivalent of home and its buffet, my comfort food. Diners can now order baked chicken and there is a Filipino buffet set for groups of 20 or more and ordered in advanced. But it is nice to know that with all the development going on in Tagaytay and the surrounding areas, some things remain the same. So I’ll go for the same salad and buffet any given weekend. Even every weekend which I used to do before with my friend Tony.