Uncover the secrets of this hidden Tagaytay restaurant.
The phrase, “tara, Tagaytay!” has led most of us to the famous getaway spot even on the most unexpected days. It’s a good thing that more new restaurants are popping up in the area so we’ll never run out of choices.
El Cocinero is a homegrown Spanish restaurant tucked away inside the La Bella Residences development, offering a fresh and lush scenery that’s a welcome sight compared to the commercialized streets of Tagaytay. It is owned by Chef Arnaldo Limeta who trained in Ibiza, Spain for more than ten years.
Fun fact: El Cocinero has a bunch of trees just sprouting THROUGH the structure because the developer prohibited the cutting of trees when it was being built.
This garden-inspired restaurant is also an artist’s haven as El Cocinero’s two-storey building’s lush interiors are complemented by reprinted Picasso paintings.
El Cocinero serves authentic Spanish favorites like tapas, grilled seafood, pasta plates, and their famous El Cocinero Paella and Paella Negra. Indulge in other Spanish dishes like gambas, montaditos, and their special Pescado Al Horno (baked fish). Their paellas are topped with fresh seafood and is served the traditional way–with a crusty layer of rice underneath all that steaming layers of savory goodness.
Booky Tip: An order of their hefty paellas can take up to 30-45 mins to cook, you can can call in your orders in advance so you won't have to wait that long.
Insider Tip: Order their special Rollo Pacenta de Asada (boneless pork roll) at least a day in advance. This cochinillo/porchetta/lechon hybrid weighs a whopping 5 kilos!
Didn’t find your favorite Spanish dish on their menu? You can ask Chef Arnaldo to cook something similar for you, just call in advance. This is El Cocinero’s second branch, after its first one in Nasugbu.